We, the few, the proud the two of us, gathered for the Zaleski hike. Road conditions on Saturday AM were not good and soon after making the turn onto #278 from Nelsonville I began thinking about that steep hill and decided I better turn around rather than chance the drive up the hill. The road was snow covered and slippery but suddenly, there was the hill and I'll be, all cleared off. I arrived at the parking lot late, having woefully under estimated the drive time....a total of 2 hours. Yikes. There were 8 cars in the parking lot but only Mark C and I formed up for the hike so we decided to trail run instead.
We selected the 8.5 mile northern loop and headed off into an environment of cold, wind, slick trails and many beautiful ice formations. The route is very hilly for the first 6 miles and finally, the trail dropped down into a river bottom that I knew from past experience, would yield a relatively flat final two miles. At mile 7, after navigating several stream crossings without incident, my foot plunged through some ice and was soaked. Gosh, that final mile was fun with a foot sloshing around in a soaked sock but finally, I saw the road and yelled. "Road Sprint" and nipped a fast closing Mark for the first spint win of the year. I can't wait for spring when I am playing golf with the fellas and as we approach the green, I yell. "Green Sprint" and start running with clubs clanking around in the bag and everyone wondering what the heck is wrong with me. I have to pick up the sprint wins no matter the sport. We finished with 1500' of climbing but our going was kind of slow with some of the down hills to slick to run and most of the
Mark is planning an off-trail hike in the next week or two. If you have never participated in one of these, they are a hoot and a great full body workout as we claw our way up and over cliffs and steep hills, slide down slopes and have a lot of fun. If I forget to describe it, make sure you bring a change of gloves and socks. More to come later.