Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Woods Mountain 26M - Hwy 80 to Woodlawn and Back

Another impromptu run was set up. I would drive up to the parkway and Hwy 80, park, and all the way to Woodlawn on the MST. I left the house at 7am, it was raining on my way out. The rain came down hard, and I wondered if I would get poured on in the mountains. Once I reached Marion, the rain stopped, and the sun was smiling.

It was 50 degrees when I started, cool, but sunny and beautiful. I threw in some gloves and arm warmers incase the weather turned. I took off at 9:30am exactly. I could feel the cool, crisp leaves crunching as I ran past the purple, red, yellow, orange, and brown. The colors were still amazing.

I made it to the sharp right turn on Woods Mountain in 1:16. I wasn’t in any hurry, and I not trying to blast it, but I was checking my watch to see how I progressed. This sharp right turn is a good midway point for this section. I knew I would be ahead of our scheduled meet up time of 12 noon. So I took a few photos, and videos.

With all the leaves and color, I somehow got off trail, and took a 15 minute detour. This always seems to happen on this mountain. In the lower elevations, the leaves turned mostly to brown. A few pine needles and having to deal with a little mud mixed it up a bit.

I saw Matt, Lilly, and Uwharrie at 12:10, after running for 2:40. I refilled up my bottles, and downed some calories, and turned back around with Matt. On my return, I knew I would be climbing more up hills, and that this would slow me down. I expected to finish in 6 hours, and set that as my goal.

After reaching Woods Mountain again, I threw on my arm warmers and gloves as a cool chill moved in with overcastted clouds. I was moving slower, but still moving. I made it back to my car in 6:03. Net elevation gain on my watch read 6,300 feet. I was hungry and thirsty, but my legs felt good.

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