New years always brings cold mountain trails. This year, I joined in on David Kirk's birthday celebration in the Nantahala's.
(photo: Matt Kirk)
We were off in the woods starting on the Bartram Trail from Nantahala Lake. We climbed for miles up to the summit of Wayah Bald, and took a left on the AT. The snow turned into slush, and made for a challenging footing. I ran and hiked casually as I knew my body was healing. For the most part ran with Scott and Carl. The total mileage was 26 for that day.
Whence I arrived at the cabin we chowed down, and celebrated David's birthday with two cakes! Calories that fueled me for the rest of the week.
My body crashed and I passed out before the ball dropped.
I woke up early and enjoyed a casual rainy day in the woods. The rain was not going to stop, and neither was I. I headed for the summit of Cheo Bald and planned to meet Matt up there. I took the AT while he started on the Baratram. He summited before I did, and I met him on his downhill, I had another 15 minutes of climbing to reach the summit. Soaking wet in a mountaineering grade rain jacket, I yelled out a coyote howl at the summit knowing full well no one would hear me. I drew energy off of this and stormed down the mountain in the snow and ice. Making the full round trip in 4:09 covering about 18 miles.
Having felt great on the downhill, and still steaming in upper 30 degree temperatures I made a dash for the Nantahala river to continue the new years tradition. It was dajavu all over again from the Baratram Stage New Years run in 2007. I jumped in the river fully submerging myself, and getting out within 3 minutes after the body was fully numb.
I blasted the heat and regained sensation after about 40 minutes while driving back home. This of coarse is not the best acclimatization training for Hawaii, but that's another adventure all together....
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