Saturday, February 7, 2009
Mohican Hiking Day
The Fresno Running Club (me, Reg, Gabe, Wendy) showed up to run Mohican this morning. Joining us were Mike. The two other runners were Rob Powell and Don Baun. When asked if they were going to run the Red-Green section with us, they smiled knowingly and said they would run along the river.
We all got into a fight as we walked to the trail head...about who would break trail. Wendy took point as I stomped into snow and postholed about up to my thigh and actually fell before we hit the trail..
The snow was deep. About one foot deep. It was tough going up the hill. When we got up the hill, a snowmobile had come through and packed down the trail, which made it okay to run on the trail.
Mikey and I stopped at Bridle Staging, where we could use the facilities. Mikey took longer than me, which led to my advantage in picture taking:
The snowmobiler abandoned us on this section of trail, and now our run had become just a hike in the woods. The snow was deep enough where every footstep brought you down 4-5 inches into the snow. Mikey and I truncated our run after the first water crossing (which was frozen BTW, the driest I have ever come through this section!)
Having cut off this about 3 mile loop section on the red, we were now AHEAD of Regis, Wendy, and Gabe. We knew this because there were no footsteps in the snow and now I was breaking trail!!
In fact, we stopped for our food at AS Rock Point and kept waiting for the trio. So we kept going, in the complete walking mode-or actually the stomping through snow mode.
On our way to the water crossing past Rock Point, I got impatient with the snow which was now about half-way up my calves. Mike agreed with me when I said "let's go off piste, cross the river, and pick up the trail on the other side". Heck, we'd already cut the course, what was a little more? We followed a deer path down the rather steep hillside. At one point it was easier to sit and slide down the hill.
As we got to the bottom, we heard Reg talking (natch) and they spotted us in the hollow below. They continued on the trail as we walked through a deer bedding spot where they were bedding spots for at least 15 deer. We got back on the trail right past this, and headed up hill.
and Gabe (his quads look much better in the group photo!) finally caught up with us here. We stayed together for a bit as we marched uphill. The snow was still deep.
The trio got away from us again. As we passed South Park, and rehyrdated,Mike mentioned taking the Forest road instead of the trail. I heartily agreed, as the snow was wearing on me. So we trotted (and walked) the road back to the Fire Tower, and then back down to the Covered Bridge. We ran into Rob, running UP the hill, just doing some hill repeats for his mileage.
Mikey and I chilled (or rather heated) in his van as we waited for the Dynamic Trio to finish (since they had the key to my SUV). It took the Tough Trio 5.40 hours for a run where they would normally finish in 3 hours. It usually takes me 5 hours for this 21-22 section, so Mike and I were smart to take our short cuts! We were out on the trails around 5 hours, for about 14 miles. We *actually ran* about 3 miles out of 14.
Good time on our feet. A splendid day on the trails-weather in the 40's for our hike. Wonderful time spent with Mikey~!