Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A new great trail???

This afternoon, I got through just a little after 5:00, and decided I had time for a good run. Rather than run on Turkey, I headed west towards Keystone Lake with the thoughts of running the mountain bike trails there. But before I got there, I remembered a place where I had found an ATV trail heading straight up a super steep incline and it headed into the deep woods. I had to check this out.I had explored this trail in dress slacks and street shoes a month or so ago, and turned around due to slipping in the loose scree. Who knows--this might be a gem of a trail.

Staright up and I mean up. I climbed 180 feet in just a little over a tenth of a mile.

Stopping halfway up for a picture, I saw that the sun would be with me for an hour, maybe a little more. I had forgot my headlamp, so any long expeditions would have to wait for another day.

From the top, there was a grand view of the Arkansas River valley.

You can see HW 412 below. The river is pretty low. Keystone Lake is low. We need more rain. Just not on my race days.

The trail came right back down after a 1/4 mile along the top ridge. I did notice a barb wire fence, and the trail never crossed it.

From this clearing, I saw where I wanted to go. Down this hill and right back up the next one. You can even see a hint of a trail over there.

But a quarter mile later, I popped out on a road. This road ran up through a valley, or a "holler" as Oklahoma backwoods people call it. These bridges are HW 412 spanning over the creek, the valley, hopping from one hill to the next.

There was also a muddy creek to cross.

And tall bridges they were. Due to the creek looking deep, I decided to run up the holler with an eye for any dirt roads heading east up the next hill, or maybe back west deeper into the woods.

HAHA. These folks don't know me very well, do they?

The narrow paved road wound through the valley, passing many nice homesites delapidated mobile homes. This was redneck USA. I had my sights set on this hill. Once on the slope, it looked like pure climbing with not much in the way of underbrush and briers.

As I neared the base of the hill, I spied a gate with the remnants of a road leading upwards. But the No Tresspassing signs, and this sign made me rethink ry intentions. I could just see myself stepping into a bear trap, or worse yet, upsetting up Billy Bob who was trying to catch supper.

The sun was thinking about retiring for the day, and I decided to make my run a nice out-and-back instead of a loop.

Rather than take the ATV trail up the steep 180' climb, I crossed under 412 and ran a nice flat road ~a mile back to my car. I ended up with 5.4 miles, and a couple of decent hills. I ran a 14 minute/mile pace even with stopping for pictures. Now I know that the mystery trail is not all that great.

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