Monday, May 27, 2013

Appalachia Bay Trailz

I thought I'd hunt down a couple of geocaches Monday afternoon. Appalachian Bay on Lake Keystone had two listed, and I headed that way. Should have taken Jake, but he and I had ran a little at Chandler Park earlier, and he just doesn't understand why I stand in the woods looking at my phone instead of running. 
I found these on my PC at home, and blowing up the map, it sure looked like there were trailz here. Actually, I did know there were ATV trailz, but thought these would just be muddy rutted out roads, and had never investigated. Crossing a road that led to an island that was technically a peninsula, it looked like these were no more that boring roads.

The long narrow island had a "major" through road for about half the distance, but the side loops were a bit more interesting. Yes, these were somewhat rutted and tilled with off road tire tread, but most of the trailz early on were runable.

Loop after loop brushed the edge of the lake, making for a very scenic trip.

By now, I had forgot about geocaching. My mission was to investigate--running all the way to the end of the island on the west shore, and back on the east side.

This was not a flat island either. I climbed a 150 foot hill, that had several spiderweb trailz blasted out by ATVs futile attempts at ascension. If I had a criticism, it was the brainless trail construction. No, construction is to nice of a word. It was far more destructive than constructive.

Near the south end of the trip, remnants of a couple of oil pumpjacks stood in rusting majesty. Seeing the second one, I was sure I had gone in a circle and was lost, but I consulted my camera and saw it was a different one.

The southern end also had loose sand. My shoes were full, to the point that if I wanted to run at all, I had to empty them. It was like running on the beach, and actually, that's what I was doing for much of the way.

The whole trip, the rev rev rev of dirt bikes and ATVs drowned out the whir of the wind through the trees, and the lap of the waves on the rocks. But on a holiday weekend on an ATV course, I was the guest on their playground.

This is the vies from the east beach. I was heading back with a little over 3 miles done. The loose sand and all the picture taking had me in a time crunch and I needed to make some time back, so I carefully chose trails from the multiple webs that were less sandy.

This in no way meant the return trip was less scenic. At times, it seemed like a run through the jungle, and at times it was a run through the pines.

I'd come here again to run. Next time, Jake gets to go as there are endless swim opportunities. Coming after a brief rain would help with the loose sand problem. Coming on a weekday might avert some of the annoying ATVs and dirt bikes. I guess I should thank them for sharing their playground with me. And next time, I'll find those geocaches.

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