Notice the dotted lines on the right side of the map. These were the trails. Most were flat but a couple of the loops took us to the top of a ridge that would have overlooked the valley below but we could not see the forest for the trees.
These weird trail running types with their mini-backpacks with blue tubes running our of the top were met with odd looks and shaking heads. But Dana and I were enjoying a beautiful morning despite the 80 degrees and 80 humidity. And no breeze.
I was elated to get to a hill!! Nothing looks worse on Strava than a trail run that's FLAT.
I really liked Travertine Creek. It was remarkably clear, and spring fed. These man made bridges gave access to both sides of the creek,and made man made waterfalls--dozens of them.
Another man made waterfall--and I am sure someone will let me know that some of these are natural occurrences. Thank you in advance.
You gotta be careful in the wilderness. You never know what is lurking around the curve in the trail.
Wet feet about to happen. I didn't care.
We found several natural springs, and a couple water basins where I guess group foot soaking were practiced. I took a picture of one such pool, but the pic did not turn out and the only other one I had caught a group on a nature tour. This bridge was cool. Reminds me or the arched bridge at Osage Hills.
We finished up with 3 miles here. There were more nicely (overly) groomed trailz here, but they seemed like more of the same and I had my chops set on trailz over on the WMA. From Veteran's Lake (see map above) I planned on doing the small triangular loop to the lower left of the lake.
We walked 3/10 of a mile down a gravel road to the trail head (yay a HILL) and got onto some rocky mostly un-maintained trails that featured a southbound mile long climb.
It looks dark here, but it's because the pic was taken mostly into the sun. It was getting hot but every now and then a cloud would earn it's keep by covering up the big fireball. And being out in the open, we had the benefits of what little breeze there was.
The map above was not really accurate, but it did tell me I needed to take all right turns once on the loop. I was almost worrying that our turn might have been an overgrown trail that we couldn't see, so I told myself if we didn't see it after 1.5 miles, I'd turn back. I had my new Salamon S-Lab ADV Skin3 5 Set Pack, with the bladder and the soft bottles filled, and Dana had two 22 ounce Camelback bottles, so we could go most of the day, but we were both set on 6 miles,
Finally, we came to or intersection, about where I thought it would be. This trail headed west and connected to a trail bringing us back north to our Jeep. We got into some wooded areas--giving up the breeze, but gaining some shade.
The trail heading north was mostly downhill, and Dana stole my zombie-shuffle, and we actually picked up our pace until the final climb back up the dirt road. I finished with an even three miles with a short out and back to make the distance. I'm anal like that.
I am no fan of chiggers, and given that we had ran through potential chigger habitat, and given that there was ice cold spring fed steams a couple of miles away, we headed there for some foot and leg soaking.