My intended 2 hour run was cut a little short before it got started. The allure of sitting around the flat screen was strong last night and it was 7:30pm before I got my first steps in. After an initial ascent over a ridge, and another and eventually 4-5 ridges and traverses around rocky outcroppings I was feeling smooth and free as the trail settled into a flow amongst dense forest with occasional vistas over winding river.
The backside of this section of trail opens up peaks into the Tennessee River Valley and what a sight it was as the sky subtly glowed an orange and pale blue. It is really beautiful when these sorts of light angles and colors interact with massive rock walls so typical of this area of Tennessee. If you are in this area of Tennessee stop by Rock Creek Outfitters for some guidance on the best places to hit trails where you won't be overwhelmed with those "tourists".
I made the out and back turn at about 40 minutes, though I had hoped to make a loop I was running out of light. On the return I entered some densely wooded areas that were very dark at that time of arrival. I stopped at one area on a boulder in a small creek bed. Standing there, closing my eyes for a few moments and feeling that cool summer night air. Listening to the sounds of the forest, mingling with the trickling of the hidden water dancing down through the rocky river bed... it was a moment that summed up the reason why I head out into these areas and provides for lasting validation whenever I wonder why so much of my time is spent doing such things. The memories such as this always beckon me onward, outward to the trail.
Getting started late, not a human did I see. Only a strange, unidentifiable black cat, a whole mess of thick webs and I was, for a short time, accosted by an peculiar loudly flapping moth type of a creature. Somehow this creature followed me for about 300m while running about 7:30 pace. Eventually I had to "drop" the bug by inserting a bit of a surge. Not sure what that was??
I look forward to some day running a few more hours out in this area and if you are contemplating doing the same I would highly recommend it!! Tomorrow, off to the Smokies on my way home... what will the run be?