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Friday, July 15, 2011

Return to the Dragon

Growing Season
Summer brings many great things... including abundant sunshine and rain and their children... plants. I love the life of summer but it does take the winter cleared trails and add obstacles. This is what I was faced with last night as I returned to the outlying sections of my local Dragon Trail. I knew there'd be stinging nettle, which is why I have been scarce in that area... I love my trails but a 1/2 mile tunnel of stinging nettle in repeated loops would literally drive me mad. But, last evening it was time to take care of my single track.

In preparation for a dusky jaunt I strapped on my Sierra Design winter season gaiters, knee high and began plodding down toward the river. I hoped to just run back and forth for 60-90 minutes with my headlamp and trample all over the encroaching offenders. When I arrived at the barn turn I was in for a surprise...

Parting the Green Sea
... I stopped and stared at a 5 foot high wall of growth! This was going to take some time. I began stomping left and right and laying down the stalks to the side of the trail (which was still under there) like Moses parting the Sea. Occasionally (every 5-10 feet) I would come across the tasty brambles of blackberries. Here I would grab the ripe fruit and remove the obstacle. This section is normally a 45 second sweeping right hand turn but this time took a full 25 minutes to pass through. I was very thorough and my hope is that the major growth has taken place for the season and the maintenance will be done for now... that is the hope.
Cleared Trail in the Winter

A half a mile of smooth wooded single track brought me to a few small blow downs which I dragged or rerouted trail slightly before I came to Nettle Station... this was the area I had planned on spending time on- but since Sunday... the nettles had withered and were only shadows of themselves! On down to the river I went and splashed around in the fading summer light. While there I removed 3 or 4 ticks and then turned for home in the fading light.

I ended up cutting the run short after yanking on a vine of poison ivy... we'll see where that gets me in the next couple of days. I was pleased to have taken 60 minutes to reclaim the Dragon Trail for the summer, taste the fresh blackberries and spot a few deer in the field. Now to run through the night on a full moon??

Happy Running!


  1. Ah the poison ivy. My run yesterday seemed riddled with it. Dodging roots is already enough.

  2. I think we would like to run your "Dragon", but in the winter. Don't get that poisen ivy vine close to Beth as it will eat her up alive, but I guess the verdict is still out on you though!

  3. eek, that trail sounds like work...hope you get a chance to run on full moonlight. fun :)

  4. I know where yanking on a vne of poison ivy would get me...covered in red and yellow pus-filled blotches. I just got over a case on the arms and legs and I hadn't even been trail running. Good luck with that!

  5. Hi Sean! First of all, I love the new look of your blog! Very nice...loving the header with the picture of you:) So sorry about the poison ivy! I hope you are alright and itch free! This was fun to read about your dragon! I have to tell you that I love your writing style. You write with such an eloquence and charm! Your posts always make me smile:) Take care of you!

  6. WHOA! Poison ivy is nothing to mess with. Hopefully you didn't fair too bad. I'm always jealous of the bushwacking that you're able to do. While, I'm sure that it seems like work at the time, I'll bet the rewards are worth it.

    Oh, and the title of this post sounded like the name of a porn. :)


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