This morning while Topaz and I were heading out to the trail I had something in mind, in addition to snowshoeing for a few hours. As the boys will be gone next Saturday day into Sunday, I wanted to scope out a prospect for a 50 mile run next week. I was hoping to find someplace to run through the Refuge where I wouldn't have to run upon snowshoes for 9 hours.
We ran our regular loop for 8 miles and then ventured off to a deer trail that was pretty slick with ice. Lots of ice. My snowshoes weren't gripping very well, it was cold, 3F and I just wanted to see some gravel. I looked at my Refuge map and figured we should eventually come to a non maintained gravel fire road. Sure enough, a few more miles of ice and I could see the gravel road. Woohoo! What a sight for 'tired of snowshoeing every day' eyes. I ditched my snowshoes at the side of the path and ran upon the gravel, whooping it up, scaring the bejeezus out of Topaz as I screeched with glee. Look, no snowshoes! I'm running..fast..I can feel it in my hamstrings..nice! It was wonderful.
The map tells me this gravel road is 25 miles in length. It eventually ends at the bank of the St Francis River which meanders all throughout the area. Perfect for next weeks 50 mile run.
I put my snowshoes back on and we hit a trail I hadn't been on before that was covered with snow, no ice. A few more miles back to the Blue Hill Trail, back to the ice and back to the car.
Next week I'll try the gravel road sans snowshoes. Of course if we have ice and snow before then I can take screws to the shoes and run 50 miles of road into Big Lake, around town and home. Ack.