horseshoe daydreams.

The work week has begun and I'm on the road again.  Or, rather, I'm back to running back-and-forth to work on roads and sidewalks, wishing I was playing in the dirt.

Being there for the start of Lily's and Piper's day keeps the Horseshoe Trail just out of reach on most mornings.  A fair trade, for sure, but a good example of absence fostering a fonder heart.  As my feet pound the pavement on those runs to work, my mind stays busy replaying images of recent trail runs and conjuring images of those to come.

Images like these:

While this photograph doesn't offer much in the way of aesthetics, it marks the crossroads and parking lot from where any number of great off-road runs originate.  If you happen to see my car parked in this lot, you can be pretty certain that somewhere out in the woods beyond there's a smile on my face.

Last Saturday morning I followed an out-and-back section of trail that Jefferson turned me on to back in early Fall.  The last time we ran this section together, a heavy bed of leaves made it difficult to decipher if we were managing to remain on the winding and little used section of trail.  Running it in the snow without any sets of footprints put down ahead of me, I was questioning how I might manage to navigate.  Just as a I began to doubt that I was on the right path, a set of deer tracks appeared out of nowhere to confirm first that I hadn't strayed and then to escort me the rest of the way to the turnaround.

On a prior bulletin, I snapped a photo from Eagle Rock overlook, noting that due to the snow falling that day visibility was limited.  I paused at that same spot this past weekend and took another photograph and this time you can make out Blue Mountain off in the distance across the valley.  You can also make out, if you look closely, some frozen snot in my right nostril.

Snow and elevation change combined to my moving at a glacial pace.  On a day as beautiful as this day, who cares?  Not me.

This photo was taken from a high point on the Horseshoe Trail within Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.  These sections of the trail, where it overlaps with old fire roads, are some of my least favorite on most days of the year.  Add snow, however, and it's a different story.  The photograph looks northeast and somewhere on the ridgeline visible between the gap in the trees is the small house in which I spent the latter half of my childhood.

Thinking about that happy home on Texter Mountain (let's be honest, a wooded hill) brings back a host of other images to ponder on tomorrow's run.

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