On the drive up Mountain Cove Road I saw a sign that said, "WeRentGoats.com" Michele and Kris didn't believe me. But then when we hit the corner.....
Apparently the do rent goats!
We parked at the last parking lot with a permanent bathroom along mountain cove road. In the past we have parked higher up but it makes for the run to start with a sudden uphill. This way you get a warm up in before hitting the hill. The parking lot says Freestone Trailhead (not sure why). We headed left onto Mountain Cove Trail # 22C.
Th road we are running parallel with is the before mentioned Mountain Cove Road. This is where the Les Bois 10K is run. I do NOT run this road unless there is no other alternative. And today, there is an alternative!
This is a nice shady trail. We had started at 7:00 AM, so it was shady at that time of day..haha. After a bit it comes out to meet with mountain cove road. A sharp left onto Ridge Crest #20 and we encounter the hill. This is a tough one to do because you are just getting started in the run. My goal is to try and run the whole thing. Michele and Kris' goal? I am not sure.
After you reach the top of the hill we were at 3/4 of a mile. You have to then take a left at the next fork which is Buck Tail #20A. This is a fun trail! Minimum hills, nice foot surface, single track, grassy, curvy...very runner friendly. I stopped a few times to have Kris and Michele catch up because, while I wanted to run a quick pace, I was afraid of missing the "fun". The last time I ran ahead of those two, they finished the run with all of these funny experiences that I missed! So I was ok with a few stops.
From Bucktail we came to Shane's loop #26A. Now you can run it either way, Hence the word "loop". We always choose to run it counterclockwise, that means starting on the right fork. It has less distance of uphill (although steeper). This is also a favorite of ours. I walked the first hill, but then Kris started razzing me about it so I didn't walk anyone of the others! Later we saw some other runners coming behind us in the distance. Kris pointed them out and said "they are probably going to catch up and pass us". I called out, "No they won't! Come on girls we don't want to let them pass us!" Kris, throwing water on my enthusiasm noted, "Yes we do and yes they can." She has no competitiveness in her I swear.
On the last really steep hill I ran and Michele and Kris sang the ROCKY theme song as I did. I even did the Rocky Balboa dance at the top with my arms up and everything! The best part now, all downhill baby!
You will notice that we lack pictures lately. I recently dropped my cell phone and broke the camera. Only occasionally will Michele bring hers along. (the goat picture was from the car). So you are forced to use your imagination.
Back to the trail....
After Shane's Loop (back to where we started) we headed Onto Central Ridge #22. This trail is much wider and you can run in more of a pack instead of single file. You will notice that there hasn't been much silliness today. That's because we are used to this trail, semi-pros at it. There are therefore, no surprises and no near catastrophes! Hence, less moments of insanity. However, there was this DOG....
Coming down the end of Shane's Loop this hyper dog passed me. Okay, whatever. Unbeknownst to me when it passed Michele and Kris it tried to jump all over them and then it tried to jump on a passing biker. let me tell you. It is a good thing that DOG didn't try to jump on ME! If it had there would have been a very loud screaming followed by a DOG being kicked off the ledge, tumbling down the ravine, and then my wicked laughter! (you think I am kidding but I assure you I am quite serious.)
Central Ridge leads you to a fork and then we take Ridgecrest #20 on the left. We saw A LOT of bikers today. They were all very friendly, there was just a lot of them!
Ridgecrest is a very steep downhill with lots of switchbacks. Michele swears that ONE DAY, I am going to take a header down them because I go to fast. Well folks, today was not that day! I love this part of the run! I go tot the bottom and had time to run up and down the trail to get my watch caught up to Michele's which was .1 ahead of me! I cannot stand when they read different distances.
At the bottom of Ridgecrest, we went right onto Toll Road #27A. No more uphills today, easy run back to the car. No excitement, no danger, no puppet legs. Toll Road took us back out to where we could get back onto Mountain Cove Trail and then less than a mile back to the car. As we ran I pointed out the WeRentGoast.com sign. They were both surprised. Turns out they thought I made it up. Why would I make up something as ridiculous as that?
All in all it was a GREAT run! A good 7.15 miles on a beautiful day!
I love America!