Today is my 26th birthday! I kicked off my birthday weekend yesterday with a free Slurpee on 7 eleven day. How convenient that July 11 aka 7-11 aka free Slurpee day always falls on the day before my birthday. They must have known the next day was my birthday, too, because they made sure to have my favorite Blue Raspberry flavor!
For my actual birthday, I decided to celebrate by exploring some new trails at the Wolf Creek day use area of the Jefferson National Forest, in Bland county.
I started out on the Wolf Creek Loop Trail, which was two miles long according to the sign. The map indicated another trail connected with the loop trail at the bottom of the loop. So my plan was to run half of the loop, do an out and back on the connecting trail, and then complete the loop. That’s not how things worked out, though.
I was running along on the Wolf Creek Loop Trail, and thought I was close to the bottom of the loop. But that didn’t actually make sense because I was nearly to 2 miles. But I hadn’t seen the other trail yet. Then I got to a sign that said “parking lot” with an arrow. I thought it must be a different parking lot, so I ran down to see it. Lo and behold I was back where I started from!
I have no idea how I managed that, but I decided to just head back out on the loop in the opposite direction. This time I kept my eyes peeled for the connecting trail, and about halfway through the loop I found it! I really have no idea how I missed it the first time, because the intersection was pretty big and the connecting trail (Crooked Trail, I think) was marked.
Due to running the Wolf Creek Loop Trail twice, I only did a mile out and back on the other trail. I would like to go back sometime to explore Crooked Trail more. I’ll probably take a buddy with me, though, as I spent the majority of this run freaked out about seeing a bear. I’ve seen them in this area several times before when driving and of course that didn’t occur to me until I was out in the woods alone. During this run I only saw birds, fawns, and chipmunks. One of the latter startled me when it squeaked and ran across the trail, and made me jump a few feet in the air.
I know one of the pros of trail running is having less people around, but sometimes I get a bit spooked when I’m by myself. Especially on a trail like this where I never saw anyone else the entire time. I also learned that there are some types of spider webs that are very thick and sticky, and nearly impossible to get off of your skin when you run through them. Oh, and moss covered rocks are extremely slippery and you should not try to run on them.
I ran in my run trails shirt today and managed to get one running selfie. I finished with a little over 5 miles for the day. I definitely want to go explore trails in this area again, but like I said I’ll be bringing someone with me next time.
On the way home I stopped by the store to grab some stuff for a project I’ll be working on tomorrow (more on that later this week!). Then I came home and made French toast with cinnamon bread. Another birthday treat 🙂
This evening Barry is taking me bowling and then out to a new Mexican restaurant in the area. Fun!
How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
Do you ever get spooked while running/hiking/biking trails by yourself?