Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bennett Springs State Park

I took a risk and went out for a long run, carrying no water or calories, in a strange place on rarely used trails. What I found was a test of my fitness, endurance and quite an adventure along the way!

The trails were extremely rough, quite hilly in parts and required climbing over fallen trees, large branches and washouts at the bottom of some hills. Much rain had fallen, and dozens of portions of the trail were covered in running streams, like this one:

It wasn't too long before I found a cave off to my left, and I couldn't resist the temptation to crawl in. Below you'll see a nice peek inside.

Not much longer and I found myself near a quiet, hidden graveyard that had been untouched for decades. Many of the stones had dates of the 1700 and 1800s. More than a few were simply rough hewn limestone that was fading away from the years.

I did take a bit of a spill at the 7 mile point, just after I'd turned around. Took the brundt of it on my inner right knee and right palm. Some scrapes and bruises that I didn't even bother to examine until after I'd showered.

By mile 8 or so, I lost the trail. It was rough enough to be difficult to follow in spots. Eventually, I found it again, and happily made my way back.

I frightened two large deer and even a cayote, none of which would cooperate for a portrait.

I relished every moment; allowing myself to take pictures with my phone (the only thing I carried) and wading through streams or over obstacles as needed. Unbelievably, it actually took me 2 hours and 25 minutes to complete, but it was all worth it! In many ways, this was a celebration of my fitness.


Rick said...

Sounds like a great run! Makes me want to go run some trails!

runner-grrl said...

Rick, This was a run you would have loved!

Daryl said...

What a great adventure! When will running stores start selling spelunking equipment?

runner-grrl said...

Daryl!?!? How ARE you!? So glad you stopped by for a visit! Next up, 13.2 mile run with a rock climb or two ;-) --Alex

RunColo said...

I think Jesse James hung out in those Caves!

runner-grrl said...

Runcolo, Don't you know I wondered who had stood here before me :-) --Alex