Saturday, July 26, 2008

Always an Adventure

Chris and I went out for a little Navigation practice along Lake Allatoona today. Of course it took about twice as long as I anticipated, I had some unpleasant wildlife encounters, and I'm currently cooking my phone in the oven to dry it out. I was also testing out my new ICEBug shoes - trail running shoes that have spikes in them - and they seem to agree with my feet, even when soaking wet.

Our course started out business as usual until our old roadbed "trail" ran out and our plan to run along the shore was quickly shot to shite by a sheer and undercut shoreline. So we had to whack through some moderately thick crap until we eventually hit a pretty deep creek that we had to cross on a skinny log. Chris walked across, but I kinda crawled across, as I didn't really feel like falling off and ending up neck deep in muck. He laughed at me...a lot...

Then our next trail had been developed into a "600's and up" neighborhood so we had to pound some pavement for a couple of miles. Click, click, click..remember my spiked shoes? I aerated some people's yards running along the side of the road. Once back in the woods, we ran a trail out to a peninsula, where we had planned to wade across a short creek inlet. It was probably no more than 100' wide, and looked benign enough. I even chose a place to cross that appeared to have a flattish, easy exit on the other side. gradually got deeper as we walked across, and I waited for Chris to go KERPLUNK and sink in up to his hat - there had to be a channel somewhere. I started swimming and when I still couldn't touch the bottom 5' from the shore, I started to question my attack. Great...there was a sheer bank on the other side, so I had to "seal" my way up onto the shore in a most ungraceful manner. That first step would have been a doosy coming from the opposite direction. Hmm..I think I will withold that information if it comes up in the I can laugh when Jay C and company sink in over their heads on that first step! Muhaha!

We picked up some trails that were complete with sticky spider webs every 5 feet, but at least we weren't bushwhacking. Once up on a paved road, we set off to find an old cemetery that ended up being on private property. I should have known better than to attempt the next "trail" as we had been on that particular ridgeline before and it was complete and utter hell. Imagine having to CRAWL through fox tunnels to get through the overseeded pines, briars and vines. I think it was even worse than the overgrown sections of Pine Log in the first Ultra O-gaine.

To make matters worse, I got stung by one of those same bastard hornets that attacked me at Dawson Forest a couple of years ago. Seeing as we weren't getting anywhere fast and I didn't want to find anymore hornets, we backtracked as without a machete, there was no way to efficiently get through what we faced. The first thing I'm going to do when I get my Goldrush map is put big red X's on this ridge, because I certainly don't want to go back there without a D.R. Brush Mower and a flame thrower for the hornet nests..

We had a refreshing swim to get across the lake and then it was just a couple of miles on some familiar doubletrack to get back to the car. Unfortunately, my double-ziplock bag on the cell phone didn't cut it, hence the phone in the oven. Chris managed to fall victim to four ticks, although I would have gladly traded those for the hornet sting. It's swelling up quite nicely and the entire trek it was throbbing away...grrr.

I'm going to ride my bike tomorrow and I'm staying ON the trails.

No comments: