My plan was to run up the North Fork Moormans River Trail for about 4 miles and turn around, stopping for a swim in Snake Hole on the way back.
I parked in the lower parking lot, which meant a .4 mile road walk to the trailhead. Before I even got to the trail, I heard a twig snap. I looked up, heard a loud rustling and a whole lot more snapping, looked up even higher and saw a huge black bear shimmying down a skinny tree.
Oh Shit. HELLO!
I wasn’t sure if the bear was planning to run away from me or toward me when he reached the ground, so I didn’t stop to take a picture.
I turned around and walked slowly back the direction I’d come from. I didn’t hear anything running toward me, but I figured I’d give the bear some time to clear the path. I needed to pee, anyway. I found a safe spot to do that, took a few deep breaths and headed back up the trail.
The mosquitoes were out in full force, but they only bothered me at the river crossings (which there are many of on this trail.)
I got a chance to see how my new trail shoes performed soaking wet.
They did fine.
I passed by Snake Hole, and continued climbing.
I was surprised how over-grown the trail was in places. I made a mental note to do a thorough check for ticks when I got home.
I was hoping to make it up to Skyline Drive, but I ended up turning around about a mile before that. I was already running further than I’d meant to (ended up with 9.77 total). As many times as I’ve run this trail, you would think that I’d have a better grasp on distances.
I felt fine on the way up, and amazing on the way back down.
At about mile 7, I looked down and realized that my shorts were soaked. I wondered if my hydration pack was leaking again. My shirt was soaked too, though, and I seemed to still have plenty of water in my hydration bladder. It just seemed strange that I didn’t notice how much I was sweating until I was drenched.
As hot as I was, Snake Hole still felt COLD! It took me a while to get in. The bugs hurried me along, though.
Swimming after a hot run is one of my favorite things in the world.
Does it get any better?