Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cherokee Trail

On Wednesday I came home from work and knew that I probably should go for a run. I didn't feel particularly motivated, and I ended up heading out without any kind of plan. I thought about running down a road with a nice view of a valley and a mountain ridge beyond it, but that road does not have a shoulder or any room to step out of traffic's way, has blind curves, and is heavily traveled. I decided instead to run a familiar 4.5 mile loop. I started going that way when I was struck with the need to go exploring. A private road called Cherokee Trail was coming up on my right, so I decided to see where it went.

Cherokee Trail sounds like it should be a wide path across the American Wild West. This one wound up a mountain in the woods. As I climbed, I felt surprisingly strong, and I pushed without having any idea where I was going or for how long the ascent would continue. It actually wasn't too long. As it turns out, the hill was steep, but only about 100 feet tall. At the top was a beautiful white house that looked like an old country farmhouse. I don't know if it was just built in that style to great effect, or if it really was built in the 1800s. (I've tried to do some research using library reference tools, but I can only find tax information.) The road continued straight on for a little while, flanked by more modern-looking houses, before ending in a cul-de-sac.

My way back was downhill at first, but I soon came to a sustained uphill. I didn't attack this hill at all. In fact, at it's steepest point, I walked. But as I kept going, I felt stronger and faster, and I enjoyed the feeling. It was one of those moments where you surprise yourself and think, "Wow, I didn't know I could do this. What a great feeling." It was one of those moments that defines why I run. I later discovered that by the time I reached home, I had climbed another 185 feet.

My little expedition took me 4.1 miles, and it really has me looking forward to exploring more new places. I think that for the next adventure, I'll go to one of the state parks in the area and check out some of its single-track bike trails.

1 comment:

chris mcpeake said...

Nothing like running unexplored trails. I am jealous