As I was throwing my snowshoes in the back of my car, just about to head over to Bradbury I heard someone call my name, it was Randy who had run over to my house to catch a ride. He didn’t know exactly where I live but just took a chance since he knew the street and he arrived just in time. When we got to Bradbury we met Erik, Josh and Blaine and we agreed to attempt 10 miles. Erik also brought snowshoes but the other guys didn’t so we decided to go in just our trail shoes with hopes that the snowmobiles would have been out during the week to pack down the snow on the trails. This seemed to be the case until we got 100 yards onto the trail and the snowmobile tracks veered off into the campground. We decided to stick to my planned route which meant blazing trail through soft snow along the Link Trail, but after less than half a mile we joined up with what is referred to as the Snowmobile Trail and that had seen some traffic so we were back to somewhat easier running.
As we headed northeast along this wide trail towards the park boundary and eventually beyond the snowmobile tracks disappeared and we had to break trail again, but I think we all agreed that despite the difficulty it was actually a lot of fun running through the snow. The deer also seemed to enjoy it as there were tracks everywhere. At one point I looked over my shoulder to make sure everyone was close behind and when I did I slipped on a snow covered rock and went down into the soft powder.
After almost 40 minutes but still not even 4 miles into the run we came out to a big open corn field that had seen a lot of snowmobile traffic and we were able to pick the pace up for a bit. This lead to a sand pit and then back into the woods along a section of trail with a lot of water under ice where we had to tread lightly and weave around the obviously thin spots in an attempt to keep our feet dry. Finally we came out to the power line trail running east-west and my Garmin told me we were at exactly 5 miles so we turned around and made our way back the way we came. You can see from the elevation profile that most of the way back was uphill, not a major hill but in 6” of snow it was hard work.
The run back took us 3 minutes longer than the way out, which wasn’t too bad considering the hills and the snow. I was glad to have my OR Flex-Tex Gaiters during the run which did a great job keeping the snow out of my shoes and allowed my feet to stay nice and warm and dry. Although the temperature was still below freezing we were all working up a good sweat which of course lead to a major chill a few minutes after finishing.
distance: 9.97 miles