I'm not trying to suggest that all people who ride snowmobiles drink and drive, some of them are kids as young as 10 years old and I'm sure the parents who let them ride wouldn't let them drink beer at the same time.
Anyway, apart from the trash I had a good run today from Bradbury. Thankfully most snowmobilers have the courtesy to drink and drive after dark so I didn't have to worry about getting run over on my run. My plan for the day was to do a 15 mile loop that I ran a few weeks ago with an out and back added to bring the total mileage up to 20. I had hoped to have company for at least part of the run but no one else showed up so I was on my own.
I knew it was going to be warm today but at 8am it was still pretty cold, about 0. I felt a little underdressed to begin with but running up the steep hills to the west of the park helped get me warmed up.
I get a little concerned crossing bridges like this when I'm on my own, seems like a good way to break your ankle if you make a wrong step.
About 4 miles into the run I took a detour from the loop portion of my route and for the first time ever I crossed Chandler Brook and headed southwest along the power lines. Every other time I have approached this portion of Chandler Brook it hasn't been frozen enough to cross, but it appeared to hold the weight of a snowmobile so I figured I'd be okay. I ran out until I crossed Rt 231 in New Gloucester, about a mile south of Pineland, went a bit firther to the top of a hill so I could get a view.
After seeing that the powerline trail went on for miles I turned around and headed back to return to the loop. It had been two miles of uphill to get to this point so it was nice to get two miles of downhill back to Chandler Brook.
It seemed to take a while for the temperature to rise and the mouthpiece of my CamelBak kept freezing. Luckily I was able to keep the whole tube from freezing by blowing a little air back into it after each time I took a drink, but for some reason there was always a little liquid left in the mouthpiece.
This is one of my favorite stretches of powerline trails with plenty of rolling hills, twists and turns.
There are a few hills that are short but very steep and make for a fun change of pace once in a while.
At 9.5 miles I took off my mittens (still had gloves on), removed a buff that had previously been covering my face and took off a t-shirt. It was definitely warming up.
About 11 miles into the run I came across a huge electrical substation.
There's one stretch that makes a pretty straight shot of 1.5 miles and is relatively flat. I usually see coyote tracks through here but not today. About 12 miles into the run I really started to notice that it was getting warmer, this section always feels warm.
Since I was alone I had to amuse myself.
Not sure if this is a convenience or litter. I didn't dare get up too close but it appears that others weren't afraid. Perhaps next week I'll see a toilet paper holder mounted to the side of the powerline pole.
By 15 miles I was off the powerlines and headed back towards the park. This also coincided with the wind picking up which seemed to negate the benefits of the warmer temperatures. I guess it was good that the next 4 miles were mostly uphill, that kept me warm.
As I neared the link trail which would have taken me back to the parking lot via the shortest route possible I realized that I was going to be under 20 miles for the day so I decided to continue along the Snowmobile Trail to Knight Woods and then pop out on Rt 9 about a quarter mile from the park entrance. The last uphill along the road used the last little bit of remaining energy I had but it got me over 20.
distance: 20.3 miles
weather: 0-27 degrees, up to 11 mph wind, sunny
conditions: firm packed snowmobile trails
gear: Inov-8 Roclite 315 with screws, wool socks, OR gaiters, tights, 2x long sleeve tops, t-shirt, gloves, mittens, 2x buff, CamelBak Magic