Saturday, October 17, 2009


4:00 - about 28 miles.

Have you ever been Blair Witched? I was today, but luckily I ran into some fellow runners who weren't and got me back to my car before the witch got to me. Headed out for a nice easy run. This was an opportunity to check out the trails on the "other side of the river." The Blue Ridge Parway is closed for a 15 mile stretch; the area that I usually access trails from. There's a danger of some mudslides so they closed it down to have a better look. Thought I take it easy and run with the most basic watch I have; set the countdown timer and fiinish when the watch beeps. Every other one of my watches has a compass... Did 13 miles with Tima in about 1:45. Put her in the car, drank a quart of OJ and had a bannana. Changed my shirt and jacket and took a bananna with me for the remaining 1:15. It was low to mid 40's and I was well hydrated so no worries there. Headed back down the same trail for 5-7 minutes and took a turn off I noticed earlier. Went under a bridge which put me on the other side of the BRPW. After about 5 minutes I saw there was a whole other set of seemily endless trails over here; I was loving it. Got to this one spot that seemed to be the center of a spider web, 6 trails took off from here with 3 different color markers, this was going to be great, just follow the signs. I did a couple of loops and kept coming back to the center of the web. This was fun and certainly not boring. My watch told me I had about 30 minutes left so I decided to head back and if I was early to the car I'd run past and do a little out back for the even 3:00. This is already a long post so I'll shorten it; every F-ing trail, all six of them circled back to the center of the web. I was 100% sure that I got to this center from one of these trails, in retrospect I'm now 50% sure. 4 of the 6 trails all went pretty close to Interstate 26 and a couple down to the French Broad River (yes, that's the name of our river here in Asheville). I knew that my car was parked pretty close to the river so I headed down to the path that goes along the river. Today was very cloudy and as I looked up to get an idea of where the sun was, I had no idea. I looked at the river and went in the direction that it was flowing. This was logical; because my car was in that direction; later found out wrong again. At about the 3:10 mark of my run, running along the river path I see 2 runners headed my way; I'm all set. I tell them where I'm parked and they tell me the way back, except I'm completely turned around. I'm on the other side of the river that I thought I was on and had convinced myself that I had somehow crossed back over the BRPW w/o noticing. The 2 people said they were turning around shortly so if I had any 2nd thoughts to just turn around and they'd be right behind me. Well I got to the spot where I was to turn and was really confused, a set of 3 different trails, didn't need to see that again. Turned around and headed back looking for Daphne and Jason, expected to see them in 2-3 minutes. Every bend I went around they weren't there, I looked at my watch and it had been 8 minutes, finally there they were. They got me back, which I would have never found if I didn't go back for them. They told me if I kept going the way I was I would have ended up at the Biltmore Estate Horse Stables, that's pretty far away from where I was parked and Tima was snoozing. I would have been safe though and maybe doing some wine tasting at that point. Made it back to the car in 4:00 flat and Tima gave me a WTF look. I gave her the nod, yea I F'ed up on this one. Realistically, though, at any point I could have climbed up the bank to I26 and ran to the next exit and found a chain resturant (with a bar) ordered a beer and called home. This was a good learning experience. I've never been lost before. This area has ALOT of little hills that trails go up, over, through and around. You can get turned around before you know it while your enjoying the smoothe single track and marveling at the progress you've made the past 2 months. I learned that I can run for 4 hours on 2 banannas and a quart of OJ and still feel OK. I was ready to stop, but with a little fuel I could have contiued a little longer. I'm getting close to where I want to be by the end of November and today was one of those perfect mistakes...


  1. Glad to hear that no search party was sent to find you!

  2. Damn dude. Glad it worked out. I recall being spun around quite a bit back east as well. A bit harder to do that hear (although I have come close)