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Training Log: Swampfox

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Thursday Nov 15 #

Note

Ran down the Golden Road tonight, which was hard to see because of the snow, even as it wasn't hard to see, because of the snow.

Don't come across many runners out there on that particular trail, particularly at night. And yet tonight I ran across two, who oddly enough, were looking for a mule with a (their) little black dog. True story.

Wednesday Nov 14 #

Note

Intervals on my favorite stretch of dirt road, today half clad in several inches of snow. I wasn't expecting the snow, thinking it would have mostly melted off the dirt roads and that pickup traffic would have compacted the rest. I was surprised so much snow was left, but even more surprised by the fact there had been no recent traffic on this particular road.

It wasn't ideal for covering long distances quickly, but it was fine enough for raising the pulse. Never mind that it's not as if I cover long distances quickly even when conditions are ideal.

10 x 5 minutes. Shoes were black with electric orange trim, with soles.

There were almost no moose.

Tuesday Nov 13 #

Note

Late afternoon/early evening run up top on snow trails. Estimated mid-20s, maybe lower, and it felt very pleasant and almost mild--at least by way of comparison with several more recent days. 1/3 visible moon gave plenty of light. Saw 2 runners, several dogs, and no skiers--even though a bus was parked in the parking lot with several dozen ski bags scattered on the snow at the trail head. Maybe cannibals got them all, maybe not. Probably not.

Of course the reason for it feeling so benign was a near absence of any detectable wind. These conditions can give rise to wild fantasies, not of debauchery, but of no wind. Of course that would leave the wind farms with little to do. Perhaps they could retrofit and become plump blueberry farms, or catfish houseries. There must be something. In the meantime, the winds will be back soon enough, and resume their work of blowing off all of Wyoming's fines to some eastward location. The average statewide soil depth is less than 1/2 inch. It wouldn't even be that much except that some coffee drinkers insist on scattering their coffee grounds in their yards.

Monday Nov 12 #

Note

2F after daybreak this morning, so somewhat colder, and with ice fog producing some amount of snow. Wonder if there will be any signs of grooming activity at Happy Jack this afternoon? I will guess not, and will hope to be wrong. After yesterday, there has to be enough snow.

Note

Cool running on the snow trails, single digits + some decent breeze and drifting snow. Enough moon to see and be seen.

Sunday Nov 11 #

Note

It snowed lightly during the night, and extremely lightly intermittently during the morning. The skies looked totally winter because they were. I had a place waiting for the perfect day, and here it was!

My perfect plan called for me to run one of the East Pelican courses from the O' Fest, except doing it in snow. I threw the dice and the numbers came up Red, so Red it was. Up top, there was new snow, several inches worth, and a snow cloud was settled in over the Summit. I think it snowed up there all day long. It was cold, and there was at most an occasional glimpse of a wan sun through the low clouds out at Pelican Bay. It would have been very tough conditions for the ordinary buttered turkey from, say Dallas/Ft. Worth, but I was no buttered turkey and I certainly wasn't from Dallas. So it was more like normal to me. And if you remember that there is no greenbriar, blackberries, poison ivy, honey locust, and if you knew there was almost no wind to speak of...well then actually it was pretty fine, a crisp feel on the face like you should want to feel during winter, and kilometers and kilometers of nearly untracked snow waiting.

It's funny how different things look in the winter when snow is everywhere, and more snow is falling, compared to the summer. It would seem like for O' purposes it would hardly matter in terms of navigation and interpreting the terrain, yet somehow feels different, and I would say a bit harder. Maybe it's just because as pines accumulate snow you can't see quite as well through the forest areas. Or maybe it's because lower light levels in the winter mean things don't stand out quite as well. I'm not sure.

It was surely great to be out though. It's the first day of what felt like real winter--the right temps, enough inches of snow for decent cover, and the low sun angle. I saw absolutely zero animals, though I did cut fresh deer tracks in several places, and one fresh moose track. That was towards the end, as dusk was falling. If I had had another hour or so of light to work with, I would have been tempted to go back after finishing, and follow those tracks for a while, and see where they led to, and what was standing at the end.

Saturday Nov 10 #

Note

Forecast calls for showers then followed by rain/snow/grapple? Ha! Like it's going to rain in November.

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