Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bayle Mt

Monday- Wicked slow day at work, but we might as well enjoy it, because in about 2 weeks, we are going to be really busy with the vacation people with vacation brain. After the zero on Sunday and sitting ALL DAY on Monday, I was dying for a run. I had planned to run Bayle Mt for a few days, so even with the wet weather, I still decided to follow through on the run. The weather was actually perfect for running, 57 degrees with a light rain. That would have been IDEAL on Saturday for a good race at Market Square, but I digress.

I was shown Bayle Mt in October during fall foliage, so it was very beautiful, a perfect day. We came in from Gilman Valley Rd off of 25 and followed Corridor 15 to the Bayle Mt trail. This time around, I wanted to see how much of the mountain was damaged by the recent forest fire, and I wanted to come in a different way. During the fire, we had to go up there in the ambulance, so I was able to see the other way in. I could have easily driven up and run about 1.25 miles in, but I decided to park right on the corner of Pine Hill Rd and Rt 16 and run the dirt road up. It's actually a beautiful road to run on, and it's a gradual uphill for the first 4.8 miles. The road goes right along a nice brook, and I think I saw maybe 3 cars. Very quiet and peaceful. On Marble Rd, Corridor 15 (snowmobile trail) crosses, and that's where I turned off for Bayle Mt. I had never come in on this side and very quickly came to an intersection where I went straight instead of right. It actually appeared to be the most heavily used route, so I didn't think twice about taking it, but as I went on, I noticed it was looking like a new road. At first I thought maybe a new logging road, but then I noticed I was running through a burned section and this was a fire break. I had a feeling I was going the wrong way, but I kept moving forward. I began to notice that the burned section was only on my right, so it was confirmed I was on the wrong side of Bayle Mt. I had gone the wrong way at the intersection, but I knew that if the fire was on my right, then the summit was also on my right, so I decided to bushwhack up to the summit from there. It was still pretty thick with new growth and the burned trees and shrubs still standing. The burn was a lot larger than I anticipated.
Remnants of the Bayle Mt fire

Bayle Mt fire
The rain was steady and had brought out the scent of a fresh fire. The smell of smoke permeated the air. It was pretty neat running through the burn, and I quickly reached the open summit, but I had no idea where I was on the summit at first. It was cloud-covered, and I could not get my bearings. I kept running one way, then back the other. The summit had seen a good portion of the fire, too, and I didn't recognize anything. I took a few more pictures of burned trees near the summit.

I kept heading for the top of the mountain hoping I would see something I recognized. Finally I did. A flat rock slab was just below me on the right with a cairn right on the edge of it. This was also where a box with a trail register inside had been hanging on a tree. The box was no longer there and must not have made it through the fire. I was sad because I wanted to see where I signed it in October. Knowing I was finally in the right place, I stopped to take some photos. I couldn't stay long because it was actually windy and still raining; I was getting cold fast.
Summit of Bayle Mt

You can't see it, but my white shirt is covered in black soot on my left side. LOL.

This doesn't need a caption.
Happy to know where I was, I ran down the actual trail which had also been burned over. Very impressive burn. I made it back to Corridor 15 and quickly hit the trail junction where I had gone the wrong way. It wasn't far from there back to Marble Rd and a LONG downhill back to the car. I spotted a spring on my way down and stopped for a quick drink. I didn't know this one existed, so it's nice to know I have another option for filling up my water bottles.
Spring on Pine Hill Rd in Ossipee
I realized as I was running down that it was like Hollis all over again. Maybe not the wisest choice for this week, but at least it was Monday. I made it back to the car just as the rain was really picking up again. I was soaked and happy to be done. 12.8 miles 8:23/mi pace 1670 ft of elevation gain.

Tuesday- Slept in until 7:30 and decided just to stick with a road run from my house, so I did one of my typical winter runs, cut short. I ran Cranmore Shores to Pequawket to Tasker Hill. And for the first time since January, I ran to the point where I smashed my face on the ice. I laughed out loud as I turned around (slowly). Hard to believe that was 6 months ago already!!. The scars on my nose and chin are mostly gone, but I still have some scar tissue in my bottom lip where my teeth went into it. This was just an out and back so I headed back the way I came. 8.3 miles 7:07/mi pace. This was the fastest I've ever done this route, but every hill was slower than my fastest. My legs are still struggling. During the run, I decided to run tomorrow on the treadmill and then take Thursday off, in addition to Friday. I'll WALK the road at work and then take a flat hike Friday morning. I think I need more than just one day off in a row. The legs were still sore during this run.

John came home late morning, and after an appointment, I had the bright idea to hike up Mt Tom in Fryeburg. I guess I forgot that Fryeburg (along with Center Conway) is the bug capital of the MWV. As soon as I parked the car on Menotomy Rd, deer flies were covering the windows. No lie. No exaggeration. It was unreal. But, whatever, it would be fine. We got out. I leashed Spot and Phoenix, and we proceeded into our own private bug hell. It was a living nightmare. Deer flies so thick that I had handfuls of them every time I ran my hand through my ponytail. Oh, and that wasn't it. Of course not. This was Fryeburg, the town that is out to get me in one way or another. Swarms of mosquitos began to arrive. Usually it's one type of bug and not the other, but no. It was a swarm of deer flies plus a mosquito swarm. Fucking nightmare. Thinking the trail was only a half mile up, we kept going. John was running ahead of me most of the way, and I let the dogs loose to fend for themselves. At .7 miles, I realized that it wasn't 1 mile round trip, but 1 mile up, 1 mile down. I'm stubborn, though, so I wasn't giving up.
No. It isn't. It's not pretty at all. And the picture is blurry because of the damn bugs. Damn fucking bugs.

We continued to the top where there was absolutely no view. Just a cloud. "Yeah, nice. Quick. Pose for a picture, then let's get the hell out of here."
John on the summit of Mt Tom. We spent 15 seconds there.
We ran down, but I had made the mistake of only wearing Chaco sandals. Grit had accumulated under my feet making it too painful to run after awhile. I was seriously in a living nightmare. The swarms followed me. John was long gone up ahead, and I was whining like a little brat the WHOLE time. ha ha. Bad, bad idea. When we got back in the car, it was a sigh of relief. Get me the hell out of there. Damn you, Fryeburg! You win again!

Since it was Tuesday, that meant week #2 of the Summer Series trail 5K at Whitaker Woods. I forced myself not to race today. In fact, my goal was to not even get out of breath, except on the one long climb. Even then, I was going to back way off. I got there super late, due to a bit of traffic. North-South Rd is closed, so it was like 1998 all over again. Traffic going north wasn't too bad, but going south it was backed up from the 302/16 split all the way to the Muddy Moose. Insane. I had to get John to ninja class as soon as my race was finished, and after seeing that traffic going south, I came really close to turning around and skipping Whitaker. But I realized it was probably just the 5 o'clock traffic and hoped that it would have dwindled by 6, so I continued on to the Summer Series. I had a little time to chat with Darin Brown before the start. Just as we made it to the start line, hell froze over. Jim Johnson had made an appearance to do the timing while the Livingston's were at the high school awards ceremony. I don't know how Tim Livingston convinced him to come out, but he must have the magic touch. :)

The race started, and I kept my promise to myself to keep it to a jog. I ended up behind Paul Bazanchuk, Brian Johnston and Steve Piotrow. I found it wasn't too hard not to race, since no other woman was nearby or ever passed me. I wasn't competing with the men, but I still managed to pass Brian and Steve and this other guy. I just kept it easy, heart rate low, not out of breath and jogged it into the finish line in 21:38, obviously way slower than last week, but exactly what I wanted to do. Still first woman, and I wasn't even trying. The guy I had passed, but didn't know, came in right behind me going at his max. It was kind of funny. Brian and Steve came in just behind me, as well. I talked to Jim for a minute, said goodbye to Don, then bolted to get John to his ninja class.

I HAVE to get up early tomorrow to hit the treadmill before my 48 hour shift or I will go nuts from the sitting. My Wednesday 24 partner, Michelle, is also doing the 48 with me. We had to finagle a switch to get Michelle with me for the Thursday 24, but it made more sense for her to stay in North Conway with me instead of driving to Tamworth, while the other person drove to North Conway from Ossipee for the 24. Plus, it's a MUCH better partner match; Michelle and I made sure of that, but I think we're all breathing a sigh of relief. Four women. You know how that can go if things aren't done right. Ha ha. So, now that that's settled it should be a good 48 hour shift. It will make 58 hours for the week, but I'm not complaining a bit about the overtime. I'll take it.

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