As I'm certain you recall, my last run on yet unexplored (by me) snowmobile trails didn't go quite as planned. However, I remedied that today with a truly successful exploration. The exploration would be less of an exploration if, oh, I don't know, actual snowmobile maps existed. I've pretty much worn out Google looking for a snowmobile map of any quality. The map on the official NH site is my favorite. "Where are we?" "Well, according to the map we're in yellow, but almost in cyan. Then again, burnt umber is also a possibility." If anyone knows of a decent map, feel free to shoot it my way, and I will gladly recant all my snark. (Or at least most of it.)
But, I digress. Today's run was awesome. Based on my previous exploration ("You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." And it certainly doesn't make you sound hardcore.), I had a good idea that I could get on NH Corridor 19. I parked on road off the parking lot for the Old Man of the Valley on Route 2. The road is being used for logging, so parking was lean and sketchy. I could have parked in the lot, but I was using the get the best possible parking spot at the gym mentality. About a minute into the run, I came across a much better lot that I should have known was there since I've passed it 8,000 times on Route 2. Next time.
The trail was awesome. It was not just a snowmobile trail, but it was a groomed snowmobile trail: ten to fifteen feet wide at all times. And, the conditions were perfect: a solid base with 1/2 inch or less of loose granular on top. I was rocking the screw shoes, but probably could have done without them for 95% of the trail as there was very little ice. About 5 minutes into the run, I heard two sleds coming my way, and I stepped off the trail. I waved as they passed, and I'm sure had they not been wearing helmets and goggles, I would have been able to see the strange looks they were no doubt giving me. Luckily, they were headed in the opposite direction, so I only had to breathe snowmobile exhaust for a couple seconds. For most of the way out, the trail climbed, some big uns, too. Great views all around the woods, and I wished I could have gone further. But, it was getting dark, and I told D I would call her by 5:00. Due to all the downhill, I was 2 minutes faster on the way back, finished with daylight to spare and called D right at 5:00 (once I eventually had cell service.) I probably ran a total of 4.5 to 4.75 miles, so I definitely need to get back here to see more. Today would have been a good day to have a GPS. And, as luck would have it, we just broke down and ordered one! There were mile markers out there, and on the way back, my watch claimed that I ran the only marked mile I saw in 8:07, which seems pretty quick, so I doubt the accuracy of the markers. Like I said, GPS.
Legs are still tight, but not bad. It felt good to stretch them out and let it run on the downhills. A little more stretching tonight, and hopefully a ski in fresh snow tomorrow.