Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another long weekend

A weekend of “bagging"....

I headed off to Florida this weekend to visit my parents. They’ve lived part of the year in Zephyerhills for over 10 years and I hadn’t yet made the trip down. I’ve been really busy with racing but needed to head down to collect their tax info prior to the filing deadline, so this was the first available weekend this year. It also turned out to be my 45th birthday.

I got a taste of summer on Saturday, running at 6 AM in 70 degree temps. My noon run was downright hot with temps just under 90 degrees. In between we trekked over to the Pasco County High Point. It was unremarkable despite being one of the top 10 highest counties of the 67 in Florida. We walked around the edges of an orange grove looking for the highest point (301’) and were pretty sure it was highest right by the orchard sign. We then went over to LeHesup hill in Dade city. Some of the locals erroneously thought it was the highest point (240’). It did have a nice view and towered over the surrounding countryside. We finished the day with a nice dinner at a local steak-house (I had some great ribs).

The short trip was over early Friday morn as I caught a 7 AM flight back to Boston. I figured since I was already 30+ miles south of home that I’d head out for some Mass. Town bagging. I planned out four runs in eight towns. First I headed to Rehoboth and parked next to the fire tower on Long Hill. I don’t know how they would be able to spot any fires as the trees surrounding the tower were all higher than the tower itself! I got in a 3-mile run that took me from Rehoboth to Dighton and back.

Next up was a short drive to Raynham and a run on part of the Bay Circuit trail and a short stint on a rail-trail in the Great Hockomock Swamp. This was a nice quiet location despite being right behind the Raynham dog track. I got in three miles in both Raynham and Easton then quickly headed for run number three. I parked in a cul-de-sac and ran onto a rail-trail behind the Mansfield airport. The trail was paved after I crossed the road by the airport. It was also marked out in ¼ mile increments and had a surprising number of walkers on in considering the weather (40’s and drizzle/rain). It looked like this section of the World War II veterans rail-trail had been recently worked on and it had a nice crushed stone path along the paved part. I got in three miles covering Mansfield and Norton, and then headed for my final run of the day.

I headed to F. Gilbert Hills state forest in Wrentham and did a nice three mile trail run which included a run up to the highest point in the forest (High Rock). The rain/drizzle from earlier in the day had lessened and it was nice and quiet in the forest, even though I was just a stone’s throw from busy route 1.

Totals for the weekend: 6 hours of air travel, 254 miles driving, 1 county high point, 1 fire tower, 8 Mass towns, and 24 miles of running.


pbazanchuk said...

I got tired just reading about your weekend.
Hope you can get the ankle sorted out by Northfield and Cranmore.

GZ said...


A couple of Mt Washington logistic questions for you if you do not mind (and if you do, just ignore).

I see a lot of traffic on folks getting rides down. I assume running down is an option? Andy Ames told me you run down. I figure if I could, I would - good training for my PPM effort later in the summer.

I am probably going to just stay at the Joe Dodge lodge ... its close, easy - but I'd be open to suggestions of any tips you have.

Also thinking I'd fly into Portland ...

Thanks in advance.

double-d said...

We usually get down the hill before the road is open. If the weather is good, the run down is a lot of fun. The logistics to getting a ride sound like a pain, but I don't know because I never get a ride down.

I don't know about Joe Dodge lodge, I stay at Atitash.

One place to go....the Spaghetti shed is great for pasta/pizza the night before the race.

s p running said...

oh yes, thanks for reminding me to get in my taxes...

GZ said...

Dave - thanks!