As always, when I’m traveling I try to find some interesting sites and hopefully a couple of county high points to visit. I headed to Virginia beach with Paul Kirsch (USATF NE mountain chair) and we got there early enough in the day to visit three county high points. The highest of the three was only 85’ and we had to climb about 2’ to reach the “summit”. It was an interesting drive through the countryside of both Virginia and North Carolina. We finished the day with a visit to the Great Dismal Swamp where we went for a great run on the very flat trails in the park. We ran on the Canal road (it ran along the canal) and on the Kim Saunders Ditch. I’m not sure I’d want a ditch named after me! Our timing could not have been better as we reached the airport as Richard Bolt (USATF OR mountain chair) arrived. Unfortunately Richard is still hobbling from a calf injury and was unable to do any running with us over the weekend.
Pics from NC & VA HP, Tower, and Swamp
PK at Great Dismal Swamp
Making friends with the wildlife at GDS
Our main focus of the trip was some very long meetings with the MUT (Mountain Ultra Trail council). I’m on the council as the Masters Mountain chair. We had some meetings that would be of marathon and beyond (time-wise) and as always at these meetings a lot was debated/discussed/decided in hallway meetings and at meals.
Other fun places we visited included a very cool run in the First Landing State Park. There were some great trails in there including some hills and some very funky looking trees draped in hanging moss. The trails were very popular even though we were in there just before sunset. We ran by a lot of groups of high school kids, looked like a neat spot for XC racing.
We also visited the Joint Expeditionary Base at Fort Story. It was weird having them check out the car including putting mirrors underneath. We only had a short visit checking out the First Landing Memorial and the lighthouses before heading on our way.
We also had a very brief visit to the Wright Brothers memorial at Kitty Hawk. Kill Devil hill is a possible candidate for the county high point and it is the location of the memorial, so we got a little history along with a peakbag (not much of a hill but quite a bit of prominence). We also visited Jockey’s Ridge State Park which is a wedge of mostly sand hills stuck between Roanoke Sound and the Atlantic. It was kind of interesting but way too cold and windy to spend more than the few minutes it took to get to the top of the ridge and back.