Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mt Greylock

Eric Morse and I are slowly working on visiting the highest point in each state. I've got 40 and prior to this weekend Eric had 22. I finished everything east of the Mississippi over a year ago, but Eric has quite a few "nearby" highpoints to complete. I've been to the top of Massachusetts three times, but I'm always up for another go...especially when it would involve a nice long road run. We met up in Greenfield and headed out to North Adams. We had to take a round-about route as Route 2 has been closed in Savoy since the hurricane in September (the road is slated to be opened in mid-December).

We were ready to go by 9am and the day looked to be just about ideal. There was bright sunshine and temperatures were already in the mid 30's. Just before we left a visitor drove up and asked me "When does the road open" he seemed pretty disappointed when I told him "May". I'd run the Notch Road during the race to the summit a few years back and thought that would be an easy way to bag this peak. Easy is a relative term, we would be running nearly 14 miles and gaining/dropping 2,100'. Eric brought along his "racing dog" Murdoch who has a low 17 Km personal best. Murdoch recently passed 1,000 miles of running for 2011. This would be his longest run to date.

We hoofed it up the road and took it pretty easy in the early miles which are the steepest. There aren't many views along the road until you get fairly high up. The wind had kicked up a bit but it was from the south and it was very comfortable running up the "gentle" slope. I had guessed we'd take about 2 hours for the round-trip and we were pretty much on schedule reaching the top in 1:04.

We spent 7 minutes on top getting a couple of pictures and making sure Murdoch was properly hydrated. He seemed to be having a great time, and he covered a lot more distance as he'd sprint off into the woods any time he heard leaves rattling.

The run down was uneventful, we bumped into one other hiker on the road. It was a very quiet hike. We took it very easy on the run down and were back at the car in 54 minutes. The total running time was just under 2 hours (1:58) and the total time including our time on the summit was 2:06:34. Next up? Maybe a trip to PA, MD, NJ to get Eric past the 50% completion point.

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