Sunday, January 10, 2016

C&O Canal Towpath Run - January 10 - Splash Down!

Another installment on my  quest to run the entire length of the C&O Canal Towpath which goes from DC to Cumberland MD (185 miles).

Today I ran from mile marker 28 - 22.5 (out and back). I started at the McKee Bashers Wildlife reserve at mile 27.2.  I ran back to mile marker 28 (my last stopping point), then down to mile marker 22.5 which is just past the Seneca Creek Aqueduct.

Mile markers covered today:  28 - 22.5 (11 mile run)
Total mile markers covered overall:  22.5 - 69:  46.5 miles (138.5 remaining)

Splash Down! is how I would describe this run.  It rained all night, but in the morning it had just about stopped.  I had planned to run the C&O canal today, and thought I'd go for it thinking there might be some wet spots here and there.  And it was already above 50 degrees at 7:00 am, so if I got a little wet I wouldn't be freezing.

It started off well....two miles in, and my feet were still dry, I was able to zig, zag, hop, side step where needed to avoid the puddles.  Then things changed...I hit sections up to 50 yards long with no way around.  At first I was doing my impression of Tiny Tim "Tiptoeing Through The Tulips", but after ending up with completely muddy and soaked feet anyway, I gave up the battle and just started ploughing through and trying not to end up on my ass.  I had a couple solid, ankle deep splash downs (in my head I was Emma Coburn in a steeple chase, but I'm sure I was actually MUCH less graceful).

I'm happy I was able to achieve my planned pace for this run of 7:15 even with the extra work of the water, mud, and soaked feet, but the last 2 miles the effort was beyond "conversational pace".

Sights Today:
  • Two Hunters (with neon orange hats and full camo everything else)- the Wildlife Reserve is also a public hunting area (seems like a contradiction in terms).  I think they looked at me with the same thought I had....."what the hell is that guy doing out here".  I never felt like I was in danger, but I was caught off guard.
  • Birds - it warmed up so the birds were back...chirping and flying around...I loved it.
  • 3 Deer - not actually on the path this week...but I still enjoy seeing them.
  • ONE other runner - which is one more than my last run on the path.  Yay us!
  • Seneca Aqueduct - this is where the Seneca Creek empties into the Potomac.  To make the canal work, the aqueduct was created, there's also a Lock at this point to raise the boats in the canal about 10 feet to get past the creek. All done with 1830's technology.

                                    Dry part of path.  Potomac on the left, canal on the right.

                                                    Lock at Seneca Creek

                                                  "Lock House" at Seneca Creek

       Looking across the Potomac at Seneca Creek.  That's Virginia on the other side.

My next run will probably start at Seneca Creek and knock off a few more miles in the DC direction.

Comments welcome.

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