Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuxedo to Trail

The sport of Ultrarunning encompasses a wide spectrum of society. This President’s Day weekend is a case in point. On Saturday evening the bride and I attended a black tie gala to support the Cumberland Valley School of Music. This is their big fundraiser of the year.

The CVSM offers a wide range of lessons, classes, workshops, and summer camps, and present recitals and concerts. They teach all orchestral and band instruments, voice, piano, guitar, drama and theatrical techniques, Suzuki piano, and numerous classes for all ages.

We like the notion of being a patron of the arts, but at least an equal component is the opportunity to do some ballroom dancing. At the bride’s behest several years ago, we took lessons from a wonderful instructor, but our chances to employ our skills are limited. Plus it’s just fun to dress up—I actually have my own tuxedo, and the bride wears a stunning version of the little black dress. The food is out of this world, the selections of wines is great, and the companionship is wonderful (we attend with the same 3 other couples as a regular annual date).

Anyway, so I go from tuxedo to trail in the same weekend. Actually, I was hoping to make that segue in the span of 6 short hours—to get out on the Appalachian Trail at daybreak on Sunday morning after the Saturday evening soiree—but Mister Tristan (the human being, not the blog) duties trumped all else so my run was deferred until the morning of the Monday holiday.

It had been some time since I was on the AT. Although it’s only a 20 minute drive to reach the closest point of the trail to my home, for some reason the past couple months making that trek and planning the run seemed like too much. But this weekend it just felt right, and it turned out to be a great run. The temp was in the mid-thirties and a trace of snow had fallen at the lower elevations. Up on the trail, where the elevation ranges up to 2000’, I would encounter about 2” of snow. The trail was a green and white tunnel where the mountain laurel crowded close to the path.

I did all the stuff that makes a trail run great. I drank from the springs at Bailey Spring and the Deer Lick shelter. I scampered over rocks in a mad downhill dash, just for the hell of it. While I did not see another human soul or their tracks the entire 10 mile loop, animal tracks abounded. Mostly these consisted of squirrels, mice, and deer, but the real bonus was encountering a couple sets of tracks that I need to key out—I am no animal track expert but I’m leaning strongly towards bobcat.

So anyway, a great weekend going from Tuxedo to trail!

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