These past few months I've not spent much time in the backcountry. In fact, if I'm being honest with myself, I've kinda been afraid.
See, my age begins with a 6 and it's two digits. Until not all that long ago, I would happily head out into the backcountry for a trail run, leaving behind only the sketchiest of directions as to my timing and whereabouts.
I've gotten much better about that of late, as it has finally dawned upon me that my peers and contemporaries are keeling over with uncomfortable regularity, and that I myself--despite the good health that I currently enjoy--am not immune to two laws (the law of averages and the law of cause and effect).
So, truth be told, I've done my recent trail running with a buddy or not at all.
On our way to visit the in-laws, I had the bride drop me off several miles from our destination, in the middle of Clark's Valley, PA. I had given her very specific instructions as to my route and timing. Leaving the car, I immediately bushwhacked up a power line straight up the side of a mountain, to gain the ridge top, a 1200' breath-taking endeavor. The western U.S. runner who famously once said, "These eastern mountains are SO cute!" would have been sucking air on this climb, big time!
Once on top, I see what looks to be a rocket ship and snap this photo:
I knew in advance that it was actually an unmanned FAA radar beacon. In today's day and age, as I took the picture I thought it was quite likely that I was on a surveillance camera myself, and might get hassled for taking pictures of government infrastructure, as if I were a terrorist rather than a simple Ultrarunner.
So...after the off-road stretch and a section of gated dirt road, I reached "civilization," meaning a dirt road that was open to the public and which I had identified to the bride as being my route. I then enjoyed the several mile gradual downhill that was the payback and reward for the initial climb.
Quickly enough the run was over, I had survived being alone, and felt elated for finally doing another "adventure run."