Trail running, rock climbing, and french class

The summer season is in full swing here in NH.  The rock climbing is good despite the moderate humidity and the crowds are not too bad yet.  Summer is always the best time to get mileage on rock and to get fit but not the time to push too hard, at least for me.  Lately trail running has taken up my  training time and many adventures have been had.

Recently I attempted to follow an old defunct trail from my youth that connects Purity Lake to Foss Mountain.  The plan was simple bring a liter of water and a few Clif Shots and loop from Purity lake to Foss mountain and back via logging roads, class six roads, and finishing on Horseleg Hill road back to Purity Lake.  The start was great soft duff under foot among towering pines and hemlocks with a few ancient oaks gnarled and strong.  It did not last, after five minutes of enjoyable jogging I hit a clear cut.

The old trail was established by campers at Camp Tohkomeupog over three decades ago and crossed over many different private properties.  The trail was abandoned when the town of Eaton required groups hiking on town property (the summit of Foss Mtn is town of Eaton property) to give 60 days advance notice and charged $5 a head (not unlike the USFS except the date specific advanced notice).

One of the land owners had clear cut several sections of the forest where the trail was and now it was obliterated.  After navigating through the debris I gained the ridge and found the trail again.  Several more times I lost it but eventually found my way to the summit and completed my loop in two and a half hours.  Trail running adventures can be tame or intense and exhausting based on how much fun your looking for.

Yesterdays run found me out on a new trail in the Ossipee mountains in the middle of a thunder and lightening storm with strong winds a pouring rain.  Normally when climbing this type of scenario would be a night mare but while running it adds to the adventure and training (light weight shoes when wet are not light weight).   On normal runs my mind wanders to my “to do list” thoughts of projects around the house that need completion or how little I have studied for next french class but when the trail is muddy and the trees are swaying in the wind I have to focus.  This is where running and climbing come together.

Absolute focus is what I crave when life gets hectic and to gain it I must put my self in a situation that requires it.  I have never been able to meditate at will so to clear my mind and recharge myself I need physical challenge and consequence.  My runs lately have given me that.

Now I can go study french and finish my home projects.

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