I was camping at Beartree campground in the Mount Rogers National Recreation area, a beautiful spot tucked right off Hwy 58.
|The only sunny picture!|
Around 11pm or so I awoke to the distinct sound of rain pitter pattering on the tent. Then it increased, and by 11:30pm it was a full downpour with thunder and lightning . I kept waiting for the tent to start taking on water, but it held up great and I kept nice and dry. I drifted back off to sleep once the the thunder storm passed. The rain however, continued throughout the night.
I woke up around 7am, fired up the stove and put on some coffee. A quick breakfast of hummus and tortillas, and I was good to go. I drove into town and met up with the Iron Mountain Trail Runner folks.
|Ready to roll!|
I was originally toying with the idea of doing the 30 mile training run, but after struggling a bit on the climbs and taking a nice fall, I opted for the 16 miler instead. Coming down was no picnic either, having to maintain a Zen like level of concentration in order to navigate the difficult terrain.
I finally got back to camp around 8pm, hung out and read a little, then went off to bed. Thankfully there were only a few sprinkles of rain overnight and I dropped into a long, sound sleep.
I woke up at 7am, made coffee and headed down to the RV section of the campground. I was going to do a short hike/run on some trail that my friend Beth had told me about. The Shaw Gap trail head was right at the host campsite of the RV section. While the tent campground was busy, this section was practically deserted. I hike about a mile up the Shaw Gap Trail, then it connected with the Iron Mountain Trail. Just off of that, I picked up the Chestnut Ridge Trail and hiked out a few miles on that. There were wild blueberry bushes dotted alongside the trail, but the fruit was about a week away from being ready to harvest. I turned back around, and by the time I had reached the intersection of the Iron Mountain Trail, it had begun to rain. Again. I came upon two mountain bikers and we joked about getting out early to beat the rain. Yeah right. I splashed my way back through the mud of the Shaw Gap Trail and into the campground and back to the car. I put my water logged shoes in the trunk with the other pair of trashed shoes from the day before. ( I had brought a total of 4 pairs, used them all!)
After a brief stop in town to grab some coffee, I began the trip home. I am happy to report not a single drop of rain fell on the way back home!