20-Point Bucks and Trail Run Therapy

The more I run on trails, the more this Robert Frost work is true:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I'd venture to say most people don't usually get lost. People get gone, but very seldom get lost. They say that the purpose of endurance sports is to lose yourself. Or, another great quote is, "the greatest distance to cover in endurance sports is the distance between your ears." I haven't quite gone to that length, but I do try to get lost. Let me explain

Trail running is straight dope therapy. Heading out to Griffy to the run the trails Saturday was the perfect choice - and one that was made for me (legs are pretty sore from the running on the pavement, so I put trails in the bag for the days approaching 30.) I'm never dissatisfied by root romping. No matter the route, or how it winds, it all seems to be perfectly crafted in the end. Its funny, but I never finish a woods run and think, damn, I wish it would have gone up that ravine, or over that way. It all looks the same. Although, I will note, the last 2 miles of the three lakes trail in Morgan-Monroe, headed for Bryant Lake, are the berries. Weaving in and out of creek beds, having slight, sharp inclines and switch backs is on the same level as listening to John Denver in a misty morning sunrise. That dude's voice is a clear as a mountain stream! Have a listen!

Anyway, I left Griffy around 6:15 on Saturday, hoping to go for an hour. The trails there are not too long, but I remember that coming from the CC Course at IU one time, I could see the east side of the lake thru the woods from the ridge by the golf course. So instead of starting at upper Griffy, I began at the lakeside trail head intending to go southeast until I hit the IU golf course.

None of that happened. I did hit a long stretch of trail that paralled the creek bed, weaving thru the trees and tracing the lower part of the ravine. And that was fun. Eventually I hit some signs that said private property (ignored) and then Sycamore Land Trust, which got me thinking - I was smart enough to wear an all white shirt, but dumb enough not to make it a orange one. With as many shots as I've heard before on the trails, being within SLT bounds can give you a least some reassurance that you won't get Dick Cheney'd. Speaking of, things that get shot, I took an exit route leading to the back of someone's yard. Not just any yard, I guess, because for about a 1/4 mi they had mowed one deck wide from their house to the trail. A path that took you through really high grasses and beautiful countryside. When I got close enough to the house I stopped and looked around. There was a deer bust about 20-30ft away in the bushes that initially I thought was fake, but at a second glance revealed more.

He was lookin at me, me lookin at him. Huge rack. Masterful deer! Knowing I could get seriously injured, I retreated just a bit only to have him bound away. In doing so, he cleared the bushes entirely and when he landed I, no fooling, could feel the ground shake. Probably twenty points on his head. It blows me away that an animal like that can evade people for so long. I looked for a picture online, but the only pictures of something like it are those that involve hunter's holding the heads of.

Just one experience of many involving wildlife that you can have on the trail. I highly recommend! The fall is the perfect time as it is off-season for most, the trees are shading orange, bugs are mostly gone, and it feels like an adventure every time.

Tecumseh Trail Marathon on December 3rd!