|"Relentless!" — that's the thousand foot climb from the Manor Area at Cunningham Falls State Park along the Catoctin Trail northward. Less than a minute ahead of Caren Jew, I reach our rendezvous point, "Drop Zone X-Ray", at 5:52am. Intermittent fog blankets highway US-15 north of Frederick. Instead of the southbound route that the Catoctin 50k race follows we head in the opposite direction as soon as dawn makes trail markings visible. I've been this way only once before, and that time didn't get very far. (cf. 2010-04-17 - Catoctin Trail with Caren, Gayatri, and Ken)|
Two deer crunch the leaves as they cross the path ahead of us. After an hour we turn back at a big gnarly tree. During the return trip we explore a side trail marked "Bob's Hill" to an outcropping of rocks. Caren takes photos with her iPhone. The mostly-downhill reverse trek is fun and fast, though it certainly stresses the quads.
(cf. GPS trackfile, ...) - ^z - 2011-10-24