2005-10-01 - Northwest Branch Coordinate Collecting

10+ miles @ ~12:00 min/mi

After the horrors of driving through the UM campus a few hours before a major football game (dropping off one son, delivering $$$ to another) the Northwest Branch Trail is an oasis of calm. I leave the car at the Adelphi Manor Recreation Center and commence jogging upstream from Northwest Branch Trail mile marker 4.5 at the corner of the parking lot. The cool crisp weather makes the journey a delight. I take GPS waypoints at miles 5, 5.5, and 6, but can't find 6.5 (if it exists). The paved trail ends near mile 7 and I continue on, past the narrows where I fell into the water on 8 May 2003 (cf. ForestPrimevalPedestrian). Now I'm mostly walking over the uneven rocks, with occasional pauses to clamber over fallen tree trunks. When I reach the Capital Beltway I capture coordinates below each side of the high bridge, then turn around.

At about the one-hour mark I get back to the Rec Center and pause for a minute to drink, refill my bottle at the fountain, swallow a S! electrolyte cap, and watch some people setting up a cricket pitch (they're hammering the stumps into the ground). Then it's southward bound to snag waypoints at NWB markers 4, 3.5, 3, and 2.5. I proceed a short distance further to the confluence of Sligo Creek and Northwest Branch, then turn back. The final mile is a blistering 10:05 — the fastest of the day. It includes a crosswalk sprint across University Blvd. to avoid having to wait for another long cycle of the traffic light. A cricket match is about to begin as I prepare to drive home.

The new and improved (tastes great! less filling!) DC Metro Area Trails: GPS Waypoints http://zhurnaly.com/maps/DC_Metro_Area_Trails_GPS_Waypoints.html shows the latitudes & longitudes collected today (and during past outings) ...