2006-01-16 - Cabin John Trail (middle)

~7 miles @ ~12:00 min/mi

Mid-30's temperatures and light breezes greet us at 8am this morning as comrades Ken & Ruth & I converge on the Locust Grove Nature Center (Democracy & Seven Locks). Ruth shows us her massive medal from the Disneyworld half marathon last weekend, where she PR'd smartly. (She also describes the unusually cold Florida weather and the madness of a 4am race arrival time and a 6am start.) Ken sets a brisk pace downstream on the Cabin John Stream Valley Trail (see LateOctober2005JogLog and HalfBeast for notes on northern and southern segments of the CJT respectively), We climb ridges and circle warily around boggy areas, and tiptoe or leap across tributary creeks. Ken points out a large deer on the opposite bank of the stream. Small frigid birds flit away upon our approach, perhaps scared by my bright yellow-and-blue trail shoes. After ~3 miles we arrive at River Road, where I've pre-cached munchies and drinks behind a bush. We take a couple of minutes to nibble there, then cross River and do a mile down-and-back to Seven Locks Road. Another pause to eat and sip, and it's time to return to our starting point. I take the lead and inexplicably feel invigorated – or perhaps it's just the pressure from those behind me that keeps me moving along. Ruth keeps a GPS log of the journey; I carry a camera and snap a couple of photos. At the finish line Ken rewards us with his home-baked cranberry muffins.