Crisp temperatures prevailed today making for excellent running conditions. Felt an easy day was in order, and I decided to hit the woods out back since the technical trails would help prevent any urges to pick up the pace. Also, I wanted to scout out a few potential hunting spots for when the season begins next month.
I meandered through the 1.5 miles of technical trails that leads to the fire roads, coming across a gaggle of turkeys which scattered as I approached. Despite seeing several hundred wild turkeys in my lifetime, the way their necks move when scurrying still amuses me.
But the biggest highlight of the day came when I encountered another bird, a barred owl (photo to the left courtesy of University of Oklahoma). I saw it on the uphill along the fire road, it's massive wings propelling it above the clearing to another tree limb several hundred yards ahead. As I approached, it flew away again, and I watched as it eventually made a left turn into the woods and out of sight.
Another mile or so later and I was at the lake. I stopped here to admire the view, as I usually do. I sat on the fallen tree that goes out over the lake, and watched an unidentified hawk fly along the surface.
Ran up the hill away from the lake where a guy was examining the engine of his ATV. His engine had overheated, and he asked me how far it was to a road. Told him a dirt road was just up the trail about a quarter of a mile, and he would be able to put it in neutral and coast down. He said he had a phone and planned on calling his son to pick him up.
Continued along and the trail brought me back to the fire road. Stopped to examine a small, dried out bog for any signs of deer activity, but it didn't look very promising. Continued along and was back on the trail, where I ran into two other friendly ATV'ers who were looking for directions and I told them about the paths.
Had planned on running to another bog closer to home to scout it out better, but opted to do that in a separate trip later. Wanted to get home and run errands before the football games start. Turned out to be a good decision, as my friend and neighbor Kate had just baked apple dumplings and she brought me over a few, which I mowed down in no time. Great way to end a run!
Ran 7.3 miles @ 8:40/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 142/163
Trails, fire roads.
Mid 50s, sunny.