Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pine Mountain Trail

    So, like I mentioned in my first post, I want to review trails and inform people of what to look for on these trails.  My main training trail that I run on is the Pine Mountain Trail that runs through the Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park.  Absolutely beautiful place!  I love it.  If I could spend everyday there I absolutely would.
    I think I first heard of Pine Mtn. a few years ago, but I didn't believe that in this area of Georgia there could be a trail worthy of being considered a "real hiking trail."  What a silly way to think right?  Everyday I drive from Pike Co. to Columbus to go to work, and every day I am amazed at how the terrain in the Warm Springs/Manchester area is so vastly different than all the terrain literally just a few miles down the road.  I drive along normal flat middle Georgia roads and then bam! I'm all of a sudden driving through beautiful rolling hills and farm land that look like they were cut and pasted out of North Georgia.  I love driving through there with first timers.  They always oooh and ahh.  But I digress.
     So I want this to be a first in a serious of posts on the different sections of the PMT(I will use this abreviation from now on). 
    On today's run I wanted to complete a loop that I failed on my first attempt due to "bonking" or "hitting a runners wall."  I parked at Rocky Point parking lot and started from mile marker 18 of the PMT.  The last time I ran this section I started it at 6 am running with a head lamp.  So seeing it in the day time was nice.  My planned trip was to run from mile 18 up Hornets Knob, up Dowdell Knob(highest point of the PMT), down to the 12 mile marker, turning around and back tracking to just past the 13 mile marker to the Boottop Trail which links back up at the top of Hornets Knob, and then back to the car.  Total= 10.09 miles. 
This is right inside the first half mile.  A lot of these pics are of how technical PMT is.

More of the rockiness.

Looking up Hornets Knob

A vertical section climbing Hornets Knob

On top of Hornets Knob. Looking across The valley is where White Candle trail is.

Langford Creek

The beginning steps to Brown Dog Bluff which is also the beginning ascent to Dowdell Knob. All the gold leafed trees you see are called Georgia Oak.  Apparently they are rare, but grow all along PMT.

FDR himself.  At the top of Dowdell Knob.  FDR used to come to this spot and picnic and enjoy the view that Dowdell Knob offers.  Can't say I blame him.

Views from Dowdell Knob

Trying to show up close how technical this trail is.  Covered in roots and rocks.

This was my turn around point.

One more view of Rocky Point on my return to the beginning.

My feet!  Back at my car.  These are Salomon XA Comp 5 gtx.  I'll be doing a review on these at a later time.

    All in all a great day.  My total run time was very slow because of all the stopping I was doing taking pictures.  This was my first outing.  Hopefully I will become more proficient. 
    I absolutely love running on PMT.  If you just love camping and hiking, then this is also the place.  Tons of camp sites.  If you camp with an RV, there is a camp site for those too!  You can't go wrong with FDR State Park.  I will have more information on the rest of the trail sections I run soon.  So stay tuned!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Welcome to my blog!!

    Greetings!!  This is my first venture into the arena of blogging.  Hopefully I will be successful in accomplishing my goals through my posts.  I'm not really even sure how I want to structure this first post so as to give you my vision for this blog.  I do not want this to be just a place for me to come and go on and on about myself, but rather a place to be used to gather information and to share information with me.  So saying that I guess I should let you in on what my purpose for this blog is.
    I love running.  Recently I have gotten into the world of ultra running.  More specifically trail ultra running.  When I first started out my initial road block came in the form of a lack of trails.  I did not know where to turn to find the information I needed.  My first step was to use the internet to search for trails and trail running.  This did not yield the results I was looking for.  Eventually I found the trails local to me through constant searching and conversations with people who have knowledge of our immediate surrounding counties.  The hardships of trying to find the appropriate trails that I wanted to run on lead me to the idea of starting a blog, such as the one you are reading, as a place to consolidate trail information for people in my region/state/southeast who are also looking for such knowledge.  And when you cannot find what you want you just have to go and make it yourself right?
    Also I am a running gear junkie.  I love looking at gear, touching gear, imagining myself using running gear, staring at shoes, reading gear blogs.  I love it.  I am nerdy that way.  So I will be reviewing items I use and sharing photos and such on this blog as well. 
    I  plan on having a lot of pictures on this site.  Now that I have a way to carry around my old digital camera I will be snapping all kind of pictures of the trails that I run.  I am a visual person and so this will be a visual blog.
    DISCLAIMER:  I am no running or nutrition or anything expert.  I will only be sharing the things I personally learn or experience.  I want this site to be a two way learning environment.  I do not believe I can ever learn enough.  So if you have insight that I am lacking then please share it constructive and positive way.
    Well I hope you enjoy my blog and stick around.  And feel free to share.  I will be updating with posts on the trails I run and gear I use soon.  Hopefully the weather clears up so I can get back out there and take pictures.  Stay tuned!