Sunday, October 10, 2010

Loblolly Trail

We ran into lots of Godiva folks in the parking lot

We are supposed to be tapering for the Detroit Marathon next Sunday, so we decided to do an "easy" run yesterday. We had not been on Loblolly trail in a very long time, so we drove up the Harrison entrance at Umstead. I brought my camera to stop and take pictures, and make a relaxing run out of it.

So here is a photo tour of about 4 miles of the Loblolly trail.

A group of shirtless vagrants camped out in the park. So young, what a shame.
They are are so skinny they must be starving.

Bob Nelson. Race director of the Umstead Marathon, best race anywhere.
Also the mad creator of our Blue Ridge Relay team. 

Start of Loblolly trail in Umstead.

And we are off! Trail starts off very smoth and easy.
You cross a paved road in about a quarter mile.

The first big bridge

One of the many streams that wind through Umstead

Loblolly is marked with blue square blazes

Another big bridge

Loblolly has lots of roots. Watch your step

I used to think these were mile markers, but they are only .75 miles apart.
Maybe they are supposed to be kilometer markers?

Crossing Reedy Creek B&B trail

Beautiful little pond hidden in the woods

Turtles warming themselves in the pnd

One of the few rocky sections

Shannon cruising the downhill. 

You are here

Next we cross South Turkey Creek

The #3 marker, about 2.5 miles out.

Here we leave Umstead and Loblolly continues on the Raleigh trail system

Turn right

This locked, barbed wire gate might seem to be the end, but it's not.
Just hop over it

Or squeeze around it

Notice the left turn sign. Shannon did not.

Here is a small lake and some wide open fields.
It is our little secret spot to bring the dogs so they can swim and run around.
Don't tell anyone 

Another fence with barbed wire. 

Just climb under

You will see a wide variety of fake wildlife

Climbing the steps to Reedy Creek Road

When you get to the road turn right down the green way.
There is no sign. Then make a left across the road

And into Shank Forest, at about 3.5 miles 
We did not make it to the end of Loblolly, which reportedly is 6 miles and ends somewhere near the RBC center.
Here we got hungry, thirsty and tired and turned around and went home. Maybe someday I'll make it the whole way.

This was less than 8 miles and took over an hour and a half, about 12 min miles. It felt excruciatingly hard. Not a good sign for the marathon.