Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mud, Ice, and Kahuna!

What a great vacation it's been so far! I've been off of work since Christmas Eve and am off until January 4th. It's always a welcome time off--even if the weather isn't very nice.

We had a nice white Christmas this year. Started the Holiday season out with a 4 mile run with my friends from the Uno Fish Running Club, then Dawn and I spent Christmas Eve at my parents house and Christmas day at her parents. It's always great to watch the kids open their gifts (niece and nephew, none of our own.) Dawn and I didn't buy for each other this year after our $4800 plumbing repair two weeks ago.

Saturday was also a great day. Ran with Luau (AKA the Big Kahuna) in the morning (my Uno Fish buddies slept in!) and then went to her parents in the afternoon for "left-over" lunch. I love cold turkey and stuffing! And we capped off the evening with dinner out and gift exchange with friends--a great 2010 Running Log and a Super University of Pittsburgh sweatshirt came home with me!

And the vacation kept getting better today! I planned on taking Luau to the trails early today while Dawn went with friends and practised with the dogs (she runs them in AKC Agility competitions.) BUT, instead, I spent a lazy day relaxing around the house. I did make it to Mingo Creek Park and run for a few hours on the trail. It was a great afternoon to be out.

Weather was in the high 30's with a slight breeze. I left the shorts at home today and opted for tights in the shade of the trees. Since trails are relatively new to me, I'm still exploring the possible loops at Mingo. Today we started on the horse trail at the south east horse trailer parking and made our way. I was planning on spending around 2 hours running; at the hour mark, we popped out of the woods onto a gravel road and I knew where we were. I decided to make make take the "cut across" trail and finish the run on a part of the trail I've run before. Turned out to make almost a perfect 2 hour jaunt. We only covered 6.88 miles, but we stopped for pictures, to get out bearings, and had to slow down the pace for a few steep slick down hills!

Here are a few pictures from today:

Luau at the first "water crossing!" More like a muddy run off!

There's still a fair amount of snow left along the trail. Here's Luau leading the way. At least this section of the trail didn't have ice on it!

Just a beautiful forest to be in!

Entering into the pines. I love running on the soft bed of pine needles.

A shot inside the pines.Snow through this valley.Luau getting a drink out of Mingo Creek. We crossed the creek here. He loved it, I found it to be VERY, VERY cold! We got to the top of "Generator Hill" just in time to see the sun setting. We ran along the ridge in the distance at the beginning. Just about a half mile to go before we get back to the Jeep.

How lucky am I?

Stay safe, keep your soles to the ground, and keep moving forward!


  1. What awesome trails!! Running with dogs is always an adventure. I need to take mine out more.

  2. Thanks TZ. We came across a hunter's "drag" path. Which is very exciting and causes a dog to keep his nose to the ground:-)

    There's late season hunting of whitetail deer in Mingo Creek Park, but no hunting is allowed on Sundays here in PA. We won't be running the evening weekday trail run until the season is over mid-January.

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