All is well at 7am on Christmas morning.
Blue is for the Nipmuck trail. C is for Cookie. Between the two I have a full day planned.
The southern end of Breakneck pond at Bigelow Hollow State Park located in beautiful Nipmuck State Forest. At this point I had taken off my snowshoes and strapped them to my camelbak.
This is why I took off my snowshoes.
Heading to the east of the pond. The sun is coming up from the east. Fun fact: It always does.
A few logs do a fine bridge make. Says this like Yoda, I do.
More pond. I just like it. This is why my runs take hours more than they should.
Yup. More pond. The sun is rising. Fun fact: the sun does not rise. The earth rotates. Chew on that, astronomy buffs.
I do not know what these are, but they are hardy.
I sit with a moronic look on my face, while behind me someone describes their frustration with a certain South American country.
More pond. Sun on trees, Earth keeps spinning, life goes on.
Starting to climb now. I had heard that this was a tough trail. Up to this point it was pretty flat. Change is soon to come.
More pond. Looking south, from the north. How else can one look south?
My runs are so long that they cannot be held in by one state.
Heading south along the west shore of Breakneck Pond. So far my neck was quite intact.
In warmer weather I would have no problem wading through this.
It is a little deeper than I like when the temperature is 18 degrees out. The rocks to the right are scary, and the ones to the left are too far apart. What to do?
Hmm. This beaver damn looks like it will be damn handy. I can swear without it being a swear. Thanks, beavers!
This part was the most interesting. That root ball is about six feet tall. Or maybe five. Or four. No, let's say six. I made it over dry and intact. Hoo-ray for me!
Now I am following the Blue/Orange ridge trail over Breakneck hill and back to Bigelow pond where I am parked. The trail is marked as "B/O", which reminds me of a railroad on a certain game. I preferred the yellow and red properties which were of a reasonable price to build hotels and offered a steady source of income, but you can't tell that to people who go for the railroads and utilities. And don't get me started about those two cheap crappy ones by "Go".
Ah, this must be the start of Breakneck Hill.
No, it was just a little baby hill.
This is a big rock. I call him "Mr Rock", and would like to write a sitcom about him and a mismatched tree roommate. I would call it the "Rocky and Treewinckle Show".
Dead looking trees = swampy area = water under a thin layer of ice = beware!
How did I get by this with dry feet? Answer: I did not.
More cool shrubs, and many small trees.
Now THIS is Breakneck Hill!
This is some more Breakneck hill. It took me a little bit to climb it. Two steps forward, one step back.
A view from the top of the hill. Sort of.
Still more with the view.
Alright! Enough already! No wonder it took you over four hours!
Ahhh, a bridge in the woods. Heavenly.
Hey. I thought we were done with the hill thing.
What is up with this tree? Look at it strut it's funky stuff!
Logic dictates that if small furry creatures can make it over this ice without falling through, then so can I. Logic is a liar.
Oh, now we have a bridge! Where were you two minutes ago?
Having arrived back at my car, I fueled up, dropped about 15 pounds of gear (including my frozen useless camelbak), and went out to run around Mahapaug pond. Did I take a bunch of useless pond pictures? That question doesn't even deserve an answer.
See. I told you.
I wasn't sure why this sign was 100 feet from the pond, and facing the wrong way. Don't worry water, I will protect you!
Just what we need out in the middle of the woods: port-a-potties. Here's a clue for you: the entire woods is my port-a-potty!
I get a little rush in my head when I see a bridge like this in the woods. Man, what an amazing world we live in!
Here is a jetty (not true: a jetty acts to control current to benefit a harbour (notice the British spelling)).
A view from the semi-jetty. Ooh, that's an awesome name for a band. Now presenting: SEMI-JETTY!
More of these cool shrubs.
Pretty. Views like this are a great reason to run in the woods. No one else got to enjoy this but me. I am sure since mine were the only footprints. Everyone else was either smarter or more foolish than me, depending on your point of view.
Rocks and trees and snow and shrubs. Mix them together and it spells "Awesome". Well, not literally.
A stone wall. Could such a wall really keep in cattle? Maybe the cattle of yesteryears were just plain pathetic.
I slid down this on me bum. It was fun and also served to ice my aching muscles. This is what synergy is all about.
A Christmas present from my in-laws. It reminded them of me. I can't say I blame them.