After 2 weeks and a half in the Alps, I missed my backyard mountain, The Bear Mountain. So I drove up on Sunday morning to the Silver Mine Lake to do a small loop run and a few hill repeat.
When I arrived at the Silver Mine Lake, I just realize I only brought a set of big bottles. One for tailwind mix and the other for water, but I did not bring any hand-held bottle for the loop. Also since my phone was broken, so I had no tracking device, online map, no photos, etc. Somehow, I made it more interesting, accidentally, I also forgot to bring any maps.
Then I thought, I was in my adventure month anyway, so heck with it. I went out to the trail and hoping that I would remember the route and turns. I felt good to be back at the Bear Mountain; back to the technical trail that I love, back to the rolling hill where I could do my comfortable pace, and felt I was finally home. The first mile was easy, but somewhere after that I was definitely missing a turn. I ended up in the junction of AT trail and Red Dot trail. The good think was I remembered abstractly how the trail and terrain lay out, I believed I was heading South West from Silver Mine Lake before made a turn to the AT. I looked at the sun and shadow direction, so I decided I would go to North East, which I turned left onto the Red Dot trail. After a few minutes, I met a hiker that warned me to be careful, he just saw a rattle snake crossing the path, between here and the shelter. The good news was I probably going to the right direction if we were talking about the same shelter. The bad news was I ran with out phone, water, etc; so if I got bitten I would be f’d. For a good minute, I was thinking to run back and retrace my run, but my monkey said no,this would be an adventure and just be smart (obviously it was not smart at all). So I started to walk stealthily, tried to be at the center of the trail as much as I could to make a distance from the bushes, and also extra careful when I stepped over rocks. For a few minutes that felt forever, I was expecting that the snake would jump on me any moment. Then I got spooked from a bunch of hikers that showed up on a sharp turn, they seemed pretty light-hearted and did not seems had seen any snake. It got me think, those hikers should have scared the snake away and they seemed had not noticed any snake, so after one of the knoll, I started to run again. I was so happy when I saw the shelter from far away.
At the shelter, I met with 2 true hikers, Sweet Pea and Tennessee Boy, and they confirmed about the rattle snakes. And I was like “Okayyy”. After I borrowed their map to double-check my direction, and some small talks, I say farewell and good luck. From here to the lake, I remembered the trail pretty well.
When I got to the Silver Mine Lake Parking , I grabbed my bottles and continued to my hill repeat session. I ended up only did 4 sets instead of 5. All my sores from TDS was popping up one after another, I decided I did not want to push it too hard.
After all, it was a good day. I enjoyed a few hours there by reading a book while eating my sandwich and indulging the view.