What started out to be a long day of running 2 loops of the difficult Coosa loop at Vogel State Park turned into something completely different...and amazing!
How do you explain to people that you managed 12 miles in 3 hours.....not a typical hard run, but today was much different. Sean, Matt, and I arrived at Vogel to find there was no way my car was getting down the road to the parking lot. The snow from a few days earlier had made the drive in impossible....and was foretelling of things to come.
After parking on the side of the road, we made our way to the ranger station to check in....which is required for people hitting the trails. Needless to say, at 15 degrees and a ton of snow, the park staff were mildly curious as to our plans. The questions were; Do you have food and water? He wrote down minimal. First aid kit? No. Cold weather gear? He sized us up (Sean was wearing shorts!) and wrote down minimal! It was gonna be that kind of day!
We hit the trail and almost immediately the snow got deeper.....maybe 6-10 inches to start. We got in about 2-3 miles and the drifts got deeper....in some places 2-3 FEET of snow. Needless to say, running was opportunistic at best! The 3 mile climb up to the top of Coosa started.....it's steep and even on a good day takes 45 minutes.....and it took us an hour and a half! Ice chunks were literally forming on my shoes and tights. Falling was frequent and comical.
After enduring some pretty cold temps and lots of SLOW going, we decided to bail off the trail and run the road back down to the park.....skipping the final climb and descent of Slaughter Mountain. The distance was much less than we had planned, but an overall AMAZING day of fun in the snow and incredible views of North Georgia from the top of Coosa Mountain!