We finished our warm up and everyone was ready to go. Victoria was giving out last minute directions for the route. I caught words like “Young Ave”, “full circle” and “35 minutes”. People around me were talking and planning, some said we started to the left, some to the right. I figured I would just follow the crowd and hope for the best. A group of us became the back of the packers and quickly lost site of the lead runners. At the first fork in the road we faced we all agreed that we should go to the right since that lead to Young Ave. When we hit Point Pleasant Dr we had another decision…. Where to now? Since most of us had heard Young Ave, we decided to leave the park so that we could cross over to Young Ave. Our next decision was where to enter back into the park…. Run through the parking lot, or hit the trails? We were around the half way point of our 35 minutes so we hit the trails, the slightly longer of the 2 choices. By this time, we were a group of 3 Terra, one of the mentors and Jody and I. We faced a few more route choices – go left, go right or go straight. One led to a dead end. One led to a nasty section of ice so we took the 3rd option. It was going in the right direction as we could see the container terminal straight ahead so we figured we were home free.
Till we hit the gate that said “No winter maintenance. Use at your own risk.”
Our only real option was to keep going. There were lots of footprints, so people had obviously used this section before. But it was downhill and there was ice hidden under the snow. I hate ice. I hate walking on ice downhill. Jody offered for me to lie on my back and she would push me, but the shards of ice sticking up killed that idea pretty quickly. I resorted to my pit-a-pat steps that I do on the ice, slower then slow and step by treacherous step made my out of the park.
In the end we made it back around the same time as everyone else, surprising a few people as we popped out of the closed trail section.
Next week I will make sure to pay a lot more attention to the route description before I set off!