Brad’s US Trails Adventure: The Itinerary
After weeks of kicking around itineraries, I’ve finally settled upon the course for the southern part of Brad’s US Trail Adventure. (You can see the whole map here, including the places I won’t be going). Many of these trails are in Runner’s World’s “25 Best Trail Runs in America” series that I stumbled upon several weeks ago when I was looking for summer running gear.
All told, the trip will cover 11 states, take me to 6 parks, involve 112 miles of running, and take 2 weeks. I’ve already arranged to see a few old friends, meet a few socially-networked friends, and spend time hanging out in area REIs stalking fellow adventurers.
My next steps: make reservations at all the parks, search Meetup for local running groups, and get my house in order for the big goodbye.
That’s for me, though. For now, here’s the summer running plan:
Sunday, June 5:
I’ll leave Loveland, Ohio early in the morning and head to Lexington, Kentucky where I’ll do my first run here:
After the run, I’ll head to my first camping stop of the trip:
Monday, June 6: NASHVILLE, TN
My plan is to stay in Nashville for a few days. I have a high school friend who lives there, but I believe she’s out of town this week. I haven’t poked around my Facebook network yet, but my guess is I have friends here.
My second run is here:
- 6-mile run in Percy Warner Park
Once I’m finished, I’ll head back to the campground to shower and then hang out at the Nashville REI, where I’m sure I’ll purchase whatever I’ve already forgotten after Day 2.
Tuesday, June 7:
My third run will take place at the same park (unless I find another in the area, which I’m going to try to do at the REI).
- 7-mile run in Percy Warner Park
Once I’m finished, I’ll hop in the car and head over to Asheville, North Carolina, one of the coolest little writing spots in the country. I’ll be setting up camp at the Lake Powhatan Recreational Area.
Wednesday, June 8: ASHEVILLE, NC
It seems silly to take a day off running so early in my trip, but that’s what the schedule calls for. I’m guessing I’ll get up and look for some place to hike. I’ll probably also search for a good poetry slam or some kind of reading in town. There was a moment when Asheville was one of the cultural writing centers in America. I’m not sure if that time has passed.
I’m definitely hanging out at the Asheville REI. You can count on that.
Thursday, June 9:
My fourth run will be here:
- 9-mile run at the North Carolina Arboretum
Once I’m finished, I’ll haul my sweaty self into the car and head to Atlanta, Georgia where I’ll set at the McKinley Campground
Friday, June 10: ATLANTA, GA
I have a few friends in the Atlanta area, folks I met a couple years ago at South by Southwest. I’m hoping we can find some time to hang out while I’m there. First, though, there is my fifth run:
- 7-mile run at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
For those of you who are baseball buffs, you’ll recognize the name from the famous Major League Baseball commission hired after the Black Sox scandal in 1919. His name: Kenesaw Mountain Landis. (I happily wrote that without the use of Wikipedia.)
Saturday, June 11:
I planned on spending a few days in the area mainly because I have 3 long runs and I want to make sure I get them in. My fifth run:
- 10-mile run at the Red Top Mountain State Park
Sunday, June 12:
One more day in Atlanta for my sixth run:
- 10-mile run at the Red Top Mountain State Park
Then I’ll pack up my gear and – assuming I haven’t sweated myself into oblivion, I’ll head to Pelham, Alabama and Old Mountain State Park.
Monday, June 13: PELHAM, AL
Not sure what a June run is going to be like in Alabama but just in case I bought an extra water bottle and a day pack so that I can bring the kinds of materials one needs to survive sweltering heat. My seventh run:
- 8-mile run in Old Mountain State Park
Tuesday, June 14:
My eighth run:
- 7-mile run in Old Mountain State Park
After that, I’ll be set up for my next off day. I plan on using that as a driving day I’ll be covering a ton of ground between Alabama and Texas. My next stop, after the morning run, is in the Ouachita National Forest in Oden, Arkansas
Wednesday, June 15: CANYON, TEXAS
I’m actually bummed that I won’t get a chance to run here. There’s always a chance I may try to rent a bike or simply take off on a morning expedition for a few hours.
However, I have a long off day of driving to Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas
Thursday, June 16:
I’m most excited about this portion of the trip (although when I checked the weather reports from the area, I was less excited. This is going to be brutal.) What’s cool about this: it’s the second largest canyon in the United States. I had no idea.
My ninth run:
- 10-mile run in Canyon State Park
Friday, June 17:
My tenth run:
- 6-mile run in Canyon State Park
Assuming I’ve survived the withering 95 degree temperatures on my runs, I’ll pack up my head and head 400 miles east to Ray Roberts Lake State Park in Pilot Point, Texas
Saturday, June 18: PILOT POINT, TEXAS
Originally I’d planned to push home after the Canyon, but I have a socially-networked friend in the area and I thought I’d take a few days to recover from what I’m sure will be a brutal few days in the canyon.
My eleventh run:
- 16-mile run in Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Afterwards, I’ll shower up and head to the Plano REI and try to hook up with my friend. We’ll see what’s happening in the area that evening.
Sunday, June 19:
My twelfth, and final, run:
- 8-mile run in Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Once I’ve showered up and packed the car, it’s time for the last leg of the journey:
HOME IN AUSTIN