I love to explore new places and run on different trails, but most of my running is done close to home at Starkey Wilderness Park. There are tons of trails, different terrain, and many miles of combinations you can vary your routes. Most of my routes start out on the main hiking loop, but I love checking out a side trail and finding out where it goes. However, the Starkey Park map stinks. Really stinks. I’m pretty sure if I relied on this map to find my way, I would NOT find my way. I’ve learned these trails by running them, and having Sean show me all the different connecting trails (he’s been running in Starkey a lot longer than me, plus has a natural instinct for direction). I lead my Trinity Trail Runner group on a Starkey run twice a month, and I know some of the runners would love to see where they are going, instead of just relying on my giant arrows drawn in the sand.
That map is missing tons of great trails to explore and run on. I’ve decided with the help of my trusty Belgian Malinois, Nikyo, to re-write the map. (Sean can help too, since I think he knows all the trails already 🙂 ) Even though I know the trails and have run most or all of them, he and I will re-run the routes, check them on satellite when we get home, and re-draw the map. We’ve already started on this project, as I like to change up the directions just to mess with Nikyo and make sure he is listening to me (instead of him thinking he’s in charge)! Along the way, we’ve been giving the routes some names, so it is easier (and more fun) to describe where we’ve been. Here’s a photo from Thursday’s run:
This is Moccasin Crossing, which is a path just off of the main hiking trail. Moccasin Crossing was named so, because a water moccasin was spotted there once :-O This is also one of Nikyo’s favorite trails, because we usually see more wildlife on this path since it is not used much (probably because it is not on the Stinky Map).
I’m looking forward to this new adventure, and discovering and exploring more while running out on the trails. If you’d like to follow our progress, I will be posting updates on our map project!