Just one week after Leg 2, we moved on to Leg 3! Really starting to cover some ground – three legs and we’ve already gotten from the Massachusetts border to West Hartford. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
We started where we left off, knowing that we had a fairly significant elevation gain to start the run. It was a bit cool (“crisp”), so jumping right into the hill left us in with a serious oxygen deficit along with freezing skin. That, and Rob and I missed a turn and had to double back a couple hundred yards uphill. The first outcropping (Pinnacle Pt.?) was beautiful, but we were all feeling pretty cold – let’s keep moving!
This section of trail, again, was just beautiful. A couple of old chimneys slightly off trail, plenty of coniferous forest and rocky ridge line. Saw a car at the trailhead, and that was about it for human contact until we got to Heublin Tower. Also, because this was all park land we didn’t get the level of housing encroachment we had been seeing in the previous two legs.
At one exceptionally steep downhill, the trail smiths had laid out some really great stairs. As gravity is not my friend, I tip-toed down with Dave where we shot some video of Rob barreling down. Thought we might be making a call to 911, but Rob made it down successfully and with some degree of panache!
We came across a rock “cathedral”. It’s really amazing how someone can turn a penchant for stacking rocks into a work of art. With just the subtle breeze blowing through the trees and the morning light, it really welcomed us back to the trail. Ok – breaks over. Let’s run!
As we came out of Pennwood State Park, we came upon Gale Pond. A nice pond surrounded by a hideous fence. It was also our first taste of pavement for the day. A nice change, but I wanted to get past it and back onto the trail.
We crossed over Route 185, which I knew to be approximately half way for the day. As we plunged back into the woods, Rob and I heard what he later termed “a sack of potatoes” being dropped behind us. Dave had wiped. Hard.
We all knew it was coming. Trap rocks, roots, moss. Who would be the first to bleed? That was the only question. We now had our answer.
Dave lie motionless on the ground and let out a little groan. I quickly reached for my camera to capture this momentous occasion. Rob reached for the video camera Dave had been carrying to get the reaction shot. We were the paparazzi, and Dave was our superstar. Thanks Dave! Took one for the team!
Dave will be feeling this tomorrow, but it wasn’t all that bad. Bloody knee and a bruise probably (please update us in the comments, Dave!). After dusting himself off we were off to conquer Talcott Mountain. At over 1,000 ft., it was pretty imposing on the map. We had all taken the main trail up recreationally, and remembered it being quite a bear. However, we were delighted to find out that on the Metacomet, it seemed relatively easy! Maybe it was our improved conditioning or the level of switchbacks/meandering between climbing sections, but all the anticipation was really for naught. We quickly came upon Heublin Tower and took a celebratory break. A beautiful day, great view and the knowledge the the final couple miles were all downhill or flat elevated our spirits greatly.
I got ahead a little, and heard no noise behind me. Apparently the boys had taken a wrong turn a while back. I started doubling back and ran into them where Rob reporting seeing an owl. The only wildlife I saw today was a particularly oafish squirrel stumbling around in the leaves, so I was quite jealous.
We plopped down to the West Hartford Reservoir #6, and the day was essentially done. A mile or so around the water and we were back at the car. A nice segment that I’m sure will get us inspired to hop on Leg #4 very soon! Next up: On to Farmington!