Friday, October 19, 2012

Finding dirt in the Chicago suburbs

I went to Chicago for a long weekend to visit a friend, conveniently scheduling one of our "shorter" training runs while I was gone. Armed with a few Googled ideas for where to run, along with suggestions from my friend, I ran just over 14 miles in the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

Route 66 Trail sign and the lovely flat, winding crushed gravel path

The park surrounds Argonne National Laboratories and is infamous for having albino deer. Unfortunately, I didn't see any on my run.

One of the side trails

The main trail circles 9.5 miles through the park, so I looked for side trails to add extra mileage. Sure enough, there were two of about a mile each that allowed me to loop back and add about four additional miles. Overall (at least according to my Nike+) the route was 14.5 miles.

Autumn color and train tracks

The trail was very flat but meandered nicely, and the gravel was small enough that it kept a nice pack and didn't feel rocky at all. It was a bit chilly and tough to start, but as soon as I warmed up and the sun shone through, I really enjoyed the peaceful deciduous forest at its glorious, colorful peak.

Poverty Prairie and gorgeous little fluffy clouds

This was probably my best experience so far finding a longer trail run away from home. But now I'm ready to get back to my beloved rolling hills and MUD!

Glowing golden leaves

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