We had met at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., which was probably not as "soon after sunrise" as my visitor from Texas would have normally run in his southerly climate, but the Viper Time Zone does not recognize anything earlier.
After weather forecasts promised a dry weekend with high temperatures, the clouds gathered and opened up Friday evening with a heavy rain coupled with a brilliant light show. It could have been a sloppy mess had the ground not been in dire need of hydration. The trails were moist, but still offered fairly firm footing, except for a few spots.
One such spot was a steep downhill that almost had both of us sliding into a steep ravine, which would have been just one more hill for us to climb.
We had agreed on eight miles. Partway through, Jamoosh was already hedging, saying he wasn't sure he would make it that far. I tried to assure him that it would be worse retracing our steps instead of just completing the loop I had planned, which took us from the Boston Store north on the Buckeye Trail to Jaite and back on the
The run turned out to be just a few tenths of a mile short of eight, but the effort was still worthy of our recovery rendezvous in Ohio City at Market Garden Brewery and Great Lakes Brewing Co., where I met the infamous Lady J, who presented me with a pint-sized bottle of Saint Arnold Endeavor, a double IPA.
Sadly, Mrs. Viper had to work and couldn't join us. She's a much better host than I am, but I did my best to show these out-of-towners some of what Cleveland has to offer.
After tasting flights, appetizers, multiple trips to the gift shop, a not-so-early lunch, Jamoosh and Lady J were off to the state up north. Many thanks for the company and for the "trail guide fees." And hey, I almost had another 20-mile week. Cheers!