The entrance to the Buckeye Trail from Boston Store starts with a paved offshoot from the Towpath Trail. As the evening sun warmed the asphalt, my footsteps disturbed its denizens. My progress was marked by the hopping away of grasshoppers that had alighted on the blacktop. The insects and their shadows drew parabolic arcs in my wake.
My goals were few for this run, a short loop out on the Buckeye Trail to where it meets the Valley Bridle Trail and back on a section I didn't think I'd ever run again after my first, hellish encounter. It turns out the gravel service road next to the Ohio Turnpike isn't so bad going downhill, as it provides a panoramic view of the Cuyahoga Valley, which is particularly spectacular this time of year, especially with the descending sun's angular light painting golden halos around the color-dappled trees.
Power-hiking the uphills, my energy remained constant. After the first major hills, my lungs felt ripped open, the air filling deeper alveoli sacs that had lain dormant since my last foray into trail running. Atop a ravine, a white-tailed deer bounded up the slope and darted across my path. Such sights reminded me why I like running in the woods.
Because trail maps lie, my run was a bit longer than anticipated. When the horse trail intersected the Buckeye Trail, my GPS app said 1.7 miles, not the two-something it was supposed to be. My intention was to run about three miles, and the way back was supposed to be a bit shorter than the way out, so I looped around the piney roots section of the path, which in turn resulted in an almost four-mile run.
Oh well. What's done is done. The good news being that what's done was my run. If today's weather holds like it's supposed to, another run might be in the offing. A short loop around some new neighborhoods seems a fine way to cap the work day.