March 08, 2015

Snowshoe Stomps in Harold Rafton Reservation

Preparations for the TARC Spring Thaw 6 Hour 
race course are well underway!
Gathering at the Scout Camp Area 
in Rafton Reservation, March 7, 2015

While the amount of snowfall in New England this winter is no surprise to anyone, runners might feel like this year’s course is a bit different. No year has been exactly like another — 85 degrees in 2012, mud in 2013, and slush and mud in 2014. 
What will be our theme for 2015?

Hard-packed and well traversed along 
the section by the Fish Brook.
March 7, 2015

Lots of happy hikers! 
March 7, 2015

"Cookie-dough" snow by 
the VIrginia Hammond Parking lot. 
March 7 2015

To help make the race day as best as can be for the runners and volunteers, I organized two different outings to introduce people to snowshoeing, get a sense of the trail conditions, and create as clear a path as possible through vast blankets of white. While some spots will be tough and mushy for racers—Harold Rafton Reservation never looked so beautiful draped in all this white.
Die-Hard Helpers for the 
February 21, 2015 snowshoe hike.

The first outing on February 28th drew a hearty group of eight. We trekked the course on snowshoes to pack down most of the 3.5-mile loop. What a great day in the woods, which was accented with “Nature Nuggets” by David Dargie. We’ll never miss a shag bark hickory tree or forget how to tell the difference between crows and ravens.
David Dargie, Land Manager and AVIS Trustee,
 explains the Bay Circuit Trail course marking system.
February 21, 2015

On Saturday, March 7th, 24 volunteers —from A.V.I.S, T.A.R.C. & G.A.C. and other mysterious places —gathered at the Wood Hill Middle School to enjoy and let’s be clear to stomp down the entire 3.5-mile loop. I was delightfully bowled over by the turnout! 

A generous group about to break trail —
Starting from the Wood Hill MIddle School. 
March 7, 2015

We worked our way through crispy snow and made some (not all) preliminary course marking with orange tape. For veterans the course was ever-so-slightly re-routed in the first ¼ mile.  (NOTE: On the afternoon of March 14, the course will be marked more thoroughly and a trail conditions report will be posted on Facebook, as well.)

At Two Benches (where the stick meets the candy on this lollypop-style course) Bill, John, Paul and others transformed “Two Marshmallows” into our familiar “Two Benches” areas. 

These benches mark the spot where the out and back section (the stick of the lollypop) changes to the loop that’s run in clockwise direction. It’s along the SINGLE-TRACK, out and back section that will prove the most congested in the first hours of the race. As courtesy, give way on the trail to runners heading INTO the start/finish/loop-check area. 
AVIS Land Manager and Warden, Ken Doran and 
his ax-wielding friend, Pete,
take a breather during their wood-splitting morning. 
March 7, 2015

Another special aspect of Saturday’s outing was viewing the hard work completed and in-progress at the Scout Camp area. A little bit after the 2-mile point (approximately on the “hill” before the scout fire) our group gathered to appreciate how much Ken and Pete accomplished in several weekends prior. 

“Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.” (Henry Ford)  

March 7, 2015

Behind the scenes, Ken Doran, a warden and land manager for AVIS, and his friend Pete (who could be THE original Sasquatch), felled dead trees, cut up and hand-split firewood for the scout area, cleaned and shoveled out the pit, and unburied sitting logs around the fire ring. They also cut and cleared some huge trees blocking the course. So please be sure to thank them for their 15+ hours they’ve played in the woods on our behalf.

Ken Doran, Pete and Emily Trespas 
(Race Director, AVIS Warden)
March 7, 2015

Coming up Helen's Trail alongside 
the open field by the Virginia Hammond lot. 
March 7, 2015

For more information and a course map and additional rules regarding the race, please visit links below.

Start and Course MAPS for the 2015 TARC Spring Thaw 6-Hour

The 2015 Race is full. 
No race day registration.
NO bib transfers allowed. 
NO Snowshoes.
Yes to Microspikes/Yaktrax.
Lots of Happiness to go around.
Volunteers receive 
a special gift of support
until supplies run out. 

1 comment:

Veronica Roth said...

Hi Emily, this looks like fun! And, I`d like to invite you to next weekend`s DC: spring break, over at mine. :D