That’s what he named it. The Broad Run Makes No Apologies Loop. Saw that shit on my Strava. After I was done.
“You live for this. You don’t ever do the pretty easy trails.”
Because y’all won’t tell me where those are!!!
Even the easy Sunday morning recovery hike to watch the sunrise from the Star involved a pace that caused me to sweat through my clothes within the first 10 minutes. I had sweat rolling into my eyes at 5am. Before the sun was even up. The earth wasn’t even warm yet.
But I knew today was gonna be pure bullshit.
Because Skratch had kept me updated. During the creation of this dumbass route.
“I just did what Master Mountain Junkie told me to do.”
I don’t care what your exact role was, Skratch. Y’all some evil trail masterminds.
When we got to the parking lot, we saw Tiny Brazilian’s car. She operates on a time schedule that most of us will never see. I couldn’t even whine to her about my 3:30am wake up the previous morning. That’s when she’s functioning at her peak.
But the rest of us started off at a normal human pre-height of summer 9am start time.
We were immediately greeted by the ass end of North Fucking Mountain.
Nothing good can come out of the ass end of North Fucking Mountain.
We had a quick discussion about OT and the other crazies who run the out and back of that bullshit for the world’s worst marathon distance.
And for the briefest of moments. Just so super fleetingly brief. My brain did this bullshit thing where it envisioned an ultra experience where you could go up the ass end of North Fucking Mountain. And back out again. And then on around the Broad Run Loop we were about to do.
I’m not sure how OT got into my head for that brief moment. But that for damn sure wasn’t my brain going to that really just darkest of places.
So this bullshit.
So, first you climb. Forever. Up a gravel road. A gravel road that I believe to be route 666. Which should have been all I needed to know to turn around. And go the fuck back home.
A few miles up, you turn right onto Ferrier Trail. And this is the point at which we began discussing which mountain we might be on.
Pretty sure we decided that we were on Price, Caldwell, and Broad Run Mountains. All at the same time.
At least that’s what my brain heard. From the conversation.
It heard, “We are hiking three mountains all at the same time.”
And this is one of the few times that I will not get pissy about someone referring to this particular run as a hike. And not a run.
Because I assure you. I did not run. Not until we left the mountain.
Because this mountain? The one Beautiful Beastie calls North Fucking Mountain’s cousin? (His dumbass cousin. The cousin that’s always doing inappropriate shit. Like trying to date you and shit.) It is an asshole.
I mean, Ferrier Trail is ok. It’s a bitch of a climb. But it’s clear. There is a clear summit. You know when you’re done with it.
But once you get to the top of that. And take a right onto the trail that Master MJ built. The concepts of summit and top and descent all go out the damn window.
That bitch never lets you find the top.
I spent an hour saying, “So this is the top?”
And BB would just say, “nope.”
At one point, BB expressed concern that we hadn’t seen any TB tracks at all. And I suggested we maybe should be looking down either side of the mountain. But then remembered it was TB. It doesn’t matter how badly she hurts herself. We’d be able to hear her.
But we did eventually see a track. In the rare dirt sighting. Because this mountain is mostly rock.
And the rocks. It has the same dumbass rocks that NFM has. Maybe more.
And they’re all either pointy and sharp or large and unstable.
These rocks give zero fucks about anyone.
A few had even taken over trees. Just grown all up into their business.
So this is obviously where all the snakes live.
And thank fuck I was following BB and Everyone’s Favorite Husband. Because I wouldn’t have seen it.
Seriously. I’d have just stepped right on the poor thing.
Which would have meant missing out on what happened next.
As Rogue approached, she stopped and assessed the best way around it.
And then K-Rob-D spotted it.
And Lost. Her. Shit.
I can’t even do justice to the level of shit loss she displayed.
I think at one point, she even shoved Track Star, her daughter, out in front of her.
But her screaming seemed to work.
Snake was like, “fuck. This bitch crazy. Lemme get on home before she starts throwing shit and hurt somebody.”
Sent a pic to Finn’s Dad. Who assured us it was not poisonous. Called it a Milkshake snake or some shit. Which….why. Why would a snake be named Milkshake. You ever see Kings of Comedy? Where Cedric talks about dude named Delicious? Like, he’s a grown ass man, calling some dude Delicious? You know Copperheads be like, “I’m a grown ass snake, dawg. I ain’t gettin ready to call no other snake Milkshake.”
But the really best part of this. After we all managed to move past this particular obstacle. Was K-Rob, just moments after screaming obscenities at a snake and losing all of her shit all over the mountain, turned to Rogue and stated, “You were quite calm during that. How did you do that?”
Which led to a really solid standard Rogue childhood anecdote. If you have the opportunity, ask her about her own fear of snakes.
So we continued on.
Just forever up.
I swear we summited that bitch 15 times.
Until suddenly. Out of nowhere. That bitch just pushed us out onto a road. In the middle of a blind curve.
And said, “Here. You go run the road now.”
And we did. Run. As much as our trail shoed feet would tolerate.
Just three miles of relentless downhill road.
Until we turned back into route 666.
For some more road.
And then back around onto a trail.
That lasted forrrreverrrr.
But at least it was trail.
Ran into a few downed tree obstacles. That required a little off-trailing.
But also some really pretty stretches.
And just when you think you’re never gonna find the end. You see the gate. And the cars. And hear the sound of K-Rob’s car alarm. Because that’s the only way she knows how to get in.
So, 15 1/2 miles. 3,206 feet of climbing.
Not awful numbers in themselves.
But the rocks. And the pavement. And the fact that that bitch never lets you find an actual top of the damn mountain. Just goes up for always.
So, I guess, go on out there if you want to.
I ain’t gonna take you.
And no, Skratch. This will NOT be our next challenge.
I knew someone was gonna suggest that shit.