The Catoctin wasn't more than class I or II, so it didn't have the adrenaline or endorphins of trail running, but it was very pretty. The trees were changing colors. The creek was in a winding, sometimes narrow gorge that felt more remote than it was, and we saw a beaver, herons, and multiple deer bounding across the creek. It rained yesterday, which was likely the reason the creek was runable at all, but it was certainly only runable in a packraft, and too shallow for a kayak or canoe. The weather was in the 50's, but the water was shallow and the creek narrow, so I didn't bother with a wet or dry suit, just wore my rain gear, and that was fine.
I often go through phases where I'm not running a ton, and I think I'd really like to get into some other outdoor sport like biking or rafting. But I never follow through. Almost nothing burns as many calories in as short a time as running, and eating is way too enjoyable. And, through the tautology of revealed preferences, running is and always will be my primary activity. But rafting is a lot of fun. I like it more than I liked sea kayaking, because with a packraft you can get back into tiny creeks that you can't run in a whitewater kayak, let alone an 18' long sea kayak. And when you're running a creek that small, the view is always changing, just like running. You can see both banks, and everything on them, and it's moving at several miles an hour, just like hiking or running. I think that was why I never quite loved kayaking in Berkeley--it took me hours to paddle to an island or to a bridge, and all I saw the entire time was water. In a small creek, you see more than water. And chatting with Darren made me optimistic that there are actually a lot of creeks and rivers and lots of whitewater within a 2-3 hour drive of DC. (Not that I own a car, but still.) And you can run a lot of it year-round, since everything is rain-fed not snow-fed, and you'll probably get at least one 50-degree weekend day most months here, so hypothermia is probably avoidable.
|Surfing a standing wave|
|Fall Colors and Cliffs|