Wednesday, February 4, 2009

let there be electricity!

FINALLY, after 7 very long cold days with no electricity & 9 days of no internet/cable/phone service, I'm back in touch with the world! Called the worst ice storm in Kentucky history last week, I can certainly attest to it being the worst I've ever experienced. I'll never forget the chorus of large trees "snapping" as loud as gunfire almost continuously at one point in the storm.

The trails that I train on here in the Jefferson Memorial Forest (JMF) have all been pretty much impassable since the 27th. I tried hiking 5 days after the storm first hit, but turned back after 3 miles as it was just too hard & hazardous climbing & going thru & around all the fallen trees & branches in the slippery snow & ice, plus, there were still trees falling occasionally!

There's a concerted effort to make it possible to run the Louisville's Lovin' the Hills event as scheduled on Valentine's Day. The words "cancel" & "postpone" were brought up at one time, but I (& some determined JMF workers & volunteers) are putting forth every effort to see that the trails are cleared enough to make it runable! One thing for sure, we won't have control over the weather & the course conditions as it relates to snow & ice. The ice storm that hit here first started off with a couple inches of sleet, then we had a day of freezing rain, then 4 inches of snow on top of that. When it got colder, the layer of ice pellets turned into a thick
sheet of ice! Even with a couple warmer days since, the rate of melt has been very slow because of this. With all this precip, it pretty much has guaranteed a less than ideal running surface for the event -- either wet or frozen, snowy or icy, or a combination!

With no electric at the house, the trails impossible and my reluctance to get on the roads, my training lately has been limited to a treadmill at the gym. A bit boring there, but they've had heat & have a nice shower! Shoveling snow & chopping on the ice to get out of the driveway has my back a bit sore -- I'll probably pay for that later down the road . . .

Right now I'm helping the crew that's clearing the Red Trail (1st loop of LLTH). Wit
h some warmer weather predicted this weekend, maybe more volunteers will show up & we can get more done.

Pictures taken 5 days after the storm first hit:

Holsclaw Hill Road near 2nd loop LLTH:

Turn left past the bench & before the picnic table here at Mitchell Hill Lake (part of LLTH course 15M & 50k ) -- remember this place J?

Tom Wallace Park Road (part of out & back portion LLTH course 50k):

Sidewalk in Tom Wallace Park (part of outbound portion of out & back LLTH course 50k):


Jeffro said...

Left past the bench, got it. They are predicting some pretty warm temps this weekend and through next week. After two years of ice I'm ready to give mud a try.

ed said...

I was just joking . . .

I was helping mark the course today. The ground has thawed out and it's pretty muddy in spots already. With rain forecast this week, looks like mud will be a big factor in the race. I hope the wind that's forecast won't bring down too many of the remaining trees that survived the ice storm, but are leaning over the trails.