23 March 2014

Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail - 23 Mar 2014

Driven half mad by cabin fever, my family headed out in search of some relief.  My first thought, the playground at Clifton Commons in Clifton Park, was a bust: it was covered in what looked like rock hard ice and snow.

We headed further south, and I decided to go have a look at the bike path in Latham and Niskayuna.  We found it mostly free of snow and ice, at least along River Road as far as the old train station.  It was, however, way too windy today to have the kids out for very long.  I do my best to get out under any and every condition, to train my mind as well as my body, but it's too much to ask of small kids.  My youngest has only recently started telling us when she's cold without being prompted.  As such, they only logged six tenths of a mile this weekend.


That was actually an improvement.  Last weekend I took my oldest out for a run along the Zim Smith Trail, and between the snow, ice, standing water, and wind, she only lasted for half a mile.  On the drive home, she said, "I only like running on blacktop."  I asked, "well, what about dirt?"  She said, "dirt is fine, but no snow, or ice, or mud, and especially no water."  I chuckled.  "Ok," I said, "we'll head back out once the snow has melted."  To which she replied: "how about summer?"  I chuckled again, and promised to take her out again once the surfaces were clear.

When we pulled up to the bike path today, she said, "I don't want to go for a walk.  I only like to run," to which we replied: "so run!"  So, she did!

It occurred to me later that her style of running is entirely fartlek (that's Swedish for speed play).  Run as fast as you can here, run over there, stop, walk, stretch, run some more, run fast, run back, stop, run in to someone, run, stop.  It drove me crazy at first, but now I mostly just laugh and encourage her (or corral her, as needed).

I hope to get them out again next weekend, hopefully for a bit longer, and hopefully without any wind.

On a different note: from what I could see of it today, the Zim Smith Trail (where it meets the Northway) seems to still be covered in a layer of snow.  I assume that this is from the sled traffic, compacting the snow down to a rock hard layer, since most of the surrounding terrain is snow free.  When we went out last weekend, we parked at the parking lot off of Round Lake Road.  There were several short stretches of clear pavement, but it looked like the trail was mostly snow, ice, icy snow and standing water.

Rounding out this report: I did my long run yesterday at Saratoga Spa State Park.  The bike paths are a mixed bag.  The portions that are normally clear are clear.  Along Avenue of the Pines there are sections with several inches of water covered by a thin sheet of ice, punctuated at regular intervals by a few crazy fools who decided to run through it (like me).  The closed portion of Putnam Road has a thin layer of milky ice on it.  Further into the park, the woods roads are covered in ice and icy snow.  The western half of the Picnic Loop road is in exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, the same state that it was several weeks ago: covered in several inches of hard snow that is a mess of tracks.  The North-South Road appears to be in the same state.  The East-West Road is mostly free of ice or snow where it was plowed (at least from the western entrance to the edge of the hill after the Peerless Pool).  And, finally, as you would expect, the dirt road leading south off of the East-West Road, across from the Peerless, is a muddy mess that deteriorates the further south you get.

Until next time, be excellent to each other.

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