Several photos in Dan's Strava. And full trip report here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/15570249/posts/3143475 (copied below w/o photos).
Can a Trail Runner Experience Beauty?
Yesterday morning (Sat 9/29) at 5:38AM I set out to run the CL50 trail. I grew up spending summers at our family camp in Keene, hiked the 46 with my parents, and thru hiked the NPT with my dad, but I had never been to Cranberry Lake so I was excited to experience a different part of the ADKs and have a mini adventure and time away from the concerns of life. Friends had graciously let me stay at their camp in Cranberry Lake Friday night. I set out jogging in the dark by headlamp and covered the stretch on rt 3 and soon signed the register and turned into the woods. I met a hiker who had a partner who were going to attempt the a 1 day trek in the opposite direction. When the trail turned onto the red disk snowmobile trail I looked for a CL marker but didn't see one so I backtracked before realizing I was still on track adding about .6 bonus miles to my day. I felt pretty good for most of the day aside from some GI issues. I found a lot of the trail to be very runnable but there were some stretches where the rocks or water and mud slowed my pace. I enjoyed my time on trail with near perfect weather conditions. It stayed cool all day. Around mile 35 I noticed my breathing and heart rate was faster than normal for my given pace. I compensated by mouth breathing and this worked out all right for about the next 10 miles. The last 5 miles were tough ones and I did my fair share of walking through the sometimes rocky path, a reminder that I have my limitations at 46 with a congenital heart condition. I finished my unupported effort in a time of 11:30:46 good enough for an unsupported fastest known time (FKT). The FKT was just icing on the cake for a great trip. I think there is still room for someone else to bring this time down quite a bit. So the question: Can a trail runner experience beauty? I was told that if I ran the CL50 I would somehow miss all the beauty. Perhaps, the individual really meant I would miss some of the beauty. Did I miss the morning sun reflecting off Cranberry Lake? Did I miss the early fall colors around Curtis Pond? Did I miss the loon and loon calls? How different was my experience moving at 4.5 mph compared to 2 or 3mph? I'll concede I missed all the side trips on the trail. On the other hand I was able to experience the entire trail on a limited time frame. And the discomfort in the last 5 miles? I've forgotten about it already and I'm feeling pretty good this morning. So, the definitive answer: Can a trail runner experience beauty? Perhaps, an individual should try trail running for themself before making an conclusions. I used to question if trail runners missed out on beauty before trying it myself. There are many different ways to experience nature just as there are many different kinds of people. My answer to the question is I'll let my photos speak for themselves.