After months of exploring the trails around the Quabbin, I mapped out a 55-mile loop that avoided Route 202 and Route 9 as much as possible (thanks Ryan, this gave my covid running purpose). Two weeks ago, I only made it halfway and I thought this would be something for 2021. But when Dan said he was thinking about running this one this weekend, I was easily convinced to give it another try.
We met around 7:15am at Gate 27 in New Salem. We headed west to maximize time on the New England Trail (we would be dealing with more than enough wood roads later on).
I had dropped bottles at the top of the infamous climb up Cooleyville Rd (7.0), and another set at Gate 11 (11.9). My wife Linda then met us at Gate 6 (18.8), Windsor Dam (23.0), Goodnough Dike (27.4), Greenwich Rd (36.4), Dana Center (42.0) and Blackington Rd Beach (50.1). On the East side, this trail route is only accessible for support by car at the corner with Greenwich Rd, but often the trail is only a half mile hike from gates with parking (or a 2-mile bike ride from Gate 41 to Dana Center). For my first (failed) attempt I drove around the Quabbin the day before to drop bottles. That took me about 3 hours (!). Obviously, when running around Boston's drinking water supply reservoir, water is always close for those considering an unsupported attempt.
Liam joined us for the first 10 miles.
Jake joined us for the final 16 miles.
Dan is awesome.