I left my family early this morning at 6am, sleeping soundly, while I decided to welcome the day on Starr Mountain. I explored Coffee Branch Trail and Chestnut Trail. As I was climbing up the doubletrack, I was able to watch the moon set and the sun rise. Absolutely beautiful. Listening to the birds singing and watching the trail appear as rays of light came through the trees brought back memories of my 24 hour races in 2006. Those first laps at daybreak were the best.
These trails are horse trails. I had ridden Coffee Branch before, but not its entirety. Today these trails were in good shape. It looked like the USFS had recently done some work on them. Kudos to the Forest Service as I did not have to climb over any downed trees on Coffee Branch and just a few on Chestnut. Chestnut had a technical rocky uphill and a furiously fast rocky downhill. This is a good trail to prep for TransRockies.
Thankfully the worst of my bronchits is over. Not much coughing and definitely easier to breathe. I hope it will be completely gone this week. Ouachita Challenge is approaching fast and I woul really like to be at my best for this one. It is one of my favorites (=lots of rocks!)