Doughton Park before today. I googled around looking for places in the mountains I'd never been to to run today and stumbled across Doughton Park. 30 miles of trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Stone Mountain State Park- sort of in between Jefferson and Sparta. I'm still not clear about who runs the place. I think it's part of the Blue Ridge Parkway system.
I wanted to run 2-3 hours, but got a little bit of a late start and had Wren and Jennifer with me. I told them I'd be back in 2 hours. Started at Basin Cove Overlook at Milepost 244.7 on the Parkway, where there's a great view, including Stone Mountain. Wonderful 72 degrees when I started. Ran on some nice singletrack as well as an enjoyable fire road. I thought I'd read that it was all rolling. What I ran was not rolling. It was pretty darn hilly. Started at 3300' elevation, went up and down a bit, got down to 1400' and then went back up to 3300'.
I got a little lost and realized I'd be late. Then about 2:15 into it, I went from tired but fine to Bonk City. Felt like someone turned the power switch off and it happened instantaneously. Been years since that's happened. I figured I was only running 2 hours- didn't need to bring anything besides water. Wrong. Didn't know exactly where I was, but thought I was close to where we parked. Heard cars and just trotted across a pasture and onto the Parkway. Luckily, picked the right direction and ran a mile along the Parkway to the car. Finished in 2:50. Jennifer wasn't too freaked out I was almost an hour late. Wren had been discussing whether they would have to spend 1 or 2 nights in the parking lot waiting for me. She knew they had water, granola bars and they saw blackberries on the trail. Ha!
Didn't go perfectly, had to walk a lot post-bonk as I was going uphill, but I'm just happy to be out there running a fairly long run in the woods.