Today, we ran. We ran through the New River Gorge. From there, we ran to the Gauley River National Recreation area. We knew that there were unknowns in our route today. The run from the Gorge to the Gauley was wonderful. A series of rollers that felt like an interval day. And the places we saw along the way were absolutely gorgeous. We started calling it the waterfalls run after we got to the Gauley River.
Once we got to the Gauley, we ran a rail trail that seemed completely unmarked and unknown. It's difficult to describe the beauty (especially when you're cold), but it was an experience that was the definition of beauty. The river was raging, and we (we - the people attempting a 300-mile run) were completely humbled by its power and beauty. It made the act of running seem both natural and mandatory. It's a way of being, really. And we couldn't resist just running.
We ran to the point that it didn't matter so much that we were off-course. We just wanted to be there. We ran to be part of something bigger than ourselves. It felt like we did the right thing by simply acknowledging the existence of this place. It's a place that's unmarked. It's a place that is known by people around it. It's a place of unknown ownership, but potentially accessibly by all if you know a little something.
West Virginia couldn't be more beautiful and more complex.