jogged down to carkeek this evening and got on a little side trail i hadnt been on and it kept getting smaller and steeper and muddier until i was just scrambling through nettles and blackberries just trying to get brief footholds. the nettles do get a little rise out of me though…i mean extra pain induced adrenalin, which is nice but i dont want to burn out and dont want to get all muddy if i dont have to. my hands are still stinging 2 hours later. i went 9.6 miles avg pace 10:58 and feel just a little brutalized by the place. it’s muggy too. i even took my shirt off much to the consternation of everyone around. anyway im signed up to do a 6-hour event there that is a 2 mile loop and hails as the “the toughest 12-hour out there” …so the 6 therefore would be the toughest 6 right? it’s a timed race so i can quit anytime. these trails are fun though and i wouldnt be likely to quit early unless i was injured. it’s almost all nice single track meandering through some mixed forest and wetlands. there is an abundance of flora & fauna there too. ive seen many different species here from all the sea fish, mullusks, echinoderms and crustaceans down by the shore, migratory and resident seabirds, herons gulls and raptors including eagles and osprey, seals and sea lions, raccoons and opossums. there are probably coyotes there but i havent seen one last time i was there i spotted for the first time a mountain beaver. didnt know what it was when i first spotted it. i was thinking that’s the weirdest, fattest looking rat ive ever seen. you get to see a lot more wildlife running. they think they have lots of time to move and them bam you are there! and i know for a fact there are no bears at carkeek…except on the beach over by the rocks. see my other post for a decription of that kind of bear.