Friday, November 26, 2010

Walking the Line on Mackey and Lessons Learned

Stell happy about being out in the woods on Mackey

It's been three years ago since I've been obsessed with Mackey, walking the line every chance I could get, over and over again, physically on the weekends, mentally every night, grinding that line every way I could. It was funny to here the phrase "Cutting in a trail"....there was really no cutting about it, just Forrest Gump on a mission, pacing,...... back and forth, back and forth, moving rocks and downed trees along the way. I knew it would be hard enough without a hundred trees to get over. Still, the trail remains in my mind, very doable. The dead give away was the two or three inches of frozen snow that blanketed the forest floor that winter, enough to make me fall on my ass a thousand times but also just enough to show the line that seems so deceptively impossible in the summer season. 
Stell taking one of those goofy blogger self portraits on Mackey back in the day.
The impossibility remains until someone very skilled and very lucky has one of THOSE days, but even on the best days, there has to be a refusal to go down or touch, it will never be smooth. You have to want it in every way. It's "That F***ing Torquey Sh**" McMillar loves so much.   
So, I don't really have a point here except to say, I still think I could have walked a better line.  That being said, my favorite sections are the ones people tend to hate so much while my least favorite are the swooping lines that take you off the ridge for a brief but well deserved break from the rocks. Every time I drop away from the ridge line, I feel a bit disappointed in it, like the trail is taking a bit of pity on me. I want to be broken or victorious, I don't want to come out feeling like the HFM. Some day, that's gonna' have to be fixed! Been reading about a bit of renewed interest in that place in the woods and love it! Peeps going back to try it more and more. I need to get back, but see,...
I've been walking a line again, physically and mentally, every day,...don't want to make the same mistakes twice, but this thing has got multiple personalities!  A block garden like Mac, turns of SG, features of Virginia, and here's one you shouldn't have been on for a while, a descent like Rocky Knob,.....yup,....remember that trail?? I don't want to mess it up. Did I say there is a two mile descent that will feel just like Rocky Knob?? Tight switch backs, steep rocky chutes. Now imagine throwing a few rail turns and launching rocks in there.....Gotta go,...have to go walk the line before the WV Today.

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