It stands to reason that if grambling is a thing, then trambling must also be a thing. It’s the trail running version. If we wanna get real about what we do, we probably need to abandon “trail running” and even “ultra marathoning,’ in favor of trambling, trail rambling.

Trambling acknowledges that nothing very fast, like actual running, is likely to take place. Trambling makes room for the dozen or so times you’re going to choose the wrong path and have to double back. Trambling allows for plenty of walking. Very few ultra marathons happen without walking also happening.

When you tramble you can stop to look at birds or cool trees or mushrooms. You can even have coffee in the woods, which is a thing you should do.

I’m a trambler. I’m down to tramble.

On Saturday I woke at dawn to tramble down in the Blue Hills with Caitlin and Meghna and Jemmae and Jen and John. It’s impossible not to tramble in a group that size, but Saturday’s adventure was maybe the most trambley I’ve been in on a long time.

Here are some stats:

  • Total planned route – 15 miles
  • Total route completed – 6 miles
  • Total distance travelled – 9 miles
  • Total sweat sweated – 4 gallons
  • Total number of course reversals – 13
  • Vertical walls scaled in search of the trail – 2
  • Number of times I was convinced I was on a trail that turned out not to be a trail – 8

The thing about the Blue Hills is they’re not really marked. There are trails going every which way, and almost none of them were blazed. We came to more than one 5-way intersection. You know what doesn’t process 5-way intersections very well? GPS. That’s what.

And so we trambled around and found ourselves caught in old parts of the granite quarry that was there, or sometimes in the rock piles that weren’t granite and just needed to be dumped. We climbed one nearly vertical wall to try to catch site of the trail we were supposed to be on. We descended a steep rock field to try to find another spur.

The Blue Hills are a mess, and our tramble was a mess. A sweaty one.

The thing is, you can be disappointed by how a trail run or an ultra marathon goes, but you can not be upset about the outcome of a tramble. With my Achilles screaming like a winner on the Price is Right, I trambled (walked) back to the car down a long stretch of pavement as the sweat poured out of every pore and follicle. I wasn’t disappointed. That’s trambling.

We maybe trambled and also got trambled.