TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Chiquito Falls Roars Again

I made it out to Chiquito Falls last Monday. Crossed San Juan Creek at knee-high depth, and trekked up to that spot that has been dry for so many years. It was a beautiful time, cloudy yes, and rather tiring. But what a sight – what a loud, roaring sight! (This is gonna be mainly a picture post, mostly because I’m so behind, but also because the scenery was so picture worthy.)

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9.30 miles, 1,678 ‘ gained

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Birthday Run Between Rains

I know we are making the news and all because of our storms. But seriously, how long have these reporters lived in Southern California anyway? Short memories is what I say. We had floods before, we had have downpours, sinkholes and slides before. It’s true like the song says, “It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya . . . it pours . . . man it pours.”

Rain is nothing new for a fifty-two year old, born and raised in Southern California. I do not have a short memory. My memory is full of many droughts that last a few years, and many, many rains. I remember as a young girl sitting at the kitchen table and looking out onto the flooded cul-de-sac street wondering, “Is it ever gonna stop raining!!!” I remember traipsing around huge puddles at school, and creeks ploughing new routes. Gosh. Were where those news reporters then? It looks like right now, we are ending one of those droughts, finally getting us some rain. That’s all, simple as that.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn between it all, and on my 52nd birthday, I got in a “trail” after teaching one class, and on the way home to rest up before teaching another this past Thursday, on February 16. The place: Quail Hill in Irvine. The route: along the elliptical trail that over looks Interstate 405, and everything else lovely and not in The O.C. Got in a little over 5.5 miles, with only a little elevation gain. But it was good enough, as not soon after, the rain began to fall, and didn’t let up for nearly two days.

Thank you rains for all the green! The hills look so lush, I’m tempted to just drop to the ground and roll around in the grass (if it wasn’t for all those tics that might attach themselves to my flesh – eek!)

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Not for Naught

Trails are far and few between lately, especially with all the rain, and all the hours at work. I won’t give up, and at even at the very least, if I can still get out there and hit the dirt here and again, I know that it’s “not for naught.”

I mean after all . . .

(2/5, 7 miles, Wood Canyon):SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES(2/12, 12 miles, Arroyo Trabuco):SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Monday, February 6, 2017

Maple Springs–a Slice of Heaven

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI left my home under darkness Saturday morning – FINALLY, I hit the trails early in the morning. This I have to thank to Sheila and Robert who met me at the Maple Springs trailhead and accompanied me for the first three miles of this out-and-back.  (I remember fondly back when I was a true morning person – now I’m neither – not a night or morning person, just a tired person).

There were many creek crossings along the way to the dirt road that makes its way up to Four Corners. I gingerly made my way across hoping from rock to rock, following Sheila’s lead (who by the way has amazing grace and balance). And though it’s only a minimal climb those first three miles, I was feeling it when my friends had to turn back. And it was kinda sad to see them go, but at the same time, I knew that I would relish the alone time.

I didn’t do much running on the way up Maple Springs Road. The climb gets quite steep compared to what I’m used to. It was a strenuous hike much of the way. And one filled with handfuls of joyful people making the same trek, both by foot and mountain bike. Our rains turned the mountain sides green, and left behind muddy ground and puddles along the way. The weather was cold too (delight! delight!). Though I found the trek up difficult, I never once regretted my decision of going to Four Corners, nor did I even think once of cutting it short.

I ran all the miles back to my truck, which made my trip a total of 15 miles. Understandably, that last stretch was quite miserable – the bottoms of my feet hurt. Hell, my whole body hurt, as it was difficult focusing and keeping up the core strength so that I did not fall on the way back. I had no strength to hop rocks across the creek. So, I just splashed through the wonderfully cold water. But, oh, did I suffer back at home. Barely able to make it up the front steps, I grabbed some lunch (if my memory serves me correctly, I believe I heated up some frozen fish and rice). Then I soaked in a warm bath for a good long time, which refreshed me some. But by 4:00 PM, I was so wiped out, unable to even do the simplest chores, I fell asleep on the living room coach. I asked my middle son to wake me at 4:30 because I wanted to prepare dinner for the family. At 4:30 when he woke me, I said, “Okay, make it 5:00 instead.” Then at 5:00, I said, “5:30,” and that’s when my husband said, “No, don’t start dinner til 6:00, rest til then.” And that I did. (Elevation gain for that 15 miles was nearly 3,000’ and I’m not used to that anymore . . . but I will be Smile)

For dinner, I prepared tacos.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Modified Out-and-Back

Sunday afternoon, I went for a run in a usual place (Wood Canyon). But I decided to modify my regular out-and-back because there’s just no adventure in an out-and-back that I’ve done over and over again, especially when the weather is fine, and the trails are so tranquil. There’s just really no danger. And I need to have some reason to carry my weapons after all. Winking smile

I stuck to Wood Canyon in its entirety on the out portion because I didn’t want to mess with its glorious gradual downhill practically the entire way. (Still, it was difficult – hehe, I am so out of shape!)

Wood Canyon:

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On the back portion of this modified out-and-back, I took a detour off of Wood Canyon and ran into Mathis Canyon where I caught Coyote Run Trail. This is a lovely single-track, with some shade, and plenty of mountain bikers (wherein lies the danger Smile). After being dumped out into Wood Canyon again, I took another detour. This time onto a little known trail called Wood Creek. There’s no trail marker at the entrance, and in some parts it’s morose and dark because the lush canopy blots out the sunlight. Seriously. There’s moss and mushrooms growing in the brush. And I even get to climb two flights of stairs, which proved quite strenuous for me on Sunday. And best of all (even though I really do love people), I didn’t see a single soul – just dainty little wild flowers and some maiden hair ferns. If I had fallen and broken my leg, who knows how long someone would have come along to help. (The taste of danger!) It’s a secret trail, so shhhhh. There’s only a trail marker at one end, and it looks so unassuming that few venture there. So don’t tell anyone!

(total miles on Sunday, 7.21)

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Oh, one more thing. I started recording miles in 2017. January results are in. Looking forward to increasing in February:

Cycle (stationary @ the gym): 83.71 miles

Elliptical: 41.85 miles

Ran: 57.27 miles, 5,454’ elevation gained

Happy February!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

SST in the Green

I find it very difficult to wake early on the weekends nowadays. But being that I want to get back into shape, and weekends are the only time to run mountain trails, I grudgingly woke at 6:00 am. And then I promptly tapped the phone screen for a nine minute snooze. And then I did it again, and again, and again, and again. I wasn’t out the door until 9:30 am. So much for setting the alarm.

Due to the fact that I got such a late start, I decided on Santiago Truck Trail (STT). The reason this is such a good trail to run on late-start mornings is because it only takes about thirty minutes to drive there – and more importantly, it’s paved the entire way, with no off-roading. To add a special touch – the drive is delightful, with a turn off into Modjeska Canyon and a windy drive through a couple of tree canopy tunnels.

So, I didn’t do what I had planned today. I didn’t beat myself up over it. At least I was out there, and got to wander about in the wilderness. Even saw three runners that I know on STT. And the hills were so lush and green. Absolutely beautiful. I wasted a lot of time pulling the camera out of my pack.

Miles: 7.22, Elevation gain: 1,376’

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