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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Maple Springs / Main Divide / Silverado Motorway

Woke at 4:15 this morning, on the road at 4:45. It was still dark, and unable to read the unassuming street signs, I drove right past Silverado Canyon on the way in. I made a u-turn on that lonely mountain road to arrive at the Silverado / Black Star Canyon intersection a little before 5:30 AM.

The weather was wonderfully cool as six of us (I'll refrain from saying six of us lunatics, or six of us crazies!) headed up Maple Springs Road. There was no downhill, or even a flat warm-up. The climb, though very gradual, began right away. Hey, I'm not complaining -- a cool breeze can make up for a lot. The climb was constant up to the Main Divide, but not terrible. That's not to say that I wasn't tired -- that I was. But I still had plenty of energy and the heat had not begun to bear down upon us.

Heading Up On Maple Springs Road

Maple Springs

Main Divide Road / Looking Back From Whence We Came

When the pavement ended, we ran a switch-back dirt road to the Main Divide, totalling a little under ten miles (I think). Daniel was waiting for Tom, Kelly and me, David and Larry had gone on ahead. When after wondering whether they had taken the correct turn, we saw two tiny figures in the distance, and so we were off too, headed for the ridge and that glorious trip down.

Meeting up on the Ridge (Tom Pointing Out Where We're Headed)

And We're Off!

The last part of the Main Divide Road (along the ridge) got pretty crazy for me. I found myself conserving water, which was not too smart. And the two hundred calories thus far wasn't nearly enough to make some of the steep climbs. My energy drained from me quickly as the sun now beared down hard. I relished even the tiniest bits of shade. And it was only after two hundred more calories, thanks to Kelly and Tom, did my energy slowly return. I told myself then -- no more rationing water. In fact, "you're in big trouble girl if you have any water left at the car."

Looking over other side of Santa Ana Mountains
(215 Fwy below, Lake Matthews in distance)

Me and It's-Not-As-Steep-As-It-Seems-Tom : )

Our Last Ascent!!

Group Photo-Op before heading down
2,000 Ft in Two Miles (Silverado Motorway)
Kelly, Daniel, Me, David, Larry

The trip down was a blast. Though tired as I was, I focused hard. Do not fall. DO NOT FALL. I tripped about three times, but no falls. That Silverado Motorway was a steep, steep, rocky switch- back (about 2,000 ft. in 2 miles). And though it was oh so beautiful, it was OH SO HOT. Tom, Kelly and I all ran out of water before reaching the bottom of the canyon. That was okay, because downhill, knowing the end is just around the corner, well, nothing beats that! Even in the blazing sun.

What a run. I'll say it again. What a run.

Miles logged this morning: 16.4

The Final Stretch (Car Is Just Around The Corner!)

The Fast Ones Waiting For Us As We Arrive

Elevation Profile (courtesy Tom, as well as 3 of the pics above)


  1. Great pictures! Glad you enjoyed that challenging loop. We'll do it again when it's cooler - maybe even with a little snow on the road!

  2. I definately want to do that one in the winter. How about say, February (maybe Jessica will be in California then -- that's when Twin Peaks is right?)? That heat really wears me down. Today is was an air-conditioned gym -- ahhhh.