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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crystal Cove

This morning’s run was impromptu.  I knew I was going to run, or at least hoped to.  I popped my last antibiotic, checked my e-mail and tried to get out early.  But that didn’t happen.  I wasn’t out the door til 7AM. 

Just so happens that I have a few state park day passes about to expire, so I set off this morning to a different trail system than I usually run – Crystal Cove.  Normally (and there really isn’t a “normally” for me and Crystal Cove), I start at the top of the hills and run down.  That of course, means climbing out to get back to the car.  Today though, I started at the bottom.  That meant, I got to drive through Laguna Beach.  Lovely Laguna Beach.

I used to drive through Laguna Beach every weekday, many a year ago.  And it was in a complete traffic jam as I made my way to a 40 hour week job in Irvine.  I used to wave at a drifter who had made Laguna Beach his home.  He became known as “The Greeter” as he stood at one of the corners near Main Beach waving at us as we drove by.  He was an old guy, with long hair and a beard, and always a smile.

I remembered him this morning, mainly because he wasn’t there.  But there were at least two sculptures of him along the way, and one painting posted up on a lamp post.  It’s been many years since I drove to that job, so I had to assume “The Greeter” had died. 


I also remembered while driving through Laguna Beach this morning, how I used to look out my window longingly driving that same route, flicking the ashes from my cigarette, wishing that I didn’t have to drive to this particular job every day.  I longed so much for a different life.  One of freedom, one where I could wander.  And here I was this morning, three children (& hubby) still sleeping at home, free from cigarettes, free from the 40 hour week, driving to Crystal Cove to run (wander) trails.

Despite everything.  I am lucky. 

I will say one thing though.   The ranger at Crystal Cove wasn’t feeling so lucky this morning.  In fact, I think she hated her job.  I tried to talk nice (I was after all, happy to be there) and ask about the trails.  But she just frowned (practically growled) and pointed to the map on the wall.  After she validated my day pass, I walked out of the station and actually said out loud, but a little beneath my breath, “friendly crowd here.”  I could have sworn that I heard her stand up and hurry up behind me.  And I actually envisioned this angry ranger grabbing the validated day pass from my fingers and snapping, “No Day Pass For You!!”

But she didn’t.  And I didn’t need her.  The mountain bikers and hikers out at Crystal Cove this morning were plenty cheerful and willing to help.  Two bikers gave me a loop just under 10 miles.  And with park map in my pocket, I headed up a 3 mile incline, called “No Name Ridge,” a well groomed, dirt road. 

The trails aren’t marked at Crystal Cove like they are on my regular trails.  I constantly found myself asking people, “Am I still on No Name?”  I was wearing my garmin and carrying my map, so really I wasn’t going to get lost.  I just didn’t want to put in too many miles.

From “No Name” I took a lovely, single track called Ticketron.  That trail basically turned into Deer Canyon which lead me to Fence Line (a trail that I’ve run a couple times.).  Then on Fence Line, or Missing Link, I came across about a dozen or so runners.  And I recognized a few of them, Chris D. and Annie and Steve H. who were the friendly couple working the last aid station at the Saddleback Marathon.  I spoke briefly with Chris and Annie and they assured me that I was on the right track to Moro Ridge.

Moro Ridge was a pleasure, rolling hills, mainly down with a full ocean view.  I ended this run with no glute pain (after beginning with plenty glute nudgings, and NO ibuprofen).

I believe I snapped this photo on No Name


Ticketron Trail on way to Deer Canyon Trail


Fence Line Trail looking toward Saddleback : )


Me on Moro Ridge headed down to B.F.I (Big F****** Incline, then El Moro Canyon)


CIMG7564 CIMG7570

Miles logged: 9.09

My Activities Crystal Cove  11-14-2010, Elevation - Distance


  1. Love Crystal Cove. The Xterra Trail Race there (December, I think) is a good one...

  2. Yes, the December Xterra race is held at Crystal Cove. I was signed up last December, but they just kept postponing it, that I finally transferred my registration to Malibu's race.

    Crystal Cove is very nice. I love the fact that there are so many, many miles to explore up there.

  3. Aw, I love the transformation you've made - congratulations.

    I'm also pleased to hear you ended the run with no pain - hooray!

  4. The Trailheadz were out there Sunday AM. Normally I would have been with them, but am still taking it easy on my knee.

    You should consider joining us!

  5. GIRRRRL, I am working today, reading this, sitting at the...MONTAGE HOTEL Laguna Beach. My running gear is in my valeted car and I need to get a run in today. I'm about to google your trails and see about taking my lunch break ASAP.

    What an awesomely timely Post!

  6. Nice run! Sounds like I just missed you as I was out there with the trailheadz.

  7. Rachel, we had to pass each other, we just didn't recognize each other. LOL

  8. Tales from the Back of the Pack -- lucky you!! Staying at the Montage : ) I hope you found Crystal Cove. There's lots of nice place to run in the OC Coastal hills. Have fun.

  9. Thanks Green Girl! It's funny how things change and I don't even really realize it.

  10. How funny Glenn. See, we will pass each other on the trail one of these days : )

  11. Lauren,
    Your photographs are gorgeous! Makes me feel like I am on the trails with you but without gasping for breath!

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