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Friday, June 3, 2011

I’m No Renegade, But . . .

Sure, I often run the same place (not necessarily the same time) – that is, Aliso Wood Canyons.  But this place is filled with so many lovely trails, so many treacherous climbs (well, not exactly treacherous), that I could concoct a different route every day. And, that I did today. Smile

Time short as usual, especially because it’s our oldest son’s birthday (Happy Birthday J!).  Thing is, I’m just too selfish about my running.  Even if the washing machine is broken (and it is) and I had to run back and forth to the Laundromat (woke at 5:30AM to fit this in) and had more even errands to run to finish off the birthday event, I wasn’t going to give up my run.  Those other things, well, I’d have to squeeze them in somehow (see, selfish!).

Enough self-degradation.  My run was a great release. 

First thing I saw running into the canyon, a quail.  I always see quail running the coastal hills.  That is, I see quail running about as I’m running about.  Never before have been able to capture a picture this close: 


Since, I knew I couldn’t put in great mileage, I decided to run off Wood Canyon Trail onto the single-tracks that I love so much.  First on the agenda:  Wood Creek.  After a nice climb, I over-looked the canyon, then hopped onto an overgrown single-track.  I ran through plenty of spider webs and reveled in the shade of this paradise trail before dumping back out onto Wood Canyon Trail.

On Wood Creek Trail Overlooking Wood CanyonCIMG9972

Running Wood Creek TrailCIMG9978

More Wood Creek – 3 or more of these wood plank bridges exist.  One of them is about to bust in half.CIMG9981

I ran Wood Canyon for a bit.  Then reluctantly made my way onto Coyote Run.  Why reluctantly?  Well, that’s the sight of the last coiled rattler that I came upon.  I have this funny idea that I’m going to come across a rattler in the exact same place I have before.  It’s never happened.  Nevertheless, I turned my ipod down low to run this trail:


Coyote Run dumps out onto Mathis.  Running Mathis, I quickly came upon the closed-off section with signs and warnings to STAY OUT.  Now, the bottom part of Mathis has been closed since our December rains.  But I thought it had reopened by now.  Unfortunately, the detour is Dripping Cave, which was too much out of the way for me.  I was running to the Top of the World, and I didn’t have time for such a detour. 

I’m really not a renegade.  But rules like this one (the closed trail), I treat more as a guideline.  As so, listening carefully for trucks, I ducked beneath the barrier and ran Mathis.  The entire area was plowed.  Large machinery stood vacant, but no workers were about.  After running out of the closed portion, where the climb begins, I came across two women bikers.  They asked me if they could get through Mathis.  I told them it was closed, but I had ran it.  They were pretty nervous about attempting such a devilish feat.  But they too didn’t have time for the detour.  They asked me what I thought a few times, with worried looks on their faces.  All I could really say was – it’s closed, there’s barriers, but I crossed the barriers and didn’t get caught.  I added as we parted, “If you get caught, just say you’re lost.” 

Shhhh.  Don’t tell anyone. 

Running Up Mathis:CIMG9993

Finally Reaching Top of the WorldCIMG9999

My Reward (coconut water)CIMG0004

Once I hit West Ridge for the return trip, the climbs were joyous.  The down hills were downright fun.  Though the sun blared down hard, I got bits of shade from the birds of preys’ shadows as they flew over head.  I saw one hawk with a mouse in it’s mouth.  Poor mousey.

Upon reaching the car, I was rushed, oh so rushed.  I raced around looking for the video game my son wanted (never to find it).  Then I picked up youngest son from school, did some laundry at the Laundromat.  Hubby picked up middle boy, while I cleaned the kitchen and wrapped presents.  Then I rushed off to do more laundry, purchased a gift card for Game Stop, bought some swim goggles for our eldest and picked up his birthday cake. And let me tell you!  I think today was National Walk as Slow as you Can Day.   I was trying to whiz through the stores with people walking sooooo slow.   Finally, I rushed home, feeling flabbergasted.  After wrapping the last present and laying the gifts out just right on the piano, I was ready to go pick the birthday boy up from school.  Before leaving, I said to my two youngest boys, “Today is kiss your brother’s a** day – I don’t want anyone to end up in the cornfield.”

Was that wrong?  (It’s been a rough year for my precious pre-teen).

My husband gave me a horrified look when I said this.  My boys didn’t seem to get it.  Do you kind of understand what I mean about the cornfield???  If you’re my age and grew up in the U.S., you probably know exactly what I mean.  Just ask, and I’ll explain (if you’re dying to know : ))

Today’s elevation profile:6 3 11

Miles run today:  7.6


  1. Wow, that quail shot was amazing. Took my breath away.

    I love how you can mix up your trail runs - they are always so beautiful.

  2. Thanks Green Girl. I just love quail. I love the way the wobble when they walk. I love how they keep their babies really close into them and they move almost as one being. I love their coo.