TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Lackadaisical Run

We got rain in Southern California the past two days.  Enough rain to close local trails.  Of course I could have probably run mountain trails, but there’s no one to run with me on weekdays.  And I don’t run mountains alone.  Why? 

Mountain lions. 

And those two legged coyotes (as my husband calls them).

Rain was fine with me, though I’m not a big fan of rain.  I live in Southern California!  But I wanted to cut back on miles this week anyway.  I cross trained instead, and did my short speed workout on the treadmill. 

This morning, the sun shined brightly.  I checked local trail websites to find that they were all open.  Deciding on a venue change, I opted to drive many miles past my usual park to the Newport Coast to El Moro Ridge (which I believe the is part of Laguna Wilderness Park and the bottom is Crystal Cove State Park – I’m not sure on the boundaries.)  (For those of you who know this area, I ran down No-Name Ridge to No-Dogs, then past the ranger station and back up El Moro Canyon where I hopped onto a portion of Missing Link, then ran all of Fence Line to Bommer Ridge.)

I picked a lovely day to run  trails lackadaisically.  Having been wet for 2 days, then dried up today, the amount of animal tracks were astounding – lots of deer, bobcat and coyote, not to mention bird tracks and other miscellaneous tiny tracks that I didn’t stop to identify.   

With my speed training, I found that I took off at a quicker pace with little warm up needed this morning.  And when I found myself plodding along on the inclines, I thought to myself, “I can run faster than this.”  And I could.

But on to the pictures:

Running No-Name Ridge, I encountered lots of friendly hikers, all with walking sticks:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

A quick pose on No-Name, I was so, so ready to rip off this long-sleeved shirt despite the cool breeze.  But I wanted to wait until the bottom where I would make a pit stop at the ranger station:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Running along No-Name:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Approaching the Crystal Cove ranger station, notice white water in the distance:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Heading up El Moro Canyon, this lovely shrub lines the trail.  I can’t i.d. it.  Do you know what this plant is?  Let me know!SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Fungi growing along the lush, wet parts of canyon:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Just plain ole’ beauty running up El Moro Canyon where a doe dashed out from the brush in front of me, then another and then one more.  They hopped (yes hopped!) across the trail so quickly and back into the brush on the other side, that though I fumbled for my camera, I was not quick enough to catch a picture:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

More El Moro Canyon.  It was nice to run a trail where every tree is new to me:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Toward the end of the canyon, I had three options to the top – Nice-and-Easy (which isn’t exactly easy, but it is very runnable), Elevator and El Moro Canyon.  Here is the intersection of Elevator and El Moro.  I had not run either one before.  Guess which one is Elevator?  It’s not the trail on the right!  I took the trail on the right for a more direct route to Missing Link:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh my!  I don’t know why this trail wasn’t named “Elevator.”  I was actually slipping back down the hill as I went up.  But I was able to run some of it:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

A look back.  Curious what Elevator was doing, I went to the edge, “and there I stood and looked down, you know I lost a lot of friends there baby, ain’t got no time to mess around.”  Not!  I haven’t lost a lot of friends there (but can you tell me the name of that song?  I’ll give a small prize for the first person who can.)  Anyway, I did go to the edge so that I could see Elevator, and saw a meandering trail going up – Nothing like this one:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Fence Line Trail:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Miles run this morning:  9.02:My Activities El Moro 9 mi loop 10-7-2011, Elevation - Distance

4 comments:

  1. Ain't Talkin' About Love!

    This is my FAVORITE hiking trail in OC. Elevator is NO JOKE. The first time I hiked at CC, I literally took a picture of Elevator off in the distance, and thought, "Man, that trail looks ridiculous. Glad I'm skipping that one..." Until I ended up at the bottom. That was tough. LOL.

    There's a 17K trail run there in December that I think I'll try!

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  2. And, as you found out, that first part of Elevator isn't even the steep part! I always tr to avoid going down too. I value my skin.

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  3. You win Giraffy. E-mail me your address if you'd like to claim your prize. Xterra usually has a race there in December, if that's the one you might run, it should be great. They put on pretty good races. Good Luck!

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  4. I'm still confused about which trail I was on, according to the map, the trail to the left was Elevator and the one to the right was El Moro Canyon. I took the one to the right, but it was so ridiculously steep that I thought maybe the map was wrong.

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