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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Harding Truck Trail, Take Two

The first time I ran Harding Truck Trail I didn’t do much running (except on the way back), and I didn’t get very far the trail was such a bear.  It’s not a technical trail.  But it’s never-ending in its climb.  The second time I went to Harding Truck Trail, I didn’t run it at all.  Instead, I watched others suffer the trek when I volunteered for the Harding Hustle 30k race. 

I’ve avoided Harding Truck for a long time.  But then with these recent runs to “Four Corners” where Harding Trail Trail intersects, I’ve been wondering something.  How is it that when I first “ran” Harding Truck Trail I ran south, and the trail appeared to continue on a southern route, yet when it meets “Four Corners” it’s travelling north?  

Did I get out a map?  No.  Did I open up my Google Earth software and investigate?  No.  Of course not.  Today I decided to go on a scouting mission and just run Harding Truck Trail to see where it wound.

The morning was warm, the trail exposed.  Yet, I ran.  And I ran.  And I ran.  That trail kept on climbing and climbing with no end in sight.  I saw one biker quite a ways behind me.  Other than the rider, I was completely alone.

Harding Truck Trail / a lonely trail:

I saw tracks like these ALL OVER THE PLACE!   A mountain lion’s been here:

Still running up, and still running south:

Winter glory:

Still running UP, still travelling south, but moving more and more eastward on the switch-backs:

I recognized some landmarks as I looked back, and in no way was I travelling in the direction of “Four Corners.”  I could see the red cliffs near Black Star Canyon, and Irvine Lake BEHIND me.   And as I switch-backed higher and higher I couldn’t tell when the trail made its turn toward the north.  Finally, I decided if I was going to get back in time to pick up the boys, I needed to head back.  So, I stopped. 

I took a few pictures before heading back on that long downhill.  AND THEN.  And then . . . with the lens still open, I.  DROPPED.  MY.  CAMERA.  If I would have had the strength you would have probably heard the echo of the “F” word travel down into the neighboring counties.  The fact that the lens was open when it hit, and the hard impact that it made, told me that I had broken ANOTHER camera.  This would be number four. 

Sure enough.  My camera was dead.  Gone.  And it was brand new.  Aside from calling hubby to whine about my clumsiness, I tried to let go of the great disappointment I felt.  Why was I holding pepper spray, a Luna Bar, and my camera in the same hand????  Especially with my history!  What a dufus.

I took a detour driving home to check our Modjeska Grade which passes the Santiago Truck Trail entrance (it had been so long since I’d been there).  Later, I went off to the store that everyone loves to hate (Wal-Mart) with receipt in hand.  I told them that the lens didn’t open anymore.  They called in someone from photo.   I didn’t tell him that this was the fourth camera that I killed and I knew exactly why the lens didn’t open.  He didn’t notice or didn’t say anything about the tiny gash on the corner.  It was an easy exchange.  Now, I have a brand new camera.  Let’s hope I’ve learned my lesson!

10.7 miles run today (17.22 km) / 17 days Streaking into the New Year:My Activities Harding Truck Trail 1-5-2012, Elevation - Distance


  1. Oh no! Heres to hoping that 2012 brings you FEWER broken cameras ;)

    Ive got a question for you. How do you stay feeling safe while running? Ive always wondered and saw the mention of pepper spray today but dont recall ever seeing it mentioned before. Id love to know.

  2. Thanks for reading again Khourt. I always carry pepper spray, sometimes in my pocket, sometimes in my hand. I also always carry a knife (as well as a slew of first aid stuff, a lighter, antihistamines, and a phone). But I feel safest when I run with others. I've also done a lot of research on the wildlife, like rattlesnakes, cougars, etc., so that I know what to expect (if that's possible) and I have strategies in mind that I work through occasionally so that if I do get bitten or attacked or just plain ole have a sighting, I've already arranged what to do. But you never know. Funny, I feel a little safer around wildlife, because I feel like I know their habits, than I do people (ie. psychos). It really is for the psychos that I carry the pepper spray. Basically, I've worked through a plan for about every scenario I can think of. Also funny, is that I feel safer on the trail than I do running on the road. Thanks for asking! Oh! And I always tell my husband exactly where I'm running. And I pray for safety : ) And if I get a weird feeling I turn off the ipod.

  3. only 3 more miles up and the trail turns sharply to connect w/ four corners. I love that trail (and hate it). :)

  4. Wow you are so lucky to still have the sun and the sand...we are about 4 feet in snow right now and climbing..happy trails!

  5. I take it the colony of bees about 4 1/2 miles up is gone? Ouch!

    Sorry about the camera. I just use my phone for a lot of my stills. I also have one of these for video. It's shockproof and waterproof. I picked mine up on sale for just over $100. You can use software to extract single frame photos.

  6. Thanks for answering. I will be back later with more comments regarding this - just dont have time right yet

  7. Scott, good to hear from you!! Yes, I have a love/hate relationship with Harding as well. I can't believe I was that close to it's end before turning back. But I had to turn back. Running is becoming an "issue" with the loved ones, because I am a fanatic. : ) Maybe I'll see you up there one day soon. Thanks for reading!!

  8. Thanks for stopping by Ed. Yes, I am very spoiled here with the weather. Snow is nice too. But that much snow would definitely put a dent into my routine.

  9. No colony of bees Glenn. I think they flew over to Rockit Trail at Aliso. Thanks for the camera link.

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