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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trabuco, West Horsethief, Main Divide, Holy Jim Loop

First things first, I did continue my streak yesterday, day 26, the day of my Uncle Norm’s funeral.  I woke, put on some running pants, a warm shirt and beanie, laced up my shoes.  Then without brushing my hair, or even my teeth, I ran out the front door and ran a little over the minimum required (1 mile) for Streaking into the New Year.

Day 27 (today), I took to the mountains to run with Tom B. and Ed H.  We began our journey in Trabuco Canyon for a nice steep run up West Horsethief.  THE West Horsethief.   It is a heck of a climb that I ran every inch (though at a tortoise pace).

Rain came down upon us going up Horsethief, though I didn’t even realize at first.  I only knew it was raining because the rocks that I ran upon were first spotted with drops, then finally darkened all over from wetness.  And though that trail was still a bear, it was unbelievably short.  Harding Truck Trail successfully dwarfed my “regular” trails.  

Overall, the weather was wonderfully cool, the skies gray.  I saw more people hiking up Holy Jim than I’ve ever witnessed.  I’m not sure if it’s because this weekend is a holiday weekend, or because “spring is in the air.”  Either way, though they crowded the trail, I was delighted to see them.

I ran very quickly down Holy Jim hoping to catch Ed, who had a pretty good lead.  As I flew down the mountainside, I asked some hikers if they’d seen him.  They said that they passed him not two minutes ago.  TWO MINUTES AGO? 

Well, I picked up my pace and ran about a mile down that switchback with no Ed in sight!  Two minutes my foot!!!  I guess I didn’t calculate that Ed was running as well.  But still, you’d think I’d catch a glimpse of his bright shirt.  He was nowhere in sight.

About 3 miles to the truck, I was turning those switchbacks faster than I can remember when I came upon a hiker couple making their way up the trail.  I didn’t say a word, just smiled, and the woman said, “You’ve almost got him!  He’s just around the bend.”

Well, that cracked me up!!  How did she know?

Sure enough after about a HALF MILE, I came up on Ed and said “Aha!!”  I think that I startled him.  He’s a dang good runner and I was proud that I finally caught him (true, he missed the turn-off to Holy Jim, being that this was his first time on these particular trails, so that set him back some).  But STILL, I caught him.  Smile 

This 27th day of running was a fun one for me.  I loved the stream crossings in the end.  Enjoyed seeing the multitude of people making the trek up Holy Jim.  I wish everybody could see Holy Jim’s beauty (though of course, not at the same time : )

Another trail run success.  How fortunate am I to get these guys to run with this old gal?

Me, Tom & Ed:

Tom & Ed at Trabuco Trail head:

Rusted, bullet-ridden car on Trabuco Trail:

Running a gradual climb on Trabuco:

Ladybugs on West Horsethief Trail:

View while climbing West Horsethief (notice sliver of Pacific Ocean in far background):

Running The Main Divide toward Holy Jim Trail:

View of Riverside County from Main Divide:

A quick pose at Indian Truck Trail / Main Divide Intersection:

More Views from the Main Divide:

Me & Tom about to make our descent down Holy Jim Trail:

An eerie Holy Jim Trail this winter morning:

Boy Scouts at creek crossing on Holy Jim.  Not wanting to wait, I cracked up the line by plowing right through the water.  It was COLD.

I love ferns, especially in the wild:

Running beneath leafless figs toward the final stretch on Holy Jim Trail:

Miles run on the 27th consecutive day of running:  13.86 (22.31 km)


  1. Thanks Jeremy. And thanks to your help, I was able to do this run. Heal up fast!! And congrats on your recent races. : )