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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Beg Your Pardon Ranger ‘Mam/Sir

As I ran downhill on the service road leading to Wood Canyon, I suddenly remembered that I didn’t check the website to see if the park was open.  “But it’s got to be open!  It rained Sunday.  Today’s Tuesday.”

Sure enough, I came upon with the “Trails Closed” sign at the park’s entrance.  “Well, I beg your pardon Rangers, but I really, really wanted to run trails on this lovely crisp, clear morning.  And I really don’t know what to say about your sign, but I’m going in.”

I’m sorry to say that I thought about pushing the sign down into the mud.  That way I could say that I didn’t see a sign.  But it was was actually chained and locked to the metal fence post. 

My idea was this:  run down into the canyon, then quickly to Cholla Trail.  There’s no way that I’m going to see a ranger on Cholla Trail.  Not a chance.  It’s a single track – a truck won’t fit, and it’s a little steep (no offense).  At the top of Cholla, I thought I’d be safe, because a utility friend once told me that West Ridge was not actually part of the park – it’s a utility road.

So, I turned off my headphones and ran on into Wood Canyon, listening for trucks.  Nothing.  Then I headed up Cholla Trail.  My calves felt painfully tight.  But they loosened after halfway up when I stopped to stretch them.  It hurt sooo good.

I met a hiker and his dog as they made their way down Cholla.  At the top of Cholla, the gates into West Ridge were closed with the same sign posted that I met coming into the park.

But as I ran along this trail that was really not that muddy at all, I found I wasn’t the only person disobeying the closed signs:

I needed this run.  It was fun.  It was relaxing.  It was beautiful with majestic clouds hovering above.  It was vindicating. And after a while, I saw dozens of other people travelling along the ridge – hiking, running and mountain biking. 

A few pictures from Top of the World (Laguna Beach):

Heading Back:

6.5 miles ran this morning.


  1. I have to say it even though it is clear from my past comments..i envy your trails!

    1. Thanks Ed! And to think, before I was a runner, I didn't know half of these trails even existed. : )