TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Happened to Winter?

I sat in my truck a quarter mile from the trailhead, cozy in a pair of flared yoga pants and an 82nd Airborne sweatshirt that my brother gave me for Christmas when he was in the 82nd Airborne Division.  On my feet a pair of dusty trail running shoes added further dirt to the car floor.

Today was my “short run”, usually a 6.5 mile out-and-back to Top of the World in Laguna Beach.  But I couldn’t get out of my car in the middle of the drama.  I couldn’t tear myself from the book in my lap (White Oleander). I needed to know whether Claire was actually going to kill herself.  I had grown to love this fictional character, and now she was about to rip peoples’ hearts out, both fictional and real, by overdosing in her despair.    And that she did.  So, terribly, terribly sad. 

And so, I finished the chapter, shimmied out of my yoga pants, put on a pair of shorts, took off the sweatshirt to reveal a blue, short-sleeved shirt.  I put on my running belt, turned on the ipod and ran down toward the trailhead, allowing the warm winter breeze blow Claire’s despair from my shoulders.

I didn’t have the time for my usual route.  I even thought about turning around and heading right back to the car since time was so short.  Instead, I talked myself into a small run.  I would run my favorite trail – Wood Creek Trail.  It runs parallel, and up above Wood Canyon.  The trail is soft and quiet.  It’s cool.  It’s shady and green with moss and ferns.  With the creek below you can almost see the fairies dash between tree trunks.  Wood Creek delivered today!

The spell was broken twice by substitute teaching calls that I answered and declined on my cell phone.  I was already running, and I couldn’t turn back now. 

After crossing the creek and running back onto Wood Canyon Trail, I decided not to turn back for a short-short loop.  Instead, I crossed the creek again for a run on Coyote Run Trail toward Rock It because I wanted something hard.  Hard fun.  In 80 F degree heat, I knew that hard was going to be harder.  (Oh winter, where have you gone?)  I went for it nonetheless.  Why?  Because I knew that it would fill me up. 

And I ran up Rock It, not all together strong, but I got the job done.  One mountain biker whizzed by me on his way down.  I saw another biker wipe out when he hit a small tree branch.  I spoke with him briefly to find that he was alright.  I left him standing brushing debris from his legs. 

I must say that winter has left us too quickly.  But I suspect that General Winter will return once or twice before the season’s end.  Until then . . . happy running, and don’t ever let despair overwhelm you!!!  There’s too much beauty out there.  Let it in. Smile

Overlooking Wood Canyon (from Wood Creek Trail):

Ascending on Wood Creek Trail:

Today’s elevation (I’m still quite a bit away from running the elevation of Mt. Everest this month):Running Wood Creek, Coyote Run, Rock It, West Ridge, Cholla loop 1-22-2013, Elevation - Distance

And for those wonderful readers who requested it, here’s a picture of my kitchen drawer reserved mainly for electrolytes and reflectors I’ve found on the trail:

14 comments:

  1. Nice run and nice mental state as well. Our summer is still here in full force. I love the drawer!!!

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    1. Thanks Johann. I'm glad you like my drawer. I really like it too. Though it's winter here, lately it's been more like spring or even (gasp) summer. :0

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  2. Boo winter. I've often thought about taking a small camera with me and snapping a pic of all the weird things I see on a run. Haven't seen near that many reflectors though - nice.

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    1. I find a lot of interesting things on the trail. Just the other day, I found $30.00. I've found knives, of course reflectors, small toys, climbing clips, and more personal things like sunglasses (and clothes, which I leave alone).

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    1. Thanks Giraffy. I'm glad you like my drawer. :)

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  4. I think you need to create a costume made from all those reflectors. You'd get some bizarre looks on Halloween and freak out some people during a night run. My uncle was in the 82nd ages ago. Small world! And 80 degrees? It's about 10 here today. Yuck.

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    1. I was thinking of making an mosiac Neil. But I'm not sure of what yet. My other idea is an angular vase. Time will tell, but I am going to make something with them. The weather is all over the place here, but NOTHING NEAR 10 -- never ever. Good luck with that. Funny about your uncle. I have 2 military brothers and am very proud of their service.

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  5. Thats funny that you collect the reflectors. I love it!

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  6. Wow, you really have a kitchen drawer reserved for electrolytes. Thanks for posting the picture :)

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    1. You're welcome Daniele. Sometimes I go weeks and weeks without picking up a reflector. Other times I pick up 3 or more on one run.

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  7. At least summer brown season is over. Boo hoo for the rain - all the trails will be closed for s few days now.

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    1. I agree Glenn. I love seeing the green. Spring flowers are starting to pop up too. The worst thing about the rain is the trail closures. (But they don't close the mountain trails due to rain. :)

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