TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Just Maple Springs

I sat in my truck in Silverado Canyon, in the pitch black dark, waiting for the sun to lighten the sky this morning.  I saw a woman hike by with a headlamp and a reflective vest.  Just as the sky lightened, I ventured out of the car and saw a man hiking out from Maple Springs Road.  It’s that hot out here in Southern California.  People are resorting to night hiking.  When I woke at 4AM today, the weather was hot and muggy, and I live at the seashore!  

I took off around 6:15 AM for a run just on Maple Springs road, an out-and-back to a place named “Four Corners,” for fifteen total miles.   Only three miles in, I was dripping sweat down my back.  That’s when two male bikers road up behind me, struggling also with the heat.  They said, “You’re our inspiration.  Can you pull us?”  Not a chance. 

This was one of those “just-put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other” runs.  Seven and a half miles uphill in this heat was just too much to think about.  If I would have thought about it, I wouldn’t have been able to make the trip.  I took in the awesome scenery, noticed the uncountable deer tracks, and searched the trail for cougar tracks (saw none).  I didn’t see a single other soul for the remainder of my trip up Maple Springs as that hot morning sun bared down upon me.

Maple Springs Road:

Four Corners showed me wonderful views of the San Gabriel Mountains, and on the other side, Orange County and Harding Truck Trail.  I wasn’t going to stick around long for the scenery though.  Four Corners had to be the hot spot of the entire mountain.  Hidden from view, I sat next to the railing as I unpacked some fuel, drank up and refilled my handheld.  The sound of a motorcycle startled me at first – its motor sounded like a large cat purring (ha, ha!).  Well, this guy on the motorcycle raced up Maple Springs and at Four Corners continued up onto a berm and jumped, that is flew high (I mean got some air!) off the end of that thing.  I was amazed.  And impressed.  Too bad I didn’t get a picture. 

Four Corners:

I got little relief for the run back down.  Yes, the trip was downhill, and that was good, but the heat, oh the heat – it slowed my pace more than I realized.  I got some heavenly cloud cover for about a half a mile.  Several motorcyclists rode past me.  Eventually, the two mountain bikers I saw going up raced past me and yelled out “Great job!”  Finally, when I made it to the bottom of the canyon a wonderful cool breeze blew hard into my face.  That lasted for several minutes – enough to get me through those last three miles to my truck. 

Running down Maple Springs:

Maple Springs Road Elevation Profile:Running Maple Springs out-and-back 8-30-2013, ElevationRunning Maple Springs out-and-back 8-30-2013

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