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Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth

Around here, a popular saying is “Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth.”  Though I love Disney, I have not found this to be true.  People are agitated, overheated, overcrowded, and extremely tired of crowds and long lines at Disneyland.  Because of this chaos, some people aren’t very polite, and parents here and there are ticked off at their children for tantrums and other misbehaving.  Definitely NOT the happiest place on Earth.  Sorry Disneyland, in my experience, I’ve found ski resorts to be the happiest place on Earth.  Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE smiles at ski resorts.  There’s no overheating, the crowds are nothing like Disneyland’s and everyone is polite to one another.  I once lost $40 at a ski resort.  I went to the “lost and found” – and someone had turned it in!!  This is how happy people are at ski resorts. 

This morning I found a new “happiest place on Earth.”  I arrived to Aliso Wood Canyons at 7AM to find the lots and streets more crowded than I’ve ever seen.  Perhaps people were getting their last adventures in before summer vacation ends.  There were different groups of runners, groups of hikers, and a tremendous amount of mountain bikers.  I ran into Aliso Canyon with an entire high school cross country team.  They all passed me of course.  But everyone, I mean EVERYONE was smiling and polite. 

I turned off the beaten path pretty early on to take Mentally Sensitive up to the ridge.  So, I had the park to myself for a while.  The only adventure was the running in itself, which is a-okay with me.  I’ve had a bit more adventure than I need for now.  As I ran Meadows on the way to Mentally Sensitive I noticed lots of tiny bobcat tracks.  I hoped that I might see her up a ways.  She probably would have been smiling too.  But alas, no bobcat.

Mentally Sensitive:

So much like delicate diamond necklaces:

At the top of Mentally Sensitive, I ran out of the park.  This is where I always run along Top of the World to re-enter the park about a mile away.  I came upon another high school cross country team on this portion.  And at Top of the World, where I posed for a quick picture, twenty or so mountain bikers were resting up at the benches.  All smiling.

I experimented with calories on this run also, that is I took in double than my usual for such a run.  Normally, I would have about 300 calories.  I took in 600 today.  That seemed like too much.  But I felt stronger coming in for the finish.  In fact. I finished this run 15 minutes earlier than I usually do.  And it didn’t seem at all like I ran any faster.

Running up toward Top of the World:

Top of the World, ready to enter the park again and finish up my 13.5 mile loop:

Elevation Profile (the dark vertical line is where I accidentally hit the “lap” button just before re-entering the park):Running Big Loop 8-17-2013, ElevationRunning Big Loop 8-17-2013


  1. I think I would join you and share your happiest place on earth. I will not enjoy Disney...

    1. On an empty, cool day, Disney is fun. Otherwise, it's just too much! Definitely doesn't offer the peace and tranquility of the trails.