TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Main Divide

I ventured back into the mountains this morning for the first time since my last debacle.  That incident was a big blow to me, perhaps bigger than I was able to relay in my blog entry.

This morning I decided to play it safe by sticking to the main trails, THE main trail, The Main Divide.  The Main Divide is a truck trail, sometimes loose, almost sandy, sometimes quite rocky, that runs along the ridge of The Saddleback Mountains.  I’ve run The Main Divide on many occasions, but always as a connection to other trails in order to form some sort of loop.  This morning I ran ONLY The Main Divide.  I parked in Blue Jay Campground (actually Falcon Campground which is pretty much the same place) and headed up. 

Gnats swarmed me in the beginning, but I ran relatively gnat-free during the most difficult, exposed parts of the trail.  I noticed coyote tracks, lots of deer tracks and bobcat tracks, plus a variety of other little cute tracks that I could not identify.  I also took in my calories like a good trail runner (595 by the time I was finished) and kept hydrated.  Toward the end, the weather was hot as hell.  I have no other way to describe it.  When I began to waver, I took in more calories and gained the additional strength that I needed.    The wonder of calories.  I never once felt light-headed or nauseated.  Not only that, even in this hot, hot, hot weather, I did not once need to stop in the shade to cool down. 

I saw only one other runner out today.  He was someone I know, an accomplished, humble runner Scott Barnes (He placed 2nd in Twin Peaks last year, finishing his 50 miles a little before I finished my 50 kilometers).  We chatted for a few minutes then headed off our separate ways.   Plenty of motorcyclists made their way along The Main Divide as well.  I spoke to one of them who asked directions to Modjeska Peak, and then asked me, “What the heck are you doing out here?”  I did not come across one single mountain biker.  This was very unusual. 

So, I ran out a little over 8 miles, which brought me past the Indian Truck Trail junction.  Then I simply turned around and ran back.  Yes, I was quite fatigued running The Main Divide back to my truck.  But I wore a huge grin because this time, I wasn’t seat belted in the seat of a fire truck.

Success.

The Main Divide

 Our moon still above as I take those first few steps up The Main Divide:

Where the gnats are plentiful:

Overlooking Lake Elsinore:

Overlooking Orange County:

Running Main Divide out and back 8-24-2013, Elevation

Hot, sweaty, grimy, red-faced and dirty, but smiling as I run back to the truck:

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