TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

click on any picture in a post for a larger view

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Chase

Late this morning I ran The Big Lollipop Loop at Aliso/Wood Canyons.  I have run this route frequently, both clockwise and counterclockwise.  Today I ran clockwise, which gets the toughest part over within 4 miles. 

The weather was breezy and cool, wonderfully so.  I spotted lots of coyote and deer tracks, some snake tracks, and fewer bobcat tracks.  Except for squirrels, bunnies and lizards, I’ve seen very few wildlife lately in the coastal hills.  I’m sure this is due to the fact that the park has been so crowded over summer break.

Running Meadows Trail toward Mentally Sensitive (for a huge climb):

FINALLY peaking Mentally Sensitive, I’m off for some bushwhacking into Moulton Park (a city park along the ridge):

Woo-Wee:

After a long run along the ridge, coming off Cholla Trail to make the turn in this loop (entering Wood Canyon):

I ran past a field with about three miles remaining of this thirteen  mile run and saw my first coyote today.  Normally, I don’t stop for every coyote.  But this one had a particularly beautiful reddish coat.  I stopped across the field from the wild dog and began snapping photos.

There she is (click for a larger view):

Well, this beaut appeared nervous, backing further and further from me.  That’s when I noticed a large doe hiding in the brush behind her.  The doe went unnoticed, still as a statue.  Eventually the coyote turned from me and ran into the bush, straight on into the doe.  It all happened so quickly, I’m amazed how much went through my mind.  It’s times like these, that I don’t think actual words went through my mind, but instead concepts and ideas.  Translated into words, this is what I thought:  What the heck is going to happen?  The coyote is a predator; the doe is not.  But the doe is so much larger.  I imagined the coyote lurching at the deer out of fear and perhaps a brawl ensuing.  But this was not the case.  Instead . . .

The coyote ran straight on into the doe and in one motion turned and ran back out into the open field.  Simultaneously, the deer charged after the coyote, both running at tremendous speeds.  I just clicked my camera as I watched in awe.  Eventually, the coyote escaped into the brush. 

Coyote unknowingly walking up on a doe:

The chase is on (again, click for perhaps a better view):

Well, those last few miles of running were tough.  But the chase provided a great deal of exhilaration and helped push me in to finish up those 13.30 miles.

Great, tiring run.

Running Big Loop 9-11-2013, ElevationRunning Big Loop 9-11-2013

Today is the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks; tonight I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on writing this entry.  God Bless all the heroes that day, and all the families who were touched by this horrific act.

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