Being that I’m only running coastal hills when I run alone nowadays, on my one day this past weekend where I got to run, I headed off to Newport Coast to catch some trails. Not wanting to spend $13 in tolls, I drove Coast Highway through Laguna Beach and into Newport Coast, and then not wanting to pay $15 to park, I drove up Newport Coast to Ridge Park. This of course meant that I once again started my run at the top, which in turn meant for a hell of a climb out.
My route: From Laguna Wilderness -- Bommer Ridge, Emerald Canyon, Old Emerald Falls (or possibly Emerald Falls, I can’t remember which is which), then an unmarked trail to Moro Ridge in Crystal Cove Park, East Cut Away, Moro Canyon down to the crowded winter seashore. From there I took the ever so creatively named trail No-Dogs, to an even more cleverly named trail called No-Name for the final climb out. Whew. I was beat. But I was not broken.
The best part of it all . . . well, there were two best parts. First, as I ran down into Emerald Canyon, I ran beneath a red hawk as it soared high above, dipping here and there with the breeze. She was magnificent. And secondly, taking the unmarked trail was a thrill. It took me straight up the canyon side right onto Moro Ridge where I wanted to be. Actually, I was right where I wanted to be the entire time.