TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Calico, Rain and Quail Loop

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESEven though the Calico Ghost Town trail run was cancelled due to impending weather, we made it out to Calico this year once again. Tenth consecutive year for me, ninth for my husband and sons. The streets downtown were like a real life ghost town – empty. It was lovely. Stayed in our usual accommodations, The Bunk House, which houses about twenty bunk beds – more than enough for our party of seven.  We had a campfire roaring for most of the night, a trip downtown, some shopping and a stroll through the cemetery (which is supposedly haunted). We also had a superb dinner in Barstow. I know some of you might be thinking, in Barstow? Yes, Barstow. We found a gem last year – an Italian restaurant called DiNapoli's Firehouse. I had the lasagna.

Then for the first time ever, I got to stay up late  at The Bunk House since I didn’t have to run twenty miles the next day. Still, the boys we brought along with us stayed up even later (except for my middle son, who so diligently goes to bed at a decent hour every night!). I slept soundly, warm and cozy with freezing temperatures outside. I woke around 6AM and simply stayed in my sleeping bag until 10AM – four hours doing absolutely nothing!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSo, it barely rained Sunday morning, the day of the cancelled race. But by noon, we got some downpours downtown. After more shopping, some attractions and lunch at the Calico restaurant, we departed at 2:45PM, foolishly hoping to make it down the mountain before a terrible storm hit. No such luck. Sometime after Barstow, but before Victorville, a storm set in over a double rainbow that stretched across the sky.

rainbow pic

The drive really was a treacherous one (and I wasn’t even driving!). For my husband it was a white knuckler. Visibility was close to zero, and the rain never let up. The radio station kept blaring its loud emergency broadcasting signal as our phones relayed messages that we were in a dangerous zone, in a state-of-emergency with warnings of flash floods and slides. Drivers drove with their hazard lights blinking, and not a person travelled over thirty miles per hour. The worst of it was going down the Cajon Pass. Traffic moved along at about ten miles an hour here – which is a good thing really. My biggest concern were the big rigs, or any driver for that matter, behind us – with visibility so poor, it was only a matter of time before someone slammed into another. But that didn’t happen – nor did it happen anywhere around us (though I did witness sirens and emergency activity down in a valley somewhere near the junction to Wrightwood).

We got lots more rain in Southern California the following Monday. All the creeks were following rapids out to the ocean. (So sad to see all that water flow away!). I didn’t get out for a run until Thursday (1/26), though I got in some cardio at the gym a few days before that. Being a freeway flyer (that is teaching at three different schools, flying down the freeway from one class to another), I need to find trails directly off the freeway. One such trail system is in Shady Canyon. I got in 5.23 miles on Thursday running the Quail Loop Trail that overlooks the 405 freeway and all of Irvine and beyond. The loop is about 1.75 miles, and gloriously green from all the rain we’ve been having. Not exactly wilderness. But it sure beats pounding the pavement.

Until next time, some pictures from Quail Loop:

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