…….makes for some creative thinking on how to find time to run and to write about all of the wonderful adventures I’ve been having. Tim and I have been traveling what seems non stop for the past couple of weeks for business, pleasure and everything in between. Our goal: if we have to travel, we will find time to run. It seems difficult to write a narrative about all of the places so I’m going to write bullet point business style to capture the highlights:
- Annual family campout at Gold Bluffs Beach, CA 10th Annual – Ran on the beach in the sunshine with various family members, dogs, kids, friends. Worked the leg muscles a little more than I would on pavement (or trails) and felt great to be able to feel so free and smell the ocean air. Next day, Buddy and I ran a 20 miler on sandy beach and ocean trail, had a near miss with a Roosevelt Elk and spent ½ hr negotiating with the giant to kindly let us pass. Forested run with my hubby. 8 miles through the giant redwoods. Feeling small and insignificant but so happy Tim and I could enjoy the beauty together – it was our date run. Last day of the camp out I ran solo through the same redwoods. Fast pace, high stepping on the fairly technical trail, splashing through the multiple streams and mud puddles. Early mornings are where it’s at for me on the trail. Back at camp, another cold shower and time for packing up.
- Trip to Napa, CA for our friend’s Gpa’s funeral – an unexpected trip just 3 days after the campout. Late night driving after a full day of work. Arrived in Vallejo (da hood) at about midnight – way past bedtime and fell into bed. Woke to find the running options were better than expected. Ran on the Urban Trail over the San Pablo bridge. Took time to look out over the bay at the giant tankers. Staged a very dramatic kiss on the bridge with Tim bending me backwards and planting a big one. Hit the hills on the other side. This was our only run in our travels where we had a tick alert picking 2 off Tim – not expected from our urban adventure.
No run in Napa, but spent the day remembering a beautiful man, celebrating family, life and love with old and new friends drinking wonderful wine at the Stelzner Vineyard. We had a difficult time pulling ourselves away and knew the party would go into the wee hours, but also knew we had a 9 hour drive a head of ourselves and work the next day. So off we went taking the “red” roads instead of the super highway, meandering through wine country. Arrived at Castle Crags campground a little after dark and after putting the tent up and fell quickly asleep.
- The next morning we geared up for a 3 hour run on the PCT in the Castle Crags National Forest. Mountain lion warning signs didn’t scare us…too much. Only after we hit higher elevation and the sun came up did we pick up stones and run with them for the rest of the day. (Just to be ready). Castle Crags is truly a beautiful area. Madrone, Manzanita, wild honeysuckle and some wild flowers I wasn’t able to identify. Definitely a piece of heaven in our rat race of adventures. I found myself lost in meditation thinking of the people I love, how grateful I was to be able to be in this beautiful place with my best friend and to experience my surroundings with all my senses. Trail running is a blessing and has brought me closer to myself. My senses become acute: I smell my surroundings – flowers, bear, sap, lush meadows, rocky sandstone. I listen to the sounds – lizards scurrying out of my way, wind through the pines, water rushing. I feel the uneven ground beneath my feet, I splash through the streams cooling my body, bushes scratch my legs, mosquitos bite – I am alive in nature.
At times like these, Tim and I run silently. We experience the same environment but come back with different stories.
- Eugene - unpack, back in the car heading to familiar ground, Ridgeline Trail. A fast Willamette to Blanton and we conclude our trek. Dogs are happy, we are hungry and we’re home!