Sunday, July 13, 2008

Running Late!

This morning I was scheduled to join the TRC for a Sunday morning jaunt. The route was to be a point to point was to meet at the local High School at 5:45am and then drive some cars to the finish and some to the start so at the end we could shuffle everyone about at the end. You’ll, I am sure, have noticed that everything is in the past tense, well despite my alarm functioning perfectly alas I did not and the next time I opened my eyes after hitting snooze, snooze, snooze, off and looked at the clock it read exactly 5:45am…oops!

I did think of leaping in the car driving like a lunatic and trying to catch them but the stress factor and the potential speeding ticket were deterrent enough, so I mentally reshuffled my plans and decided to head “out the back” to my local trail head at Las Virgenes Open Space (LVOS). After a long drive of oh maybe three ok maybe four minutes I was there. After parking my car and stretching I hit the trail at 6:20am and free formed a 12-13 mile route in my head. I was going to try for a figure of eight and use some trails that I had discovered earlier this year that link through to Cheeseboro Canyon in the next Valley.

The first four miles were pretty uneventful, I chugged through the familiar rolling landscape amazed at how dry everything is, I actually had a discussion with my wife last week on had it rained this year, we concluded it had but it was sometime in February! All the grass is tinder dry and it’s like that for pretty much as far the eye can see. The weather was threatening to be clear blue and hot, but from nowhere clouds appeared, joined ranks and socked me in with a nice level of humidity.

After four miles I picked up the connector that would take me through to Cheesboro Ridge Trail, this rolled along, mostly up for another mile. I hit the Ridge Trail and turned left, a mile along and I got to where I thought I needed to turn and started down the faintest of trails, it was barely a goat path, I saw the barbed wire that had cut up my legs earlier this year and then the path just stopped dead, I turned around and saw that I was about 100 yards in, I turned back and I could see the pylon that I would pass going down back into LVOS but there was no trail to be seen. I did consider bush whaking it across but this is prime rattlesnake season (April-October) so I thought better of that idea. I about faced and headed back to the Ridge Trail with doubts in my mind whether I was actually at the right place, (I concluded later I was), I carried on down the Ridge Trail with a faint understanding of where it would take me, I tried a couple more “maybes” that turned into busts, by this time I was shedding my elevation gain, had covered around 7 miles and had about 90 minutes under my belt, turning round is always an option but not one that I really entertained at this point. I eventually came to a Y junction; I knew the right hand fork would take me the wrong way for sure so a calculated choice had me turning left. This was a new route and it wound its way down the side of a revetment. I could see houses on my left across the other side so I was not overly concerned about being in the “middle of nowhere”. Finally I was ejected onto a road…not quite what or where I was expecting, I looked and felt a bit like a fish out of water! I had a rough idea of where I needed to go and a mile and a half and a few odd looks later I was back on the trail. Three miles later I was back at my car. Not quite the route I had planned but an adventure, albeit a small one, nevertheless.

Here’s the Forerunner data and some photo here.


  1. awesome run Stuart! yeah, missed running with the club too because of a LR on Sat morning. Will def try to be there next week.

    Great pics too - should suggest the run to our trailmaster!

  2. Geez, you've got one heck of an adventuresome spirit. I would have gotten spooked and probably turned around. Despite the confusion, sounds like a great run!

  3. I am such a planner. if I over sleep it just makes me ill. Sorry that plan A did not work but plan B sounds wild as well. I have only spotted one snake on the trails this year. It was a small black one. That was enough for me for a year!

  4. Faux running shot.... LOVE IT!!! What we do in the name of our fans.

  5. Awesome run and great pictures. Great contingency plan too.
    I am always thinking there is a snake nearby while out on the trail.
    I think all my energy is spent looking for snakes on the trail.
    Not sure what I would do if I saw a rattler.

  6. As long as the buzzards aren't circling, it's fun to get lost a bit.


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