Jeff Padilla. The Man. The Legend. The Elvis.6:50 a.m. -- Doorbell rings, Jeff is here. Kids and wife are asleep, now awake. I hastily assemble my gear. Gel in canister-check. Cliff blocks-check. Energy bars-check. Salt tablets-check. Trameal (anti inflamitory)-check. Emergency TP-check. Heart rate monitor-check. Garmin-check. Ipod-check. Sunglasses-check. Shorts (really now)-check. Sunscreen on-check. Who said running was simple? We're out the door at 7:10 a.m.
Top of El Moro Canyon
The San Joaquin Hills consist of 17,201 acres of grasslands, coastal sage, chaparral, and riparian and oak woodlands. From upper Newport Bay these hills extend approximately 16 miles to Oso and Trabuco creeks, and includes Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso/Wood Canyons Reg. Park. To the east looms OC's majestic Saddleback Mountain and to the west the mighty Pacific Ocean, both within view when running the ridge lines. Simply put, the San Joaquin Hills are a beautiful, inspiring place.
View Acsending from Laguna Canyon
Our course took us from a few hundred feet at the start along upper Coyote Canyon to the top of Signal Peak (1,161'), the highest point in the range. From there the views are full and panoramic. Newport Bay below, Palos Verdes above, Catalina to the left. Keep turning. Laguna Beach, the entire San Joaquin Range, El Moro Canyon, Irvine Valley, Saddleback Mountain. They are all there, looking at you look at them.
Signal Peak - 1,161'
We continued on down the trail. Jeff turned to the ocean to head back while I soldiered on toward the warm canyons. My first decent was into El Moro Canyon via "Slow and Easy". This was a good 1.5 mile trail that descends to the bottom of the canyon. From there I headed right back up via "Elevator", the first hill we encounter on Saltwater5000. Once I crested the top I began another long decent to Laguna Canyon via Bommer Ridge.
Salt Tabs. Don't leave home without 'em.
Pain. What Pain?
After "canyoning" twice at Laguna Canyon, I headed back up to the ridge and descended again into El Moro Canyon. From there I headed toward the ocean to finish up the run on the beach along Crystal Cove. I hit the beach at 25 miles and added another 5 on the hard sand.Not a bad day at the office.
Tunnel to Chrstal Cove State Beach...Alas.