August 31, 2008

Back in the Saddle -- On Saddleback Mountain

Today marked the first day since the Western States debacle I’ve really felt like I’m back in the saddle. Maybe it was because we ran Saddleback Mountain. I was joined by Kevin S, Rob M, and Jeff D on some of my favorite trails on the mountain, including Holy Jim, Main Divide and Trabuco canyon. Much of the Saddleback Marathon is run on these trails.

We started at 7 am. Things livened up right away as we began climbing the ever relentless Holy Jim trial, a 2,200 feet climb over four and half miles. Holy Jim throws a dozen switch backs at you that march straight up the mountain, ending at Bear Springs along Main divide Road. Jeff D turned around close to the top of Holy Jim to finish early enough to write a warm message on the dust of my car. Thanks Jeff, very sweet of you.

Kevin and Jeff -- Holy Jim

From there we ran south for eight miles along the Main Divide road, which serves as the boarder of Orange and Riverside counties. The views along this road never cease to inspire me, and today was not a disappointment despite the hazy smog that hung in the sky. Mt. Baldy, Mt. Gorgonio and Corona on the left; the Pacific Ocean and Orange County on the right.

Me and Kevin -- Main Divide

We then reached Trabuco trail and began the long windy descent down one of the more rock strewn trails on the mountain. Today Trabuco claimed one victim, that being Rob M who slammed his toe into what appeared to be a sword like stone. Stoically he walked, then ran through the searing pain, not to be concerned about the Angeles Crest 100 miler, his next run starting in two weeks. Total trip: 18.3 miles with extra mile back to check on guys at end.

1 comment:

Beetlejuice said...

just dropped in,I hiked that(can't imagine a run) and was amazed at the old growth landscape on the backside.cheers