"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you"
Frank Lloyd Wright
Just when I was feeling beat up from traveling 6,500 miles this week, I laced my shoes up this morning under a dark, ominous sky. A mere glimpse of the thickening clouds near the top of Saddleback Mt. gave me shivers. "They're saying 70 mile an hour winds today", said Rob, as we layered up at the base of Holy Jim trail. Wow, I pondered, I don't think I've ever been in seventy mile an hour winds in my life, let alone while running on a mountain. "Maybe I'll throw that fleece top on under the windbreaker" I mumbled.
We worked our way up Trabuco canyon trail, a long, rocky, gentle grade shrouded by weeping vines, overgrown oaks, and bold pines. A thundering roar billowed from the trees. Wind? No, just frozen rain. Onward we pressed. I then turned around to see Rob reach down to pick something up from the trail. As he observed his prize I approached to see two beady eyes gazing at us. These were the eyes of a small, brownish salamander that was making his way across the trail, accompanied by dozens of his buddies. "Why are they all going up hill", Rob mused.
We carried on, turning north on Main Divide to Bear Springs, down Holy Jim, up to Holy Jim Falls, then down Trabuco road and back for a total of 22 miles. All in all, despite the cold, wet weather, this was a good day on the mountain.