Sunday, January 24, 2010

Climbing a mountain

This week's SJ Fit walk was at Mission Peak in Fremont (starting at the end of Stanford Road). It was a short walk (only 6 miles) but a difficult one since it was 3 miles uphill followed by 3 miles back downhill.

It was a bit drizzly at the start. Uidualc (not his real name) wisely has on a poncho and gators (those turquoise things above his shoes that keep mud, small rocks, frogs, etc. from getting into his shoes).

Here Coach Luap is looking at the design on Uidualc's shirt from some race or other. Also note the "High Fire Danger Today" sign to the left. It was so wet out here that it would take a five gallon can of gas to get anything going, and even that wouldn't last long.

The obligatory porta-pottie shot (with a happy Hteb Yram), although this thing is not technically very porta.

The first two miles or so of the trail is a gravel road. The first half mile or so is a reasonably gentle climb. These three (plus me) were the entire group that showed up. The cold and the threat of rain (and the certainty of mud) probably had a bit to do with the low turnout.

The area is home to a flock of cows that have apparently been trained to poop exclusively on the trail. You found yourself really focusing on where you were stepping because of this. Which was a bit unfortunate since there were some dazzling views.

Note the cows who are not even pretending to enjoy the view. Because the hillsides are fairly bare, this area is popular with hang gliders (when it is less mushy).

Eventually you have to leave the gravel trail and start up a steep rocky trail.

Uidualc pauses during the final stretch to the top of the mountain.

And then we finally reach the top. That post has a variety of short bits of pipe pointing in random directions for what we are sure is a very important scientific reason. Or it might be a prank.

The walk back down the hill went a bit quicker than the walk up the hill. That's probably scientific as well. (I'm not ruling out a prank though.)

We did not get rained on, but it was pretty cold at times when the wind came rushing down the valleys. All in all it was a good walk.

This walk was intended to be a good warmup for next week's big event - the Brazen Bear Creek Half Marathon, which is up near Martinez. This event promised to be challenging even before all this rain hit us this week. We got an email from them yesterday saying that they had to reroute parts of the course due to nearly impassable trails. To quote Sam in what has to be one of the best understatements of all time, "THERE WILL BE MUD."

Hopefully there will also be Krispy Kremes waiting for us at the finish line. And maybe a small shovel and a hose to get the mud off.

That's it - move along...

1 comment:

DAK said...

Remember. There will be mud. And a porta potty. And more mud. Did I mention mud?