Saturday, March 13, 2010

A view and coyote infested walk

Today's SJ Stay Fit walk was at Windy Hill Park just outside of Palo Alto. We had some moderate rain on Friday, but today was clear and crisp (which is code for "cold," at least at the start). This meant that we should have some fantastic views (we did) and be able to spot the mud on the trail (we did this too, but it didn't always help).

We start with the traditional porta-pottie shot. And yes, that is Coach Luap (not his real name) who has just finished freshening himself up a bit. This weekend Coach said the heck with being a good husband, and actually came out with us. (For those not following very closely, Luap has missed that last two weeks due to scoring "good husband" points.)

Yes, there was mud. Sometimes you couldn't get around it and just had to power through. That's Evae (yes, I know that's not her proper name in my secret code, but I'm tired of her name breaking my rules) and Coach Truc (none of these are their real names).

Sometimes you could get around the mud.

Here are all of us at a trail intersection, completely oblivious to the fact that we were being stalked and in danger of getting eaten. (Well, maybe just the slowest of us may have gotten eaten.)

Mrs Notthat had spotted this coyote on the trail a while back, but it quickly ran off into the woods. The ever observant Coach Truc was the one that noticed him coming up behind us. The coyote probably would have gotten us except I think he had enough sense to stay out of the mud. (For those of you that actually believe we were in mortal danger, the coyote scampered off when it was startled by a runner coming up behind it. We were not even vaguely in danger, or I would have been screaming like a little girl.)

One of the trails up Windy Hill is pretty open, which is not a bad thing this time of year. The views were stunning.

There were also some heavily wooded sections.

As you may have noticed, the first part of this walk was almost entirely uphill.

A rare picture of me (on the right).

Once you get to the top you see the Pacific Ocean in the west (that white line near the center is a wave crashing on a beach).

And if you look east, you see San Francisco and its bay. It was wonderfully clear today.

Coach Luap is removing a handfull of small rocks from his shoes. Evae (she's going to hate this name) looks on.

Here, Coach Truc, with his posse of Mrs Notthat (on the left) and Uidualc (on the right), is demonstrating the gang sign he flashed at the coyote.

Being in a posse made Uidualc hungry. Here he is eating one of his legendary sandwiches. Evae is trying to get him to share, but she was not part of the posse.

A picture to prove we were at Windy Hill Park.

At this point the short walkers headed down a different trail. You can see they were broken up about it. Mrs Notthat, Coach Truc, and Evae headed down the Hamms trail.

Coach Luap, Uidualc, and I headed down the Schlitz trail. (No, that is not really its name. But a cold beer sure would have been welcome by this point.)

The short group ended up covering about seven and a half miles while the long group covered thirteen miles. The walk was very good - it was encouraging to see so many other people, including families with small kids, out on the trails once it started warming up a bit. (There was one family with a tiny white fluffy dog sort of thing. I would have loved to see that dog after a mile or two on the muddy parts of the trail.)

And that's about it. Next weekend is going to be a bit odd - some are walking the Brazen Diablo Trails Challenge (I'm volunteering for an aid station there) while others will be walking elsewhere. With the predicted dry and warm weather for this week, it appears today may have been my last shot at mud for a while. Hopefully some shady trails will hang on to their mud for a few more weeks at least.

That's it - move along...


mary ann said...

Funny about the coyote ~ the Ponytail
Pitcher saw one on the baseball field last week.

Curt said...

Your photos and comments prove we really did make it to Windy Hill. We must have been too early for the wind because we only had a breeze.