February turned out to be a month where I got in some beautiful trail runs! After running the Skyline to the Sea Trail, we spent two weeks in the SOMA/Tenderloin area of San Francisco. Except for a couple of days, the weather was stellar. Just about every other day I made my way across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands, where I ran the Headlands 100 course (just one loop though); a high circumnavigation of Mt. Tamalpais on a lovely foggy and drizzly morning; what I call the Slacker Hill Run -- from the Presidio across the GG Bridge, up Slacker Hill and back; a Muir Woods-Pantoll loop; and my favorite, a 25 miler at Point Reyes National Seashore.
Because I had never before visited Point Reyes and wanted to get the most bang for my buck, I consulted Leor Pantilat's fabulous blog, where I discovered the awesomely cool loop that I ended up running, my version modified a bit to add a couple more miles. I love the Bay Area for its spectacular scenery and diversity of ecosystems and miles 'n miles 'n miles of TRAILS. In no other area have I run through giant redwoods on smooth, needle-covered singletrack and sandy beaches on the same day. Alamere Falls was my favorite part of this particular loop in spite of the rope-assisted (!) rappel/scramble to get down to the beach. (Then I still had to climb back UP.) Imagine a waterfall right at the ocean's edge. It was way cool. No photos, though, since I don't usually carry a camera while running (but check Leor's blog).
On the days we were stuck in the City, we enjoyed jaunts in Golden Gate Park and the Presidio as well as just walking all over San Francisco. We even acted like tourists and did the Cable Car ride one night. Fun! The Federal Court of Appeals happened to be located diagonally across the street from our hotel, and on the morning of February 7th I heard loud cheers when it was announced that California's ridiculous Prop 8 had been repealed. I cheered as well and look forward to the day when same sex marriage is legalized in each of the United States (and continue to be SO proud of my homestate of Vermont, the first to legalize civil unions way back in 2000).
On our way back home, Chris and I spent a night at Pinnacles National Monument. This is a neat area with about 30 miles of trails that surpassed our expectations -- lots of cool rocks, caves, tunnels, and plant life -- and a howling coyote who woke everyone up in the campground around 6 a.m. which was pretty funny. Can you find me in the picture below?
Back in the 'Nard and somewhat caught up on things on the home front, my friend Scott and I did the Fishbowls 50k this past Saturday. You won't find that "event" on Ultra Signup; it's a lollipop loop in the Sespe Wilderness that I'd been wanting to run for a year or more. Two big climbs and kind of "back there" (no one seen for miles 'n miles... on a beautiful Saturday) but not as hard as I'd expected it would be. Just a nice long run in solitude.
I hope you are finding some beauty as well, whether on trail or not. Until next time...