Sunday, October 28, 2007


Another of my favorite photos from the summer. Bill Maher had a funny commentary on Crocs a couple of weeks ago, one of the very few "issues" on which I disagree with him!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Yay, we had rain today! Not a deluge or even a respectable soaking, but at least it was a little something. Also, the Park opened back up yesterday, so I was able to do a nice long run there, 24'ish miles. Some of the trails I hadn't run since C4P, and one was completely new to me. Temps were only in the 60s, perfect. :)

Here's my freckle-nosed boy Fillmore soaking in the rays. He's good at that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Since my buddy Doug queried...

In the dozen plus
fires raging in Southern California, so far 600 square miles have burned, with 5 dead, a million evacuated, and over 2,000 homes destroyed, San Diego County being the hardest hit. The media has dubbed it "the perfect storm for fire," the combination of heat, drought, wind, and people culminating in the worst fires ever experienced in California. Recent NASA images provide a rather sobering visual of the current situation. The fires closest to my home in Oxnard, both about 25 minutes away, are the Malibu and the Piru/Fillmore fires.

Santa Ana winds began blowing in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I awoke to the very faint scent of smoke, not an infrequent occurrence here. From 9-11 a.m. I had a great run at Point Mugu State Park, not realizing it would be my last outing there for awhile. According to Weather Underground, the Santa Anas were blowing 25-35 mph with gusts in the mid 50s (and even an impressive peak gust of 111 mph on the park's Laguna Peak within the past few days!), enough to knock me around a bit in exposed areas, but at this point knowing nothing of the Malibu fire just a few miles down PCH since there really was no scent of smoke in the air. Around 12-1 p.m., however, the sky turned an eery, hard to describe, yellow-orange-purple color, all the smoke and junk in the air obscuring the sunlight such that the inside of the house was dark enough to necessitate turning on the lights. Fine grayish-black ash began covering all outside surfaces, and all the windows and doors had to be closed; still, smaller particles blew in through the cracks covering surfaces with black "dust."

After running some errands Monday morning, we pretty much sequestered ourselves inside the house due to poor air quality, my workout for the day consisting of vaccuuming, mopping, dusting, etc. (but hey, I'm grateful to have a home to clean). Yesterday I did get out for a run on the beach, chosen both because it was cooler and because PMSP is closed. In fact, all the SoCal national forest--Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernadino--and state park lands are closed indefinitely because of the fires.

Needless to say, I am eagerly counting down the days until my visit to the East Coast (VT/NH) next week. Presi Traverse anyone? Those potential sub-freezing temps are actually looking appealing at the moment...

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Let's see... what's new...

Last week I joined Chris on a work trip to Denver and spent my days playing on the trails of Jefferson County Open Space Parks in the foothills west of the city. This trip I hit Elk Meadow, White Ranch, Mt. Gailbraith, and Apex Park, each with miles and miles of super running trails. Hats off to those who had the foresight to set aside these open spaces back in the early 70s! We lucked out with the Indian summer-like weather, the rain (and snow in the mountains) holding off until Saturday night. Having never been to Colorado in autumn, the display of aspens ablaze with their golden leaves was a real treat. No comparison to Vermont's foliage display, of course, but still nice. ;-)

After arriving home around 12:30 Sunday morning, it was up at O'dark thirty for a drive to Ojai so a few of us could check out Rancho Grande, which will serve as the start/finish for
Coyote Two Moon (reminder: entry cutoff is 11/30!!) and to hit the trails there for a run; I got in about 19 miles with somewhere around 4000 feet of climb: up Howard Creek, down Chip-Seal, up Rose Valley/Lion Canyon, down White Ledge/Sisar. The trails were in great shape, the sun was shining, and the temperature was perfect, all ingredients for a stellar run. :)

T-W-Th I ran the 7+ mile La Jolla-Ray Miller loop. If you get Ultrarunning mag, check out the two-page spread on pp. 4 & 5 of the current issue. The photo was taken on the lower part of the Ray Miller Trail during this year's Coyote Fourplay. (That's yours truly second in line, with David H. right behind and Krissy M. with, heehee, a goldfish on her head.)

Yesterday I decided to take the mountain bike out for my first real ride in a couple of years. After cleaning the bike and chain, lubing, filling the tires, finding my helmet, bike shoes, and gloves--biking is so much more complicated than running which probably explains why I don't do it more often!--I was good to go. Starting at Sycamore Canyon, I rode up Overlook Road, down Guadalasca, up Hell Hill (granny-geared it the whole way but made it without stopping), and down Wood Canyon Vista, for a total of about 15 miles. I was surprised at how quickly my confidence on the technical stuff returned--I dabbed only a couple of times on the tighter switchbacks. :) WHEEeeee... what a blast! Mountain biking is so much fun -- I've resolved to ride more often.

Today my dear friend Andy, here from the East Coast on business, joined us for a nice hike up Sandstone Peak, sandwiched between breakfast at Henri's (fried) and lunch at Neptune's Net (deep fried). Oink! Andy and I have shared many, many (15 years' worth of!) trail miles in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, so getting to spend a day with him on the trails out here was a joy.

Tomorrow: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM!!!!!!!!! :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Today I felt like checking out some different trails in the area, so rather than running the usual ones in Pt. Mugu State Park, this morning we drove just a bit further down PCH to Leo Carrillo State Park & Beach in Malibu. Actually Chris dropped me off a few miles up Mulholland so I could do a point-to-point via the Malibu Springs Trail. On the way I "bagged" most of the trails all the way down to the beach, for a total of around 10 miles. Except for the first 1.9 miles of the MST which were quite overgrown, once again reminding me that California flora is not nearly as forgiving (read: I got owies) as that on the East Coast--the trails were as nice as those in PMSP, with the final descent of the Nicholas Flat Trail (it wasn't flat; it led to one) reminiscent of the fab Ray Miller in PMSP. And what a gorgeous day to be in the mountains: sunny, clear skies, temps barely hitting 70, 3 deer sighted, and only 4 hikers encountered. I even ran by a pond, a rarity in Southern California! My legs are finally starting to feel "springy" again. :)

Views from the trail. Kind of amazing that this is only about 1/2 hour north of LA.