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 New trail discovery-- WOW!!
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

New trail discovery-- WOW!! Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:55 pm 

The plan called for a 12 mile run today, and since I wasn't feeling very excited about it, I decided to do one of my less-common routes to make it interesting. It's about a mile of streets, followed by a steep fire road up a pretty canyon through undeveloped land. I've done the route a number of times, but not too often because it's pretty steep, often muddy, and ends on a residential street after 2.5 miles, making a fairly short 5 mile loop.

Today I figured I would just run another 3.5 miles along those streets after the end of the fire road, then loop back to make it 12 miles. But when I left the fire road and crossed the street, I noticed another trailhead sign just down the road. What's this? I never noticed that before... so I had to try it. Up I went on a nice little shady path, winding along the back fences of houses along a dry creekbed. Nice!

In short order I came over the top of a ridge and found myself on another residential street. I was only 3 miles from home, but it looked totally unfamiliar and I was really disoriented. No matter, I saw another trailhead sign across the road, so off I went.

From there, it was like stepping into a dream. Before I knew it, I was running down a smooth gravel path through grassy meadows, with stunning views across the valley to the Crystal Springs Resevoir far below. I passed some deer. All was quiet but for the sounds of birds and my breathing. I eventually came to a highway underpass that I never knew existed, and picked up the trail again on the other side, continuing down towards the resevoir. Quickly leaving the highway behind, I found myself in a network of hidden valleys, alternating from cool shady corners to sunny glades. I did a 360, and could see NO signs of human habitation in any direction! No buildings, cars, noise, nothing. I was totally hidden away. The trail fell through a grove of pines with the sharp scent of needles crunching underfoot. Pines! Those aren't very common in this area, but here was a whole hidden grove. Eventually the trail dumped out onto a two-lane road by the resevoir, where I picked up another running path that I've done a few times before, but only by driving to it. Total length of this newly-discovered trail was about 2 miles.

It amazed me that after living here for 10 years, I could unexpectedly discover something like this so close to my home. I've actually noticed that trail on maps before, but I confused it with another trail in the same general area that I did a couple times, but didn't like nearly as much. This was something totally new, and I felt like I'd stepped into another world for a few miles. Definitely an awesome morning run!

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