On Saturday morning, I was up early and I found myself in the East Bay with Jen, Jess and Angela for our next trail adventure. Jen’s birthday is coming up so this was her birthday treat and she got to choose the location.
She chose Ramage Peak.
‘Where the flip is Ramage Peak?’ I asked myself as I frantically googled it last week. Somehow, this park is pretty much unknown even though it’s a decent size and is nestled in the middle of various motorways and cities. It’s part of the East Bay MUD watershed and as such is pretty much deserted. We were joined by Layla and Kristen and Kristen’s gorgeous little three-month old baby who was out for her first hike! I investigated the pit-toilet there on behalf of the interwebs (totally fine) and then we set off. All hikers and runners need a permit and need to sign in and out of the preserve as it’s on private property.
There’s only one real trail – the Ramage Peak trail, which is sometimes sign-posted as the Rampage Peak Trail. There are various fire-roads which veer off at various intervals but just keep going straight ahead. The trail is beautiful – we ran through lovely shady forest and then out onto hilly meadows waving with golden grass.
There were some wildlife sightings. A giant owl swooped in a wooded glade and I stopped up short at a tiny, very cute black and white Californian Kingsnake. We ran/hiked up the hills and ran the flats and the downhills comfortably, chatting away. It was great.
Angela was running at the front of the group as we ran up a hill in some woods. She rounded a corner and literally bounced off thin air back towards us, yelping. My heart jumped through my chest. Mountain Lion!
‘Cow’ she gasped. ‘Cow on the trail’.
It sounds funny now, and it is, but cows are BIG and stupid and it turns out we’re all pretty wary of them. We spent some tense moments trying to work out if it was a male or female. Luckily it had an udder, but she stared at us for a bit and we were frozen, ready to dash if necessary. Eventually she mooooved along (sorry) and we gazed after her and then casually decided that we’d run far enough, so we headed back.
The run back obviously included me falling. I twisted my ankle (again, yawn) on a giant rock and fell to the floor as agonizing pain shot through my leg. I knew instinctively that it was broken.
Just kidding. It hurt a bit, but I knew it would be okay before too long and it was and I was able to run back comfortably enough. Traditionally, I twist my right ankle – this was my left. Awesome. Matching weak ankles. We got back to the trailhead after about two hours and six WHOLE miles which is kind of hilarious but we’d had a great morning.
Trail runs should always be followed by food and we headed to Doug’s in Castro Valley for awesome eggs.
My ankle was pretty painful for the next 24 hours but seems to be mending now. I’ll be careful for a few days. Flipping ankles.
All in all, a cracking morning’s run! Ramage Peak is remarkable – it feels so remote and so empty, we didn’t see anyone on the trails apart from us. I was glad we were in a good-sized group as it was pretty lonely out there. Good choice, Jen and Happy Birthday!