On Saturday, we gathered together a select bunch of girls (i.e., everyone we knew who could come along) and met up to run some trails. The location we chose was Rancho San Antonio, near San Jose. I’ve hiked there a few times in the past but never gone further than the little farm there and I was itching to see a bit more of the park. Paulette is a regular runner there so she put together a good 10 mile route and I found a suitable brunch location for afterwards.
Driving down, I think I saw my first mountain lion. But sadly, this big cat lay dead at the side of the motorway. I was so sad.
Meeting up was…problematic. There is plenty of parking at Rancho…but many MANY more people who want to park there than is possible. It took anywhere between 15 – 30 minutes for us all to find parking spaces but eventually we were all together. Running today was Jen, Danielle, Paulette and me – Layla and BT would set out later and join us on the final trail. This was the first time we’d got together to run trails since Jess and Kate moved away and I have to admit, I was a bit heartbroken not to have them here.
The trails were busy for the first mile or two as we ran through the flattish section to the farm. Once we headed further up Rogue Valley trail, it thinned out although we rarely had the trails to ourselves. The trails climbed steadily for the first five miles – generally it was very runnable although we walked the steeper sections as it was getting hotter. The trails were wide and smooth and lovely to run.
The final stretch was ridiculously steep, Paulette told us it’s called ‘the wall’ and I know why! But we made it, we stopped at the very top, caught our breath and posed for photographs. Here’s the official version:
Here’s the unedited version. No idea why we chose to stand there!
Running down was a delight. After the steep bit, the gradient was pretty much perfect to charge down easily as the views spread out before us. We turned down Wildcat Loop trail which was shady and cool, through a gorgeous stretch of forest known as the Zen Garden for good reason. Lovely.
Just as we turned up Coyote trail, we bumped into Layla and BT running towards us. They were only out for a few miles so turned round and we all ran the final miles back to the ca park together. 10.1 miles, plenty of sunshine and laughs. An excellent morning’s work.
Brunch followed at Hobee’s. I love how trail runner girls love their food!