Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pescadero Creek: great wet training

5:26 am: beep beep beep... Waking up so early on a Saturday after a week were all my nights have been below 6 hours and one under 5? Better be a good training opportunity as this is not race weekend! A good opportunity as Mike Topper knows to set them up in the Peninsula. The big question was going to be about the weather and the trail conditions. Actually, today, I was not supposed to run but to join REI Fremont and the East Bay Trail Dogs for a day of trail maintenance at Las Trampas Park. Greg was going to join me for this volunteering event but the operation was canceled on Thursday night due to bad weather forecast. And, sure enough, we got a lot of rain on Friday and gusty winds too.

Pierre-Yves picked me at De Anza and 280 so we could car pool to the trail head on the other side of Skyline Boulevard. We arrived at the trail head in Pescadoro Creek County Park with Chris and were soon after joined by Charles, Gary, Holly, Mike, Paul and Janet. It was drizzling and we left the parking lot by 7:20. Here we are, from right to left: Paul, Mike, Gary, Charles, Pierre-Yves, Chris, Janet, Holly and I.
Many branches on the trail were slowing our progression but the real obstacle was the deep and raging Pescadero Creek itself which we had to cross. We had a slow start, covering 3 miles in the first hour... After many hesitations, we decided to cross the current with Gary and Pierre-Yves going first. Pierre-Yves actually felt in a hole and got a full plunge in the cold water. Fortunately, he was not carrying a camera as Gary and I were! Except for the chilly temperature of the water, that reminded me my Coastal Challenge adventure in Costa Rica...

We got quite lucky with the weather as the rain resumed around noon. Pierre-Yves had to get back to Cupertino by 1pm and I was not feeling well (gastric issue), so we left Gary, Mike, Paul and Charles, and took a short cut to the parking lot to make our run 20.6 miles (the total run was supposed to be 29 miles this morning). On our way back we passed Chris who was walking back to the trail head, in pain after a bad fall last weekend. Gary reported later that they got caught into a rain storm for the last 6 miles of their run.

Overall, an amazing Park with great views, wonderful redwood groves, creeks, luxurious vegetation. We did not see the 2 mountain lions who annoyed two hikers recently in the area, but I spotted a coyote on our way back on Alpine Road. At some point, the trail was so swamped that we were expecting to see aligators! As far of trail names I thought Pomponio Trail was cute and original. And, as the Brooks Official as Mike called me, I of course like the Brook and Brook Loop Trail. Here we are with our Cascadias 3 and 4s (from right to left: Mike, Paul, Charles and I):

Thank you Mike for this opportunity to discover new trails; yet another reason for feeling so blessed to live in the area!

See a few (~100!) pictures in my Picasa album.


Kim Freitas said...

HI, I'm Mike's wife, Kim. It is so fun to read about what you guys are doing and how fun it is to be in the redwoods and up to your thighs in cold water! Thanks for being great sports and good friends to Mike. He loves being out there with you. Fantastic photos!

Tobias Gimmel, Brugg said...

Hi Jean - it's just right what you said about photos. They tell so much. Good idea publishing them via your Picasa album, I will do this, too. And: very nice trail, this one. I wish we had such a spectacular, authentic trail running area where I go outside, unfortunately lots of places are civilized, even out in the green the woods are cleaned up, with nice, broad and fine-graveled paths. Go on running and enjoy it! Tobias