Saturday, June 2, 2012

National Trails Day: multiple opportunities to celebrate!

This Saturday was a very special day, the 20th anniversary of the American Hiking Association's National Trails Day! The perfect day to give back to the trail system we enjoy so much all year around, for racing or training. As the website says: "America's Largest Trailgating party!" ;-)
For me, it was also a way to celebrate the incredible wealth we have in the Bay Area with the combination of the perfect weather, the lack of pollution, the nearby hills, the abundant number of parks and trails and the tight ultra running community. I'm especially grateful for it after having just returned from 10 days in Dubai and Riyadh where I ran a total of 70 miles in extreme heat, dryness, pollution and sand dust.
See a few other pictures from my early morning run at Almaden Quicksilver in my Picasa album.

Then, we also celebrated Pierre-Yves' return on the trails after his 10 days at the hospital following his heat stroke at the end of Ohlone 50K, less than half a mile from the finish... For that, I drove down to Almaden Quicksilver Park in San Jose, early this Saturday morning and managed to run 14 miles including one with Pierre-Yves, Gary, Larry and Adona, before driving back to Cupertino for some trail maintenance work.
It's great to see you back smiling and healthy, Pierre-Yves, phew!

As I left the Mockingbird parking lot of the Almaden Park, it was great to see several dozens of volunteers gathering to help the Santa Clara County Park Rangers build a new bridge on the New Almaden Trail. Our Quicksilver Trail Maintenance master, Paul Fink, was there but just to give a hand this time, not to lead the project as he has done for the 10th year in a row throughout the year, and in particular in January when I could join his group.
In Cupertino, the trail maintenance project was with another organization, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD), at Picchetti Ranch, an area very familiar to all of us, Stevens Creek Striders. In a few hours we raised a section of the trail which gets very muddy in the winter. We were 10 volunteers, 1 Ranger and 1 District Technician, everybody taking on tasks very seriously and efficiently.
Again, a few other pictures are up in my Picasa album.

I hope you too were able to either enjoy one of our trails if you live in the US, or even help out on one of the thousands trail maintenance projects this weekend. And if you live abroad, I wish you can one day visit and see what our trails look like. Not that there aren't other places in the world with great trails too. But not in downtown Dubai and Riyadh at least...


Anonymous said...

Oui, quel contraste entre d'où tu arrives et où tu as la chance de vivre!

Robby Hansen said...

Hey Jean,

I love the support you showed for the American Hiking Society. I had a similar trail rebuilding day back here in Cincinnati, OH. You should check out this company called They believe that sharing outdoor stories inspires others to get outside. It is a great way to see what other people are doing on days just like the one you had. Here is their press release: