Monday, February 10, 2014

EB MUD-a-thon

me: "Hi..."
Cow: "mooo...."
Well, it was an ambitious plan that ended up being almost 10 miles longer than I expected... but I made it  unscathed, and actually feeling quite ok.  The day before I had played soccer for 2 hours, then gone on a night ride with Sigman (where we saw a bunch of these newts... or are these salamanders?)... near where this human skull was found.  And on the short section of pavement that we rode, I hit a deer... it was crossing the street at a full gallop... while I was coasting downhill at 20+ mph... I probably blinded him with my 800W light, then we basically came to a merge with my front tire hitting it's rear legs.  I'm sure if I had my HR monitor it would've been my max... somewhere above 200.

After the ride, I got Nikko's passport pics from Walgreens at midnight (see below... Kimbo thought his hair is all "caddywhompus." I thought it's brilliant)... then Kai decided to wake up at 3 am to play with his trains.  So I stayed up with him until 6 am or so, when he finally collapsed on the sofa with me.

Nikko's caddywhompus Passport pic. 
Then I woke up an hour later to get Kai ready for daycare.  I was exhausted, mentally and physically, but I hadn't gone on an all day adventure for a while, the weather was holding up, and I was determined to get out, so I just went for it.

After going to the post office in Canyon, CA (a magical pocket of hippie kingdom in the middle of the redwoods between Oakland and Orinda) to apply for a passport for Nikko, for our upcoming trip to Japan.  I got dropped off at the intersection of Pinehurst and Skyline and set off running.  I had mapped out a rough idea of this run, but my estimate was that it'd be more like 16 miles... maybe 20.  By the time I ran to the Castro Valley BART, and from MacArthur BART home, my mileage was over 28.  I had recently purchased a EBMUD hiking permit as I've been wanting to check out their trails.  Soon I discovered that their map for this area is pretty horrendous.  There are fire roads, dirt roads (mostly private), and tons of other trails that intersect the few EB MUD trails on the map, making navigation quite a challenge.

Despite the slight miscalculation, the day was everything I was hoping for and more.  The trails were very remote, quiet, and adventurous.  From Canyon Rd. I only saw one couple until I got onto Redwood Rd... 18 miles later.  And it was a good thing I ran into them as I was 100 yards from an intersection where I had just taken the wrong turn.  They told me which direction I should start trotting off to... and away I went.  I would have probably just ended up in San Ramon otherwise.

Highlights included Rocky Ridge, which provides a quite spectacular relief, along with Ramage Peak, which in addition to having a cool name has a fun vantage point.  Most of the trails were open fire roads, but there were nice sections of single track mixed in, along with sections of dense forest.

I carried my Jurek Vest with 2 water bottles, a bunch of snacks, gu, emergency blanket, and my phone with my clipper card stashed in it.

Next time:
  • I'd carry at least 3 bottles of water.  There's a good 20 mile section with no water.
  • I'd like to do it in the spring time when the wildflowers are going off.
  • Always take a windbreaker.  I was using my emergency blanket for warmth by the time I got to the BART station.  
  • Take a real camera, the phone camera is fine, but not that easy to use when running, and difficult for taking wildlife pics.  
  • Carry an extra USB battery and headphones.  6 hours is a long time to be solo... music always helps. 
  • get some sleep.   
Wished I had found this blog before my run...

Here's the Strava track

Some other runs that I'd like to do incorporating the EBMUD trails:
And panos and pics below...
Upper San Leandro Reservoir

Fire road... leading to Rocky Ridge.  Still a LONG way to go...

Looking over at Las Trampas
Summit pano from Ramage Peak (16.5 mi) to the left you can see the Antenna marking the top of Rocky Ridge (13 miles) and the end of Upper San Leandro Reservoir (20 mi)
Spooked a Coyote who was about 10 ft away.  By the time I got my phone out of pano mode, he was waay up the hill.  
Big houses in the Larch Neighborhood in Moraga...
Crossing Buckhorn Creek
Radio Tower at the top of Rocky Ridge
A nice view of Mt. Diablo
Las Trampas looks like fun terrain...
EBMUD/Las Trampas boundary
see the City?
Ramage Peak
Check out the solar powered X-mas lights at the top of Ramage Peak!
...need more water...
Grazing + heavy rain = landslides...

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