So, as I have stated in past posts, my wife and I got into running in 2008 primarily for the health benefits. We were both very overweight and realized that if we didn't do something about it our bodies were going to see some irreversible effects. We started off small, maybe a 1/4 mile at first, then a mile, then 2.8. By the end of 2008, we had run our first race together, the 7 mile John Muir Beach run that was organized at that time by PCTR. Since then we have completed 6 marathons together as well as attempted (and received our well earned first DNF) a 50K. We have done countless runs together.
So it has been different since my work schedule has changed. I used to work in the town I lived, and even before that, I would get home from work earlier so we could do a run as a family. However, now I am running at lunch in the San Francisco, and she is on the trails between the drop-off and pickup of our kindergartener. So I really cherish any run I can with my wife.
So this past Monday, I had the day off and we hit the trails out of Castle Rock. The plan was to run up Stage Road, cut up Dusty Trail to Wall Road, then find another trail to take us to Barbeque Terrace and back to Stage Road. It was a beautiful sunny day, with the creeks running. The recent rains had washed the leaves off the trail; however, it wasn't muddy.
Stage Road was fun. I don't know how many creeks we crossed; however, we attacked them with full abandon. In fact, we came across a couple of hikers that scolded me for getting my feet wet. "All you would have to do is slow down a couple of seconds," they counseled. A few yards to the next creek crossing and they too would have to get their feet wet, unless they turned around.
About a couple miles in we had to run across the edge of a pond that had overflowed its banks. What I am think were either willows or cattails had been knocked down by the weight of the current. About another 1/4 mile up, the trail became a creek! That was really fun. It kind of reminded me of the old westerns when someone was trying to get away from a posse or the calvery and would use the riverbed to hide their tracks.
Once we got up Dusty Trail to Wall Road, we settled in with the beautiful vistas of Pine Valley and Mt. Diablo on one side and Alamo and Danville on the other. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of climbing here. But the nice thing about this trail is that it is wide and basically paved with sandstone. This trail, if we would have continued on, would have taken us to Rock City.
About a 1 mile before Rock City, we took Secret Trail. I am not sure how much of a secret this trail is since it is shown on any map. It is a 0.6 mile single track trail that links Wall Road with Barbeque Terrace. This trail, in it present condition, is definitely an ankle breaker, so it was definitely
meant we had to slow down. While it is pretty, and about 0.35 shorter than if we had just turned around at the trail crossing, I think the reverse course returning back on Wall Road is probably quicker and much more scenic.
Once we got to Barbeque Terrace, it was a quick downhill run back to Stage Road. The Secret Trail connects about 2/3rds down and therefore you do not face as much of the steep parts of Barbeque Trail. I was surprised though how much the rain had washed the topsoil. Back in August, when I ran this trail last, it was pretty much boring fire road. Now, it has become technical in places, with a lot of rocks and ruts showing. Back on Stage Road, we hit the same creeks as before and then we were back.
Like I said at the onset, I miss and cherish these kinds of runs with my wife. We are partners in everything we do, so she is my best running partner a husband could ever ask for.