Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trippin' Balls n' Listening to Radiohead

A friend (not the friend with whom I went to the Thom Yorke concert, just to be clear) once described a fun weekend like that, and I was reminded of it yesterday while bombing down Bare Ridge Trail in the middle of my Mt. Diablo circumnavigation. The music was actually the Avett Brothers (Die Die Die in particular) and the only drugs were endorphins, but it was pretty spectacular.

The Mt. Diablo 50-miler was canceled this year thanks to California State Parks not having any money, but I couldn't let the 3rd weekend in April go by without running on the mountain. I started at Macedo Ranch in Alamo (can I just say how much I hate suburbs?) then circled counter-clockwise around the mountain on Wall Point Rd to Curry Point, Knobcone Point Road (out of the park onto private property?) to Curry Canyon Rd., Frog Pond Rd, Alder Creek Rd, Rhine Canyon Rd, Prospectors Gap Rd, and North Peak Rd to North Peak, then Bald Ridge Trail, Eagle Peak Trail, and Mitchell Rock Trail all the way down to Mitchell Canyon trailhead, Mitchell Canyon Rd, Median Ridge Rd, Bald Ridge Trail, and North Peak Trail up to the summit, then Juniper Trail, Deer Flat Rd, Burma Rd, Mothers Trail, Angel Kerley Rd, then Stage, Dusty, and Wall Point Rds back to Macedo Ranch.

According to the map, it was only a little over 35 miles, but there were 9500 feet or so of climbing, and it took me about 11:15. Kind of slow, but I'm out shape, so I shouldn't expect otherwise. Even though I got back after the parking lot was closed, thankfully I didn't get a parking ticket and the gate wasn't locked (that's happened to a friend so I was a little concerned), so I drove home and ate a bag of potato chips and drank a jar of spaghetti sauce as recovery fuel. Quit judging me.

All in all, a good run. Honestly, Diablo's cool, but I prefer the Marin Headlands, Tamalpais, and the Berkeley/Oakland hills--the single track to firetrails ratio is better, and being closer to the coast, it's usually a little cooler. For a few weeks in springs you can't beat the poppies, though. Here's some pictures.

just after starting, about noon

California poppies in bloom

passing below the summit on the southeast

view back to the summit from North Peak

On the way down to Mitchell Canyon Trailhead

summit view

some sort of ground owl?

I think my next running project will be in two weeks--I'll spend a day running all 136 of the paths/lanes in Berkeley. Should be a decent stair workout.

On a tangentially related note, you should totally check out The Avett Brothers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

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