Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Roundabout Journey North

It's been a hectic week here at JJ-o! I'm currently in the middle of a very slow and roundabout journey north which has taken me from Oregon to the Bay Area and will spit me out in Anchorage on Tuesday. I don't have much of interest to talk about but I do have some pretty awesome pictures so I'll just throw those your way via a workout round-up.

Monday, August 11: rest

After last Sunday's Slug-n-Chug and subsequent drive back to Eugene, I was feeling pretty beat up and had to figure out my life before leaving for three weeks. Cleaning it was!

Tuesday: 3 slow miles on the Fern Ridge path

These were so, so, so terrible for so many reasons so let's forget they ever happened. Then it was off to the cabin!

Wednesday: ??

I have no idea what I did this day but it probably involved a lot of water sports.

Thursday: 5-mile redwood hike

On Thursday morning, I started my drive to California. I was fortunate that a friend was driving down at the same time so we were able to caravan. What's the point of caravanning, you ask? There is none, really, since you're not in the same car, but we were able to stop for a short hike midway.

The hike was redwoods, redwoods, redwoods, and then beach!

Beautiful, right? Unfortunately I have no idea what this place is called or even which park we were in because I'm a very smart and interesting person who totally cares about these kinds of things. It was a national park, though.

There were elk chilling out there, although you can't see them.

Friday: rest, finish the drive to Lafayette

I spent Thursday night in Santa Rosa at my friend's place (wine country!) and then continued on my merrily-wined way the following morning. I was dead from the previous week's activities so decided to play it easy and hang out with my grandma.

Saturday: 8-mile run on trails, plus 2 miles walking

One of my friends is diligently following some Hal Higdon plan for our half this November and the plan has him doing long runs on Saturdays. We've done the past few together so I decided to continue the tradition while I'm out of town (although I totally reserve the right to do it whenever I want once I'm back in Alaska and don't have easy access to a car). So yesterday (Saturday) I drove to Point Reyes to check out the Bear Valley Trail.

The vast majority of the run was terribly boring because it was in the woods on paths that were only slightly more interesting than pavement (and it was crawling with people!!), but there was a decent amount of elevation loss and gain and awesome views at my destination, Arch Rock.

I ran 4.3 miles to Arch Rock and planned to extend the outing by returning to the trailhead via something called the "Skyline Trail" (which, I imagine, follows a ridge and has awesome views), but the trail was pretty steep and I wanted to actually run the majority of my planned 8 miles so I turned around after a half mile or so.

Back to the woods!

All in all, it was a fun run. It was a pain in the ass to get there from Lafayette (California traffic, you really are as bad as everyone says!), but it was cool to see the ocean.

Sunday: 8-mile hike at Briones Regional Park

I'm pretty pissed it took me so long to discover this park. For years, my family has turned to the Lafayette Reservoir for all of our outdoors needs, and for years I've been kind of down on it. The Reservoir is a great asset for the community and the upper Rim Trail has some nice views, but the Reservoir is often teeming with people who are themselves teeming with diamonds, liposuction scars, and, like, golden powder... So in other words, it's kind of a nightmare.

After taking my grandma to the Lafayette Reservoir this morning, I attempted to flee the madness by going to the Briones Reservoir. The Briones Reservoir seems to be closed to common folk, though, so I ended up instead at Briones Regional Park, which was awesome!

Miles and miles of trails.

I did something called the "Briones Crest Trail," which led me to a ridge and kept me there for about six miles. The scenery is exactly what one would expect of California hiking (or, at least, what an out-of-stater would expect) and there was a nice breeze to counteract the warm temps.

Mt. Diablo, my grandma tells me.

It was a pretty strenuous hike, especially coming the day after a long-ish trail run, but I didn't finish feeling totally dead. So I guess my weekend was sort of a back-to-back, then? Let's go with that.


All in all, this week was lighter on running than I'd like because of cabin shenanigans and getting ready to leave town for a while, but I was able to get in some quality views which is always the main goal.

The next time you hear from me, I should be home in Alaska!


  1. I love your description of the people who flock to the Lafayette Reservoir! It's basically what I picture when I picture the well-to-do's in California. I like the looks of Briones Regional Park, though. I would like to run there! Hope the trip home to Alaska goes smoothly. I bet Bailey will be happy to see you!

    1. Thanks, and she certainly was! I feel kinda-sorta bad describing Lafayette residents that way given that my grandma's been there for like sixty years, but she is pretty much the opposite of those people. They've taken her town from her! I think I'm mostly just mad at all the traffic you have to deal with there now that they've turned it into such a ritzy place... But anyway, thanks for the support ;).

  2. I am ashamed to say that I have been to so few of these places and they are right in my backyard!! Briones especially looks gorgeous. I am particularly ashamed of never having run up Mt. Diablo yet. :-/

    1. Yeah, I highly recommend Briones, it's an amazing place with very few people (if you're into that sort of thing)! I went hiking on/around/near Diablo last fall and think running up it sounds next to impossible. But I know people do it!