Thursday, March 13, 2008

A view from the top of the world

A bit belated recap of our long run on Sunday:

6AM felt a way too early and daylight time change did not help either. No wonder Linda refused to run this early! The parking lot at Awme was dead empty. It was dark and pretty foggy. I ran on Also Creek Bikeway with my headlight. I could barely see the trail ahead – all I saw was the bright fog in front of me. Next time I will wear headlight on my belt! So I ran 6 miles by myself to get some additional mileage and then returned to the cars to meet the rest of the group.

7AM: Jeff, Marisa and Linda are already there. Noticed I am a bit sweaty for the run start. After I explained my additional mileage thing, got reprimanded by Jeff and Marisa I had not told them in advance. It looks like I am not the only crazy one.

This time we checked out both Cave Rock and Dripping Cave trails. Marisa was leading the way and – as she always is – was jumping around inspecting every cave on our way. My incident with cacti I felt into in Laguna Canyon trying to climb a rock following Marisa did not teach me a thing.

Marisa climbed another rock, while I slipped and hurt my knee. It was somewhat embarrassing to get a hand from Jeff on a little hill Marissa just climbed on her own.

We were running in a fog, but as we started ascending Mathis trail, we got above it and enjoyed the most breathtaking scenery. All the creeks and canyons below we covered by a thick blanket of white clouds. The clouds were flowing over the ridges from one canyon into another. And everything above the clouds was lit by bright morning sun.

It is not like we need some additional cheering after Mathis ascent, but the sun did cheer us up anyways :)

As we got closer to the "top of the world" point, we spotted Soka University in a distance. It was surrounded by clouds from all the sides, but it is sitting on a hill that was rising above the clouds. It reminded me Minas-Tirith fortress from the Tolkien’s books.

Marisa just ran down the Cholla trail and was snooping around. She is always investigating the area around the trails. Only my 2.5 year old daughter behaves like that! After kids turn 4 they tend to become less curious and restless, but Marisa is definitely an exception! I am not sure what she was doing in those bushes (oh, not what you think!) but she is definitely happy about being caught in action.

Another highlight of our run was the bright green meadows on Wood Canyon with all the grass covered with morning dew and shining bright in the morning sun. It was also one of those "moments that take your breath away"!

As we got back to the parking lot, my GPS was showing 11.85 miles (in addition to those six I ran earlier that morning on my own). Jeff found it funny when I started circling around parking lot to get additional 0.15 of a mile we were missing to get 12 :)

As we were running and chatting with Jeff – I quoted something from Sideways: “Strawberry, yeah!” It turned out Jeff never watch Sideways and never even heard of it. I was shocked. I turned to Marisa and Linda and shouted: “Guys! Can you imagine that? Jeff never watched Sideway!” I stumbled and almost felt when I hear back from them: “Side...what? Is it a movie?” It turned out Marisa did watch it once but did not recall the name at once and commented it was a “sick movie”. Linda saw just a part of it on an airplane. Sideways is a beautiful movie about California, vineyards and wine. Do you know that after Sideways became popular, sales of Merlot when down in California at the expense of an increase in Pinot Noir market share: “I am not drinking f$%g Merlot! If anyone orders Merlot I am out of here!” Anyways if you did not watch it, I would totally recommend it – just do not watch it when your kids are around – 99% of it is decent – there are just 2 or 3 moments that are R-rated although pretty funny anyways.
More photos from our run:

Aliso & Wood Canyons, March 9, 2008

Just for reference: a very decent map of Aliso and Wood Canyons:


jeff said...

i'm always looking out for you, dmitri. just stay away from the cactus when i'm not around. okay?

oh, watched the illusionist when i got home. REALLY enjoyed it!

Dmitri said...

Just included a note about Sideways. How could I forget about it?