Thursday, June 19, 2008

Huckleberry Hideout

Huckleberry/Redwood Regional Parks
(East Ridge-Skyline-Huckleberry loop-Skyline-Huckleberry-Skyline- East Ridge)
(5.0 miles? Some people need to learn to turn off their Garmins...)

I almost didn't run today. I'm going to try to swim later and I have so much schoolwork I'm avoiding right now. (Really, wouldn't you rather run than write about regression, ANOVAs, and standard deviations?) Yesterday was kind of an annoying day though-- my brilliant dog ate a foxtail that got stuck in her throat and I spent the day (and a trip to the vet) worrying about her (she's apparently fine now). Between worrying about the dog, doing tons o' work to get our summer program going, doing schoolwork for class this weekend, trying to clean out some of the foxtails in the backyard so I don't have to take her in AGAIN, I was feeling overwhelmed and cranky--not the space to write anything beyond "feel sorry for me--I certainly do!" I really did need to go for a run today...

I started from the Redwood Park Skyline Staging Area, but then took the Skyline/Bay Area Ridge Trail immediately off the East Ridge Trail. This trail leads to Huckleberry Regional Park, a tiny little park between Redwood and Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, another place I had a hankering to visit. The trail drops down for a half-mile or so, then runs along the side of the hill, in beautiful shade-- this is a good summer run for that reason. There were a couple of exposed moments which were HOT, but for the most part, this run was all shaded by oaks, madrones and the occasional redwood.

Huckleberry's claim to fame is its biodiversity-- and they provide you with a educational brochure pointing out different flora along the path. (According to the brochure, Huckleberry Path is "perhaps the most unique and diverse plant life of the entire East Bay.") However, I did not start at the beginning of the trail, so I ended up seeing the markers but not really knowing what they were pointing out. If you want to get yourself educated, start at the Huckleberry parking lot off of Skyline.

From Huckleberry, I took Skyline trail out-and back for a mile or so. This is a gorgeous trail as well, and I definitely want to come back here when I'm feeling certain about the knee. I'm supposed to be taking it easy, and this run, while short, had a TON of straight up and down. Good, good hills. If I'd continued on Skyline, I would have ended up at Sibley--I definitely want to come back here, and I think the two combined would make for a great run. Be warned, though-- this is some hill running. Beautiful hill running though-- shaded paths open up to vistas like the one at the top of this post.

This is another completely secluded run, too. I saw NO other people on the trail once I turned off the East Ridge trail. I was very surprised by this, as Redwood can seem like Grand Central Station. True, I was running in the middle of the day on a Thursday, but I had my own personal trail the whole time. Nice, Huckleberry!

Definitely coming back to this run-- next time adding in Sibley. Unfortunately, the pups are not welcome on this run, so leave the canine companions at home.

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