Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Salsa withdrawal... on the trail??

Tilden Regional Park
(Wildcat Creek- Jewel Lake- Laurel Canyon-Wildcat Peak- Nimitz Way- Meadows Canyon- Nature Center)
(5.5 miles)

You know you've been without salsa for too long when you start dancing by yourself on the trail. I had my shuffle with me today, which I haven't used in a long time, and when Fulanito came on, I simply needed to have a moment in the middle of the trail. Maybe I need to get out this weekend...

Today was another needed run. I am SO tired of working on the computer right now. I have been trying to finish a paper today and get some other work done at the same time... with highly limited success on both tasks. I didn't really think I should be running steep hills, but I wanted to do a little bit of hill running-- especially to try and get a view of the current view-- or lack thereof.

This trail started at the Nature Center at Tilden Regional Park. It is true that Tilden is not necessarily my favorite place to run, but I used to run here a lot, and it brought
back some memories. The trail starts on Wildcat Creek trail, which I could take all the way to the Wildcat Canyon trail head I usually run from, but instead I turned off to take the miniscule trail shown above to Jewel Lake. The raised wooden walkway is only a quarter-mile long, but I think it's one of the prettiest little moments possible in all of Tilden. This tiny walkway leads to Jewel Lake, an adorable little lake/large pond that usually has a population of ducks and/or turtles. (For those who have children, this walk from the Nature Center parking lot to Jewel Lake is probably a great option for the 2-4 age group.)

Once I reached Jewel Lake, I took Laurel Canyon for a half-mile or so, until the Wildcat Peak trail forked to the left. These two trails climb sharply-- and it was here, in the middle of a hill-climbing moment, that I felt the need to do some solo salsa. Fortunately it was the middle of the week and no one was around-- but let this stand as evidence for the tragedy that could befall the world if I do not get some dancing in soon... who knows where I will next be forced to shake my derrière?

At the top of Wildcat Peak, visibility was pretty dismal. Normally one can see across the Bay, and all the way to Mt. Diablo on the other side-- today it was completely grey in front of me, and this was the view looking to the northeast. The body of water is San Pablo Reservoir, where I am planning to run soon.

I'm sure people already know about the fires in Northern California. The terrible visibility is partly from the smoke and partly from fog-- it's pretty cold and unimpressive as far as weather goes right now.

From Wildcat Peak, I took Nimitz Way. This is a paved path that leads from Inspiration Point, and it's one of the most popular places to run/bike/rollerblade in Tilden, but there were few people on the trail today. After I reached Inspiration Point, I took Meadows Canyon to the right and ran back to the Nature Center on a long and gentle downhill--and my knee felt great!

To end, a picture of some late-blooming wildflowers. As seen in the picture, Tilden and the surrounding hills are pretty brown and dry right now (hence all the fires), but these flowers were exploding in pink right next to the trail. I think they're wild sweet peas, but maybe I should ask my amateur botanist mother--the birthday girl, as I mentioned earlier today. (There's another way I'm turning into my mother! I want to know more about plants!)

Dogs? Well, they are not allowed in the Nature Area, and they have to be on leash on Nimitz Way, but they can be off leash on Meadows Canyon. Go figure.


Luciano said...

RSS feeds are back, thanks :-)

I'll run there today, sorry I'll miss the dancing part.

Victoria said...

Thanks for letting me know-- I have no idea why they stopped working, but I'm glad my attempt to correct the problem was apparently successful! Enjoy your run--

P.O.M. said...

Nothin' wrong wtih mixing some dance moves in with a run! I know I sing sometimes.

Your runs always sound so gorgeous. There are some trails around here, but I'm chicken to go by myself.