Friday, August 1, 2008

Mt. Tamalpais!

Mt. Tamalpais (non-summit)
(Nathalie Coffin Greene-Eldridge Grade-Nathalie Coffin Greene)
(12 miles)

I think this picture pretty much says it all. 

(Yes, that IS the Golden Gate Bridge you can see just tucked between the clouds and the Headlands.)

But just in case, I'll still add a few words. 

I have been buried in an avalanche of schoolwork the last few days and while I have kept up on my running, no new trails to write about until today. I insisted on holding two hours free today for a long run, as I will be sitting in class for the next four days. (There is a chance I'll run at Pt. Reyes, but it will require getting up very early-- always a tricky business...)

In fear of 9 Trails, I have been thinking about how I need to run some BIG HILLS. Mt. Tamalpais is a big hill. A very big hill. I parked at Ross Commons (see this post for directions) and ran around Phoenix Lake until I came to the Eldridge Grade/Shaver Grade/ Fish Grade intersection and then just ran up and up and up Eldridge until I hit the Indian Road Trail, which continues up another 2.6 miles to the top of Mt. Tam. I had been running for about 5 miles at that point, and I decided to just go another mile, then turn around and come back, as I was not sure how my knee would fare with so much downhill.

What can I say about this trail? It's gorgeous. It's also a fire road, so if you're a diehard single-tracker, skip it. It's also very popular with mountain bikers-- stay alert. It is also rather predictable. It goes up to the summit, and then you come down. There are ways of making a loop out of this route, but I was not in the mood for the brain work it would have taken today. But...if you are looking for a trail that gives you vista upon vista of the Bay--this is your trail.
 I kept thinking the view couldn't get any better... and it did! 

The picture on top is of San Francisco, but here's the view looking towards the East Bay, with Mt. Diablo dominating the landscape. I cannot wait to get back and run this trail all the way to the top. I have been on the top of Mt. Tam only once in my life (I know, it's as bad as not visiting Pt. Reyes until last Saturday!), and that was about 12 years ago. I think it's time for me to get out there again...

I saw a few dogs, and while the dogs I saw were not on leash, I think technically they are supposed to be... but there was no one checking near the top. 

Tomorrow starts a whole bunch of craziness for the next two weeks. I really hope I will keep up the running, because today gave me great hope for my upcoming races. (Knee felt fine, and I actually felt really good the whole way up as well.) 

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