Tuesday, February 24, 2009
From the blogosphere have I been absent in the Spring...*
*(With apologies to W. Shakespeare... and the spring, which has yet to come)
(Stevens Park-Jesusita Trail- Inspiration Point-Tunnel Road)
A blogging friend recently pointed out that I have been rather silent on this site as of late. He is right-- but not out of any particular reason. I've just been uber-busy the past few weeks, and then I was down in Santa Barbara this weekend, which means I have internet access but not on my own computer= no blogging. (It does, however, mean drinking wine with the parents and having tons of home-cooked meals and taking a homemade coffee cake home with me... yum.)
I did get a chance to spend some time on the trails. I am very familiar with this first trail. Growing up, Inspiration Point is one of the standard go-to trails for, oh, say, EVERYONE who hikes in Santa Barbara. I have no idea how many times I have hiked the Tunnel Road-Inspiration Point trail--less from the Jesusita side, but still quite a bit.
The Jesusita trail is also famous for being the start of the infamous 9 Trails race-- my nemesis! Seriously, this was my first and most irritating DNF. This race is 35 miles of straight up and down (tendonitis flare-up at mile 14 as a result led to the DNF). There is no flat in this race-- as there really isn't for any of the trails in Santa Barbara, come to think of it. The start of the race is no exception-- the Jesusita trail leads up and up and up... relentlessly.
The trail wanders alongside San Roque creek at first, through big oak trees overhanging the trail, but it soon leads through the meadow and then begins the climb to Inspiration Point. Eventually the trail climbs out of the oaks and into the rocky, chaparral-covered hills that characterize so much of Santa Barbara trails.
After hitting the ridge, the trail follows the fire road until Inspiration Point, then drops down steeply to cross Mission Creek and then back to Tunnel Road. I remember running this portion during 9 Trails in 2007 and enjoying the downhill, not realizing how much was still to come!
In case you were wondering, this is hard trail running. I would like to say that the whole party bounded up the hill like mountain goats, but really, the only bounding was done by the border collies. I knew I had another trail run lined up the next day, so I was hunkering under the cover of "must save legs for tomorrow," but truth be told-- this is some extremely hard trail running.
The rest of my trail companions--the brother and the pups.