The weather took a turn for the better this morning, the cool thick fog rolled in from the bay and up to the trails. I headed up to Tilden, to check out my options. I parked in the Nature Area near Little Farm and hiked in a little on the Jewel Lake trail, it runs parallel to Wildcat Canyon....except it's a hillier climb. Maybe a mile into it, the trail intersects with Wildcat and I continued for probably another 1.5 mile when I came across another marker that I suspected would get me to the Nimitz Trail.
I can't remember the name of this trail but it said canyon on the end so that told me I'd be going down and down and down...before long I felt like I was in another world. The change in scenery was drastic, the relatively flat and dusty Wildcat gave way to moist uneven terrain. I had stumbled onto one honey of a trail. On the way down I had to go through a few gates and I even had to rock hop across a little creek. Ferns lined the trail on all sides and the air felt heavy, despite the cooler temps I felt muggy. I began to noticed horse poop along the way and as the trail began to climb it's way out of the canyon the trail grew narrower and less visible.
The fog was pretty dense by the time I arrived to what appeared to be a fork in the road. Its safe to say that while I wasn't completely disoriented I wasn't sure what my next move should be. I stayed to the right, thinking I'd stay parallel to Wildcat. What I didn't realize was that I was heading torwards the middle of a cattle field....the horse poop was replaced by HUGE cow patty's and the trail was riddled with pot holes covered with downtrodden grasses.....a sprained ankle waiting to happen. I considered what such an injury would mean to me at this point...out in the middle of seemingly nowhere, I was careful to say the least.
My decision to stay to the right eventually led me to a steep hill, I considered for a moment what a bitch it would be if I had to turn around and backtrack. Throwing caution to the wind I trotted down the hill and was greeted by a dead end a few short yards later!
Arrrrg....looked like I'd be walking....semi-upright... back up that steep ass hill. Huffing and puffing my way to the top I continued to walk through the pothole ridden portion of the trail than picked up the pace once I got back to the original fork in the road. This time I veered left. Through the fog I forged ahead, crosswinds whipping around, it felt pretty good following the mugginess of the canyon....not to mention the steep climb I just did.
Off in the distance I saw another gate and a marker ....Nimitz Trail...yeah I was on the right track! From this point I knew I was 4 miles from Inspiration Point, however I was parked at Little Farm, roughly another 5 miles and would need to turn right at IP and follow another trail (all down hill) back to the Nature Area. I got to the end trail by 10 o'clock and continued running for a couple of more minutes than I walked to the where I was parked. I stretched for a good while on a nearby picnic table feeling tired but not spent.
It's safe to say I ran at least 8 miles, maybe 9 in 2 hours. My right knee felt a little wonky but other than that I felt pretty great. A few times I had to stop and remove little rocks and debris from my shoes, I really need to find me some gators! I used my hand held water bottle filled with mango gatorade on this run thinking that my palms would be less sweaty because it wasn't very hot......wrong! I wonder if there's a hand held hydration system out there that wicks the moisture away from your hand ....until I find one I'm a camelback girl all the way. Nutrition was simple, peanut butter and honey on toast and 1 cup of coffee.