Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

Saturday Brandy and I went to Briones . Parking on the road to avoid the $5.00 park entrance fee we hiked in a little ways and were greeted by a friendly kiosk attendant who kindly waived the $2.00 dog entrance fee. I wanted a longish trail where I could run and hike and the attendant suggested Briones Crest Trail, a 10-12 mile loop.

We started on Abrigo trail for close to a mile then turned left on Santos. Santos then became Briones Crest Trail. This would be the longest stretch of trail. I was able to take a few pictures with my camera phone...though you'll most likely never see them as I don't know how to get them out of there. The weather was mild and despite being out in the open most of the time the strong breeze's and occasional shade made for a comfortable run/hike.

Taking Brandy's cue we would walk when she appeared tired. She let's me know this in a number of ways. First she'll walk directly in front of me, as though she's trying to slow me down and me, not picking up on her cue right away...would nudged her along or scoot around her.

Whenever I would stop to give her water and she'd lie on her belly lapping the water from my cupped hand. I should get a sierra cup or something similar and lightweight to attach to her harness....Other times she would just plop down in the middle of the trail and we'd rest for awhile longer. I'll be honest I had regrets at times bringing her but it was good practice for me stopping and starting.

A few times we got off the main trail (sidetrips I call them) and would backtrack to the main trail....which is why I'm convinced we covered more than 10 miles.

I had three water bottles (2) in my waist pack and one in the handheld. When the handheld was empty I attached it to Brandy's harness. Sometime later I needed to shed a layer, so I tied my singlet onto her too, Brandy was proving to be a decent sherpa!

I should mention's official...I'm hooked on the ipod...never thought it would happen...but it's true...the long runs are great in and of themselves but I must admit the right tunes really enhance the whole experience. Funny thing too, music that I wouldn't necessarily regard as "running music" or even music
I 'd normally listen too have proven to be perfect trail companions. Here's a sampling of what I'm listening to...note, I've only downloaded cd's and then hit "songs" and they are played randomly...Black Eyed peas, Britney Spears...that's right...okay before I lose any credibility...just try it before you knock it...Santana, Earth Wind and Fire, Jill Scott and David Bryn...

Briones Crest Trail intersects with Seaborg which leads to Bear Creek....where hot tired dogs....and their people ... can cool off. Brandy wasted no time submerging herself in the creek drinking at the same time. I let her hang out until she appeared ready to go and she darted up ahead back to the kiosk. The attendant offered a dog biscuit but she, I think like anyone (anyting?)who's come off a hard trek, didn't have an appetite. Before heading out of the park, we had one more drink of water at the fountain.

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and picked up few more ingredients for the lasagna I wanted to make. I tried something different and for the last layer I used eggplant, red bell pepper and fresh basil. It turned out really good. My friend W came over for dinner later and it was good catching up with her, as we hadn't seen eachother in quite awhile.

Sunday I went on hike with the Sierra Club. You might recall, my confusion with finding the entrance of Wildcat where dogs are allowed...I'd gotten there many times on foot but I wasn't sure how to get to Alvarado Staging Area by car. The leader organized a 6 hour hike covering Wildcat Canyon and Tilden. We met @8:45 at N. Berkeley BART and then carpooled to the trail head.

I met some nice people, quite a few had hiked together before and I got the scoop on some of the organized car camping and backpacking trips.

The entrance turns out to be super easy to get easy that I didn't even get lost on the eway home...(I took my car and the woman that rode with me rode back with someone cuz I didn't go straight home afterwards)....anyways, it was really easy to find and I will take Brandy there sometime....just not today.!!

My legs and feet are tired and yesterdays thought of a bike ride this morning have taken a back seat to bulky breakfast burritos and bad TV!!! The house is in pretty good shape and there's plenty of lasagna left over for when T and M get home this afternoon.

In honor of Labor Day, I think I'll just chill!


LouBob said...

I'd like to trade you dogs, mine wants to hurry me from behind when I go to slow.

susie said...

Hi Chris! Your 20K report was great!! Way to go:)
And do take the day off. I am doing the same thing, and it feels great.