Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yeah, I'm a Bonehead!

I've been too embarrassed to post about what happened last week at Briones, but enough time has passed that I feel I can spill the beans. I can only think of a few things worse then the horror one experiences when you realize that you've lost your keys a remote place.

Yep, that's right, while up on the ridge somewhere between the first and second GU, I failed to clip in my key ( uhuh, yeah you know that clippy thing inside your hydration pack, it's there for a reason!!!) and I lost it on the trail. I realized this at approximately 11:30 am, as I approached my car and in utter disbelief (Though, I don't know why considering my history with keys) I ran back to the trailhead and searched in vain for about a 1/4 mile. I asked every hiker/biker I came across to keep an eye out, I heard lot's of "oh man, what a drag" and "that happened to me before...bummer!" The kiosk attendant was less empathetic and said "yeah, someone will turn it in, in a few weeks!! than laughed when I asked him if I could use his phone...."if you can find the right spot you might get a signal" I was able to leave a message at home and then I stood there like an idiot....problem solving abilities nowhere insight.... not sure what to do next.

My phone and money were in the car on the side of Bear Creek Rd. in front of the park entrance (which is about 4 miles off San Pablo Damn Rd) I went back to my car crossed the street and stuck my thumb out. A couple from Danville who were leaving the park gave me a lift to the Orinda Shell station and they insisted on giving me $5.00 dollars to get something to drink. I kept saying "No, really it's okay. My husband will be here soon" But they wouldn't take no for an answer. People Rock I tell Ya!!

It took awhile to get ahold of T. When I finally did I asked him to bring my mountain bike so I could return to the trail for another look. It took even longer getting ahold of roadside assistance. The policy at AAA is "no key no tow"....the only exception being unless you can prove that you are unable to obtain a key. It was 1pm on a Sunday in Orinda....and apparently know one locks themselves out or loses their key in Orinda because they don't have a locksmith. Then there was a lot confusion regarding my whereabouts. I was in front of Briones Staging Area, 4 miles off of Camino Pablo....unknown to me at the time Camino Pablo turns into San Pablo Damn Rd at the Bear Creek Intersection.

It took longer that it should have for T to find me and when he finally did arrive it was going on 2 pm. I was growing even more appreciative of that $5.00!! We drove back to the car, luckily I was parked in the shade where T would wait next to the Element and I headed back to trail on my bike to see if I had any luck on the other end of the trail....though I'm pretty sure the key fell out when I GU'd high up on the was getting hot and I stopped looking after 1/2 an hour confident that the tow truck would be arriving soon.....little did I know that we were in for a 4 plus hour wait!

We waited and waited and waited. T needed gas and in our haste to get back to my stranded vehicle he forgot to gas up at the station where he picked me up. I told him to drive back into town get gas and try to call again (as we had no signal either) while I waited for the tow....apparently my problem solving abilities were returning.
Another 30, 40 minutes went by and no tow truck or T! T finally pulled up and had decided to get a carwash at the gas station while he was there!

When he pulled up I was relieved because you know by this time I was really agitated. The idea of leaving the car was completely unacceptable...broken glass in the same spot we were parked, signs of an obvious break-in.
T must've spoke with every AAA roadside service agent that was working that day, each giving a different storey, one said the driver was lost, another said they didn't know which tow service to dispatch, and then the another said they were on their way...would be there soon. We hoped the later was true.

Around 4 pm a tow truck arrived, however he pulled over and parked far away. The driver was talking to someone and didn't step out of his vehicle for several minutes. Turns out he wasn't going to tow us, he had missed his turn and it was purely accidental that he happened along. He proceeded to recite the "no key no tow policy" There was no way in hell that driver was not taking us and it was T being the diplomat that he is that convinced the driver to tow us back to Berkeley. Because of the numerous calls T had made he was able to convince the powers that be that we were in fact the owners of the vehicle, that we had made a reasonable effort in obtaining a locksmith and we should NOT be charged the $120.00 tow fee. The tow guy got us into the car and I was able to retrieve my belongings. Once we arrived back home he asked for ID, license and registration, proof of insurance. 10 minutes later he came back and asked for our phone number.....this guy was beyond thorough!!!

So, what started out as a pleasant 2 hour run turned into an all day ordeal. The whole day was shot. By the time we got home it was after 4 pm! The funny thing was we had tickets for Bonnie Rait and Keb Mo that night and I wasn't really feeling up to it by the time we got home. But there was no backing out. A couple of big-ass beers, Bonnie and Keb singing the blues I was in good company.

Monday was spent getting duplicates made (you may have wondered why their wasn't one already, the Element is a pre-owned vehicle and it came with only one key....I know I know I know I should've made one earlier, I told ya I was embarrassed!!!!) I won't even say how much it cost to replace that key................ and yes, we sprung for a spare. Needless to say I was extra careful to clip in my key for this morning 's run.

Today I discovered East Bay National Trail. After a fair amount of climbing under a canopied firetrail, things leveled off ...a bit I headed into the open full on sun around 10 am. I saw a few runners...not too many going my direction as they no doubt got an earlier start....geez by the time I got my act together at home I didn't get to the trailhead until after 9:30.

As I mentioned things leveled off ....and as they say "what goes up must come down". I practiced more backward descents and was a bit disappointed to arrive at the end of the trail within 40 minutes. Per usual for me, I have no idea how far I went, I wanted a trail with hills and that's what I got. The temps were rising and I was a little worried about the climb back up but it wasn't so bad, an occasional breeze would take the edge off and before I knew I was back to my car. Total run time 1.25 hrs

I drove back towards Skyline Blvd. and decided that I had some energy left for a bit more running. I noticed a couple of people, an adult male and a younger girl stepping off the trail and the guy was shaking the dust off his shoes, it looked like they had been running.

I parked on the side of the rode and found another sweet canopied trail....this one was a mostly level, windy single track. I came across several Skyline Cross Country kids and would scoot to the right when packs of three would zoom by. One kid must've been new to running and attempted to pass on MY right....I was startled and not-a-little-annoyed and let him by on the left side...remember this is a single track trail ....with hikers and other runners coming from the opposite direction.......I don't know what he was thinking trying to pass on my right. I let him pass me from the left but the kid just ran directly in front of me. I thought, "hmm...ok I'll hang out in his draft for awhile and if he doesn't pick up his pace I'll demonstrate the proper way to pass." Impatience got the best of me and I made my move and got a little distance from him when more kids coming from the opposite direction came towards me. I moved over to the right as far as I could....and I'll be damned if that little turd didn't pass me again....the thing was he looked like he was really struggling....just shuffling along. It's was that look I'd learned about from reading race strategies, reading your opponents body language really can give you an edge. I picked things up again got around him and made for a strong finish to the end. Total run time 40 mins.

So humor me a little. I don't know how long that kid had been on that trail, he looked pretty tired and probably outran my old ass self threefold....still I'm not gonna lie and say that I didn't get a little satisfaction re-taking the lead. Give it up for the old chick!


I am beyond frustrated with my daughter at the moment. Her enthusiasm for swimming has waned and it is SOOOOO disappointing. It appears that my interest in it was the beginning of the end for her. Last time I had to drag her there and she wouldn't even go in. She's into bike riding more now and I should be happy with that but right now I want and need to swim and T is at work.

Let the pre-teen rebellion begin!