Grandma's send off was beautiful. she always had a way of bringing people together and this time was no different.
in the midst of everything this week i still managed to get in most of my runs. yesterday i spent a couple hours in Redwood getting to know it's trail system better. i wanted to get in somewhere between 8 to 13 miles. not knowing where or how hard the trails would be i would rely on the garmin and keep an open mind.
i'm not the most methodical trail runner and find maps to be unnecessarily confusing. i prefer to keep things simple, use sticks and stones to mark the path and take a few mental notes along the way. my observation skills seem to be keener on the trail....though, i lose my car keys every other day, go figure! later, i refer to the map and it seems to make more sense this way. in the neuro-re-education field this type of learning is known as "backward chaining" basically remembering things backwards.
i usually stick to the main trails in this park but i was feeling adventurous and wanted to get more familiar with the more technical trails. i started out on West Ridge. this was mostly flat for the first 3 miles then it was a steady 1 mile drop towards Stream Trail than onto Bridle Trail. it was at this point i lost the garmin signal. i had a vague sense of familiarity, i recognized random points from the PCTR 20K last month...no brightly colored tape to guide my way this time though.
i wasn't sure where i was going but i knew where i came from and could easily find my way back. i followed Bridle to French until i was able to pick up a signal on the garmin, 5.55 miles. deep in the canyon, i knew i had enough daylight and energy to get back the way i came if i had to, but i wanted to see where this trail would lead. i made mental notes of a few off shoot trails that i noticed earlier on West Ridge ...this came in handy later...when French Trail turned into a monster climb....which wouldn't of been bad, i just wasn't sure where it led. i decided at that point to double back and take Madrone, a steep rocky climb back to West Ridge.
the first time on a new trail is always a bit jerky. no fluid movements, lots of stopping, checking and looking down at my feet. it's kinda like dancing. as i make my way through, i'm a little anxious, not sure where the path will take me next but countering this uncertainty is a sense of wonder and peace and an occasional glimpse of the dancer in me.