After being taken to task by my wife for naming a tenth of a mile of a newly created trail after myself, I had to atone for my sin (not that I believe in the concept, but I am a recovering Irish Catholic). I decided to name better new trails after other people. In my mind, this would balance the scales.
First up was Dax. Dax is my running guru. It's not a position that he strove to obtain or even knows he holds. Dax is a few years ahead of me when it comes to running. When I started the running club, I found out that Dax had been there and done that in San Elijo. Dax had also grappled with the dilemma of people showing up for group runs who needed their hand held. Dax would hold their hand, turning a Sunday run into an interval session, running from the front to guide the runners and then back to shepard the lost sheep. My method is a bit different, I basically tell them to fuck off.
Dax started the North County Running Meetup. Dax started track sessions at San Elijo. Dax knows everyone in the running community. When I write a blog post, Dax writes a better one. Who is this guy? He's my running guru.
The day I named a trail after myself, Dax and I had a blog comment session. There was a bit of back and forth, with Dax commenting that having a trail named after yourself needs to be earned, like a nickname. I told him he sounded like my wife. Both of them doing their best to keep my humble. The odd thing is, later that evening, when I left my house with my dogs, who should I see? Dax, dropping off one of my neighbor's kids. When the student is ready, the master appears . . .
Dax's last blog post was about the fire, Double Peak, his emotional connection to it and rebirth. The trail I choose for Dax is mostly an old fire road that was hidden in plain sight. The fire exposed it, causing it to be reborn. I couldn't think of a better trail to name after Dax. The entire trail is contained within a burn area and will rise again like the Phoenix.
In scouting out the The Dax Trail, I felt like a 10 year old running in the woods. I was running in the Forbidden Forest, in a foot of ash, getting dirty, not caring and not exactly sure where I was going. I was reborn. I was having fun. It was pure running. My guru was doing his guru thing without even doing it. The Dax Trail can be viewed at http://www.strava.com/activities/143899490/segments. The trail isn't exactly mapped out, it's a bit of a work in progress, like my spiritual journey.
After Dax, I had to name a trail after Chris B. Chris is my running buddy and friend. He's the guy who trains with me, goes to races with me, travels around to other locations to do runs, talks to me on the phone about running, gives me advice and encouragement and has an occasional beer with me.
Chris is also a mountain goat. The man likes his hills. He might be better served to live in Colorado, but for the moment, we've got him in San Elijo Hills. For Chris, I wanted to find a hill trail.
Last week, on the way to a beach soccer tournament (I eat, sleep, run, work, walk my dogs, have sex, read and watch my kids play soccer - that's my life - it's pretty good) I took the 78 freeway. The 78 offers a good view of the backside of Double Peak, which suffered heavy burn damage from the Cocos fire. In the car I was sure I saw a new firebreak trail made by a bulldozer coming down from Lakeview Trail. I got excited like a dog on a scent and since then have been waiting for a chance to explore.
A bit of singletrack existed here, but it didn't go very far before it hit a fence. I discovered today that the fence was run over by a bulldozer. Again, I felt like a child. The wonder, the exploration, the excitement of being where I'm not supposed to be. I ran on or rather hiked up a vertical wall, one portion having a grade of 47.7%, of ripped up shrubs, piles of rocks and thick piles of soil. Dirty and sweaty, I was running pure and loving it (thanks McDonald's for ruining that phrase).
At the end of the work of the bulldozer, I was feeling good. I knew I was going to being able to keep going forward. I dropped down into an old quarry that was fenced off (until last week) and then spotted two v-ditches that ran alongside two hills. When there is no trail, run the v-ditches bitches (sorry - I couldn't resist). The v-ditches led to a ten foot high gate, behind which sat a maintenance road with a "No Trespassing" sign. The sign may as well read, "Enter Here." The gate was missing a fence to go with it, so I walked to its edge and onto the road. The road then connected to a trail that leads back to the Lakeview Trail.
I had done it. I had linked up the trail. I had lived up to the club motto of "above, beyond and through." 1.2 miles of solitude and trespass. It gets no betta. The trail can be seen at http://www.strava.com/activities/145131322/segments and is called "Ibex (Chris B's trail"). The Ibex being a wild goat that lives in the European Alps.
Thanks Dax and Chris. Hope you enjoy your fame. Keep it dirty.