|Time||3 hr 06 min|
|Elevation Gain||1,931 feet|
A couple weeks back, Kim and I hiked Mount Sanitas as a start to our weekly fall hike outing. Well, last week it was nasty on Tuesday morning, so we opted to go to the gym and do some weights together. Let’s just say that running has done wonders for my legs but my arms have lost any muscle. So on maybe one machine, Kim and I would not have to move the pin. I hate weights! But we had a good time.
So this week we opted for a longer hike with a more gradual incline. Sanitas had tons of steps so I figured Hall Ranch would be a good alternative. I ran there once this past summer on a trail run weekend. Did about 10 miles and really liked it. So we decided to head out there after dropping the kids off at school. We had solid 3 hours to hike before we had to head back to get them. Should be fine. Right?
We got up the first hill pretty quickly and even did some trail running down the backside. It was awesome to be out running trails with Kim. Something I never really thought would happen since she wasn’t too into running. However, she enjoyed the rolling downhills and was able to get a bit more speed and distance versus running around the block at home. It was even so hot out by this time that we started stripping down. Quite a change from the cold of last week.
We got to what Kim thought was the half way point and she said she was still good to go. So we kept on cranking. Unfortunately, about this time I realized that my wife is a water hog and I gave her my bottle after she had drained hers. I could deal. So we kept on moving around the loop. When I finally told her we were at the half way point, she looked at me like “are you kidding?”. Whoops. I never intended to kill her but I thought things were just rolling along. She was a trooper and she kept at it. Her real worry was if we would be back in time to get the kids.
We got to the high point of the hike and then started to descend. We picked up the pace and got some long sections of running in to speed our pace. I was watching the clock the whole time thinking — crap, what have I done. Tough to hike against a deadline. But we kept at it and were able to get back within sight of the car by our deadline. Just a few more minutes down to the car — WHEN — we heard a growl come from the bushes to the east of us. WTF? We both looked at each other. I saw nothing but I knew what that sound was from. Cat. Big cat. We stopped in our tracks. Since I could see the car and a clear field I figured it would be better to proceed forward and get to the clearing. So I handed Kim one of our collapsed hiking poles with the spike out and we moved on. Another growl! Great. Now we are dead. We didn’t look back and high tailed it down the trail. Never saw a thing. We both knew what made the sound but we never saw it. It seemed to be warning us that it was cornered and it didn’t want us to come closer. Phew!
We made it to the car and sped back to the school to get the kids. Just miles from the trail, we noticed something dart right out in front of the car. A coyote! Running full speed across the road. Brake! Then it darted down the bank and ran full speed and leaped right though a slit in a barbed wire fence and kept cruising through the farm field. That was enough wildlife for us for one day!
As we got back home, Kim asked, “So how far did we go today?”. Ummm…about 9 miles or so. Her eyes widened. Then she showed a big smile and said, “I am going to sleep good tonight — after my extended leg and foot massage you will be giving me.” Touche. Until next time…