Hey everyone, it's Boobie Tuesday so that means you at least get something from Rachel:
Snakes on the Plain (ok, it was really the hill):
This weekend’s walk wasn’t the longest one we’ve done but it definitely was the most challenging. Nathalie and I met early and drove up to Los Altos to Rancho San Antonio. Note to self: next time we have to meet earlier than 7:00 am if we want to find a parking spot. There wasn’t a single spot to be had, so we found one about a mile away from the trail head in one of the few neighborhoods that didn’t require a parking permit. No biggie, a little extra mileage was only going to help.
Rancho is really nice. There were a fair number of people there, but it’s big enough that it didn’t feel crowded. The first thing we saw there were a small herd of deer and also some wild turkeys, none of whom seemed to care very much that we were there. Our path into Rancho took us about as close to deer as I’ve ever been, and all they did was look at us and go back to eating.
After checking out the trail map, we headed up the hill. It started out fairly easy. Flat at first, then an incline which got my heart rate going, but I was pretty comfortable. That’s when Nathalie dropped the bomb: “Oh” she says, smiling, “I forgot, there’s a really big hill coming up”. Very convenient. She’s good at suddenly remembering challenges after it’s too late for me to say ‘no’ to her suggesting the option. The incline gradually got steeper and though my legs were ok, breathing was definitely getting harder. A lot of the time it would level out just as I felt the going was really tough, but as we neared the spot where we were going to stop for lunch, it got really steep and there were no breaks; all just one big hill. I had to stop a couple of times to get my heart rate back under control. But we finally got to our rest stop. By the time we reached it I really was beat and breathing hard, but I was pretty pleased that it only took about 5 minutes for me to feel normal again. At that point I was able to look around and I found some new friends:
These little guys seemed pretty used to human presence too, and hung out not too far from us most of the time. I think they were waiting for me to share my PB&J, but I didn’t.
Here’s a view on the way up:
It doesn’t do the justice to the terrain at all (it was really quite the incline), but it’s still awfully pretty.
We ate and rested for a little while, and then were back on our way. Going up was tough aerobically but man, going down was really tough on the muscles and joints! I’m inclined to think that walking in the City won’t be quite as hard because we’ll be going up and down over and over, not all one bit uphill and then one looooonng downhill. I was ok, but Nathalie has a problem knee so I was a little worried about her. She seemed to do ok though. On our way down we ran (almost literally) into this guy:
He’s hard to see in the dappled light, but I think he’s a gopher snake. There are lots of signs there warning about the presence of rattle snakes in the area, but he (she?) didn’t fit the description. All the same, I didn’t get close enough to get a really good look though. I may be curious but I’m not nuts.
We made it down safely, after choosing trails that extended the walk as much as possible, without sending us over the hill to Saratoga. As steep as the climb was, the descent was steeper and for longer. Nathalie wants to do the same walk next weekend, but in the opposite direction. THAT is going to hurt. But I’ll probably be up for it. In the meantime, I’m nursing a couple of blisters and some sore muscles. I’m happy though; we did nearly 12 miles on some pretty tough terrain, and it makes me feel pretty confident that I’ll be well prepared for whatever the walk brings. As long as we don’t encounter any rattle snakes on that either.
My Avon Walk for Cancer Page
Things are really crazy in the Chaos lately. I miss you guys, but I don't have it in me to write anything right now. I'll be back soon I promise!
In the meantime - Stephieface this is for you....
I've been showing lots of attention to Rhett - it's been helping with the stressful aspects of the chaos. We've been spending a lot of time with our new electrical toy. And oh boy, has that been fun. Rhett just loves it when I run it over his furry patches... I've also been organizing all knitterly goods...which means...handling shafts of all lengths and girths and fondling lots of balls. Oooh, don't forget the stroking/petting of balls. Oh my yes...lots of balls.
Run with it girl...you know you want to....