Sunday, September 30, 2012

Being Dirty

Being out in the forest for over 3 days and 3 nights without much creature comforts means you get pretty dirty.  Some don't like it.  I was ok with it, probably because my sweat ended up washing some of the filth off, and also, any chance I got, I cooled off in a creek somewhere, which also acts as a sort of bath.

This past weekend I went camping with the family at Memorial State Park.  It was my birthday weekend, and this is sort of a tradition that we have established.  Every additional child we have had has increased the logistical and parental load on us and we are looking forward to the days where the children are a little more self-sufficient.

Anyways, on saturday afternoon I was allowed to go for a run during the children's supposed nap time. So off I went into Pescadero Creek Park(next door).  I enjoyed some solitude(it is sometimes tough to understand the word "solitude" until you have four children and are allowed some time by yourself).  Here are some views I got to enjoy:

Meadow in Pescadero

Cool view through the trees
 I was following the Pomponio trail until I encountered a fork in the road, where the sign clearly marked where to continue on the trail, but was intrigued with the trail that went straight up the hill(unmarked), so I went.
Would you go?
I went up some steep and overgrown trails that were fun to run and came upon a road where I saw the above scene.  A fireroad that goes straight up the ridge with a wire drawn across.  I always take this as a sign that the trail is closed to "vehicular" traffic, but pedestrians must be in the good.  So I continued.

Oh yeah, it just got better!
Views from "secret" trail.

More views.
I came back on a trail that merges on the right side of this picture.
I hit a dead end and ended up coming back on the trail after I enjoyed some pretty views.  As I was descending I must have taken a different trail because I started to realize that I was flying through fresh spider webs, which is weird, because you would think I would have already cleared these things out on my way up.  I then merged back onto the main trail and realized that I had somehow gone on yet another secret trail.  I didn't even notice the trail on the right side of the picture above on the way up the ridge.  This just proves how easy it is to get lost on the trails...

Coming back across the road I was faced with three options.
When I crossed back over the street again I had three trails to pick from:
  1. The trail on the left was the one I came in on,
  2. The trail in the middle looks like it contours the hill.
  3. The trail to the right goes straight up the hill.
So of course I pick the one that goes straight up the hill.  Within 200 ft I come upon a really neat campsite with firepit and all...

Option 3 yielded a secluded campground.

From secluded campground, there was a nice little trail that led to a cliff with this view.
 I then retreated back down the hill and went on trail option two which merged back with number one at some point and went back to the pomponio trail.  I knew I had probably ran through some poison oak and was pretty filthy from all of the overgrown brush that I was running through, so I decided to cool off and wash off in this awesome watering-hole, complete with waterfall!

Found this hole, with waterfall, to cool off in and wash stuff off.
I then ran to a junction with old-haul road and ran the remaining miles back at a pretty quick pace to get back in time to grill dinner for the family.  I don't know what the mountain bikers were thinking of me when I came flying past them on foot, but I imagine that on the climbs they wish they could run!

On a separate note, as a family we went on a little hike to mt. ellen and back to camp.  As we were descending I let Seth out of the pack and let him show his stuff off.  You might think this is funny, impressive, or really messed up, depending on your parenting style, but check out this guy who is almost two, fly down the trails.  Keep in mind that he is one month shy of his second birthday...

So that is that.


  1. Cool pics from the secret trails you found! And awesome job capturing Seth footage, that was a great idea you had. (And I'm glad I was far enough behind that I didn't see him attempt that steep short cut!)

  2. Love the Seth vid!

    Secret trails are great...used to hike deer trails as a kid.

    Hope you occasionally allow your wife some of that solitude away from the four kids that you frequently enjoy. :-)

  3. I've decided, Seth is just following one of my time-honored life principles: Always take the hypotenuse. :-)

  4. Haha! That video was funny! Definitely a trail runner :)

  5. Oh dear, I'm not ready for boys.

  6. The rest of the blog is great but this video is so so cool! You are right, we got the picture, we have a new trail runner in the club! What a balance on a single track, what an enthusiasm for speed, what a courage to fly over the short-cuts (the Kilian way ;-), and what a parenting lesson to give opportunities to learn, instead of cocooning! Can't wait to see what he'll do on the football field... ;-)

  7. Back to the post, and the secret trail in particular, the picture reminds me of Yogi Bera's quote (thanks Chris Garcia): "If you come to a fork in the road, take it!" ( ;-)