I chose to go to Corte Madera. As I was evaluating which trails I wanted to use for my run I noticed how the park had a junction with "Star Hill road". Curious, I followed the road on google maps and found that in 6.4 short miles I could be at the ocean. This would turn my run into a much longer effort than I had originally planned (to be able to do another run on Sunday morning). But it was too enticing, so I went for it.
The run up Wunderlich follows nice, well groomed, wide, soft trail with a gradual climb to skyline. The whole thing is very runnable and provides for a nice stretch of sustained climbing effort. When I got to skyline, I crossed the road and reached my normal entry point into Corte Madera. There was a sign saying that that road was not open. I remember last year that they were doing some sort of construction in this vicinity, but I never figured out what they were up to. Anyways, I hopped the gate (common theme for todays run), and found this brand new parking facility with bathrooms and trail head info all ready to go. Except it was still closed for some reason. Whatever, it will be nice. So I continued down the hill towards the ocean.
|New parking lot at El Corte De Madera Creek Open Space Preserve|
|Steam Donkey Trail|
|An interesting "problem" for Toshi|
|Shortcut from Star Hill road to the Virginia Mill trail.|
|Views from Star Hill road.|
|Eucalyptus lined road with awesome views.|
|One of the few witnesses of my transgression.|
|Reminded me of Kansas, except the cars in in pretty good shape for what they are...|
|These cows have it nice- designer drinking fountains and all.|
At least the guy in the Acura had some sheet-metal between him and a potentially gruesome death...
|One of the many longhorns I crossed paths with|
|There were some sweet houses in this country.|
|"The other side"|
|It was one of those days.|
The whole thing ended up taking me just under five hours, so it was still a longer run than I really had planned on for this day, but I decided to give Black Mountain another shot on Sunday morning. Got up early and took the windmill pasture route. Round trip about 16 miles and it actually felt ok, but I was wiped at the end. I got a cool surprise near the summit when I ran into Bob, who I normally do track workouts with (him and Jean) on Tuesday or Thursday mornings. I know he usually sticks more to the roads, but he seems to be venturing off into the hills as of late. He said something about connecting up an ultra-marathon with those trails, and I assured him that would be a good idea. I think we got another ultra-runner in the making.