So...when we left off, we were headed out to some trails :D
Now, since my leg is still doing its weird thing (I've started PT, but that'll probably be another post) I've been cautioned to take it easy, so our first exploration was strickly hiking. We wore jeans and everything to resist the temptation to run (though I did run down a couple hills...you sort of have to...)
Our welcome letter from the inn recommended a hike that began very close to the end up, I believe, gravity car grade. It's just a fireroad, but it promised bay views in less than a mile, so it sounded like a good deal, especially since it was already getting into the afternoon and we were planning a longer run the next day.
The weather was just perfect for us, and before long we reached the promised views. It was a little smoggy, so visibility wasn't great, but it was still beautiful
The trails had others out enjoying the afternoon sun, including some bikers and plenty of hikers. There were even a few runners, making me feel self conscious about being out on the trails decked out in jewelry, jeans, and makeup :)
The fire road had pretty sites, but, as trails go, fireroads often don't seem all that far from real roads. Still, we were out in nature. We did find a nice spot to the side of the trail with some tree stumps that was a nice place to soak in the views, but the bees in the surrounding bushes made me a little too nervous to hang out for long.
The moon was up in the beautiful blue sky (can you spot it in picture above?) and we enjoyed our walk to the end of the firetrail. Towards the end we came upon a barbed wire fence with some kind of compound of houses below it. It seemed very odd and mysterious (and, with watching lots of lost lately, a little suspicious), but once we came upon the real road, it made a little more sense. We had spotted a single track going off from the fire road around the houses, and decided to head back there to go exploring. The nice thing about hiking versus running (for me) is that I'm less likely to feel committed to a route. So, off the beaten track we went!
The trail was obviously well worn, though not officially marked from where we could see. We were carrying our hotel mt tam map, and though we figured out where we were, but we weren't sure. The trail ran alongside a creek the entire way up.
Of course, I was stopping every few feet for photos, which kept the progress nice and slow :)
Eventually the trail popped out onto a new fire road, which was exciting. We figured that we were on the fire road directly above the last one we were on, but apparently our map skills were less than amazing. We eventually came to a signpost and found out we were on hoo-koo-e-koo road. We continued on it for a while, but then found a great singletrack heading off again. I was certain I had been on this trail with Mike Palmer on one of our Mt Tam circumnavigations, but with no sign post I wasn't sure.
The bridge crossing was definitely familiar and I was sure I had been here before. "It's Matt Davis" I proclaimed. "I'm sure of it!" Well...maybe not, but it seemed like it might fit. It was lovely to be on single track (and a narrow single track it was!) and from this trail, since we were up higher than before, we got some new great views.
This trails had everything I loved about Mt. Tam trails: the open views, exposed areas, and redwood forests, all in short spans from one another
The soft dirt was great and was Ed's first introduction to so nice of trails.
Eventually we popped onto another fireroad and a trail post, and at that moment (seeing the sign helped) I knew exactly where we were
Hoo koo e koo it was! I was able to point to Ed where I usually came from when going onto this trail and was excited to feel like I was gaining a bit of familiarity with this area :)
At this point it was starting to get closer to evening, so we following the sign home to Mountain Home to relax with a good book, some champagne, and to get ready for dinner!
Continued in Pt. III