Monday, October 22, 2012

Rocky Ridge, Sandcastles, and a Whale of a Time!

We had a pretty fun weekend, with a lot crammed into the weekend.  We ran the Rocky Ridge trail run for the fourth year, went to Ocean Beach for a sandcastle building contest and saw a whale in the process.  On Sunday, Beth and I did a hill running clinic that she had gotten me for our anniversary present.   

So Saturday, we got up early for our trail run.  Emma and I would do the 10K (6.2 miles) that included over 2,000 feet of elevation climb.  Sophie and Myles would do the 5K (3.1 miles) with Beth running with them for motivation.

We love this run just because of the challenge and the crisp autumn air.  It is run through the Las Trampas wilderness at the end of Bollinger Canyon Rd..  On this day, it included being fogged in on the ridge for Emma and I.  It kind of reminded me of when I would ski in Washington in the fog.  It was definitely refreshing.  I completed the course in 1 hour 11 minutes and Emma completed it in 1 hour 28 minutes.

At this race, Myles wanted to run much of the race himself.  The lower part of the course runs through a bunch of oak trees and is very much like a roller coaster.  Beth would wait at key points for him a long the trail   One of the things he loved doing is passing every runner, then turn around and say "boo!" and then giggle to himself and run to the next runner and do the same.  All the runners he passed got a major kick out of it.  Sophie had a wonderful time herself.  She has been running this course by herself for a while now, and did an excellent job.  All three kids came in third in their age division.

After the race, we drove into San Francisco for a sandcastle building contest.  I had seen an advertisement for it on a billboard on the Embarcadero earlier in the week.  It was on Ocean Beach and was to benefit the arts program of 33 different elementary school art programs through corporate sponsors. There was a lot to see.  

Half way down the beach though, we noticed a bunch of people gathering along the shore.  Come to find out, it was a huge humpback whale that was frolicking in the surf.  I am not sure if he came in for a closer look to see what all the commotion was or if he had found a tasty meal but he sure put on a show.

On the way back home, I then stopped to show Beth and the kids the feral parrots of San Francisco over by the Ferry Building.  After living here for thirteen years, I discovered them this year on the way to and from my work.  You can find their story here.  We could only find three this time; however, there are over 100 that live in and round Justin Herman Plaza.

On Sunday, Beth and I got up early  for a hill running clinic held by a couple of runners who do ultra-marathons.  Originally, Beth and I were going to spend the night in Marin; however, finances dictated otherwise. However, it was fun to see the different techniques that each use so that they limit their injuries on their multiple 100 mile runs they do each year.

Talk with everyone soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sitting on a Dock by the Bay....

So today's post is being written on a fishing dock sitting on the San Francisco bay with beautiful views of the Bay Bridge, the Ferry Building, Coit Tower, the TransAmerica building as well as downtown.  It is a beautiful day, in the eighties in the City!!

That said, we have had a pretty simple last week, which included field service, loading up on groceries, and an awesome run with Beth up on Mt. Diablo.

 Now with Myles in school, she has a couple of hours in the morning to herself for the first time in ten years.  She has been keeping herself busy either in the ministry or running up on Mt. Diablo through Castle Rock.  On her running mornings, she has explored much of the trails leaving Castle Rock Regional Park and into Mt. Diablo State park.  She has taken precautions to be safe: pepper spray, whistle, charged cell phone.  Most days I get pictures on my phone of her treks.

That said, I am a bit jealous, only from the fact that she has been able to run a lot of trails with a lot of elevation; whereas I have been taking scenic runs on the Embarcadero or through Fishermans Wharf at lunch without any elevation gain.  Don't get me wrong, I run some awesome spots in the city; however, nothing beats running on dirt in the wilderness.

So it was a real treat to run with her on Sunday morning before meeting.  She took me out Castle Rock for our goal of climbing to the top of Burma Rd.  This is a about 2,000 feet of elevation gain for the total run and included views of the Diablo Valley as well as the top of Castle Rock.  We saw that morning a total of nine deer including two bucks.  While every where else in the Bay was fogged in, we had a wonderful sunny day.

I really miss my runs during the week with Beth now that I am not working in Walnut Creek.  However, I am so happy she can do this.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Castle Rock Hike and Relax!!!

So  last weekend, we had a nice hike followed by an evening for Beth and I at a baby shower.  However, I can say it was a pretty relaxing weekend nevertheless.

As usual, we began the day in the field ministry. It was a beautiful day and the temperatures had really cooled down here to the 70's.  Most of my major projects at work have ended and now we are into budget; which meant that I could actually begin to relax. That, combined with busy weekend for the past month-and-a-half had us refocusing on the simpler things. So we decided for a short hike at the Castle Rock Regional park, which is five miles from the house.
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Beth has been doing a lot of running up there now that Myles is kindergarten.  It is isolated; however, she has taken the proper precautions to keep safe.  It was one of her runs she came across a new trail and this peaceful bench that overlooked Castle Rocks as well as much of the western valley leading up to Mt. Diablo.  It is a breathtaking area and we all loved the hike.

We took the "quick way" back which meant following a steep single track to the valley floor.  The kids had a great time, with only a sprained wrist for Sophie on the final 100 feet; however, we came across a horse on the way back to the car which made up for the fall.
Saturday night meant a baby shower for our friends the Wells.  This was a bit more than the typical baby shower, and was designed more like a cocktail party.  While everyone had fun, this style of party wasn't our cup of tea so we left after a couple of hours.

 So that's it for this week!!  Don't forget we post more pictures on our Dropshots site!!