Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas The Run Before Christmas

My family moved to Arcadia, a suburb of L.A., before I turned five, early enough that I think of Southern California as the place where I grew up. But I always hated L.A. I started telling my parents before I was twelve that I was going FAR away for college. They said How about Puget Sound? I said "No, Farther." In my mind I didn't even want to be on the same coast.

My husband's family still lives in Arcadia, so we journey to the City of Angels a couple of times a year. Absence has certainly not made the heart grow fonder; despite my familiarity with the area, I still feel like an outsider. L.A. just doesn't feel like it is a part of me.

Except the mountains. The mountains here are part of my soul; something about the foothill chaparral just feels like home. It is not lush and verdant like the Pacific Northwest, but I love shuffling through the year-round thick oak duff with the dappled light filtering through their canopy above. And the the smell of the bay laurel brings back nostalgic memories of my youth.

Thursday I got to have my fun frolic, getting dropped off at Chantry Flats (elev 2,100 ft), running up to Sturtevant Camp and then going up to the summit of Mt. Wilson (5,700 ft). (I was planning to go up to Newcomb's Pass following the AC100 course, but that part of the trail was still closed from the Station fire. After summiting, I had 7.5 miles of quad searing descent down the old Mt. Wilson trail and two miles of road back to my in-laws house. 16.5 miles in about 3:25.

The dusting of snow on Mt. Wilson filled me with warmth and holiday cheer...or maybe that was the three Jagerbombs I did with my sister-in-law afterward. ;) Either way, it was a great last long run before Bandera in two weeks.

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