I'm not sure what possessed me to run from Los Altos to Saratoga and back, all on trails. I've had the idea in the back of my head for some time to run from Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos/Cupertino to the Pacific. This run on Saturday was an exploration of the first ~18 miles of this route. From Saratoga Gap the route follows the Skyline to the Sea trail exclusively but prior to that the route runs through complex of trails leading up to Saratoga. I looked through the relevant maps online and pieced together the route.
Rancho to Black Mtn. Indian Creek Trail to Canyon Trail. Canyon Trail to Table Mountain trail. Table Mtn trail to Saratoga Gap trail (north). Cross Skyline Blvd to Achistaca trail. How did they come up with a name like Achistaca? I thought I'd ascended to Peru.
As this was an exploration of a future point to point route I headed back whence I came and completed just over 36 miles in a leisurely 7 hours. I'm guessing the climbing totalled around 6000 ft. The route is pleasant even though the weather was cool and fog was blowing a light drizzle. The Canyon trail and parts of the Table Mountain trail are beat to hell by mountain bikes which gives the path the feel of a thoroughfare and takes away the illusion of remoteness. I have to say, in the defense of my two-wheeled brethren, the terrain is ideal for riding.
I didn't feel that strong during the run but I kept going which is good enough.