Monday, January 7, 2008

30 Mile Trail Run at Point Reyes

Point Reyes is a gorgeous place to run. The terrain is varied. There are countless trails, many of which are singletrack. We were staying 45 minutes away in Bodega Bay for New Years and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do my long run in this beautiful national seashore.

I started at the Bear Valley trailhead and headed south on the Rift Trail. The trail was slick and muddy from recent rain. I had to skirt a herd of cows as I headed through the meadows in the rift zone. The pond (below) was just getting the first rays of the sun as I passed by.

Rift Trail in the morning mist

Just south of the pond was a stream crossing. There was no bridge as the stream is probably no more than a trickle the rest of the year. But at this point it was about a foot deep and eight feet across. Stepping stones were well submerged. Not wanting to run the next twenty miles with wet feet I dragged some logs over and made it across. About a mile later as the trail crossed through the middle of a meadow the trail looked like this with no way around it.

I despite best efforts to keep the feet dry I ran straight through. 20 miles later my feet were just about dry!

The Rift Trail led to the Texteira trail (not sure I spelled that right) which climbs up out of the rift valley up to the Ridge Trail. The forest here is very lush and the light meanders through the tall trees. The lower branches of the Douglas fir trees are all broken off (high winds?) making the forest bright and open. Running in between the shoulder-high vegetation that makes up the understory felt like running through the pews in a cathedral.

The Ridge trail connects to PaloMarin and the Coastal Trail after about a mile of running on the road. I was hoping for a place to fill up with water at the parking lot at PaloMarin but no luck. I had enough in the pack to make the distance but it never hurts to have a little extra.

On the Coast Trail: Allamere Falls junction

The Coast trail is dramatic with awe inspiring vistas and ever changing scenery. The name , however, is a little misleading. You'll spend as much time climbing in and out of canyons out of sight of the ocean as you will on the cliffs overlooking the waves. No complaints from me as there were plenty of beautiful sights inland as well.
Pond on the Coast Trail (inland)

Local Fauna

At about twenty-six miles I reached the Bear Valley trail where it hits the Coast trail. With only four miles to go on a very forgiving trail I picked up the pace to make it back to the cabin for lunch.

View from near the Bear Valley/Coast Trail intersection

View Route at link below:

1 comment:

CoyoteGirl said...

Hey Thomas!

Congrats on your great placing at Pacifica! I did an easy and slow training run for that one since I'm working on building up mileage. I thought it was a really beautiful trail. I'm doing Woodside too in February, the 17k, at a faster pace.