The first part of the 23K section heads south and dodges in and out of the Tree Farm. It is easy to lose the trail in this section as it undulates steeply up and down.
Melting pumpkins and corrugated steel
After running on the Ridge Trail in open meadows the trail turns slightly and plunges into the forest. Soon the trail turns steeply up and I found myself walking through tall douglas firs. I reached the top of the hill somewhat disapppointed with myself for not running this section and I turned around to do it again. A few miles further on, the trail suddenly passes through a gate and I popped out into brilliant sunshine with a breathtaking view of the Pacific. It is moments like these that make me glad to live in California and thankful to be able to get to places like these.
The run was not without its challenges. Those of you who have run the Skyline PCTR 23, 37 or 50K before might not recognize the intersetion in the photo below. That is because it isn't part of the course! I looked over the course description and the map before I departed and thought I knew where I was going. The trail signage was ambiguous in some places but to be honest I didn't committ to memory every turn on the course, nor did I carry a map. After many wrong turns I certainly have a great understanding of where the course doesn't go.
Evidence of Mountain Lions?