Apr 7, 2010

California

Joey is having a good time here

The opportunities for running here in California, especially if I'm in the mood to run hills, are pretty plentiful - and I'd like to say I've taken advantage of them here. After taking nearly a week off after Umstead, I got runs in both days this past weekend - one was an easy 2.5 miler around my parent's neighborhood, the other was a climb up this thing called Arlington Mountain, adjacent to my parent's house where we're staying.

Summit of Arlington Mountain
Arlington Mt can be seen for miles from all directions, and has commanding views of Riverside and Corona. It is covered in recently-built cookie-cutter homes that are ubiquitous to this area and they go literally all the way to the water tank that marks the summit. It is a steep climb, and the paved route I take to the 1853' summit gains about 750' in about 1.5 miles.
The climb up Arlington is actually a decent fitness test for me, as the ability to ascend it completely without walking is something that I have tried twice prior to this trip and failed once. On Sunday, my third attempt, I ran the entire thing successfully, so I guess that means my fitness is better than the time I didn't make it.

If my running streak were still going, I'd have a lot to add. Even in "River-tucky", there are great places to train all over the place. Dirt paths, which as far as I can tell are used for off-road recreational motoring, have created a panacea of running paths through short steep hills that, when run hard enough, can wear out the most fit of runners.

Lotsa hills. Arlington Mountain visible on Horizon to the right.


More ambitious days, of which this trip will have none, can head up one of the four county highpoints visible from my parent's house. There are few places in the USA where you can see that many county highpoints at once, but my parent's house is one of them. "Peakbagging" is a minor pastime of mine and I spend a lot of time thinking about these mountains when I'm here.

Santiago Peak, 5689', highest point in Orange County. Locally known as Saddleback Mountain

Mt. San Antonio, 10,068', highest point in Los Angeles County. Locally known as Mt. Baldy


San Jacinto Peak, 10,834', highest point in Riverside County. Photo shot from ~70 miles away.

San Gorgonio Mountain, 11,503', highest point in San Bernardino County and in Southern California.

I have climbed two of these big mountains - Santiago and San Jacinto. San Gorgonio is probably next on my list.



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