Friday, July 5, 2013

Point Reyes to Mount Tam

Running from Presidio to Mt Tam

Day 1: 
I wanted to catch the 2:17 pm bus to connect with the 3:30 West Marin Stagecoach from San Rafael to Point Reyes Station. Got out of work too late to catch the 2:30 bus, jumped in an UberX in the hope that I'd catch the 101 on the way and transfer. The 101 bus was swifter, and I ended up UberXing all the way to San Rafael Transit Center ($60). The West Marin Stagecoach ($2) was a bone-rattling, 1:12 ride to Point Reyes station, just in time to visit Bovine Bakery before it closed at 5 pm. I bought a quiche and cookie, as the croissant I wanted was sold out.

A nice supper at Osteria Stellina's bar. The bartender asked "did you drive today?" and when I said no, poured me a nice glass of dessert wine. 

After supper I walked out to Sir Francis Drake Road, then walked up Drakes Summit Road to Limantour, then ran the Laguna Trail to the Point Reyes Hostel. Google Maps was adamant about Drakes Summit not connecting, and I feared an impassable fence. No, it was an easy uphill climb on the road, then an easy descent on a fir covered trail through the dusk to the hostel, 4.5 miles.

I felt so good, and the sun was up, so I did another 5 mile loop on Muddy Hollow Road down to the beach, then back up Limantour. At an easy trot in the purple dusk, I felt like I could move forever. 

Day 2: I set off from the Point Reyes Hostel at 7:45 AM, with the goal of running through Point Reyes, and the Coast Trail hopefully all the way to Sausalito. The day was hot, with a projected high of 90, and I was concerned about water supply. And I could feel in my legs the 10 miles I'd done Wedneday, as well as my 5 miles on Tuesday.

An easy jaunt to stretch out down Coastal Trail to Coast Camp, where I re-filled with water. Then, luckily, a thick fog bank as I rolled around and started climbing to Glen Camp. Glen Camp was a 1.4 mile backtrack, but I needed water. In hindsight, I should have taken Bear Valley Trail to Glen Camp and shaved ~3 miles.

Then, the heat & overgrowth began. I love Point Reyes, but I was happy I'd worn knee high socks as I waded through over-growth. Up and over FirTop, then down Bolema Trail to Olema Valley. It was getting quite warm, probably in the mid 80s. And my pace was slower than I hoped, as I had to consult my map at frequent intersections.

Finally I was back on home turf, Randall Trail, after ~5 hours of running.

Randall Trail was cool in the redwoods, and I started to get a second wind. Just make it to Pan Toll…

Bolinas Ridge was prettier than I remember -- I hadn't been on this stretch since Miwok 2011. However, stretches were exposed, and I had been nursing the same 1.5 Liters for the past 4 hours. I was hot. And thirsty. I kept fantasizing about a Margarita at Stinson Beach. Now, sitting in the air-conditioned cool, I realize I was fantasizing about the salt, as I have NO current desire for a margarita. 

As I came to Bolinas-Ridgecrest Ridge, I saw 4 picnickers, drinking water and wine. I swallowed my pride and asked if I could have some water. Not only did they give me some water, they filled my pack, saying they had another bottle in the car (as well as wine). PHEW. I had another 6.4 miles to Mt Tam, and even with slow, cautious sips, I was out again. 

Coastal Trail get's in better condition the closer you get to Pan Toll…which means at Ridgecrest Blvd it's in bad shape. I tried to keep a cadence as heat waves rose out of the golden grass, without twisting my ankle. I was so hot. When I crossed a small stream, I splashed water on my face. The next stream I splashed more. Finally, out of drinking water, I face-planted myself into the stream and soaked my front.

But still I kept moving, and I was at Pan Toll, 9:13 after leaving the Hostel (continuos time). Just enough time to drink 3 liters of water while waiting for the bus back to Marin City. 

What I would have done differently:
Brought an extra water bottle. If I hadn't gotten water from the good graces of the picnickers, I would have bailed down to Stinson Beach…it was too hot (90s) to go that far without hydrating.

Taken a different route through Point Reyes…next time I'll take a more direct route.

What I did well:
Relentless forward motion.

Calling it a day at Mt Tam. I thought about pressing on to Mill Valley, but this was a training run, not a death march. 

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