Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hitting the Road

Thought I'd save y'all some time and let you know the blog will be napping until we get back from our trip the first week in December.
For those who follow @diablorunnermom, I won't be tweeting, either.
Also, my state park pass is here!!! So you can expect some stories from the mountain when we get back.

Have a great few weeks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Castle Rock Climb - Part 2

 As we entered the park, this picture was on the board where they post stuff. I thought it a really good picture of the "Castle Rocks", so I snapped it.  I'm going to put an "L" above the line of rock we climbed up, but it's the big fat one to the right of my flash reflection.We started above the "u" in the word Naturalist in the caption below the picture.


 They needed to rest a few times, you can't really tell, but it dropped off if you stepped out away from the they had to rest standing up.

I don't know what Myles is saying, but he is highly entertaining.
 As you can see from this trail pic...I really had no idea how this trail would end up, or where...but I knew we couldn't turn around and come back down it. It was too steep and loose.  It was powdery sand and crumbly rocks. At the same time, from the air this looks like a straight line of rock, but it had enough curves and bends that I couldn't see very far ahead at any given time.
 Below, do you see anything on top of that hill? Its one of my favorite, secret spots in Castle Rock Park. There is no marked trail to have to know it's there to know it's there : ) BTW, Stage Road, and all Brazen's races, run along the front, bottom of that hill...but even if you look up, you can't see what's there on top of the hill. Random fact, the first time I took the family up there to show them this secret spot, we came straight down the face of the hill to get down to Stage...and Sophie sprained her wrist.  So, if you find this secret thing, head back out on the trail you came in on, and come down Buckeye Ravine.
 Ok, here's a close up for you of it.  I've been known to take a book in my Nathan pack and sit a spell up there.
 Meanwhile, we are still climbing....

 And eventually, we finally reached the top of that line of rock. There was a cave, and choices to be made. We couldn't come back down because the trails were all too steep or required climbing gear. Sophie looks concerned because I told them to stay put while I go look over the edge of a rock to get a lay of the land.  The rock had these 2 metal hooks in the top, I don't rock climb, so I don't/didn't know they were meant to clamp into...and I stuck my head out over the edge of the rock and nearly passed out! The rock was hanging out over an edge, so there was nothing below me, just air. I had to sit for a while to stop my head from spinning. Believe it or not, I don't do well with heights. 
Here's a few pictures of our surroundings at that moment-

 Above, if you look close, you can see the line of rock in the grass lands that is China Wall.
When you head outbound on Stage, you pass two meadows w/benches in them, that's the first meadow down there.
 The above rock is the highest point of the line of rock we came up.If you look back at the first picture, under the L, you can see that at the top of that line it ends with a pointy rock, and this picture is that rock, from the other side of it facing down the line. From there we just kept taking whatever we found that headed up hill towards the top of the ridge. I knew there was a trail along the ridge that we could take and drop back down, which is what we did.

Above, here's an example of one of the trails take 3 steps in and it drops straight down.
 We came down Little Sunset, and out Stage....which is beautiful right now. Every gust of wind made it rain leaves. The kids loved it.

If you look at this picture close enough, you can see there are leaves falling everywhere, Em was trying to catch one.

This is looking up at the line of rock we came up.  We really do have fun on these kind of hikes where we just see a trail and take it.  There are still many trails to be found, and it's a good feeling to know that I know this park well enough to take about any trail and even if I have no idea where it goes, I can get us back to the car safe and sound. Eventually.  This adventure took almost 3 hours, although our moving time was about half that. : )

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Castle Rock Climbing

I often think I've covered about every inch of this park.....and then we have an exceptionally dry year where the grass dies back....and I spot a new-to-me trail and say, "Hey kids, follow me."  And the next thing you know, we are climbing something so steep I realize we can't climb down the way we are going up, so lets just keep going up and see what we find.  I thank my Grandpa Jack (although I was not thanking him at the time) for teaching me young that if in doubt, keep going up and follow the ridge back down.  Today was definitely one of those hikes where I realized half a mile in that if Brian knew where we were he'd be mad...and that he should probably know where we are in case anything happened. Oops. Good times. Here's a few pics from the harmless beginning of our adventure. I'll have the "other ones", (a.ka. not harmless ones) up later.

With that...we started climbing. You can see the elevation profile on my latest strava post.  It was pretty much climb 20 feet, stop and rest. Another few feet..stop and rest.  We had a blast, though. I'll post more later.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Friday Night Lights

We had an exciting Friday night. Emma came home with a flyer inviting the middle-schoolers to the last regular season football game of the high-school. The kids had been to a college game, but have only heard my stories of going to football games in high school (Brian didn't go to his high school games).  My mom and I would go to a lot of the games, both basketball and football, and it was always fun!! So, the kids know I'm excited for them to get into high school because I can go to the games with them, whether they like it or not! : )  So we went to the game Friday night. Now, both teams were Concord teams....but only one was the home team, which'll be our team in 1.5 years. However, hometown bleachers were packed out, and we had to do the unthinkable,.....sit in the visiting teams bleachers. Gasp. It was ok, though....and the kids got a good view of the band and all the shenanigans that go on in the hometown bleachers since we were across the field from them.  The game itself was a blowout.  The kids future school was undefeated, and still is as the won 56-14.  Anyways, it was a blast! Got me all excited to have a high schooler in the house.

So in summary - when I'm not running I don't have  whole lot to blog about, lol. So you are getting the random stuff that's going on. : )
Above, that's not edited at all. Yes, that's a black field.  It's new this season, it's really a nice field, and track around it...its just a little odd to have a black field. And, also...something I have not gotten used to down here in CA....even the huge schools, and even Del La Salle-the best football not have real stadiums like back home in WA.  Just bleachers, and pretty small bleachers at that. What you see across the field is the home town bleachers....pretty small.

 Dinner of champions.

Watching their first high school game.

 Saturday, we had a special Branch meeting from 12 - 3, streamed live from New York.
Sunday we had dinner with friends....the fun, relaxing kind where you just talk, eat, and play cards. My favorite kind.

This morning - 
Made a couple of these so I can stop getting asked "how many days till we leave??" ever 10 minutes. It's been many years since we've done a WA trip where we hit both Brian's and my families. It's around 14 hours up/back, plus a few trips back and forth across the state.
The kids are super excited.
Brian and I actually enjoy the driving, cuz we kind of like each other and tend to have fun. 
: )
(If there's any bad guys reading this - we have a house sitter the entire time to feed our beast of an attack dog, and bring in our mail, so don't get any ideas.)