Hey Gang, We had a good run at Bandera today! Joe, Kelli, Robert, & Jerry Holbrook met at Exxon at 4 AM. Arrogant Bastard Ale — we were celebrating Joe, Robert, & Chris’ Birthdays. In summary, Kelli proved that she can pick up trail running at any time & cruise without any problem. Jerry showed that he is trained up well for Leadville, as he thanked me every time we did a tough climb! Finally, there was so much talk about one-liners that I had to buy a copy this evening. Jerry reminded me of how lucky we are to have such a tight & positive group of trail runners here in S.A. & I have to agree! Tommade a surprise showing after staying up all night & dining with the drunk college girls at IHOP. We turned off our lights before we started running at to enjoy the stars. We lost Robert early on, then realized that he pulled off a veteran move by skipping Lucky’s Peak to start with. Chris had his Truckers Special come back to haunt him after he tried to mix in a gel after a few hours of running. We circled back to the cars after 10+ miles, then Joe,Kelli, Jerry, & I headed back out for some ” Sisters action”. I wouldn’t say that I pulled a “wrong way” move, but I couldn’t find the trail up Ice Cream & we ended up doing Sisters in reverse as well. (That’s six Sisters, which is a lot of estrogen, but it really took a lot of testosterone). We went up in reverse & finished off the run with some cupcakes &
Hey Gang, It was a nice day for a road trip today. I met Liza, Kelli, Michelle, & Joe at 5 AM, packed in my truck, & headed for Smithville. We got there at 6:45 & didn’t need headlamps for more than a few minutes as we headed out into the hills & pine trees. Thirty minutes into it, I realized that I hadn’t started my watch, so Liza became the official distance-meister. We were supposed to meet up with an Austin trail runner (Gordon Montgomery), saw a car with a HCTR sticker on it, but never saw another soul out there. We did a 5 mile loop in the hilly section, then headed back to the truck so everybody could shed a layer, as it seemed to be warming up. This proved to be a false sensation, as it stayed close to 40 degrees all morning, but nobody complained too much.
It was my intent to run the Hells Hills loop to get familiar with the course, but we ended up doing much of it backwards. The ground was a little muddy, but the red clay & sand held pretty well & nobody fell all day. There were lots of little ups & downs with creeks to hop over throughout the day. We ran all the way to the back left section of the property & ran out of trail. Everybody stayed calm, even with me “Wrong Way” in the lead, & I used the breadcrumbs trail on my Garmin to backtrack out. The one part that was unnerving was the big steel trap that was set back there — I thought it was a cougar trap, but later learned it was a hog trap.
At about mile 10, we came to a creek crossing with rushing water. It was only a foot deep, but everybody had managed to stay dry up until then. We looked up & down the creek for an easy crossing, talked about going back, but then I ran & jumped it (catching one heel in the edge of the water.) Everybody followed & trudged through. We laughed at how close we were to turning back vs. getting a little wet, then Kelli & Michelle went back in to pose for this picture.
We found a big open field with a couple of longhorns on the trail & 4 of their calves close by. As we got closer, the calves ran & left us in between the longhorns & their babies. Knowing little about cattle, I was looking to see if either of these animals had testicles & might charge us. Since Joe is a U.T. Alumni, I thought he could talk to these longhorns about clearing the path. They did move for us, we took a picture with them, & we continued on. Running through the pine trees protected us from the wind & allowed enough sunlight to keep us feeling good. We trampled through the creek crossings vs. jumping them the rest of the way in. We ended up running 18 miles. This was Michelle’s first long trail run & she rocked on these twisty, tough trails!
Chris was to lead a leisurely 15 mile run at Bandera today. At mile 12, Larry asked Chris what exactly is HIS definition of “leisurely.” Driving out to Bandera before dawn this morning we drove straight into the cold front. Although Chris was NOT driving straight.Visibility was down to about 50 ft. on Hwy 16 as the rain was coming down in sheets, and at one point Chris was driving down the center of the road! We arrived safely at Hill Country State Natural area about 7 AM and the front had passed. It was very windy and cold as we started up Boyle’s bump, and Over Cairn’s. Before descending Cairn’s, we paused and admired what was probably the last blustery winter view of the Texas Hill Country for this season. Chris didn’t see it, he was moving at a good clip, and soon we followed. On the hill tops the wind was blowing so hard, It literally blew the snot off Liza’s nose! We back tracked and went up Sky Island, up Mount FUJI, the Three sisters and back on trail 6. It did not rain on us, but the trails were wet and muddy. Initially we attempted to go around the puddles and the mud. After about a mile we thought, what the heck, we’re going to get wet anyway. It was an outstanding 15+ mile cool, fun in the mud run.
Up From San Antone
To the Hill Country State Natural Area
Saturday Dec. 26, 2009
Meet at Tiger Mart 1604@Bandera Rd. 4:30 AM
Hit the trails at Crossroads by 5:30 AM
Distances, 18-20 and 47 miles
Great Trail run Today at Government Canyon. Trails traversed were, Black Hill loop, Sendero Travesero, La Subida, Twin Oaks, Sendero Balcones, Little Windmill, and Joe Johnston. Some started in Helotes, Texas and ran to the park. 3+ hour run, about 17 miles for some 12 for others.