|The Rattlesnake. Picture taken from motorcycleroads.com.|
I don't really like to stop when I drive somewhere, because after spending all of my twenties in a seasonal migration across the country, mostly driving it alone, California to South Florida and back again every six months, I have come to dislike driving intensely. I like to just get the driving over with. But a run was on the agenda, and I had heard there were trails in the park, so why not?
I carried my stuff to the bathroom and changed. The map was a little baffling and some parents with a little child asked me which trail they should go on. I couldn't give good advice. I decided to just follow one trail and see where it ended up.
I don't write about running very much because there isn't that much to say. I've been running since I was 14 and that is a very long time. My running has evolved from slow runs in high school in the woods, to fast competitive races, to marathons, back to slow runs in the woods. I like it that way. Maybe it's because my professional life is full of high expectations and deadlines and time crunches, but I don't want my time off to feel that way too.
I chose what felt like the main trail, up toward Puffer Butte. Puff I did, because it took a rapid rise i in elevation. Despite this, I was entranced. I had almost forgotten there were trails without rocks, trails with soft needles to run on, trails without barbed wire fences to crawl under, trails where you can run a normal speed. Breaking out into the open, I had such a great view I had to stop and take pictures.
"Is this trail a loop trail?" I asked a couple of people who were up there, but they didn't know either. I descended down through the forest until I got to a closed road. Supposedly there was a way back to the start from here, but what the heck, I would run back up to the butte. So I did. It was just as pretty going the other way.
I arrived back at the car feeling like I had gotten away with something. My run was done and I hadn't even had to pick my way through talus fields or snowdrifts. I'll be back, Fields Springs. There are many more Rattlesnake trips in my future.