Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trail Running in the Marin Headlands: A Fastpacking Adventure from San Francisco to Point Reyes - Part 3

Point Reyes National Seashore, Day 1
My first day in Point Reyes, I felt compelled to go to the ocean. I really needed some quality time with The Ocean. All I wanted to do was go to the beach and take in the smells, sights and sounds. It's like that when you don't live near the ocean, you just want to inhale that sweet smell and sit there and watch the waves crashing in. And maybe go for a run.

I love beachcombing. It's one of my favorite things. The coast line and beaches of Point Reyes certainly deliver the goods. It's a rugged, wild place and I had the whole place to myself. I ran into a couple of groups of hikers at Arch Rock, but apart from that brief encounter I didn't see anyone else. I have always been a girl who needs a little time and place to herself sometimes. The solitude I found here was simply blissfull.

When the wind picked up, I left the beach and hit the trail. It was much more sheltered inland and the Coast Trail was a real pleasure. Gentle and rolling, it hugged the shoreline and offered glimpses of magical places and beaches below. I ran out on the Coastal Trail for almost 6 miles and enjoyed breaking it up with lots of walk breaks. The legs felt surprisingly good, but it was the mind that was enjoying the walk breaks. Looking. Observing. Breathing. Smiling. Do you know that the sound of wind through trees is different depending on the trees? The coastal brush and woods sounded nothing like woods that I run in. I saw lots of garter snakes with blue and green stripes and there was definitely a new hatch of butterflys. The only similarity in nature, was The Raven. I had one come to visit me at lunch time, trying to mooch a few treats. I laughed at him and we had an interesting conversation. Hey Raven! You ever been to Banff?? I swear I've seen you around.

It was a great day. By the end of the day, I had travelled probably 12 miles and got a good taste of the Coastal Trails and the interiour trails. Sky Trail was sweet and Woodward Valley delivered me back to the ocean. I thought I would walk one last mile on the beach at the end of the day and ended up getting sandblasted. The wind picked up when I was on the beach and was gusting so hard, I had to turn my back on it. The sand was like needles on the backs of my legs and I got a complete exfoliation. I had to get out my down coat and hunker down. It was the first time I have gotten a sandburn, my white legs were pink and raw from the gusting sand.


After enjoying a shower and a huge feed of burritos (thank-you students and teachers from Walnut Valley High!) I had an interesting coversation with a student that just made my day.

HER: Why do you like, run?

ME: I like the simplicity of it. I like putting one foot in front of the other. I like that by doing this one simple thing, I can transport myself to amazing places. I like that it makes me feel powerful and strong. I like that it makes me stand up just a little bit straighter. I like that it makes me feel like superwoman.

HER: Wow, that's like, profound.

You heard it here first friends, someone actually called me, like, profound.


Danni said...

You are, like, totally profound! The blue sky is incredible.

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

that was the most profoundest blog entry I have ever read :)

Leslie's Keith said...

Leslie? "Deep"? "Profound"?...Look what happens when you send a simple Canadian mountain girl out for a leisurely run in Northern California...Hey, where are the pictures of leslie with 'flowers in her hair' ?

Dave, are you coming to Diablo too? Les, Danni and I will see you there!


Backofpack said...

Like, I always knew you were, like, special, and, like, inspiring. Good to know you have, like, influence, on, like, young girls. Like, she'll think about you, like, for the rest of her, like, life!

Doug Lawson said...

Wow, profound and Superwoman at the same time. This has been a great series of posts. How about running the Grand Canyon next!

goSonja said...

Great day, I love that coastal wind! Ahhh! What a nice uhhh, recovery day??

elizabeth said...

I grew up in Sonoma. Love Point Reyes, although I think the no dogs allowed rule in a bummer! Sorry you got sandblasted. Did you make it to Wildcat beach?

JeffO said...

This wuz the profoundest post yet of this superwomanly-like (like) adventure! Great photos.
I love beachcombing too. Not as much as snowy-icy mountains, obviously, but 2nd mostestly.

Charisa said...

Trail running rocks - makes me feel like I am 5 years old as well! :) ENJOY!!!!

Anonymous said...

oh leslie....ok if i don't count dad you are the only person i know who can pull off something like that!!! :)

Have you heard about the Abe Dhabie Adventure Challenge??? ( for some reason i might end up racing it next year with a canadian pilot (who works in dubai), a irish/german guy who works as well in dubai and my dad.....(its a looong story)!

Anyway i hope everything is well over there. we just got back from Dubai today - and i miss the water already!!!

Sophie Speidel said...

I LOVED reading about this adventure! One day I would like to do excatly what you did---run from San Fran on the Headlands trails all day for days! How cool. Thanks for sharing!

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