Monday, March 18, 2013

And take a Winter Break

On the Lykken Trail
Keeping training during the winter fun also requires a break from Winter. Woohoo! I consider myself very lucky that we can usually take a quick trip to somewhere sunny and warmer.

This year's break was to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday. I chose Palm Springs as the destination for a lot of reasons. It is easy and cheap flights via Ontario airport. it's a smaller location and one i was curious about seeing. I'd only driven through and done the tram when i was a teenager. And I thought it would be fun to go back to the southern California area for my mom and I. She lived in Southern California for over 50 years and hadn't been back. and the chances of it being sunny and warm were great! I also wanted to see Joshua Tree National Monument and get in some trail running if possible.

It was a good choice and we lucked out with the weather.  I'd found a good deal on a 2 bedroom suite with a kitchen that was roomy and comfortable and opened onto a shared pool and jacuzzi area. We had quick and easy flights and an easy drive, a quick stop at my favorite In-n-Out Hamburger (not in Washington State) and arrived in Palm Springs late Saturday. No jacket needed as we were moving into our room.

Museum Trail view of Palm Springs
I'd done my homework so next morning i woke up a bit earlier than I would've liked and went to check out the trails in the hillsides next to Palm Springs.  The San Jacinto Mountain take off straight from the Coachella Valley floor and rise to over 10,000 feet.  Yes there are taller mountains but evidently these mountains are among the steepest in the US. I'd planned on 7-8 miles with a few on the roads and then trying to make a loop up in the hills. I carried some water and a gel and knew the trails would be rocky and more like hiking when going up. It was warm too at about 60 degrees when i started and knew that with the sun out (Yay!), it would get warm quick.

Following the white marks...
I chose to go straight up the Museum Trail (yes accessed behind the Museum) and it did not disappoint. It went straight up and immediately there were great views. I steadily climbed stopping every once in a while to take photo. It's less than a mile up but a total calf burner! I passed a few others out for a hike and did see a guy who was running up the trail as well.  He caught up to me and we stayed together then chatting a bit as he showed me the way. The trail was marked with white spots on rocks but there were lots of different ways to go.

Dave from LA came out here quite frequently to run trails.  As we made it to the top, he let me know that he'd just set a record 18 minutes up the trail (it's about a mile) and was pretty happy about that. Evidently he and a friend keep track ad try to best each other with time and as we all know, chasing someone (me in this case) and running with someone (me!) always helps! Dave was very helpful. I asked some specific questions about which trail would work best for me once we were at the trail junction and on his recommendation took a left turn instead of a right turn and headed down the South Lykken Trail instead of the North Lykken Trail. Good choice as it was runnable downhill and just really enjoyable.  

Once back down onto the roads, I was whooped. I'd finished my gel and my water and still had a few miles to get back to where we were staying.  And it was vaguely uphill and warming up. It was all good though. Sunny and warm and so different than conditions ever in Seattle.

After a tasty breakfast, we went out to explore Palm Springs a bit but were back to our rooms for the afternoon with the idea of just hanging out in and around the pool.  I took a nap pool side and had a lot of fun splashing about in the water. Mom did too.  Wonderfully relaxing and I slept like a rock that night. 

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