It's 6 AM, the flashlights are turned on and we are ready to run up Mission Peak. Even thought I have run this mountain nearly every week for the past 15 years, it always feel like a new experience with some familiarity. Fifteen years ago, our group started running with no flashlights, no rain gear, and probably no sense.
Today, we had on the latest running all weather running apparel, LED flashlights, fanny pack water bottles, and did we ever look good!
The moon was waxing and it was predawn marked by the feint purple blue glow in the sky.
I varied the route today by running on Mill Creek road for only 2 miles. We usually run the road for the first 4 miles because the trail is so steep that we end up walking part of the way. Shortly after we broke off the road, a coyote crossed our path. This guy was "Cool Hand Luke" all the way. Paul Newman would have been proud of this foxy coyote. He walked about 10 feet to our side and did not even give us a second look. The first look was "Don't even think about it pal because you'll be dead!" He was handsome in a rugged sort of way. His tail had auburn highlights. He was not the rangy looking coyote. He was well fed and groomed. He looked like he stopped in every day or so to Super Pets for a shampoo and hair style. A pet coyote? Hardly, because this guy would let no man control him.
At the second water stop, we saw 3 campers making their morning breakfast. I have seen quite a number of campers in the summer, but not so much in the winter. I don't mind cold weather. What gets hard about winter camping is sunset at 5 PM. The park does not allow camp fires. So what do you do for the next 5 hours before bedtime? Got me! I don't know either!
The weather today was absolutely gorgeous-almost as gorgeous as the girls running with me. It felt like a summer morning on the peak. What more could I ask for? Beautiful sunrise, foxy coyote, and two knock-out runner babes! I don't want to let the secret out so I tell everyone that they are actually ugly and I feel sorry for them. I don't want any other guys joining this exclusive club.
I find it odd that people including me are always looking for a material item that will improve our lives. For runners it may be a gps, new led flashlight, or a fancy water bottle. However, the intangibles such as my 2 friends bring more meaning than anything that I can buy.
Mission Peak was glorious this morning. The price of admission was less than a dollar in gas. My legs are not tired and I enjoyed myself.