Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hang Glider Launch

I received an email from a running buddy of mine a few days ago to invite me to run to the hang glider launch area just above Ed Levine park in Milpitas. On a good day, it takes 3 1/2 hours to complete the 15-16 mile jaunt. How could I resist this run? It has everything a trail monger loves-3000 feet of vertical gain, lots of ups and downs, spectacular panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, and few people on the trail.

We saddled up at 540 AM. Steve purchased this cool techie flashlight that has several modes. One of the modes is a strobe mode. Great for scaring away mountain lions and angry cows. We started well before sunrise, so a flashlight was needed.

I was able to snap a picture of Steve B running up the trail with the moon setting in the background as the sun was rising. It was a crystal clear day with no fog blanketing the lower valleys.

The trail that we ran is one of the most scenic trails located in our backyard. We run past this old broken down horse ranch. Horses still roam the area and are well cared for. The ruins of a home homesteader remain. A favorite site of mine is the old carriage with wooden wheels.

No trespassing signs abound all over. We take our chances because it is so beautiful. We run on a well private gravel road maintained by a communications company for the hundreds of repeaters and dished spread across the mountains. Cell phone signals are not a problem up here! A few operational ranches surprising still exist up here. I am sure that papa Smith and uncle Wesson rule the area so to speak. We are usually in legal bounds before first light.

We reached the hang glider launch site in 2 hours. Nobody complained about anything. Rare! Steve and I ate a few snacks and drank our water. The girls sipped on their water and chose not to eat.
This is a picture of me at the hang glider launch with Silicon Valley in the back ground. Millions of people behind me and not one of them except for the 4 of us are up here.

We continued over Mission Peak to get a glimpse of the American flag posted at the peak.

We were able to complete the 15 mile run in 4 hours and change. My chronograph stopped at 320. Not that it matters. Miles don't matter either. We got our killer run in while the world was sleeping.

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