Since this was winter run, Steve and I loaded up on the all-weather running gear. I had light weight wind jacket, Kelty hydration pack, flash light, gloves, running tights, beanie cap, and lots of food. Steve had this awesome fanny pack that I swear had an extra pair of shoes in it, 2 water bottles, extra long sleeve shirt, lots of food, beanie cap, flashlight, and other running junk that we swear by. I packed my cell phone in hopes of getting a signal-all for not.
We were running on the wet trail by 533 AM and was it ever dark! We were shrouded in by a thick layer of fog and clouds. There were no city lights as this was the real deal in terms of wilderness. Thank goodness for high tech flashlights to illuminate our trail.
The run up to Rose Peak starts somewhere to what I guess at 500 feet. While it's only a 3800 foot peak, the trail to get to that elevation is unforgiving. It's what I call 2 steps up and 1 step down. There was lots of muddy single track to add some fun. Most of the running trail was gravel fire roads. We hit the back pack area in 70 minutes. If we ever felt like quitting, this is the place to quit. We were watching the most spectacular sun rise over the Mission Peak range. The sun was illuminating these giant cumulus cloud that just barely covered the peaks. If you closed your eyes for a even a second, the cloud formations would change. Let's just say that everything was dynamic.
Enter the wilderness. Two more hours of painful running ups and downs. At least we had a view. The sun rise was slow and provided us with a light show that would rival anything that Hollywood could produce. We looked down to the distant mountain range with a 2000 foot gorge that separated us. The oak and bay laurel trees were a dense green. From a distance, it looked like a back drop out of the Sierras.
We ran to the base of Rose Peak in 3 hours. I donned my winter jacket and beanie cap. It was cold. We did not stop at the top to enjoy the view, lolligage, or to eat. Like I said, it was cold. We proceeded immediately to Maggie's half acre for a water and food stop. At this point we lost Andria and Isidalia. Not really. We just sped ahead and they made a u-turn at Rose Peak and started heading back to the car. Steve and I took a short break at Maggie's and ventured to a new running route home through some private ranch property. It cut off this major down hill that we eventually had to climb out of. Steve commented that it was too boring. To me, it was just to steep. The illegal cut off provide awesome views of the front coastal range mountains.
We caught up with Andria and Isidalia just after goat rock. They had at least a mile on us. We ran together to Hawks Roost and then Steve and I bolted to the car. We ran to the car in 54 minutes.
Total run time 5:42. Distance 21 miles.