Saturday, September 25, 2010

Running With The Wild Turkeys

One of my favorite things to do while running the back country trails around Mission Peak is to spot wild life.  I have hunch that a lot more wild animals escape my eyes than what I actually see.  Most of them critters are spotting me long time before I spot them.

On any given run, we can spot owls, red tail  hawks, eagles, coyotes, bob cat, vulture,wild turkey, skunk, raccoon, partridge, fox, and maybe a mountain lion.

My running buddy Dan and I hit the trail at 520 AM.  It was a cool 57 degrees. We heard a lot of noises running up Mill Creek road.  We usually hear or at least spot some wild turkeys before the first water stop.  No cigar.  Dan is  obsessed with turkeys.  He wants to bag one this year with a bow and arrow.

The only noises that we heard were the pesky skunks that wag their rear ends at us.  They love to hang out in the water culverts and drop their stinky bombs on us.  Thank goodness we did not smell anything close to a skunk today.

My first wild animal spotting was a deer.  They are extremely difficult to see at this time of the year as the grass is brown and the deer blend right in.  Dan asked me if I was interested in hunting with him.  Mmm...possibly.  But not during our run.

At around 90 minutes into the run, we spotted some partridges running through the woods.  This was making us hungry!  It would probably take 3 or 4 of them to service our hunger level.

The trail was rather quiet.  We saw a few lone hikers.  The sun was rising in in the east with bright blood red colors.  It was going to be a hot day.  We ran in and out of hot thermal layers.

There were no coyotes or  turkeys to be seen in our favorite spots.  The turkeys usually hang out near a hidden spring that bubbles out into a tiny stream.  Maybe they know that hunting season is around the corner.  Since so much private land surrounds the park, they make great targets for the up coming Thanksgiving holiday.  We talked about bagging one with a bow.

After nearly 2 hours of running, I mentioned to Dan that the turkeys like to hang out on the hill side near Ohlone College.  Sure enough, we spotted a herd of them in the distance.  No gobble gobble gobbling.  But at least we saw them.

All of this trail running made us hungry.  We stopped by our favorite fig tree that we have been ogling for the past 4 weeks.  The figs were finally starting to ripen.  We ate a few and had to part ways since I promised my wife that I would finish installing the laminate floor in our dining and living rooms.

I arrived home to the loud noises of my two boys and my wife Idy patiently (well, not really) trying to get them ready for an airplane ride.  If she had a gun...let's not go there.

They left me right after I showered.  I took the liberty to drink a large cup of fresh roasted Tanzania coffee and surf the web for an hour.  I kneaded a batch of whole wheat dough to into my traditional Saturday morning cinnamon maple nut rolls.  I mentioned to the boys that if they did not return home soon, that I would eat the dozen rolls myself.  I scarfed 4 cinnamon rolls all to my self!  Nothing beats a high fat and high carb diet.

It's now nearly 830 PM and I am still feeling the high of the morning run.  After nearly a year off from running Mission Peak and the East Bay hills, I think I have learned my lesson from over doing the long runs.  I don't plan on running the 6-7 runs again.  Yes, I definitely miss the long runs.  There is  so much  to see when you get to where not many  people can run.  It was just wreaking havoc on my poor  little feet. 

The worst day of running is better than the best day at work.

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