Andy’s Special?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?  Ok, don’t answer that…

Anyway, that’s what Carmela kept calling part of the route we did yesterday up to Mt Wilson — it seems that Hiker Bob’s connector to Jones Peak and over through Hastings is still a section that even locals are unfamiliar with.  We had a small group (Carmela, Michael, Matt, Ben, and David), and started the long climb up to the top from the Mt Wilson trailhead at about 10:30 (a later start than I’m used to).  The marine layer kept the sun from beating down, but the humidity was high (90+%), which made it pretty hot.  Matt went on ahead when we hit the first set of switchbacks, then waited at the connector because he couldn’t find where the trail picked up — he didn’t go far enough in the gully, at which point the trail would’ve been clearly visible to the right.  After we got to the top, he kept going, and I waited for the rest of the group at the newly constructed sign.  I hoped they put the flag up at Hasting’s Peak as well, but there wasn’t one unfortunately.
Matt continued up to Wilson as I waited on the Toll Rd, when I saw a runner approaching from the south — it was Guillermo.  He was out training as well, starting from Eaton Cyn, heading up to the top — he was doing that twice.  We’d been out for about 2 hours and around the 5 mile point — another 3 miles or so and 1000′ to the top.  Along the fireroad (those familiar with the AC course, we were around mile 80), we saw a big group of runners heading down towards Idlehour — it was Jorge, his wife Maria, and a few others I recognized from some local races.  They were also training, but started from Shortcut (around mile 60 of the AC course).  It’s always fun seeing people you don’t expect out on the trails, and If we had come off the ridge even 5 minutes later, we would’ve missed everyone.

We made it to the top just shy of 3 hours as Guillermo was heading back down, and discussed what to do as we filled one bladder and emptied a different one.  I decided to cut the originally proposed route short, since it would have been another 5+ hours from that point, and it was already close to 2pm.  Matt and Dave decided to add on a few more miles, so Ben, Michael, Carmela, and I started back down — back track down to the Wintercreek Jct, to Manzanita Ridge (where the bench is on the climb up from Chantry — around mile 79 of AC), then back to our cars on the Mt Wilson trail.

It was Carmela’s first experience on these trails, but she’ll become more familiar with them as she continues training for AC — an e-mail from her this morning requested more Andy’s Specials, and I’m always more than happy to oblige.  She obviously doesn’t know me very well… 🙂

So this week will be pretty light, not like it’ll be any lighter than usual I suppose.  Got a big weekend coming up though…100K out in Ojai.  Good luck to everyone heading out to Hodges…hope it doesn’t rain or hail like it did last year.

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