Saturday, December 7, 2013

Photo-run on the Pleasanton Ridge

Pleasanton Ridge by Wayne-K
Pleasanton Ridge, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

After an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving, a Canadian winter storm blew in this week, bringing frigid weather to the West. Temperatures dipped to 24 degrees Farenheit overnight, with daytime highs near 45 degrees. Claudia (from Canada) begged to differ with the "frigid" assessment, stating, "Seven degrees Celsius is tropical, eh. You hoser!" I suppose everything is relative, but all I can say is, "it must really suck living in Canada..."

I awoke early this morning, with some concern about the 16 mile run I had planned. It wasn't the cold I was concerned about, but rather my tight lower back. I washed down my usual pre-run breakfast, peanut butter on toast, with coffee, and proceeded back to bed. I gently stretched my back and after a few hours of procrastination, it was time to run. Today, I decided carry my camera. My trail portraits photography project stalled out after two portraits because I quit carrying my camera on my trail runs. I don't particularly enjoy wearing a fanny pack while running, but today I decided I would do a "photo run" and have a nice, relaxing run.

After arriving at the Foothill Staging Area, I exited the car and found the Pleasanton Ridge quite pleasant. That would soon change, however, as a steady, frigid wind blasted me as I ascended the ridge, forcing me to zip up a bit. I traversed the Ridgeline Trail and stopped at the bench near the Valley View Trail junction. A stone found its way into my running shoe and I sat on the bench, trying to get my frozen fingers to undo my shoe laces, so I could extract the irritant. I looked over my shoulder because I could hear Faye speaking to me, "wear your f'ing gaiters!" I explained the overnight rains packed down the dirt, so gaiters wouldn't be necessary, but she wasn't buying it. I managed to finally retie my shoes and proceeded across the ridge, and down the Bay Leaf Trail. Although I didn't carry my mobile phone, Mother Nature called, and I needed to make a pit stop. I veered off the trail and found some trees shielded from the wind. After searching in my running shorts for thirty minutes or so, I finally found what I was looking for. Did I mention it was cold!?

I didn't set any PR's today, but it was a very fun photo-run. My Panasonic LX5 camera fit nicely in my running fanny pack and I liked the easy access. Thanks Bryan for the tip! Here are a few photos from today's run.

After steadily climbing the ridge from the Foothill staging area, I look forward to this gate because it's the point where I descend into Augustine Bernal Park and onto more runnable trails.


The East Bay Regional Park District recently mended a number of barbed wire fences in the park. I've run past these old fence posts and barbed wire a number of times and looked forward to snapping a few photos of it today. I envisioned sepia toning, giving it an "Old West" feel.


I love this view because it means I only have two miles to go...and it's almost all downhill from here.

Winding Trails

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Autumn Arrives

Fleeing Bush Street by Wayne-K
Fleeing Bush Street, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, Christmas trees are sprouting up around town, deciduous trees are showing their fiery colors, and the temperatures are dropping quickly. Autumn is upon us.

Unexpected work activities delayed my trail run today and I didn't arrive at the Pleasanton Ridge until 3:45 PM. It was clear I would be completing my run in the dark tonight. I threw a long sleeve shirt into the car, planning on carrying it in case I needed it on my run. I exited my car at the start of the run and immediately felt like one of the Korean Airlines pilots who crashed their plane at SFO. Ho Lee Fuk…it was cold! It’s time to break out the gloves and running jacket.

Here are a few autumn photos.

Our twenty pound Thanksgiving turkey. We had the boys, Bryan and Grant, over for Thanksgiving, so we decided to go for a big bird. What’s better than leftover turkey and fixin’s?

Thanksgiving, 2013

We did something new this year and added a little diversity to the Thanksgiving table. These beautiful crab found their way onto the menu. Thank you for your sacrifice, you were yummy.

Crab in a Bowl

We spent a day in the city (San Francisco). This is at Boccalone in the Ferry Building. They are well known for their pig parts.


This guy really wanted Jesus to save the pagans of SF. As I stalked him for a photo, he realized I was photographing him and he stopped and posed for me. So, I snapped his portrait and gave him a thumbs up….and snapped a few more photos of him as he walked around.


Here are three generations of women in front of the Christmas tree at Union Square.

Three Generations

Mother and daughter in front of the tree

Kami and Mia

Grant and Kami inside the Ferry Building

Grant and Kami

Here's my run today, courtesy of Strava.