Monday, March 16, 2015

Encounters

Javelina is one of my more traveled trails. Not only is the initial climb steady and challenging, but it also connects to a huge network of trails and the parking lot is rarely full. First bit of the trail is a bit rocky with lots of ankle rollers, but stay nimble on your feet and you'll do just fine.  The steady incline will test your cardio and really get you ready for the increase in elevation that's to come. The trail turns to hard compacted soil as you make it into the ravine as I like to call it. Or the valley, which ever you prefer. I get lost in thought here because you're running on this single track that is going between two mountain sides. It's almost like you're splitting the two in half. Any little noise you hear bounces off the walls of the mountain so it's near impossible to zero in on where the noises are coming from. Really cool effects of you ask me. A few climbs and then you come to the final climb on javelina before you can either head towards the Mormon loop or take a left onto the Ridgeline. This climb starts off steady and then gets a little steep. It's short and quick, but don't let that fool you, it's a gut buster. Personally I am a huge fan of taking a left up Ridgeline and down to Beverly canyon and back up to Pima canyon. I love running on the top of mountains. Makes you feel as if you're on top of the world and nothing else matters while you're up there. Just you and nature and a quiet breeze that cleanses your body and mind. Last night, around 7pm, I was descending javelina about a mile out from the trailhead when i heard the howl of what sounded like 2 separate packs of coyote. It was jumbled between a howl and chaotic barking. Where I was in the canyon, the sound bounced around off of the walls of the mountains causing a weird echo effect so I wasn't able to pin point the location(s). I had my headlamp on my head, but it was that in between day and night lighting so my headlamp didn't help with helping me see. The sound from the coyotes startled me, causing me to run faster and the faster I ran, the closer the sound seemed to get. It was almost like I was being hunted. Somehow I made it off of the trail without a scrape or twisted ankle or worse, someone's dinner. Now I know coyotes are generally more scared of you than you are of them, but being alone on a trail at nightfall can spook you into thinking the worst. That being said, it was an awesome scary experience. Enough of my ramblings.