Friday, September 19, 2008

New Trails New Friends

Angela and Dan on the Ferry ride home. Angela is drinking a Lagunitas Brewing IPA. Finishers of the Miwok 100k get in their goody bag, amongst other schwag, a 22 ounce bottle of Miwok Trail Ale which is really a Lagunitas Brewing Ale. I always gave mine away and now I know what I've been missing all these years!

Saturday was supposed to be a run with friends that included the guys I ran the Grand Canyon with a couple of years ago. We all live in the city but hardly see each other these days. Initially I begged off thinking I wasn't going to be able to make it but my schedule changed and I rejoined. Unfortunately now the people I knew couldn't make it. I ended up hashing out the details and then running with runners I didn't know - Angela and Dan. Oh I ran with Dan once like 2.5 years ago and Angela I had never met. But we were excited, we were going to run no matter what the other folks were doing and it worked out for the best. Runners for the most part are great people and Angela and Dan were no exception, they were super to run with. They were easy going and just my speed on the trails or maybe they were just slowing down for me. Dan clocks in around 3 hours for the marathon and Angela has ran a 2:43. How glad was I that this wasn't a road run!

Coming from separate points in the city we met at the Golden Gate Bridge and made our way across to Marin. Our goal was to run North as far as Mt. Tamalpais, skirt around the summit and continue North to the town of Ross before heading East to the Ferry Landing and the Marin Brewing Company. Oh it was great. I usually run "down and back" type routes and this was "point to point", no trail repeated. It got me running farther up North than I usually go since I didn't have to run back and I got to run trails I hadn't run before. I finally found the famous German Tourist Club tucked away in the hills of Marin by running the Sun Trail, a trail I've passed many, many times while running the Dipsea trail. You have to hike or run in to this tourist club, not a place you can drive up to and they are having their final festival for the year this weekend - Oktoberfest. Yeah I know, an October festival in September. Think multi-story wooden structures with a beer garden tucked away up in the hills and surrounded by trails.

Angela and Dan on the trail. I missed the memo about wearing orange for our run.

Saturday Mileage map.jpg
From my place it says it was about 30 miles, more like 32 since I couldn't trace every twist of the trail with the pedometer, maybe even more. Let's hope for more.

So yeah these guys were great, gotta love runners. We had great conversations and nice stretches of silent quick running, times to bond and times to soak in the experience. A low point was when we got kicked out of Muir Woods. Haha, yeah it happened. See there was a trail we wanted to take but the entrance to it lay inside the gates. We either paid $5 for the 100 feet or so to the trailhead or go around. We tried sneaking around the entrance shack but that didn't work either. We were politely but firmly turned away by one of the ladies who worked for the park service. Slinking away like truant high schoolers, we grumbled our way up the Dipsea Trail. That was lame, we looked and smelled like runners, not tourists trying to get a free ride. Hmm... I wonder what would have happened had we descended the trail from the other side, would they make us pay $5 to get out of the park, I wonder... Well from the Dipsea however we connected to the Sun Trail and it ended up as one of the best stretches in our trip. A blessing in disguise.

Part of the plan was to finish early enough so we could enjoy beers and a late lunch at the Marin Brewing Company. We got there 5.5 hours after we started from the bridge. It was about 28 miles, not including the miles we put in getting to the bridge. The Ferry ride home was a sweet way to get back to San Francisco. It was full of tourists and the boat went especially slow so everyone could take in the views. It was sunny and pleasant by this time and we didn't really mind.

Sweet run, great weather, beautiful trails, tasty food and drink and most of all good company. My cup overflows.

Most of the way there! Angela and I on a fire road skirting around Mt. Tam. Our final destination, Larkspur Ferry Landing, can be seen on the upper left.

For more photos, Click here.


  1. German tourist club is an awesome place:) I envy you, dude! Good times...oh, and btw, I have no idea how to add blogroll.

  2. Wow! Awesome Rick! There are a lot of numbers on that map! LOL Why stop at 5 when you can keep going, right? :P Sounds like a fantastic time :-)

  3. Wow - big run! Your new friends sound pretty speedy. Those are nice friends to have.

  4. Rick, So I envy looking at that map....and laughed with you getting kicked out of Meir Woods.

  5. olga: ah no need to envy me, I'd like to do that Gorge run one of these days and have an Oregon microbrew, I've enjoyed many when my mom lived in Portland.

    marcy: haha, well 5 miles doesn't even get you out of San Francisco. Not from my place anyway.

    donald: they are speedy but I hold my own on the uphills and down, they'd take off on me when it was flat though, thankfully there wasn't much of that.

    dave: if you and the family ever come out here for another trip I'll take you on those trails.

  6. maybe they should've thrown you in San Quentin (almost on your route)for trying to cheat the National Park Service, shame on you! you probably should've just run past the entrance gate.

  7. What an awesome run! I love that map :)

    I had the same experience at Muir woods, but the dipsea was closed not to far up (and it was pouring rain) so they took pity on us and let us in.

  8. Someday I am going to get to that part of the country for those views!! I mean I have been there but didn't get to see it like that!

  9. That sounds like a fabulous run-- I am inspired to incorporate the German Tourist Club into my next long Marin run!

  10. Wow, I would totally make the trek down to the Bay for that run. It looks awesome!! Plus, running at sea level rocks.
    I'm with Mark--you should have just blasted throught the gate and let them try to catch you. ;)