Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back in Biz, Topatopa Bluffs, 10/29/10

Nobody realizes better than I that October has been a "low-dirt" month, and that I haven't had much to report on the outdoor front. The last few weeks have fallen under the category of "taking care of business". To-do lists have been on the long-ish side and it's been a very productive month.
Now, back to the dearth or dirt under my nails. I have been staying fit. I went bouldering the other day at a spot off Hwy 33 that Dave Rivas found. We did some landscaping around a couple of good boulders before playing on them. I've been getting my plastic pump on at Vertical Heaven, which is a good diversion from the regular gym and my friend the StairMonster. None of these things, however, compare to busting my ass on a reliably unpleasant trail. For that, I refer to Topa Topa.
Last Friday was reasonably slow in the cath lab, and I've spent so much time on-call and at work lately that I just had to get out of there. I clocked out at 10:30, threw my kit together, and started walking at 11:45. The weather was cool with mild breezes, in other words, perfect. I set a decent pace and held it all the way to White Ledge, took a ten minute break, powered all the way to the summit, took another 10 on top, ten more at White Ledge, and down. 17 miles and 4,000 feet of elevation climbed in 5:04 hours door to door. I beat my best time by 4 minutes. Yeah, I feel pretty good about that.
As you can see, it was a decent day for reptile sightings. On a special note, I found this baby Mountain King trying to stay warm. King snakes are notoriously shy, hard to spot, and when you see one it's usually about the same time that he's seen you. Oh, and they're quick. This little guy seemed to get some energy from just the warmth of my hand and proceeded to bite me several times. Feisty little guy, but pretty. I also ran across this foot long chukawalla (below).

This was just one of those days when everything goes right.

Best door-to-door time ever.

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