It's funny that I'm so dubious about this trip. If it were a race, I might be able to bolster the self-confidence to get over myself and be brave. When outside influences set the parameters, it's easier to convince ourselves that something is doable. But because it's my own plan, which I dreamed up with no encouragement save for my own overactive imagination, that meek little voice has more sway. "This is kind of crazy. You're going to be scared. Maybe you should just switch those tickets to Hawaii instead."
"But I don't even want to go to Hawaii. It's hot there."
On Saturday Beat and I embarked on a run into Peter's Creek in the heart of Portola Redwoods State Park — Beat's favorite local trail. The 16-mile route plummets off of Skyline Ridge on a steep fire road, and then continues winding into the Slate Creek drainage on brushy and deadfall-strewn singletrack, before climbing up another wall of a ridge through perilous blowdowns, before finally descending just as steeply into Peter's Creek. The old-growth redwood grove — which Santa Cruz loggers left alone because it's really hard to get in and out of — is about as secluded of a place as you can find in this area. It's more remote than you'd expect.
It's funny because I'd been bugging Beat all week to go for a "long" run this weekend. We only shortened it to a "medium" run when I made a plan with a friend to spend all of Sunday on a long bike ride.
"At least biking's easy," I said to Beat. Then I had flashbacks of gasping and dizziness for most of the final fifty miles in the Fat Pursuit, which made me feel sick to my stomach and renewed thoughts about flying to Hawaii and laying on the beach.
At least this photo helped convince my voice of doubt to tear up those virtual tickets to Hawaii, for now.
Time will tell what conclusions I arrive at while sweating in California over the next month.