As I ran downhill on the service road leading to Wood Canyon, I suddenly remembered that I didn’t check the website to see if the park was open. “But it’s got to be open! It rained Sunday. Today’s Tuesday.”
Sure enough, I came upon with the “Trails Closed” sign at the park’s entrance. “Well, I beg your pardon Rangers, but I really, really wanted to run trails on this lovely crisp, clear morning. And I really don’t know what to say about your sign, but I’m going in.”
My idea was this: run down into the canyon, then quickly to Cholla Trail. There’s no way that I’m going to see a ranger on Cholla Trail. Not a chance. It’s a single track – a truck won’t fit, and it’s a little steep (no offense). At the top of Cholla, I thought I’d be safe, because a utility friend once told me that West Ridge was not actually part of the park – it’s a utility road.
So, I turned off my headphones and ran on into Wood Canyon, listening for trucks. Nothing. Then I headed up Cholla Trail. My calves felt painfully tight. But they loosened after halfway up when I stopped to stretch them. It hurt sooo good.
I met a hiker and his dog as they made their way down Cholla. At the top of Cholla, the gates into West Ridge were closed with the same sign posted that I met coming into the park.
But as I ran along this trail that was really not that muddy at all, I found I wasn’t the only person disobeying the closed signs:
I needed this run. It was fun. It was relaxing. It was beautiful with majestic clouds hovering above. It was vindicating. And after a while, I saw dozens of other people travelling along the ridge – hiking, running and mountain biking.
6.5 miles ran this morning.