Friday, October 26, 2007

San Jose

I've been here in the bay area the last five days. On Sunday I did a 7-8 mile run on the west side of the valley. This is the Santa Cruz Mountains. I went west on Rt9 from the San Jose suburban town of Saratoga up to the Saratoga pass, where Rt9 crosses Rt 35 (Skyline Drive). I ran most of the Castle Rock 10 mile race course. At my turn, I was at this over look where I could see the Pacific Ocean as the sun was going down.
The trails were similar to what I am used to in the Cleveland area metroparks, but with occasional great views that reminded me I was not running hills around the Cuyahoga valley, but that I was about 3500 feet, amongst some mountains. On Tuesday and Wednesday I ran some trails in Mission Peak regional park. These trails are on the other side (east) of San Jose. Both runs started at low elevation, so I was running up hill for first 1/2 of the run. Then serious down hill back to the car. Last night I was running 6:15 to 7:45pm. Shortly after sun set, I was running a switch-back and heading away from the peaks behind me, when I saw something large (size of a very large ground hog) and very close to the ground in front of me, running away from me at what appeared to be similar to my running pace. It scared the CRAP out of me! Seconds later I realized I was running out of the (moon) shadows of the mountain peaks behind me, and the moon was up there casting a shadow - My Shadow, on the ground in front of me. Ok, I have to admit, I was (for a second) afraid - VERY afraid of my own shadow. What a wimp. Here are some phots of me running trails near Mission Peak. This evening I needed something flat! So I went to the Milpitas High School track. Again, it was near and just after sunset. Surprisingly, there were a bunch of people at the track. Most were jogging, and a few were kicking soccer balls up and down the field. Non-running content - I am staying in Milpitas. Most folks here are oriental. One evening I went to a grocery store - 99 Ranch Market. It was packed. Only after I was in the store did I realize this place had lots of products from China, with packaging/writing in Chinese characters. Hundreds of families were shopping. I was the only non-oriental. I cannot describe in words what I was feeling. I noticed all the little ones. The children with their moms and dads. Melancholy. That's about the only word that comes to mind now - several days later. At that time I was looking deeply at the beauty of each child and thinking of my own daughter. And the pain that her natural parents must have/are still suffering. Pain - balanced with our families joy having such a great treasure. Here is a short video clip of our Angie!


Brian said...

Man, I wish I could be out there running in the mountains.. Great pictures Mike!

Papa Louie said...

Ah, the simple pleasures in life. Beautiful!