Sunday Summit- East Cuesta

Saturday was my first day of this half enforced, half by choice vacation.  How did I ring it in?  By doing absolutely nothing.   Ok, I did some errands in the morning but I spent the afternoon and evening vegging about in comfy clothes and watching a couple of movies.  I also didn’t feel guilty for procrastinating my laundry.  πŸ˜„  I won’t lie; it was nice.  Well, until I ended the evening with the latest episode of Doctor Who and some crying.  Boo.

  Sunday was a different story.   My mom, S and I headed out to hike the East Cuesta trail.  “Hike” is kind of a misnomer, it’s all fire road.  What makes it fun is that it’s 4 miles up and then 4 miles down.    Nothing like a good climb to start your day right?

My plan was to power hike up then run back down.   My mother and I had hiked East Cuesta before about a year ago.  It has some amazing views but it was also a trail that freaked me out at a few spots.   There were a few places that I let my overactive imagination run away on a very overcast day.  πŸ˜ƒ

Sunday was the opposite of overcast.   In fact the temp hit the high 70’s.  Hey California- fall would be nice right about now!   I was interested in seeing what had changed.  Not only has California been in a major drought but East Cuesta was actually the epi-center of large fire a few months back.    Part of the freeway was shut down and a nearby town was evacuated.

Overall, things looked better than I had expected.    It’s interesting how much it seems that fire has a mind of it’s own.   Two sections could be black and charred with a healthy, so to speak, section in between.    You could see where nature is making a comeback.  Which is awesome, but if we have the El Nino they are predicting the charred sections are likely to turn into slide zones.

I maintained a good pace going up and was feeling pretty good.   The forest line has changed so I couldn’t remember where I had been spooked before.  πŸ˜ƒ   Near the top, there are 2 off shoot trails and I am not sure where they lead.  I headed up one for a bit but ended up turning around.  I knew if my mom and S made it to the tv towers before me, they would be alarmed.    Once there, we rested a bit before heading back down.

My goal was to run down at a nice comfortable pace.   My stomach was having none of that about 10 minutes in.  My fault, I had eaten a fairly large piece of pink champagne cake the night before and my stomach has not been a friend of sugar lately.   From then on it was a run-walk down.  All was good until the gun shots.  I froze in the middle of trail.  Do I keep going or do I go back up?     I figured it was probably someone shooting at targets, I’ve heard it before on trails this was just the first time I was completely by myself and it sounded closer.    I know people like to go shooting in rural areas and it was at consistent intervals so I chose to move on.   But then I remembered the 2 game warden trucks that had passed me on the way up.  What if there was a mountain lion sighting on the trail?  Aaargh!    That freaked me out and after a quick text to my mom, I ran down the trail.

Once at the bottom of the trail, my feet were bothering me so ditched my shoes for some flip flops before heading back up to the trail head to wait for my mom and S.   They hadn’t heard anything while on the way down but were feeling sore from the 4 mile descent.    We headed off for a well earned lunch in SLO.    I’d say we earned our pizza.  πŸ˜ƒπŸ•  

8 trail miles on very warm Sunday?  I was a pretty happy Slacker.

Scariest thing heard/ seen on a run?


14 thoughts on “Sunday Summit- East Cuesta

  1. I’m so jealous of all the cool trails you guys have in California… maybe it’s just because the landscape looks so different from here, but the views look so amazing! Plus, I’m pretty jealous of your weather right now… the nights and early mornings here have dipped down into the 20s here – yay! πŸ˜›

    I would have been freaked out by those gunshots/ideas of mountain lions too. Yikes! I can’t remember coming across anything scary on a run… knock on wood I’ve been pretty lucky so far. Black flies deciding that my eyes are a cool place to hang out during summer runs by the pond is about as scary as I’ve gotten πŸ™‚


    1. I feel the same way when I tree lined streets with pretty colors for fall! We rarely see those out here. When I do, I stop and stare. πŸ™‚ Our weather has a split personality- nights have been averaging high 30’s, low 40’s.
      It’s the wildlife that freaks me out. I know it’s their territory but the idea of one being so close is scary. And really what is my pepper spray going to do?


  2. Looks like a gorgeous way to spend a Sunday morning! Fortunately I’ve never had anything super scary happen to me on the run, other than stupid guys saying stupid stuff.


  3. Wow that’s good work right there. 4 miles of consistent climbing is a bear. Scariest thing on the trails, I’ve seen coyotes and boars but for some reason scariest is rattlesnakes. I almost stepped on one once and haven’t been the same since lol.


    1. Boars are alarming. I’ve never seen a live one up close but I’ve unfortunately seen a few on the side of the road when they’ve been hit. Those things can be huge! Even the thought of rattlesnakes keeps me off the trails in the summer. Nope!


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