Category: animal encounter

Point Buchon Trail

I’ve heard good things about the Point Buchon trail but never managed to follow through. Which is also silly as the Jurassic trail I’ve done multiple times uses the same parking lot. Granted Point Buchon was closed for a chunk of time during COVID and as the entire trail is actually on PG&E property, that was a hard closure.

To get to the trail head, you park at the very last lot in MDO and head for a tall fence. The small gate in the fence is only open on certain dates and times. Once through there, it’s short uphill paved drive to the check in. You have to sign in and out at the ranger station and you have to be off the trail by dusk. Like I said PG&E property and technically part of a nuclear power plant, so they take that pretty seriously.

It is also probably due to those reasons that this is the most well marked trail I have ever been on. There is no way to get lost, zero. Numerous trail markers along the way, signs warning you when the trail was going to end. As well as numerous look out points along the way with benches to sit and just enjoy the views. There were also multiple signs which would talk about the native wildlife, the Native American tribe- Chumash- who used to live there and what PG&E is doing for conservation. There was a sign referencing that the lighthouse used for the original Pete’s Dragon used to stand on what they call Disney Point. It was only up for a short period of time but it’s cool story. There is also still a working ranch on the property and part of trail takes you though cow pastures. There were babies!! Oh, and a sinkhole!

The trail is just under 8 miles out and back and very user friendly. The first 2 miles is nice and wide, very runnable. The last 2 miles turn to single track and on windy days you will get pushed around. There is also a half mile stretch in there of very soft gravel, your feet will sink but still very manageable. There was also access to a porta-pottie at Windy Point. We went all the way to the end before turning around. The views were amazing and it was a nice clear day when we started. Once you hit Windy Point, you can also see the power plant in the distance.

For a bonus, as we were almost back to the start, we found an offshoot trail that led to a private beach. It had some really cool rock formations as well as a cool cave to explore.

This was a great trail and I have no idea what took me so long to get to it. Except for the snake. I hate snakes and I had my first snake sighting about 6 miles into the trail. I still do it again, haha.

Turkeys and Bear

This was gonna be the week, I felt it. This was the week I was going to get up an run in the morning before work. This was it.

Then Monday came. I’m not stupid, I knew I wasn’t starting this out on a Monday. I did set an alarm for the earlier time though and at least get up and check out the window to see the what the morning looked like. Then I dozed for another hour-ish. No the problem popped up on Monday’s lunch.

A bear!

Rumors of a bear roaming my side of town popped up on social media. Then the security videos start popping up. Nope, yeah that’s a bear. And way too damn close to my house. With my weird animal luck, even my coworkers were cracking jokes that I’d be calling in from the hospital.

Granted most of animal encounters are funny- mini horse, goats, feisty possum, runaway chickens, attack peacocks but there are still scars on my ass from the the worst of my dog encounters. So yeah, mornings were sounding less like a good thing. Ha!

It was a Thursday afternoon run this week where I again showed my proclivity for running into animals where they maybe shouldn’t be. I was heading up the concrete path and could see something moving farther up the path and it wasn’t human. Could it be peacocks again? No, didn’t look right. So I slowed and got closer. Wait, are those turkeys? Can turkeys be white?? Also they looked small. But smart. They ran farther up the path from me, snuck into the bushes on my left and doubled back behind me. Then popped out of the bushes behind and bolted down the path. What the hell?

A mile later, things were still weird. There’s a dog behind a stonewall but he and I have been chill for years. However he was going crazy and pogo sticking up and down so I could see his head just popping over the wall. Huh? Then I heard a little jingling. Look up the path and there is a small chihuahua running my way. It passed me and I could a pink bling-ed up collar and then it kept running. What? I turned around and tried to catch it but it dropped me like a track start and I couldn’t find it again. Grrr.

Oh but pogo dog and I shared a look- like “where the hell did that come from?”.

So yep, pass on the morning runs this week.

Week 47- Better- ish

Well, if you don’t count Monday through Friday.

I still haven’t figured out the weekly running thing. I didn’t realize how much one change in another area of life was going to affect my weekday running.

I did get on the bike on Tuesday but I only managed 4.2ish miles before I was running to the bathroom. I blamed it on my GI condition being an asshat but turns out it could have been food poisoning. I pick up lunch for my coworkers once a month and Tuesday we chose Panda. And on that Tuesday, half of us got sick. We’re on Panda strike now.

Oh and for extra fun, my dog treed a possum on Wednesday evening. In the cold and pouring rain. Picture me in my pajamas in the rain trying to catch a crazed dog and attempt to keep the possum up the tree. Sorry neighbors.

Thursday brought Thanksgiving and rain. No complaints by me, I gave up on snowy holidays long ago and just ask for clouds and rain now. Success! Except I was volunteering at a new local Turkey Trot and it was so cold! However that did not effect the turnout- it was a smash! It was also a fundraiser for the local homeless shelter so double win! Oh and the cutest Turkey Trot-er ever!

Then it was family time. With both parents having fun hospital trips in the last couple months, no one was feeling the effort of cooking a turkey dinner. And let’s be real, any attempts on my part would have ended up with my mother cooking it. So we flopped with the usual Christmas dinner and had Beef Stroganoff. Which meant I needed the stretchy pants. I don’t like turkey so I usually eat very little with traditional Thanksgiving fare.

Saturday brought some damn cold rain. I layered up to run outside but changed my mind when I took the dog out on a leash to go to the bathroom. I de-layered and headed to the gym instead. That one I pay for monthly but never use. It wasn’t horrible and I finished 4ish slow miles. Anyone else run 1-2 minutes slower on the treadmill?

Sunday was still raining but about 10-15 degrees warmer. I was probably overdressed for my 5 mile run but whatever. Parts of this run felt pretty good and part was a struggle thanks to the moisture in the air. Oh well.

9ish miles for the week. Not marvelous but better than last week!

How was your week? Do you like turkey?

Never Really Alone

Disclaimer: I received Sabre products to try as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you run alone, you’ve likely thought about your safety on the run. If not, how?

I’ve run with pepper spray since I was attacked by a dog 9 years ago. I still have the scars on my butt to prove it. Before then my biggest concern running was how stupid I looked doing it. Nothing slams me a halt now quite like a dog off leash.

Then I started running the lake path. Which seems to be home to all of my creepiest encounters. From cars that follow too close around the path or men who just stop and stare.

There’s also the random but not so infrequent wild life occurrences in town. From roaming mountain lions to bears in cul-de-sacs and let’s not forget the time a wolf hybrid escaped from the rehab facility. It’s a riot out here.

I started carrying pepper spray way back when and am ost never without it. I’ve gone through a variety of different styles and brands. Partly because of the expiration dates and partly because I have a tendency to break them. How? If I am carrying it in my hand, it will get thrown at some point. It’s one of the reasons I don’t carry a handheld all that often.

So now I carry Sabre. Small, compact and complete with a strap! No more throwing it! Although in a worst case throwing it might not be a bad idea.

Never gonna let you go

Ok, so I don’t toss it around anymore but really makes Sabre rock?

How about- (from the Sabre website)

  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER: Maximum strength formula is backed by in-house high performance liquid chromatography laboratory which guarantees maximum stopping power, eliminating the 30% failure rate experienced with other pepper spray brands (University of Utah study); plus UV marking dye aids in suspect identification
  • #1 PEPPER SPRAY BRAND TRUSTED BY POLICE AND CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE: Including New York, Chicago PD, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s & U.S. Marshals; made in the U.S.A. and ISO 9001:2008 certified with a 4-year shelf life from the date of manufacture
  • ENHANCED SAFETY: Pepper gel virtually eliminates wind blow-back and only affects what it directly contacts, plus it offers a 20% greater range (12 feet/4 m) for protection at a safer distance
  • EASILY ACCESSIBLE WITH PROTECTION AGAINST MULTIPLE THREATS: Adjustable hand strap provides police-strength protection at your fingertips; contains 35 bursts (up to 5x other brands) plus a locking top safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge
  • FREE TRAINING: Packaging includes link to free training video in addition to publicly available safety tips on blog
All the essentials- Gatorade and an alarm

Along with the pepper spray which I already felt comfortable with, Sabre offers personal alarms. Yes, there are a few apps that offer runner tracking and location information, however those seem less than productive to me. They tell someone where you were when there might have been a problem. Those people are usually never near you at the time and likely can’t get to you quickly. How safe is that? It’s not. It’s a road map for a worst case scenario. The Sabre personal alarm is there to alert those actually nearby that you need help. And/or maybe be a loud enough deterrent for whatever man or beast may be in front of you.

And it clips on anywhere. Seriously, I’ve it clipped to my pack, my pocket, a tank top strap, and my purse. I recently bought my first Coach purse and yes- I clipped the bright pink alarm to the outside pocket. Safety is always stylish, right?

Sabre is extremely low priced in my opinion for my peace of mind. But if you need more convincing- how about a discount? Use code SABRERUN to save 20%.

Everything’s safe until it isn’t and for that I have my Sabre. I can only hope I don’t have to use it.

Want to read more?

Meridith Taushah

Week 22- That Stings

20.6 miles for the week. If you looks strictly at the number of miles run vs the plan- I nailed it . The details reveal a much different story.

Last week so up and down. Actually more down. I dealt with a possible leg issue, my sleep doesn’t seem to be getting any better, splinters in butt and then an ant attack. Oh and asthma issues. I’ve joke I should be called Calamity Runner instead of Slacker and last week it really fit.

Planned vs Actual

Monday- 1.5 miles / 1.5 miles
Easy running on Monday. It felt odd doing so few miles on a day off work but I was keen on sticking to the plan. The odd part was the twinge in my left ankle that started about 40 minutes after my run.

Artsy or moody?πŸ€”

Tuesday- 1 up/down, 3.5 mile tempo/ 3.5 blow up
I headed back to the lake path figuring the flat, friendly, sandy trail would help me focus on my pace. Big dreams. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My left foot and ankle were pissed. I couldn’t get my breathing under control and I was nowhere near hitting my paces.

I had 2 failed tempo miles before I called it and walked it in. Then to add insult to injury I sat on a wooden bench to at least enjoy the sunshine and wound up with splinters in my butt. πŸ˜‚

Wednesday- 1.5 miles/ 2.2 miles
I kept it super easy and honestly probably walked half of it. My ankle was angry but not as pissed as the day before. I was still very nervous about any running especially since I had a race only a few days away.

Thursday- 4 miles/ Zero
I decided rest was best and resigned myself to the red dot in Final Surge. I was supposed to go to a networking event after work but this was when the ant attack happened. I went to get gas as my car was on empty. As I was filling the tank, I decided to wash my windshield. Partway through I felt stings on my right foot. Look down to my right foot, ankle and shoe are covered in ants. I scream and kick the shoe across the gas station lot, I throw the squeegee too. Then I am hopping around on one foot trying to brush the ants off while the stinging turns to pain and of course my dress decides now is time to do a Marilyn Monroe impression. I flash all the workers in the auto bay. I finally got them all off, jumped in the car and drove straight home. I jumped directly into the shower but my foot was bright red with bites and swelled. Yay. I’ll spare you the pic I took- my toes are ugly. πŸ˜’

Friday- 1.5 miles/ more rest
Rest, rinse, repeat. Except today I felt like things were crawling on me. 🐜

Like my makeshift arm warmers?

Saturday-7 miles/ Road trip!
I knew my long run would be Rock N Roll San Diego this week which meant long run on Sunday and not Saturday. It was also a very long drive down. But I made it to the expo around 3:30. Picked up my stuff, did a little shopping- I forgot my water flask and Gatorade Endurance at home. Doh! I tried to turn in early to get as much sleep as I could. Haha!

Sunday- Rock n Roll San Diego
Race recap up soon.

How was your week?