Went out this morning with Jordan McDougal. We’d been planning to run up to a solitary area that he knew about. He was going to show me a canyon that required some running and climbing to get into. First, I have to say that Jordan is fast. Second, he is nimble. Third, he makes it look easy. He can easily jump from one surface to another like a flying squirrel. Jordan allowed me to set the pace as we trucked moderately fast uphill. Fast to me is slow to him. This is a guy who runs sub 5 minute miles.

Our goal was to get to the crest of the mountain and then climb down her flanks which were made of grayish-black basalt rock. I talked most of the way as we ambled up the side of the mountain, about projects I was working on. He has an easy-going nature. He happily shared his running techniques with me as we made the 1.5 mile climb through the park and up the mountain and I tried my best to absorb the free wisdom he was dispensing.

The best part of our run was getting to the rocks. Our lean trail-running shoes had thick foot plates, and that gave us some traction to get a secure foothold on the stones. We weren’t doing anything really technically difficult. Still, some good upper body strength was needed in order to boulder up and down the cliff wall. A lot of the area up there is covered by broken branches, slippery moss and pockets of dead leaves. All of these can cause you to get injured severely if you take a misstep.

We climbed up around the ridges and spurs along the range. Much of the sides of the cliffs were layered with stacks of large fallen rock formations. I’d liken the rocks to being stacks of dominoes placed against a very large domino. They were laid out like steps of a stairwell. We were making our way through the grey/black basalt rock formations and Jordan would climb between the fallen rocks like a tunneling rat, and sometimes above them. He is quick. I tried to keep up but couldn’t.

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