Twenty seven minutes to the first ridegeline. My heart is pounding as I crest the top of the hill, those huge granite boulders finally in sight above me in the morning light.  Its seven a.m. the January sky is full of a spectacular rainbow of clouds; I’m so glad I dragged my exhausted ass out of bed for this. I lean against one of those massive rock formations to catch my breath and do a little bit of the stretching that I so loath and I take just a few moments to take in this glorious winter sunrise on a hot, hot, hot January California day.
    If its such a glorious perfection of a morning, why oh why does it smell like dog shit? So you know how I constantly find myself forced to complain (Someone has to do it!) about the individual who always leaves bright blue bags of shit at Keller’s Peak? Well today I ran one over. Awesome.
   In the distance I have been able to hear a dog howling this entire run as I made my way up the mountainside and through the trails and I figure it could very well be the dog shit bandit and canine. I’m keeping an eye out for them. If I come across Mr Blue Bag I plan to tell that douche to stop littering our trails and for god’s sake pick up your shit!
   I have enough to look out for on my morning run besides big blue landmines.
   I have to keep my eye’s open for cougars up on near the peak.
   I’m constantly avoiding ice, trying not to plunge down icy slopes.
   I’ve got one hand on my mace and another on my box cutter incase I meet a mountain crazy, or hungry cougar.
   Then there is poison oak, stinging nettle, bees, bears and black widows.
   God I love my mountain home.

   I really, really do.
   Okay, breaks over.
   I’m through with sitting on a boulder on top of the ridge watching the sunrise over my mountain community down below.
   Suns up.
   Time to run.

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