The Summit of Keller’s Peak

   I’m sitting on my heating pad…
   Yes, I am sitting on my heating pad again.
   It seems like a bad joke one runner would ask another
   “How do you know if you ran to far today?”
   “Because you spend the evening sitting on a heating pad”
    I ran fourteen miles today, seven of that up hill, yes that is an altitude gain of  about 1,200     feet.
    For the first time in my life I ran to the top of Keller’s Peak.
   It was a beautiful day for a run, the temperature was in the high forties. Most of the snow from last weeks storm had melted and the paved road to Keller’s Peak was mostly clear of ice and snow, until I got to over seven thousand feet. At that point most of my run was through ice and snow. I did about ten miles of pavement training and about four miles of snow running.
     The top of Keller’s Peak sits at just over 7,800 feet. From the top of the mountainside you can see hundreds of miles in any direction. If it had been a slightly more clear and less smoggy day I would have been able to see Catalina Island in the distance. Some times you can see ships far off shore on the Pacific Ocean and their silhouettes against the golden glare of the sea as the sun sets down deep into it.
   Today I just saw haze and smog.
    On this mountain top though it was nothing but blue skies and a few wispy clouds hovering over snow capped San Gorgonio in the distance.
    It was an absolutely beautiful day for a winters run.
    When I reached the summit I still was not even tired so I decided to approach Snow Valley Lake to the North again and try to get another picture of the little alpine lake on a winters day.
    The problem here was that the snow was two feet deep in places.
   I was not actually running at this point, more like hobbling through the dense snow and sinking in up to my knees at places some times landing on the scratchy manzanita.
    Every time my pale white legs sunk two feet into the snow, being scratched and than bleeding every where, I regretted the choice of wearing shorts. I didn’t make it all the way down the trail to Snow Valley Lake. I gave up about half way down the trail, leaving a bloody trail in the white snow.
   The manzanita was killing me and my legs were scratched and bleeding all over the snow at this point.
   And I was annoyed.
   All that, and the picture I took was not even that impressive!
   This will probably be the last time I will run to the top of Keller’s Peak road this winter, although I may snow shoe it one day if we ever get enough snow for that.