This was a rather disjointed run, broken up by bike passing (with good weather, the trails are too damned busy now), gawking at the dark clouds forming overhead, eventually escaping from lightning and waiting out the rain under a bridge.
This is what the hills looked like from the parking lot at the start:
However within 20 minutes, the gloom had spread all the way over from Lookout Mountain. Straight ahead in the photo below is Mount Galbraith, which I run occasionally. The Golden fire a couple of years ago was one ridge back from that summit, and parts of Galbraith were scorched:
I was going to do a short stretch on top, but dark clouds and rumbles caused me to decide against electrocution and I turned around to head back downhill, intending to take the trail that encircles the mountain down near the bottom.
Right before I took the photo below, a mountain biker passed me going uphill, and I said "Good luck up there, it's looking pretty ugly", and she said "Really?" and looked up inquisitively.
You've gotta be kidding me.
You didn't see the clouds that look like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are going to burst out at any minute and smite us? There were actually several riders headed up, I'm not sure why. Crazy.
Clouds worthy of any Hollywood disaster flick:
Right after that last photo, I started getting wet. Although I didn't enjoy the rain, I was more worried about being near high cliffs and having to run past huge metal electric towers strung along the mountainside. I beat a hasty retreat into the nearby residential neighborhoods, hopefully out of range of lightning strikes. After getting chilled looking for an alternate route, I huddled under a bridge. I disturbed a robin who had nested above my head, and who sat in a olive tree yelling at me.
When it cleared, I was pretty cold from rain and just sitting in the wind, and I welcomed the chance to run and get warm. The entire area was wet, green and misty, and droplets drifted past my headlamp lazily. A lingering lightning storm flickered over the Coal Creek Canyon area like eruptions from Mount Doom:
Distance was 10.80 miles, time 2:44 (moving 1:59), elevation gain/loss 1,197 feet, avg. pace 15:16 (moving 11:06), and best pace 7:14.