Monday was the last day of my long weekend, so I chose a trail on the way home, and in this case it was Mount Shavano. I also chose partly because the sky was pure blue above the mountain, not a cloud in sight.
How quickly that can change, when you start too late.
So, this trail goes uphill, relentlessly...
Seriously, there were probably only two switchbacks on the entire trail to this point; it was just straight uphill, with some short flat sections in the woods before treeline.
I didn't even make it up to the saddle before the final push to Shavano's summit, because in the span of about 20 minutes, the skies went from gray to "I want to smite you from this Earth". I took the hint and started back downhill.
I thought I was doing pretty well running the downhill, but this one seems to be saying "So, you really think you are a mountain animal? Ha!":
At this point the skies started making noise, so it was time to get the heck off the mountain.
One good thing about running mountains is that you can get away from bad weather relatively quickly. As thunder was booming from above, I flew downhill on some crazy-rough trails. The lower part is basically a long, rocky gully. Every time I run down stuff like this I'm glad I don't end up in a hospital.
Finally while running down, I heard cows bellowing from the valley below, and knew I was near the finish. Cows graze all over the lower parts of this trail. Happy cows. Where are you, happy cows?
I blew into the parking lot as the folks I passed on the way up were packing up their gear. There was a young guy in the back of his truck reading a book, lo and behold the same guy who was there yesterday when I was talking to Brendan. There is a part of me that just wants to live out of a vehicle at trailheads, and I'm a bit envious. I nodded a hello, unintentionally becoming a temporary regular at this trailhead.
Distance was 6.73 miles, time 2:27 (moving 2:18), elevation gain/loss 3,106 feet, avg. pace 21:56 (moving 20:30), and best pace 6:46.