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Running on the Santa Rosa Plateau with my bride!

December 5, 2012
Ella smuggling toys in her Jammies through Airport security.

Ella smuggling toys in her Jammies through Airport security.

Following the birth of our little girl, Kris and I have had infrequent opportunities to run together. Despite numerous weekly hours, we often would only find time/energy to run together one day a week, and typically that on the roads. To my chagrin, I would pound the pavement while pushing the stroller. Much credit should be given to my wife who did this on a daily basis, to maintain her sanity in the past years. She was often seen running in Liberty Park, or Sugarhouse Park, pushing a stroller with one hand and a dog on leash in the other. Nevertheless, I would happily push and pull one day a week so she could run unimpeded.

My bride on the RunSadly, we rarely, if ever went on runs together on the trails due to the little angel in stroller. I guess I was never driven enough to push a stroller on single track. So after 3 years, we had learned that our must optimal time to attempt this was while visiting parents in California. So, the past couple of years, while visiting her parents, we have taken a few hours to ourselves and ventured to the gentle trails at Santa Rosa Plateau. These trails are especially convenient due to proximity to her parents, but also exceptionally welcoming to inspiring and the uninclined trail runner. Most of the trails are well tracked, wide and very minimally varied in elevation. You can easily do any variety of length, while escaping any formidable climbing or descending. My wife also enjoys these trails in stark contrast to the assortment of rocky, rugged and narrow trails in Utah.

We typically begin and end on the northern entrance of the Santa Rosa Plateau across from the visitor center, evading the recommended day use fee by our early arrival. The trails beginning from this trailhead are slightly undulating as they traverse across the serene landscape of the ecological preserve. Like many other areas, you can expect sage scrubs, chaparral, bunchgrass, mountain lions, deer bobcats and a nice selection of hawks and larger birds. What stands out to me as I run this area is the gorgeous canopy in several section created by the Engelmann Oaks, the riparian wetlands and the vernal pools (in the northern section of the park). The first mile or so of the trails leading from this entrance are beautifully covered and an easy 2 mile loop can be done in the summer months from the trailhead. Exploring further, you find the oak groves open to a praise like setting with expanses of grasses with isolated Engellman oaks posed on hills overlooking the pastoral scenery. Kristin and I both, pretended to be running through an African preserve, rather then a few miles from interstate 15 in Southern California. We jokingly imagined giraffes, lions, zebras and other african praise animals as we jaunted this this landscape. Our little girl would have been proud.

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 12.31.48 PM

We typically only venture in the Sylvian Meadows area, but for some reason I was able to convince Kristin to explore a larger area, thus running more then she had anticipated. Cutting across the road, we ran oblong the Hidden Valley Rd. to the Trans Preserve Trail to the Vernal Pools. Not surprisingly, these were dried and of not much interest. However, during the early spring, these can be exceptionally beautiful.

The few miles we did get to run together were especially nice. I savior those moments we aren’t talking business, finding things to ‘discuss’, working out solutions with a 3 year old, but rather just being Quiche together. Living in the moment and free to dream. May your journey take you to places where you have these same dreams! Thanks Santa Rosa Plateau!


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