Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Devil's Chair

Last week when not grocery shopping, doing laundry, or stalking the internet for job openings: I got my California driver’s license, we transferred the cars’ registrations from NJ to CA, brought Molly to a dog park, met up with a couple of Dan’s new coworkers for some beers, went hiking, and I met up with the local running group for a long run on Sunday.

I had to take a written test of “signs and laws” at the DMV to get my CA license.  Luckily there are practice tests and “tutorials” online.  These tutorials taught me valuable things like that it is illegal to park in front of your own driveway (who knew?) and that it is apparently desirable for your car to roll off a cliff should the parking brake fail.

not your driveway    roll off the roadway
Phew, I passed.

Swapped out a set of these:

for a set of these:
obohkerj tw1

I met my goal of running at least 25 miles this past week.
Tuesday: 3.8 miles
Wednesday: 8.89 miles
Friday 2.93 miles on hills in 30mph+ winds
Sunday: 12.06 miles w/running group
Total miles run: 27.68 miles

Plus on Saturday we hiked about 7.8 miles at a place called the Devil’s Punchbowl.  It was an out and back hike to the Devil's Chair.


That green water tower in the distance was close to the start of our hike (we started to the right of it).  This picture was taken after maybe 2 miles of winding around the mountains.

I was not aware my picture was being taken in this one and may have been freaking out slightly as we were walking along a ridge that fell off sharply on both sides.  I clung to that fence the whole way out. I’m not sure when I became such a wimp.

Railing out to the “Devil’s Chair”

Picture attempt while at the very end.  This is me forcing a smile while clinging to the fence and Dan and not thinking about what would happen if that fence gave out.

This borrowed pic may give a better sense as to what we walked out on, and where we stood for the previous picture.


Another borrowed one:


We were here.  There were 2 people out on the end when we took this picture.  One of them is wearing a red shirt.  Maybe you can see it, maybe not.

The Devil's Chair is at a point where the San Andreas Fault and the Punchbowl Faults come together.  One of the fault lines is right between the white and the reddish rocks.

Our elevation started around 4750'.  We quickly climbed to about 5300' then had lots of little ups and downs. The Devil's Chair itself was at about 4950'.

It was fun and pretty but slightly terrifying at some points where there was packed snow or mud on the trail and the trail was only 18" wide with a drop off to one side.  If you didn't think about the drop off, walking on a 18" wide path at a slight angle with snow/ice would not be such a big deal.


I enjoyed the group run on Sunday morning.  We met bright and early at 6:30 about 15 minutes from where I live.  I ran with two very nice women who were running at a good pace for me.  One of them is running the LA Marathon in <2 weeks. What I did not know before Sunday was that the run would be supported- one of the members "hosted" the run, providing maps for the route, and setting up water, gatorade, and cups at 2 points along the course. Nice!

When we got back from running, many people were already sitting outside the Starbucks enjoying their coffee and talking.  Running and coffee! It's like this group was meant for me.  I probably stayed for about an hourish afterward. The group consists of quite a range of speed and ages.  I'm looking forward to going back for another run!

Their longer weekend runs are at the crack of dawn and their weekday track and tempo runs are at night.  I generally like to get my runs done in the morning, so I don't know what I'll do about that yet.  Or maybe my mileage will just begin to increase when I get in my normal morning miles and an occasional night time group run :)

Are you in a running group?  Thoughts?  Discuss.
Are you a fan of hiking?  Any recommendations for hiking in SoCal?


  1. I LOVE my running group. It's pretty much the only reason I actually run on Saturdays.

    Looks like you guys are having a ton of fun out there!

  2. Wow, that landscape is gorgeous, all I want to do is go trail running there.

    Run groups are nice. I run with a group once a week, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't do speed work. I agree, running and coffee is a nice combo!


  3. I am so, so jealous of your life right now. Glad the running group is working out! I'm a major wimp and would have been terrified as well. For some reason I feel I have never seen a pic of your husband before.

  4. Aaaw man, I am deeply envious of those sunny, dry trails. What a cool landscape.


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