Sunday, July 23, 2006

Waddell-Beach-to-Big-Basin via Skyline-to-the-Sea

I decided to try to avoid running in the triple-digit heat today by driving up Route 1 and doing a run in the woods above the coast. If your not familiar with this trail, it is an absolutely gorgeous backpacking trail through the Big Basin Redwoods. The full trail covers about 33 miles one way, but I did just the last 11 out-and-back for a 22 miler. I didn't take a camera with me but this site has some very nice pictures.

I chose to do the trail starting from the normal end point at Waddell Beach and turning around at the Big Basin Park HQ. I did this so it would be mostly downhill on the way back and also so I would end my run at the beach allowing for the end of run, Pacific Ocean, ice bath. As I said, I picked this trail thinking that the shade of the woods would help avoid the heat. Well, what I discovered once I got into the dense cover was that I not only had not managed to avoid the heat, I had added a significant amount of humidity to my running weather. By the time I was half-way to the park I could already feel my shorts drenched. Luckily, I had my hydration pack (refilled before heading down) and my S!Caps to keep me from safe. On the way down the heat was getting to me and I ended up draining my pack. Luckily there is a nice cool creek that parallels this trail. I took a couple opportunities to dunk my head and even drink some of the water (I know, I know).

On a more moderate day, this trail would be an absolute pleasure. It is very moderately graded. It starts on fireroad that is shared with bikes and horses, but after 5 miles it is all hikers and it narrows down and becomes much more interesting. I ran part of this a number of years ago in the Big Basin Half Marathon. I am considering doing the Big Basin 50K in August which also includes this trail We'll see. I have to get through the Santa Cruz Mountains 50K (my 2nd) next weekend first!


miki said...

Sounds like an experience. Thanks for torturing yourself for me and letting me know what I would be in for should I go for a run in the heat under the trees. No after effects yet from drinking the water???
Good luck on your run this weekend. I'm envious. I have never done the Santa Cruz mountains run and it looks fun. Unfortunately I'm out of town. Should be cooler.

Eudemus said...


No problem, always glad to be a guinea pig J. I had no adverse stomach (or other) problems from the creek water which is good because I really needed it to finish that run and it tasted GOOD too! I’ll let you know how Santa Cruz is after next weekend. Hopefully it is a bit milder than Big Basin was. I noticed that Matt, who also posts on your blog, is planning to make it his first 50K, I hope to see him and say hi. I also see that you are planning to do the 25K at the Big Basin next month. Maybe I’ll see you there if all goes well after SC. Best of luck in your training!