I joined the HIgh Desert Runners and the Santa Clarita Runners for the annual 2 Deers Trail Run. I have only done this run once before. My recollection was that it was a bit tricky to follow the chalk arrows and that once you were on the 2 deers trail it was kind of cool. Sort of like running through a brush tunnel.
When I arrived at 7:55 and signed in the host (host’s wife?) asked if I was familiar with the trail. She said it had been marked on Thursday but that the rain had wiped out the chalk. Phil would be taking a group…. I noted that several friends – Dave Weary, Rob Perez, Nestor, the Arvidsons, Janet Dempsey, Kathy Diorio – had already started, and I figured I would be able to catch someone more familiar than myself…
As I was about to begin I noticed Jose Estrada pull up and wave. So I figured I would wait for him. Jose took a while. Phil’s group took off. Matt B, Veronica Loya and Heather Worden arrived and got going (walking). Finally Jose and I began. We quickly passed the aforementioned walkers. After a mile Jose pulled away. I ran on my own for awhile enjoying the view and singing praise songs in my head.
At about two I spotted Mark Hershey up the trail ahead of me and right before the 3 mile ridge I caught him.
Mark and I ran together. Phil’s group (Santa Clarita runners) was stopped on the ridge taking a break. I figured that Mark being an old time HDR runner would know the way. As we talked we quickly found out that each of us had only run the trail once. We kept following the road on the ridge looking for an arrow or some sign that it was time to turn. We passed Marv Powers who assured us we were going the right way. A couple miles later we saw a group stopped ahead. It was Rob, Nestor, Lee, Michelle and Clare. We had arrived at the fire road going back down to Bouquet.
Janet, Clare and I all recalled that the 2 deers trail was supposed to eventually take us to the fire road. So after waiting a few minutes and pausing for a selfie we got underway.Nestor and Rob chose to return the way that we had come. The rest of us started down the road. Mark and I quickly pulled away from the others. At one point there was a “road” that went straight down, one of those fire breaks. Mark and I took it. After a bit it crossed a trail. At that moment Janet and Kathy appeared. They were on the 2 Deers Trail. We made a left and resumed our run on the official trail – for about a quarter mile, then the trail reached the road again.
So after getting some clarification from Kathy on what to look for at the next right turn, Mark and I sped away down the road. We found the right turn road and began the uphill part back to the PCT.
This last part makes its was up along a ridge. The path keeps splitting with one option being going straight up over a hill and the other option a trail that skirts around it to meet again on the other side. I kept choosing the go around option. After a while I spotted Dave Weary ahead going up a steep section of an “over the top” trail. I went to the right. As the trails were about to merge back together Dave ran by ahead. I caught him and we chatted for a bit. As I pulled away there was another split and I went to the right.
The path continued but became more and more overgrown after maybe a half mile I became concerned that this time the two trails may not once again merge. The brush became thicker and thicker. There were no longer any signs of motor bikes having been that way or even people. I realized that the other trail was straight above me. So I made a left and pushed my way carefully, slowly through the brush back.
The yellow arrows show the path I should have chosen. The red arrows my “short cut” to get back on track. After getting back on track I caught and passed Mark Hershey. I arrived at the trail head just behind David Weary. I am a little worse for wear – my wrists are pretty scratched up and I lost a pair of sunglasses that you see in the top two pictures….
The Strava Labs – Fly By (Click Here) is interesting. You can see Rob and Nestor ahead, then the SC group and then me, followed by the walkers. You can see the different options taken and even my little side trip.
This shows my full, slightly modified 2 Deers Trail Run…