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Updated on June 4, 2017
Stenner Creek Rd. to West Cuesta Nice run today. It started out cool and windless. I was taking it easy today due to last week’s 20 miler. I also didn’t want to feel rushed or worried about pace. Around mile 6, I started to run into some other trail runners, which was nice. Apparently, they are part of the SLO Trail Runners group (https://www.facebook.com/SLOTrailRunners). They were doing a similar distance as me except they had a different route. I got to talking to one of them named Roy, who was a nice, modest guy. For the next hour or so, we were leapfrogging each other. However, they were clearly stronger runners than me. At the top of West Cuesta, I decided to run about a mile up through the Cuesta Ridge Botanical Area just to get closer to 16 miles in total. That ridgeline is really nice. A rough, semi-paved road winds through a small Sargent cypress tree grove with some great views on either side of the ridge. On the way down, I got some final encouragement from the trail running group as they were heading up the road. But it wouldn’t be the last I met on the trail. A couple of miles down, I almost literally ran into a tarantula. Luckily, I didn’t step on it. This reminded me that October is usually the month you can find tarantula males looking for mates. I find these guys really intriguing. They are very docile, and they live very long lives compared to other insects (over 20 years for females!). This guy let me get really close to take a photo, and he didn’t move. As I left him behind on the trail, three steps later, I almost stepped on another one! This made me wonder if one of them was a female, which you usually don’t see wandering around. But I had no idea how to tell them apart. According to the US National Park Service, the males have a “tibial spur on each front leg behind the ‘knee’.” Next time, I’ll look for that. The rest of the run was nice. The temps started to increase, but it never got too warm. It felt really good today. I have no obligation, but there is another 20 miler happening next week. If I feel like it, maybe I’ll do that one.