Thursday night was an interesting night.
To start with, I had some major doubts about the mileage increase. I had doubts about running on unfamiliar trails. I had doubts about my physical fitness. Etc.
But things went well. My route was planned well. My brand new headlamp worked perfectly. And I encountered a bunch of Escondido night life throughout.
It started not long after I summited Stanley Peak. I surprised a coyote. He looked like a dark grey coyote, which I don’t see too often. He quickly ran around the corner of the Diamondback Trail. Then I heard him bark a few times. The another coyote or two barked somewhere nearby. They went back and forth for a few seconds, then they all started howling. I realized I was surrounded by coyotes somewhere in the brush. It was really cool.
Soon, the sun began to set. I turned on my new headlamp. It seemed dim at first, but it is supposed to react to the surroundings to emit the appropriate light needed. I think it worked great. Not too long after that, I was in a canyon with overhanging oak trees, and it was very dark. The light took care of it. I had zero problems seeing.
After dark, I started to see were the poorwill birds. Then I saw frogs hopping away as I approached. Then I saw something I’ve never seen. There were two rodents that hopped on two legs and had a tail that splayed out at the end. I’ve looked them up since I’ve finished, and I think they are kangaroo rats. They are pretty fearless. I think I may have interrupted a romantic moment between two of them, but there was also a big frog there, so I can’t tell you what the hell was happening between the three of them. Near the end of the run, I saw another one, so that was fun.
There was more wildlife, but I won’t bore you with the rest. It was a great, moonless night that was perfect for running. My 17 mile run turned into 18 by the time I reached the car. Not a problem. My feet hurt pretty bad, but overall, I felt great.
As I write this, it’s past midnight. I’m getting some food down, and enjoying the recollection. Great night. Great run. I am sure I’ll sleep well tonight.