This has become an annual tradition for the Santa Cruz Track Club. It was made all the more relevant this year because several of us were scheduled to do Ironman St. George in just 2 months. We assembled at the entrance to Nicene Marks, and carpooled our way to San Juan Bautista.
It was a dark and stormy morning! Actually, no it wasn't - not this year. At the bottom of the mountain, it was warm and sunny. We could see clouds up on the summit, but we hoped it was just a bit of mist soon to clear. It's 11 miles from bottom to top, and 2750 feet of vertical climbing to the lower parking lot and the entrance to the campground. A quick picture in front of the ancient signage, and before I knew it, everyone was disappearing up the road. Everyone except Paul - who had volunteered as support vehicle. Battery failure! I had jumpers and got him juiced and on the road. I'm scheduled for Ironman too, but it's been tough to get ready for running with some big imbalance issues. So rather than risk another injury, my plan was to mtn bike to the top. Jonathan also had his bike, but drove to the top and then rode down and then back up. Peter was a gamer too - even with his recent shoulder surgery. The rest of the SCTC cast of characters are photo'ed below; Jan, Diane, Kathy, Lisa, Jill... At the top, it was a different day - cold, windy, very much inside a cloud. No one was enthused about the ceremonial final push to the summit. Actually, it'd have been risky with the slippery marble near the summit, and no view anyway. Much more enticing to gorge ourselves on OJ, fresh hot burritos from Mama Lerma (always the highlight), and various pastries goodies. Everyone got to the top, got a great workout, enjoyed good friends, good endorphins, good eats, and we'll look forward to next time.