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Random thoughts

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Trail-Running with a Psycho

After lunch on Sunday, Marc and I decided to go back to Temescal Canyon for a workout. I wanted to finish the hike that we got a taste of last week. We started slow, since a good part of the beginning of the hike was a steep ascent, but we'd break into runs when the trail evened out enough for me to be able to run it.

We were passing a lot of people hiking on the trail, and we eventually caught up to this one guy wearing a beer-labelled t-shirt (Budweiser? Miller? Can't remember now...) carrying a camera. He turned to us and asked us if we knew where the waterfalls were. We both shrugged, and he turned away and continued walking in front of us.

Eventually, the trail evened out again, and we broke into a jog. Waterfall guy heard us coming up from behind, and he started jogging as well. Since we were maintaining a steady laidback pace, he gained a substantial lead on us. We kept on as is, and eventually came upon him walking again. When he saw us, he broke into a run again.

Marc and I exchanged a look, shrugged and jogged on. Waterfall guy kept with his routine - everytime we'd gain ground on him, he'd throw a look behind and then start running again. Towards the end, it took all my effort not to laugh. We put a little bit more speed in our run and he had to run faster to stay ahead of us. At one point, I was on his heels and he threw look at me and, seeing I was almost upon him, he took a huge gasp of air and flew into almost a sprint.

What the hell?!

The trail forked in a couple of places, and I would slow down to ask Marc where we should go. He'd slow down too, and wait to see where we were headed. The second Marc said, "Left", at the first junction, Waterfall guy muttered, "Left?" and then went flying by me, determined not to let us get ahead of him.

We ran by the waterfalls he had been asking people left and right about, at the beginning of the hike, and he never stopped to take pictures. We were at his heels by then, and I suppose he just lost his mind completely.

When we got to the first parking lot, we slowed to a walk to cool down from the run. Waterfall guy kept running. We called out softly, "We're not behind you now!"

Up till now, I can't seem to fathom what was going on in that guy's head. He lost his opportunity to take pictures of the waterfalls he was looking for -- all for what? I still don't get it.

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