Tuesday of that week I had put in a run up on the Santa Fe Dam Bike Trail. It was a particularly breezy day so the skies were crisp and clear. Although the foothills and mountains are visible during the entire run, around the 2 mile mark heading NE, I had a really great view of the foothills above Glendora, the city just north of my own. Because of the clear skies and the angle of the sunset I could clearly make out a road along the ridge of the first set of foothills. Curiosity got me and I remembered by commitment to run more trails up in those hills.
That night I determined that the road was the Glendora Ridge Motorway. It is a dirt road, closed to traffic that traverses the ridge of the foothills. From the map it looked like the road took off in Azusa (the city just west of Glendora) and headed along the ridge ultimately meeting up with Glendora Mountain Road (GMR to the locals), a paved road, also closed to traffic and a popular destination for road bikers. So I mapped out the route with gmaps-pedometer. The plan was to follow Glendora Ridge from end to end, about 5 miles, tack on another 2.5 up GMR and back for 15.
Saturday morning I drove over my predetermined starting point only to be met by a 12 foot high chain link fence with No Trespassing Private Property signs. Fortunately I had a Plan B. Unfortunately, it included running up the Garcia Trail to get to Glendora Ridge. I found parking just as described on the link and headed up the trail. According to the site Garcia Trail climbs 1,040 feet in 1.2 miles. It took me 20:31 to get up the trail. I was forced to take a few walking breaks. This new starting place also threw off my route. I wasn't completely sure at what point the Ridge Motorway met Garcia. I was rewarded with some great views of the valley below.
I decided to head west back toward the original gate on Glendora Ridge. I eventually came upon a sign again warning of private property. Later I determined that I had gone 1.2 miles west. By this time I had nearly descended back down to the elevation I had started. I turned back, uphill to Garcia and continued on my original goal of completing the Motorway. The trail climbed for over 2 miles and then gently rolled along the ridge. It took me 1:10 to get to GMR about 7.25 miles. GMR was a slow steady climb for about 2 miles and then a slow steady descent back to the Glendora Ridge Motorway. It took me 23 minutes to go up and 19 come down.
Along the way I had come across deer twice. I tried to take photos but I couldn't get very close. This shot shows 3 of the deer and the trail along the ridge. The trip back down the Motor way and then down Garcia took 1:03. Down Garcia was pretty difficult. It is definitely single track and steep. The trail hugs the hills with a steep drop off on my right as I descended. Downhill is not my strong suit by any means so at the top steepest part there was more walking than anything and some pretty easy trotting the rest of the way. My final running time was 3:16. Afterward I plotted it all out on gmaps and came up with about 16.25 miles. (I plotted up Garcia, the out and back going west and just the out going east). This is the kind of run that really makes me wish for a Garmin or Polar, some kind of GPS so I would know how far I'd gone rather than guessing and trying to map it out later. How about a Father's Day, Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas gift? Are you reading, dear?
So climbing up from 840 ft to 1880, back down to around 1100 and eventually up to 3033 and back to 840 put me at a 12:15 pace. It has been awhile since I've run trail for that distance. I did enjoy myself immensely. The next few days, my quads and my times for the rest of the week were effected by the run. The only other people I saw were on or at the summit of Garcia, one guy hiking on the Motorway and 20 or so road bikers on GMA. I'm glad the Glendora Ridge Motorway revealed itself to me while running on my old familiar "dam" route.