After one month, I am back to “Brown Mountain” for my mountain trail training. I really miss the place which is totally different from the hills & mountains of Marin Headlands. BM trails has a lot to offer aside from the fact that the uphill climbs and trail texture & condition are more challenging. As for comparison with the Headlands trails, the terrain at BM is more abrupt on its uphill climbs which is good for short & fast “surges” as you go up to the mountain. Seldom did I see many abrupt uphill/downhill terrain at the Marin Headlands.
My run towards the mountain ended at the place or hut of the guy whom I named as “Django”, the man who was riding on a horse when he led us to one-track trail into the mountain. His hut is exactly 6.3 kilometers from the place I started my usual run. I always stop in his hut to greet him and his wife. While taking a sip of water from my Camelbak, we had a brief conversation. He asked me why I was absent for the past one month and I told him about having a rest and recovery while the place was often visited with rains almost everyday.
I observed that his vegetable farm/plots of ampalaya, string beans, okra, and corn were bountiful. I made some remarks about his vegetables and he invited me for the time he will harvest his corn. He wants to share a part of his harvest. In our conversation, I found out later that he has five (5) children and all of them are presently working in key cities in the Middle East countries. His children are all OFWs and I assume that he and his wife has a decent house at the center of the barangay which is along the National Highway. He and his wife told me that they seldom stay in their concrete house as they are healthier, livelier, and stronger when they stay in their bamboo hut in the said mountain. They want a simple life without any TV, Radio, and noise & pollution along the Highway and they enjoy eating fresh vegetables and fruits taken directly from their farm!
The single-track trail into the mountain has been slightly covered with tall grasses and bushes. Due to the rainy season, the cogon grasses and bushes had crept to the sides of the trail that I was constantly hitting the sharp blades of the cogon on my arms and face while the bushes would brush on my legs. I enjoyed bushwhacking on the dense foliage of some parts of the trail. It is a pure experience on mountain trail running.
From the turn-around point, I increased my pace as most of the trail is going downhill. However, due to the thick grass and bushes on the side of the trail, I tried to control my pace as I could not see exactly where my feet were landing on the ground. There are parts which are covered with bushes, muddy, sandy, and full of small rocks/pebbles. If I am not careful during my downhill run, I might end up having a sprained ankle or having another bad fall on the ground, again!
I finished my comeback visit to BM in 1:36+ hours covering a distance of 12.6 kilometers. I am back and ready for my training for another ultra mountain trail run in the future!