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Trails, Bells and Something Else That Doesn’t Rhyme

by Carilyn on February 21, 2013


Craving big views and serious climbs, I headed up Brown Mountain on Saturday. From the base, it’s a 10 mile round trip and perfect for me because very little of it involves technical trails (not that that has ever kept me from falling on my noggin). It’s a pretty straightforward course in the Angeles National Forest, with almost zero possibility of getting lost (a definite plus for me), and only a very small possibility that you are going to plunge to your death if you hit a rock.

I started early, hoping to avoid some of the less experienced mountain bikers, as they up your chances of getting plowed down when they make their often-uncontrolled descents down the mountain. It seems the better bikers tend to have bear bells attached to their bikes, thus giving the runners in front of them at least a fair shot at getting out of their way. Anyway, a 6:30 start put me on the mountain when it was still a little dark, but I was willing to take my chances with the mountain lions and bears to keep from being biker road kill.


I made it to the top just as the sun was starting to crest, and the views were spectacular – it still amazes me that downtown Los Angeles is only a few miles away from this pristine national park. LA gets a bad rap for a lot of things, but if you want awesome trail running, it doesn’t get much better than this. And you don’t have to drive an hour to hit the trails! Love it!

After I made it down, I had a HUGE breakfast – eggs, bacon, waffles, coffee, juice – and then laid around and rubbed my belly. Ahhh…. A perfect morning of Trails, Bells and….Food!

Happy Running!



{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate February 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Sounds wonderful!

Carilyn February 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm

It was fun, Kate! Come out to Cali and we will hit the trails!

Char February 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I used to hate getting out of bed early – loved sleeping in as long as possible. Now, though, the lure of spectacular sunrises and gorgeous views will get me out of bed when the rest of the world is still sleeping. It’s absolutely worth being tired for the rest of the day just to see something special.

Rebecca February 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I love running Brown mtn. The only downside is occasionally getting cussed out by a mountain biker!

Marcia February 22, 2013 at 7:28 am

How excellent such great trails are so close to ‘civilization’! Sounds like such a great run,especially minus the mountain lions. The bikers get crazy on my summer trails. Early is definitely best!

Carilyn February 22, 2013 at 8:51 am

Yes, Char! The views definitely make it worth it!

Carilyn February 22, 2013 at 8:59 am

Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca! Love your blog!

Carilyn February 22, 2013 at 9:01 am

It is fun to have the trails so close, Marcia. In Texas, the trails are a drive and VERY rocky, so I never did much trail running.

Kent February 22, 2013 at 10:14 am

Love it Carilyn – it don’t get much better than that!

Carilyn February 22, 2013 at 10:53 am

Thanks, Kent! And you’re right! 🙂

Anne February 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

That sounds like the trail for me, especially if it’s close to lost-proof!

Dave February 25, 2013 at 9:20 am

Sounds like a great run but out of curiosity what is a bear bell?

Carilyn February 25, 2013 at 10:04 am

I agree, Anne! I’m up for pretty much anything that doesn’t involve getting lost (although I can get lost at the mall 🙂 ).

Carilyn February 25, 2013 at 10:07 am

Hi Dave! Bear bells are like jingle bells on a bike. Mountain bikers who spend a lot of time on trails where there are bears and mountain lions use them to make noise while they are riding. Since the experienced bikers are usually tearing down the trails, the bear bells also make it much easier for us runners to get out of their way so we don’t get taken out on a blind corner :).

Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl) February 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

You are adorable! Lovely photos of the scenery too.
Sunrise run in the mountains and that breakfast sound pretty hard to beat!

Carilyn February 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

The post-run meal is always the best part, Kirstin 🙂

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