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Barefoot trail running this morning: a photo essay

July 11, 2012

Each time I run, lately, seems like the best run of my life.

After two-and-a-half years of so-sloooow development as a barefoot trail runner, I can now lope joyously up and down the dusty trails on the outskirts of my hometown: Orange, CA.

And so I do.

One hour, two hours . . . the time (and my feet) fly. There’s only one thing I am afraid of at this point: that my face will split from the goofy smile that fixes itself between my ears as I coast through oak tunnels, glide between willow aisles, float over rocks, sashay past lemonadeberry stands . . .

This morning I brought along my old pocket camera as well as a new flexible Joby Gorillapod tripod  (and a hiking pole to hang it off of) and had some fun taking self-portraits/action shots of my happy feet.

Just starting out from Irvine Regional Park

With my pocket camera attached to a hiking pole via a flexible tripod, all kinds of fun shots are possible.

Weir Canyon wash: a historic place, according to Shadows of Old Saddleback by Terry Stephenson.

Racing the 10-second self-timer.

Barefoot log jogging

To run uphill shoelessly = freedom from gravity (almost)

The only downside from swinging my camera so close to the ground: a few dusty impacts. Oops.

With no shoes to weigh them down, my toes begin to grow feathers . . .

A rocky uphill now and then keeps things interesting. (This is next to the Villa Park Dam.)

I love dust! It makes me want to hop like a barefoot bunny.

What is wonderful squishy mud in the winter becomes wonderful splashy dust in the summer.

The clouds were amazing this morning. I wanted to take off to fly with them.

Here’s how it’s done:  flexible tripod, hiking pole, camera with 10-second 3-shot timer.

I met a nice runner couple, Bob and Judy, along the trail in The Willows. We chatted about why someone would want to be out here without shoes.

Back to the grass (and car) at Irvine Park.

This group of runners from Orange Lutheran High School made the run full circle: I began trail running at Irvine Park in the mid-1990’s because my kids ran cross country for OLHS.

Here’s some of the trash I found during this morning’s run; when I have my hydration pack on I try to carry out what I can.

Thanks be to God for summer trails, and strong bare feet to enjoy them . . .

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One Comment leave one →
  1. kindred permalink
    October 9, 2012 7:16 pm

    I just came off a short (shoed) run here, found your blog and have been reading through… and am soothed by the neat calm you exude by your photos, barefooting, and enjoying touching by your soles, all the nature you enjoy, as I also enjoy (too often, needlessly self-consciously). I may start a journal of my similar experiences, and certainly, will seek calm and my own running and freeing high now, barefooting, literally outrunning my burdens. Thank you so much, you help in neat ways. 🙂

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