Mmmmm, trails

So just last Thursday as I was running at lunch along the rim of Mortendad canyon, a trail that I commute on nearly daily, and I came up behind a largish feline with a short tail loping up the trail ahead of me. It was a bit big for a bobcat, too small and short tailed for a mountain lion, kind of dark haired. too cat for a coyote. I am going to call it a lynx, or a really large bobcat. It turned and saw me and then took off like a shot and disappeared over the edge of the canyon. Unlike last lunch run feline encounter, this one was large enough to not favor me to follow it. So this lead me to think: man, how good are our trails?

Burrito run

Quemazon and up!

So good. Yep. So so good. Most of my riding and running and hiking occurs on trails that start well within a mile of my house. I commute to work and back on trails. It is good. I don't even ride most of the trails anymore as I don't have time, but my little local loops and paths are well worn and enjoyed often by me, and often fantastical other creatures. Just this year on the way to work (3.5 miles each way) I have seen: Coyote, mule deer, elk, the magic giant bobcat detailed above. I have seen ample bear crap to know they are all over the place. I have seen foxes and large owls on my commute, but not yet this year.

One thing that we don't have here in Los Alamos is a large scale unifying trail plan that will attract others to our trail systems. But we are working on that. As much as I like having trails for me all me. I also know the town needs some non-lab traffic and the trails is a good start. I was able to take part in a trail planning meeting last year with an IMBA rep and a trail consultant hired by the county to come up with some sort of large scale ride center like plan. I was pretty impressed with what they pitched when they were here and what they came up with in the final report. check it out here. This is the kind of commuting planning I can get behind. Rather than endless rivers of money flowing toward giving Los Alamos "an identity" or a "retail core". We can spend some time improving what we have already, great trails in the beautiful high altitude mountains, and reap the benefits for visitors and locals alike.