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"Let's make a burrito!"

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Happy with decisions other people make for me
I rolled into the parking area at Japanese Gulch this morning not sure exactly what I'd do. I'd narrowed it down to climbing all the way to the street on the East side and then heading South, or completing the loop on the West side that I missed last time I tried. I was making a Snapchat video of this same portion of the sky when a guy I didn't recognize walked past me toward the East.


Then the guy who jogs through that way with the big backpack also went through, and my normal instinct kicked in. I just like to avoid people. It's a strategy that serves me well. So I headed up the OG trail, looking forward to navigating the outer edge of the Western side.

Of course, my smug satisfaction was short-lived. Within a few minutes, I saw a big black dog up ahead, unleashed, running toward me. Dog owners like to treat the whole area as off leash, and I kinda get it. If I had to deal with a big dog, I'd be pretty worried about it tugging on the leash and making me lose my balance on a narrow trail. But of course you have to make sure the dog will heel if you plan to walk them off the leash, and while I was pretty sure the giant growling dog would stop a foot or two short of me, it's annoying. I just always try to find a wide spot, move toward the hillside, and hope for the best. The dog did indeed stop about four inches away from me, the owner apologized, and I kept going.

I made my way up to the top and headed North, and confirmed my mistake from before. There's a weird, overgrown exit on the North end up top, and last time I thought I was avoiding that exit, but it turns out I was avoiding an entire big loop. And I could tell when this bridge looked really unfamiliar that I've avoided it a lot.


Within a few minutes I realized I had indeed been there but it'd been a while, and I was on the right track. Then I made my way all the way around the outer edge like I wanted to, then back down to the car via the Rusty Car trail. But I realized when I got home that I Snapchatted the whole thing and didn't take any more photos.

However! You can export your whole Snapchat story as a video, so here's my whole morning in the gulch through the eyes of Snapchat. Unfortunately the format is vertical and doesn't look great once you make it into a PC video, but it's still neat.

Today's awesome walk, 4.38 miles in 2:17, 12,724 steps, 420ft gain
4.38 miles in 2:17, 12,724 steps, 420ft gain

Today's walk was pretty perfect. Hope that comes through in the video.

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I enjoyed your video - it does look quite scary to find your way around on the trails. I'd be a bit worried that I would get lost!

I sent a friend over there and she didn't go very far because she was worried about getting lost. Something about the way the place is set up made me never worry about it. I guess because even if I got turned around, there's always a way out, at which point it's easy to get on the phone and get back to the car using residential streets.

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