About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I spend countless hours running in the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, TX. I call it "going to church". I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cruising the Neighborhood

Lately I’ve been riding a mountain bike through my neighborhood with my dogs in tow. I’m still not back to running yet, but my plantar fascia injury seems to be on the mend. I’ve also been testing my foot by taking some short walks. 

Since the recent rains many wild flowers are in bloom and I’ve enjoyed taking some pictures of some of them. Almost everyday the dogs and I ride past a church that sits on a hill and an interesting plant grows along the road there.

Stinging Serpent

Stinging Serpent (Cevallia sinuata) is a hairy star looking plant with tubular buds instead of petals. Occasionally a bud opens into a small flower and I’ve read that they usually only open at night. As with almost everything in the desert, this plant can sting, hence the name.

Can you see the red Thunderbird?
I took a little bike trip up to the Coronado Canyon near the “Thunderbird” which sits below S. Franklin Peak. The ride to the canyon is through an upscale residential area with yards as well kept as a palace garden. Just before reaching the canyon you come to a golf course and can see the desert mountains as a backdrop.
As beautiful as it is, It doesn’t seem to belong here in the desert and I ponder how much water is used to keep everything looking green. I personally believe golf would be much more interesting and challenging if it were played in the natural landscape. The entire playing course would be a giant sand trap and the added venomous snakes, scorpions, and other perils would just add to the fun.

After reaching the mountain, I parked my bike and we walked a dry wash. Several bushes were in full bloom. The first was the Desert Senna, a small bush with tiny leaves and bright yellow flowers. It belongs to the pea family and produces seed pods. 

The other one was a large scrubby bush with white flowers. I was not able to identify it, but I enjoyed watching a bee work over the pollen. This is a gorgeous canyon    
that rivals the beauty of the nearby country club. I hope to be back running on these trails soon.

After letting the dogs sniff all the smells left by nocturnal creatures that inhabit this land, I got back on my bike and we traveled home. Our route took us around the golf course that is surrounded by trophy homes. A broken irrigation hose was wastefully spewing precious water in front of a newly constructed mansion. 
OK, so maybe I’m too persnickety about this type of thing, but I find it very ironic that one can travel in several minutes from the harsh unforgiving desert to a completely manmade oasis. 
After returning from our little adventure, we enjoyed a tasty breakfast, so here is another recipe for you (no measuring needed).  Sauté some spring onions and bean sprouts in a little olive oil. Crack a few eggs in the pan and make a super food omelet. To make it healthier limit to only one yolk and give the others to your dog -they will be your best friend all day. (As if they weren’t already.) I also like to add some jalapeño peppers to wake up my taste buds and for the capsaicin they contain which is a natural anti-inflammatory. With all this healthy eating I’ve been doing lately, I should be back to running in no time. 

See you on the trail.


  1. Nice pictures. The white-flowered shrub looks like Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa). Good luck getting back to running!

  2. Thank you Mathew. I thought the bush might have been Apache Plume, but some of the pics I saw looked a little different. Thanks for reading. -Greg

  3. it is a shame that man thinks he can improve nature's beauty...and yes, be wasteful at the same time. i like your golf course idea!!! definitely would save on water...in a desert no less! ugh.

    enjoyed your pics and prose as usual...keep showing us the real beauty of your open desert and mountains...

  4. Thanks for reading Joey! -Greg