This looks like it was a really great trip! Good for you that you did well, had fun exploring a new landscape, and the knee doesn't seem to have gotten worst.
That gnarly plant is cholla cactus
Thanks! The knee allowing me to run without hindrance was the most important success of the weekend.
...which comes in many varieties, such as the benign-looking teddy bear cholla and the fearsome jumping cholla. We were fortunate to run in nearly windless conditions. Once the wind picks up, the "jumping" begins in earnest...
We have lumping cactus in Australia. You don't even need wind. Just stand somewhere in the vicinity of it and it'll jump into your foot.
Snakes, spiders, sharks, jellyfish, crocs, kangaroos, AND jumping cacti - how does anyone ever survive an orienteering race down there?
Don´t forget the koalas...!
And vegemite. That stuff's dangerous, too.
I haven't seen a shark on course yet. Give it time though, with rising ocean levels it's bound to happen one day.