Category Archives: Running/Health & Fitness

Road Running with Roosters

 

In Utah, it was renegade cows.  On St John in the U.S. Virgin Islands?  Wild donkeys on the patio gave room service a new twist.  There were wild chickens in Bermuda.  And the diminutive island of  Vieques in Puerto Rico often had the feel of a petting zoo with a menagerie of animals wandering at will.

Running the roads of Vieques took sharp eyes and a little bit of nerve.  Thick foliage gave the narrow roads a corridor-like feel at times, and we quickly learned that rustling noises to either side could portend the appearance of a chicken, or more likely, a whole flock of wildly speckled fowl.  It was equally possible that the chicken noises would, instead, reveal wild dogs or horses.  And so our morning run was undertaken with a greater degree of focus, defensive agility and with our leg brakes at the ready.

Horses and chickens were harder to read than the seemingly well fed and sociable stray dogs, but the tethered horses in the schoolyards did look like a better ride than the typical yellow bus.

In the end, our best response (beyond some impressive vertical leaps) was to run to a beach. Come to think of it, not such a bad strategy at all…

*Most of these photos are lower quality images taken with my cell phone and are not “click-able” to a larger image this time.

“Tracking Turtles” (underwater video from Isla de Vieques)

Family Vacation on raveable

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Record Snowfalls, Record Fun

Snow memories (and winter “survival” strategies) from February 17, 2010:

Cocooning is overrated and easily overdone. Long periods of inactivity may be a course of self improvement for caterpillars, but the results are generally not so favorable for people.

If there were ever a winter to compel hibernation, this might be the one. Record snowfalls and low temperatures make for interesting reading and better than average “how about this weather” conversations, but they also make it more likely we’ll have to live without bananas and bread for a few days.

My winter survival strategies include traveling to “summer” somewhere else in the world and taking time out for some of the indoor attractions that are forgotten with warmer weather. But my best game plan for a season that always seems to linger a little too long is simply to bundle up and get right out in the middle of it all. Then it’s fun again.

My daughter assures me that none of her future books will include a chapter on how her mom once made her run in snowstorms. I do hope, however, that she will remember the silly fun of making snow angels in the middle of the road after a trail run through Highbanks on the day we got over nine inches of snow.

Columbus Things To Do

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Smokey the Bear and Tibetan Monks? I Must be in Boulder (Utah)…

UTAH: Boulder fence and shadow

Boulder, Utah will never be confused with the bigger Boulder (that would be the more substantial map dot in Colorado), but we found it to be a charming stop on our journey through southern Utah. Renegade cows, a Russian waitress, Tibetan Monks and Smokey the Bear all combined to make it a memorable over-night stay.

UTAH: Bryce Canyon National Park; Before the Hail
We arrived late in the afternoon, damp and mud-splattered (courtesy of Bryce Canyon National Park), with a strong desire for room service.

UTAH: Boulder Mountain Lodge; Anasazi

Our room at the Boulder Mountain Lodge was spacious with views of meadows and mountains and included a coffee table book that dissed “Smokey The Bear” in strong conservationist language.

This was actually a hilarious bonus for my group who had been terrorized by Smokey’s gargantuan remote-Smokey the Bear vs forest conservationvoiced presence at our Ohio State Fair in their younger years. Personal greetings from an over-sized and overly-friendly bear statue didn’t generate the warm “save the forest” feelings the Park Service was probably striving for. Which made the Smokey The Bear bashing book great environmental bed-time reading…

Our initial exploration took us to the fenced pasture across the road, alongside the breezy flowers of a vast meadow and on to a charming enclosure that concealed a 12-foot hot tub and patio. We gratefully soaked our feet after rinsing them in the adjacent shower and laughed over our afternoon’s adventure at Bryce Canyon. When we quieted down, the whole world was perfectly still. The pond just beyond the decorative iron fence hosted a bird sanctuary brushed by dozens of butterflies. And further out, mountains emerged from the rolling meadows.

As we crossed the drive to a restaurant, the Tibetan Monks were a bit of surprise. The purple-robed gentlemen arrived in minivans with minimal luggage and enormous smiles. The Drepung Loseling Monks were featured on the Hollywood soundtrack of “Seven Years in Tibet.” It seemed unusual to bump into them in southern Utah, but it turns out, Boulder, Utah is a yearly trek for them.

UTAH: Boulder; sunflower

We ordered surprisingly good carry-out from the Burr Trail Grill and chatted with another “Hannah” while we waited on our order. Home for the summer from school in California, she told us a little about growing up in an area canyon where they had to create escape routes with cut trees whenever heavy rains washed out the roads -and wear safety harnesses for the crawl above floodwaters to safety!

We savored our quiet evening. Hannah and I planned to run in the morning, and then we’d hike Lower Calf Creek Falls in the Escalante National Memorial.

Well, we got half of it right…

From September 2008.

Escalante Hotel Review

Next: The Cows…

More on Utah…

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