Saturday, July 31, 2010


So, there's this wonderful development, just across 167 from Mono City. Why is it wonderful? Because it failed to develop. Out in the middle of the sage, on the West side of Goat Ranch Cutoff (the road's in two parts, divided by Wilson Creek), 7 or 8 big houses sit lonely, like ice age tufa. A new, low sign at the turn says Rainbow Ridge Realty, June Lake--it's no ridge, but I bet they do get killer views of 'bows over the Basin through their tall glass windows.

The roads in this stalled (for now) development which have the houses on them are in pretty decent shape. But get this--there's a small network of house-less lanes between them, complete with cul-de-sacs, which is quickly being reclaimed by the desert. The pavement is broken at regular intervals, and rabbit brush and sage have filled the cracks. Streets with names like Conway Rd, and Glacier Rd, are announced on weathered signs at pointless, dead end junctions--here, there is such a thing. When I run through this place, I would feel like a member of the legendary "Steeple squad!" leaping over these rows of bushes, except that, being tall, I hardly have to leap.

It's an experiment in what lasts, what doesn't. I wonder how often all the other roads around here have to be repaved to stand a fighting chance against the elements. And desert plants, why, they're downright vicious! Their gnarled taproots go 15, or 50 feet into the ground, in search of a hint of water. You think a pancake thin spread of pavement's going to keep them down? They root with vengeance.

Anyway, I began running through this bizarre landscape, a ghost-almost-town, because a) when I was dealing with real/potential injury, I wanted to avoid sand while staying near Mono City b) running mindlessly down short cul-de-sacs and dead end streets is a super way to eschew long stretches of head-on wind, and so stay fresh (sort of--purposeless running can run you down, too), and c) nothing tickles me more that thwarted suburbia. It's a runner's Disneyland.

8 mi, 56 min; a ramble through the Conway Ranch development, 167, and the sage aside Mono City -- maybe I'll call this run "Disneyland"?

Friday, July 30 -- AM: 9 mi, 63 min; "inner Dechambeau loop" from County Park -- PM: 4 mi, sagebrush ramble by Mono City

Thursday, July 29 -- 10 mi, 70 min; 167 to Cemetery Road

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