Sunday, July 25, 2010

Solidarity in rain

Thunderclouds, lightning, downpours today, and forecasted for the next few. Some runners--at least me--become down right doggish when weather comes. Most of the afternoon, I felt nervous, pent-up. When the booms shook the house, a part of me wanted to scamper downstairs to the bathtub and cower. Or, to switch metaphorical tacks, when the day's mood is off, I find myself walking to the window and looking out, my hand on my chin, like someone in a harborside house who compulsively looks out for the return of the beloved under distant masts. A person introspective, in all appearances, but more actually numb. I dramatize (though, we do have a view of the lake). But when the winds are suspect, I become anxious searching for the right window to venture out, and it's then, more than any other time, that I sometimes miss company on my runs. Solidarity in rain.

Of course, once I'm outside, it's often not so bad. Quite nice, in fact. And in the Eastern Sierra, if you drive a canyon or two over, sometimes you can discover that window. Rather unfortunate that it doesn't work that way everywhere.

Tonight, after a short store shift, I drove just south of Lee Vining and parked at the base of the road to Horse Meadows. From there, I ran on a jeep trail to Oil Plant Road, which merges with Aqueduct Road (which rolls over Walker and Parker Creeks). I crossed the north side of the June Lake Loop, went over the wooden bridge that spans the Grant Lake Reservoir spillway, and then turned around at 49 minutes. My legs felt heavy for the first quarter of the run, then I warmed up (I even left my shirt behind, three miles in, and was a bit chilled by the end). The vistas from Aqueduct Road, especially of the Mono Craters and Reverse Peak above June Lake are altissimo; horns should accompany! (Or at least photos, soon!) The lake, meanwhile, was shrouded in mist and rain, but the sky ever so politely spit just a little in the South Basin.

Also: near the turn around, I spent a few minutes watching an osprey hover and swoop over Rush Creek. Tourists are often miffed as to why an osprey, an exclusively fish-eating raptor, would nest over Mono Lake. How does it survive? I pose the question ... No, not on shrimp... Well, there above was the answer silhouetted below cloud and light rain. The bird had flown down from Grant Lake Reservoir to test Rush Creek for trout, but quickly went back. We passed each other twice, silently.

14 mi, 98 min; O+B on Oil Plant Road and Aqueduct Road from the base of the Horse Meadows Road

Week Total: 76 mi

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