Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fine desert sand

Squeezed in 12 miles before the World Cup final along the Test Station Road. Running around midday, when the light is sandy (and often as rough as pumice), tends to be unremarkable, mind-numbing. But Rush Creek was pushing 500 CFS, or so, under the road on its way to the delta--a lot of water, a roaring, if not raucous outpouring through the culvert. After I finished, I desperately wanted to drive back and jump in to the wave train (which I hear people have surfed of late). But there was no time; I regret to say (truly) that futbol won out, today.

Adding on the final two miles down Picnic Ground Road, I passed a poorwill nestled into the sand that some tire didn't avoid. How they sit on the road and glare at oncoming death with a bright, reflective eye. Running, I encounter as many passed animals as live, and examining them I've learned something, briefly, about anatomy, or at least its fragility. This poorwill, a night bird, an insect feaster, reminded me of the Western screech owl that I carried like a football tucked in my arms back to my house in high school, only to keep it frozen for one and a half years (beside a DO NOT THROW AWAY index card that my sister finally had the good sense to ignore).

I'd like to think I'm growing out of my interest in roadkill, which is void of what matters. At the very least, now, when I stop to examine roadkill, I make sure to carry it off to the shoulder of the road. But I did pluck a few primaries to hold up to the light: an alteration of brown and black like the shadows in the imprint of a tire on fine desert sand.

12 mi, 84 min; Test Station/Picnic Ground Road (aka, Tufa-to-Tufa)

Week Total: 70 mi

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