Saturday, September 4, 2010

The north shore

Yesterday, S's last day in the Eastern Sierra, I ran down from Mono City to Ten Mile Beach, on the lake's north shore. It's so named because the turn to the water is immediately after the 10 mile marker on Hwy 167. It was awesome to run away from the sun, with a slight breeze at my back. That's the furthest on 167 I've run to date.

S met down there, and we enjoyed some crackers and cheese, and couple Blue Moons, by the water on a one-plank, ground level bench someone had left. The place was just magical, an immaculate evening--the water glass still, luminous, and reflecting thousands of red-necked phalaropes twisting and peeping low over the lake in sinuous flocks. Many American avocets around, too, flying back and forth along the shore in groups of 10 or 20--long, wading legs trailing awkwardly--and further out, untold grebes to the horizon of the lake like ant on an endless tabletop. The north side of the lake is officially my favorite, I think. I'm going to do an easy run along Ten Mile Beach soon--the sand seems firm enough.

As for today, I went back in that direction and jogged around Cottonwood Canyon, still craving the view up there. In my second to last mile, I suddenly heard a rattle from the sage just off the road I was on. There was a snake. It was on full alert, and kept up its racket (with its head and neck reared back in a V, ready to strike) for at least three or four minutes as I watched. I was amazed its tail didn't tire out! Finally, I caved, went on--no sound on the way back.

10 mi, 70 min; sandy run in the vicinity of Goat Ranch, at the top of Cottonwood Canyon Rd

Friday, 9/3: 13 mi, 88 min; from Mono City to Ten Mile Beach, via Cemetery Rd (with an additional mile O+B east on turnoff to the water)

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