Thursday, September 16, 2010


Though I often feel like I'm running along the ocean here in the Mono Basin, I've wanted to try out Ten Mile Beach--an actual beach--on the north shore of the lake, for awhile now. Tonight I finally decided to test its waters, with a second run (no, I didn't swim--you'd be mired in mud, I think, just few steps in). I hiked out with my binoculars, because it's a not-to-be-believed-until-you've-seen-it world of birds out there, a never-never land of the sprightly and winged: Grebes on the lake to the horizon's edge. Phalaropes flickering in handful-flocks over the water. Ruddy ducks beating loudly across the lake, in display I guess. Ungainly avocets, stilted on the shoreline. And, of course, gulls lumbering about on all mediums.

After sitting for awhile, watching the sun burning into the mountains,I set aside my binoculars, swapped shorts, and lumbered myself, to the east along the beach. The sand was fairly firm, for the most part, at the top of the ridge waves had made maybe twenty feet from the shoreline. But I did have to slog through a few sections--how at the mercy of the ground we are! In the distance, I thought I saw lagoon cutting into the perfect crescent of the beach, and chased it for awhile, until it disappeared.

Along the way, I also scarred up a wee-phalarope--they weigh about 5 ounces, I think--with a broken wing. Must have collided with another bird. It skittered wildly down from the ridge into the water, where it bobbed alone, and I was sad to know it would never leave the lake, or this season.

If only the sand were a little firmer, I'd venture back out to Ten Mile for a regular easy run. But I think I'll leave it for the rare, gorgeous double.

AM: 9 mi, 63 min; Test Station Rd, on the south side of the lake

PM: 4 mi, 30 min; Ten Mile Beach

Wednesday, 9/15: 15 mi, 105 min; Hwy 167-Cemetery Rd-Dechambeau Ranch-Black Point Rd-et cetera

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