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2010-09-19 - Schaeffer Farms

~9 miles @ ~17.5 min/mi

A donkey brays at the dawn from across a wide hayfield. An ear of corn catches my eye and I move it to the middle of the trail, then pick a few more, husk them, and position them likewise to puzzle or amuse mountain bikers who may follow us. As usual, I'm 5 minutes early and Caren Jew is at Black Rock Mill before me. At ~0535 we start up the steep road, headlamps glowing. Jupiter sets in the west as Sirius rises. I'm wearing Nike Free slipper-shoes, an ongoing experiment in light-footedness. We enter the Farm at the gate and follow the path. Tall dry cornstalks stand brown beside us.

As we begin today's trek I note that my poison ivy and vertigo are starting to get better, but the right metatarsals feel achy. Half an hour later Caren inquires how my foot is doing. I immediately trip and fall, scraping both palms and banging my right knee and chest. Instantly my foot feels fine! My vertigo is also cured. I scramble to my feet, thanking Caren for her offer to help me up.

Caren spies big worms on the trail and points them out to me. Her sharp powers of observation remind me of "Upon First Reading Chapman's Homer" by John Keats, from which I attempt to quote: "Then felt I like some watcher of the skies / When a new planet swims into his ken / Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes / He stared at the Pacific ...". Caren and I continue our delightful long-running conversation about family, friends, and fellow runners. As we round a curve on a hilltop Caren spots our cars parked far below. We suddenly realize that we're at the shortcut back to our start. We scramble down the slope, thank each other, and head for our respective homes.

(cf. 2009-05-31 - Schaeffer Farms, 2010-07-03 - Schaeffer Farms, 2010-08-22 - Schaeffer Farms, ...) - ^z - 2010-09-29