I cannot believe that I missed Poop-a-palooza for the second year in a row. What better way to spend Mother's Day? What better way to say "I love you" to Mom? I guess we will have to settle for going out to eat at a fine restaurant. What a gyp.
Two of us head out at 4:30 am courtesy of the early start option. Raindrops kept falling on our head, but that does not mean my eyes will soon be turning red. That happened later, and for different reasons.
The sun rises and shines all about, turning the tenebrous darkness into a hazy impenetrable mist.
The deepest, darkest woods. It reminds me much of the hundred-acre wood, wherein I used to visit friend Owl for advice and anecdotes. "You and I have brains", he would say, "the others have fluff." So they did.
My shutter is reluctant to open, my lens is covered in water, and my batteries are low. This is an allegory for my life.
A hazy view from the top of some mountain or other.
More haze. I really must dry the lens.
A fellow runner offers to take a photo of me. I gladly accept. Why else have a camera, but to capture photos of oneself. Vanity, thy name is me.
I reluctantly stand at the side of the photo in order that we may see the beauty of a pond runoff.
Sometimes it is natural fog in the picture, sometimes I am sweating so much and breathing so hard that I make my own fog. Who possesses the keen senses and shrewd insight to determine which is which? Not I, that's for sure.
I held my breath for this one, and stood downwind from the camera. The results clarify any mystery about the source of the fog. Did you guess right? Please be honest about the results, if only to yourself.
The smooth feel of a bed of pine needles on a trail cannot be explained in words: it is necessary to experience it in order to truly understand it.
A marvelous cairn in the wilderness.
A second, even more marvelous cairn.
On this part of the trail, there are yellow triangles every few feet. On the parts of the trail where it is not completely obvious where it goes, they are comparatively few.
The third marvelous cairn. I do not remember this one from last year. A stonewright has been at work here, with excellent results.
The beginning of the climb at Miller State Park. Possibly the most difficult terrain along the entire trail. Expect to lose your precious minute per mile pace here, unless you are a mountain King (or Queen, or a Prince or Princess, but certainly not a Duke or Marquis. Sultan, maybe, depending.)
A view from the top. I understand it is breathtaking, but have only seen fog these past two times. Next year for sure.
Oh, I guess it wasn't the top after all. Truth be told, it wasn't even close.
I love these tree roots over a bed of shale. I don't know if it's really shale, but I like the sound of the word. If it isn't shale, it really should be. Aw, heck. I know it isn't. There is no justice in the world.
More tree roots. More rocks that are known as "shale" in a language entirely of my own invention. What a floop this snargle is, as my people say.
Miller State Park lookout tower and tall metal infrastructure of indeterminate purpose.
A final cairn for the day.
At the turnaround point on Mountain road. My GPS says 21.95 miles, but I did get lost a couple of times. I try to get lost at least three times per race, and I was just about at quota for the day. Sadly, my ITB on my left side was in serious pain, and the run would be cut short after an agonizing 5 miles back to the previous aid station.
Can you see the pain in my eyes? Nobody knows what it's like, to be the hurt man, out on the dirt, man. Behind blue eyes.
My collection of dancing animal themed votive candle holders. Well, it is my past collection. I have been cleaning out the attic. I was sorry to see them go, but the memory will live on. Ugly? Yes. Tacky? Undoubtedly. Hilarious? Very much so.