Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monumental Run

Lori, Joel, Shaun, Dominic, Woodfrog, Katherine, and Mike V. posing after 11 miles of running on Sunday, November 22nd with Abraham Lincoln keeping an eye on us in the background.

Rise Up Runners in DC

An adventure that has been on the table for a few months came to fruition today. The Rise Up Runners took an early morning sojourn to Washington DC for a run around the national monuments. Katherine, Lori, Joel, Mike V, Shaun, Dominic, Joel, and I ran 13ish miles in and around the memorials and Georgetown. We parked at the Capitol, then hit Washington, Jefferson, FDR, Georgetown (my niece Ashby), Lincoln, Vietnam, WWII, Washington for a second time, and then back to the Julius.
The Jefferson Memorial with friends

The weather was cloudless skies, a light Northerly breeze, and temperatures in the 40’s. One of the highlights of the day for me was being in the Jefferson Memorial with my friends, and no one said a word. There was something special about being at peace with your friends, and no one had to say a thing. The early morning sunlight was shining sideways between the columns onto Jefferson, himself, making a golden glow aura to the open room. Only the seven (eight if you count Thomas J.) of us were present…silent…appreciative…friends.

The next most awesome part of the day was Lori pulling out a box of unfathomly-good chocolate coconut squares she created earlier. They were awesome!! Other highlights included an early morning hug from my niece, Ashby, in Georgetown and having her meet my friends. She was more than a good sport to get out of bed (it was 9am on a Sunday, and she is a college student) and greet us.

The pool has a grab on me again and sees my presence three times a week, now. I swam at the Washington College meet on the 15th of November, bringing home enough points for us (TCYS) to beat our new nemesis, the Chesapeake Region Aquatic Blues (the CRABs), by two points. My left shoulder is still very weak. Swimming helps keep good movement and range of motion in that arm while the nerve is repairing itself. I have shown some improvement in the Superspinatus muscle but none in the Infraspinatus, yet.

This week will see the Run for Hospice race on Friday after Thanksgiving. On December 5th we are hosting a masters swim meet at the Talbot County YMCA. In the meantime don’t forget to swim, run, ride, love, and appreciate all that you can.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Skyline Drive

This black bear was in the tree at Thornton Gap. He walked out that thin limb with all four paws. When he decided to climb down the tree it took less than 5 seconds.

Carita and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by taking an overnight in the Shenandoah Mountains and a drive up the famous Skyline Drive. We got out of Julius and did two nice hikes. The first was at Bearfence Mountain where we hiked part of the AT. On the way to the summit we had to climb over a rock scramble which was much harder than anything in the White Mountains. After lunch at Big Meadows Lodge we hiked down a mile to Dark Hollow Falls. The trail was easy to follow, but had a constant grade; the kind that really gets your heart pumping on the way up. I took liberty from Carita and ran the return trip.

In the Shenandoah's the leaves have turned colors and 70% of them have fallen to the ground for the winter. However, those that remained on the trees were beautifully golden. It was another world and we enjoyed our time, how ever short, that we spent there.

Seeing the bear was icing on the cake for our trip. By 5pm on our last day we had only travelled 40 of the 65 miles of our projected Skyline Drive trip. We decided to cut it short and cut off at Thornton Gap. We must have been drawn to this bear, because it was in a tree on the off-ramp to Thornton Gap that we saw the bear in the tree. What a treat!

We have a video of the bear, but the digital world is not allowing me to upload it hear. I'll try again soon.