august 5/RUN

4 miles
marshall loop (to cleveland)
73 degrees

Back home from our short trip to Lake Superior — up North in Minnesota and the UP in Michigan. Hot this morning and crowded. Did the marshall loop with Scott. Ran most of the marshall hill, walked some of the stretch past cretin to cleveland, then again through the St. Thomas campus. I’ve never stopped to walk through this campus. Very nice. Heard the bells twice — at 9:45 and 10. Saw the rowers on the river, encountered a very kind biker, dodged workers on a sidewalk.

a ramble

Pointed out that one of the lamps on the east river trail was on and said to Scott, the lights are on, but nobody’s home. Running up the hill, he started singing Squeeze’s Hourglass:

Take it to the bridge, throw it overboard
See if it can swim, back up to the shore
No one’s in the house, everyone is out
All the lights are on and the blinds are down

Impressive. I suggested that maybe he wasn’t working hard enough if he could sing all of that while running up a hill! He started talking about Squeeze and how they resented this goofy song, then how it was probably their second biggest hit after “Tempted,” which prompted me to remember that I always connect this song with the movie, Reality Bites and the scene when Ben Stiller’s character throws his cigarette into Winona Ryder’s convertible — this song is playing during this scene. Then we started recounting what we remember from the movie, ending with Ethan Hawke’s classic planet of regret line. Ugh! The ultimate gen-x d-bag line.

august 3/RUN

3.1 miles
porcupine mountains, michigan
68 degrees

On vacation with Scott, FWA, and RJP. Scott and I ran from our hotel in Silver City towards the Lake of the Clouds entrance to the Porcupine Mountains. For much of the run, we could glimpse slivers of Lake Superior through the trees. At the half way point we reached a sandy beach. What a lake! I love this remote spot in the UP. Yesterday, RJP and I took a quick dip in completely calm water. Today, waves, whitecaps.

10 Things

  1. avoiding scat on the side of the road, loaded with berries — too small for a bear, too big for deer — coyote? fox? wolf?
  2. wind through the aspens, shimmering or simmering
  3. soft, sandy grit at the edge of the road
  4. a few big trucks barreling by
  5. a landscape dotted with septic tanks
  6. rolling hills — a constant running up then down then up again
  7. a hot sun, beating down
  8. still, then wind from every direction near the water
  9. queen anne’s lace
  10. a screeching blue jay

august 2/SWIM

a quick dip
lake superior
78 degrees

On the road between Lake of the Clouds and our hotel in Silver City, Michigan (UP), RJP and I stopped to take a quick dip in the lake. I wasn’t sure about doing it, but RJP really wanted to, and I knew that 8 or 9 year old Sara would have been outraged (at least very disappointed) if I hadn’t jumped into this beautiful water. Swimming at the lake in the summer on our trips to the UP was my favorite thing ever. Wow! Cold, but completely still and clear. After a bumpy, sharp band of rocks the lake floor turned into soft sand. So smooth! So clear! Slowly I walked out farther until only my head was out of the water. Looking down, I could see my shadow at my feet. Have I ever seen Lake Superior this calm and clear? Not that I can remember. RJP dunked her head first, then I followed. Brrr!! If I had had my goggles, I might have tried swimming a few strokes but I didn’t. I wonder if and when there’s an undertow here and how I might have handled it.

Later, at the hotel Scott, RJP, and I sat on the beach and watched the sun set. I’m not sure I ever remember seeing the sun fully set — first a fiery ball touching the water, then slowly dipping below until only a glowing yellowish orange line was left. In Minneapolis, because of trees and the gorge and other houses, I never see the sun set. It’s beautiful. I’m very glad RJP took a picture of it: