TEN MILES BEFORE BREAKFAST

28July 2002

I woke up at 5 minutes to 6 this morning. The window was open and the cool air was blowing in on me. I thought about how it was due to be triple digits today and I decided to go for a bike ride. Immediately.

By 5 minutes after 6, I was on my bike and headed out onto the roads.

Yesterday, I acquired a biking buddy--my dentist. Cindy and I have been friends for about 20 years, though she's only been my dentist for about 10. She, too, has lost a lot of weight recently, and taken up biking, so while she was flossing my teeth, she said we should go biking together. She mentions that she does 15 miles 4 days a week, leaving the house at 5 a.m. so she's home before it starts to heat up.

This sounds like a GREAT idea to me, so I said I'd like to go with her. We are taking our first trip on Monday.

In the meantime, I decided to see how many miles I could put in myself today, going the route that I thought she followed. I didn't quite make it 15 miles, but I did put in 10 in about an hour and a half. I could probably have done it in an hour, but I had the camera with me, so I stopped often to take pictures.

a-Lincoln.JPG (30401 bytes)Walt had read somewhere that there is a marker somewhere on one of the bike paths, commemorating that this road was once part of the old Lincoln highway, the country's first transcontinental road, extending from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. We hadn't found it yet (actually, we hadn't looked for it). But I found it today, right by the edge of the bike path. The marker had been placed there in 1986.

From the marker, the path veers off to the right, a path I didn't know existed. It parallels the freeway down to a bike path over the freeway and onto the grounds of the university.

a-Baggins.JPG (44541 bytes)I'd forgotten about the "Hobbit Holes." There is a collection of little domed houses which used to really stand out in the fields when we first moved here. At that time they were all painted pastel colors and I thought they looked like little hobbit houses. Later I discovered the settlement was called "Baggins End," so apparently I wasn't the only person who thought they looked like Hobbit holes.

The houses are now hidden beneath mature trees, and are painted dull grey colors, but the settlement still has its own brand of charm.

a-birds.JPG (48114 bytes)I continued on into the heart of the university and around the vet school grounds, with cows and horses and other livestock. I looked off to my left there was this tree with lots of white birds perched at the very top. I thought for a bit that they might be barn owls, but when one of them flapped its wings and stretched its head out, I realized they looked more like egrets. But I'd never seen this kind of sight before.

a-arboretum.JPG (57887 bytes)I left the main path here and moved on into the arboretum. There is a lovely arboretum which extends the entire length of the university, along Putah Creek. Roads to walk or bike, ducks looking for a handout, and lovely landscaping, which is beautiful at any time of the year. I've never taken full advantage of this little gem right in my back yard. We'd been to office picnics there, and I think I took the kids to feed ducks a few times when they were little. But every year in the spring time I promise myself I'll get out and walk along the creek and look at the blossoms, but I never have.

I did go for a walk there a year or so ago, taking pictures. So the bike ride was really another voyage of discovery of someplace everyone else in town has known for years. All the little arching foot bridges, sun bouncing off the water, the sounds of the cars in the distance very muffled as I enjoyed the peace of the arboretum.

There are several "inclines" that I encountered and I was pleased to discover that I am doing better with hills. Not good, but definitely better.

a-heads.JPG (49444 bytes)I left the arboretum at the theatre, with the statues by sculptor Robert Arneson, who taught at the University for years.

Then back through campus again, now on the familiar path past the quad, where Lawsuit performed so often, and the diving pool where the kids practiced on the 5 meter tower, under a tunnel, up a hill, and back onto city streets back home.

When I got here, an hour and a half after I left home, I'd traveled 10 miles. The smell of French Roast greeted me as I came in the door and Walt was standing there asking, "Do you want to ride bikes down to the Farmers' Market?"


BY THE WAY... Anybody who has been reading this journal for more than a few days, has heard me talk about Steve Schalchlin.  Steve did a wonderful cabaret concert in Rochester recently, and I've spent the past week making copies of the videotape for people who are interested (people on his mailing list).  It occurred to me that there might be Funny the World readers who want to know what all the fuss is about.  If you would like a copy of this videotape, e-mail me with your address.  I'm only asking $5 to pay for the costs of the videotape, envelope, and postage.

Quote of the Day

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Picture of the Day

a-creek.JPG (47338 bytes)

Putah Creek

One Year Ago
It Seems So Long
I suspect none of this is particularly interesting, but seeing Shirley again opened that door that has been shut for a long time. I think back to those days and the person I was then and I don't even know that person.

My Cousin, My Brother, My Friend
In the meantime, I await news of the death of my brother, my cousin, my friend...He just celebrated his 44th birthday.


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