Friday, May 22, 2009

What I am missing out on this weekend

A parking lot in a 70 MPH zone; Interstate 94 heading out of the Twin Cities around 3 PM.



One of my running trails takes me along side of the Interstate for a short time, and I snapped this photo today. This is the traditional Memorial Day traffic jam. Everybody and their brother is heading "up North," as they say, for the holiday weekend. This brings back memories of heading up to Mom and Dad's when they still lived in central Minnesota. The old saying "getting there is half the fun" does not apply here.

Invariably when trying to head "up North" on a Friday afternoon in the summer, you are stuck in a steady and unbelievably slow procession of campers, pickups, and SUV's all going the same direction you are. Most vehicles, if not pulling a boat, are likely pulling a trailer filled with what looks like a garage sale on wheels; lawnmowers, lawn chairs, inner tubes, jet skis, dirt bikes, bicycles, perhaps a roll of carpet and some furniture for the cabin...and sometimes all of the above! This does not make for a fun trip.

I am just happy not to be part of the parade this year. This weekend, I am staying put. I've spent the last two weekends out of town, so it is nice not having to battle the traffic and to be able to spend some time at home. And after seeing the highway this afternoon, I figure I should have the Twin Cities to myself this weekend! :)

Had a couple of nice runs on Thursday and today. Following our midweek heatwave, our weather became much more tolerable and has been in the low 70's with little humidity.

I also saw some good birds this week. I had a pair of magnificent great crested flycatchers in my yard. The eastern kingbird and the gray catbird have returned (I love the catbird...he is one of my favorite birds of summer). And over the last two days, there were a pair of Caspian terns on my local lake. These terns are the largest of their species, huge and unmistakable, and I even got to see one do a plunge into the lake from a great height. Cool stuff!

I wish you all a safe holiday weekend, and good luck to all of you who are racing.

And in closing, I've been wanting to mention this for almost two weeks now, and Memorial Day weekend seems like an appropriate time. In the Fargo Marathon between miles 6 and 7, I ran in fairly close proximity to this gentleman. He was running the half marathon in honor of a fallen US solider and friend, and he was carrying a large American flag during the race. The reception he got from the crowds along the route was inspiring and nothing short of awesome. I was thinking about this today and it reminded me what Memorial day is all about.

Until next time,

Jean
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