Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 931 -- Midland

I found this photo of a classic fire truck from Midland, SD, on AngelFire.com. If you're into that sort of thing, there are lots of them, from all over the country.

Let's see...I owe you a summary of our vacation.

Friday, July 31: First day of traveling. I didn't run in the morning. We drove about eight hours, almost to Indianapolis. The kids were really quite good. In Indiana, we hooked up with a family that moved away from our home town a couple of years ago. They seem to be thriving. She split up with her husband, in a very unpleasant way, and it's pretty clear that she's much better off without him. The kids had a good visit, and we slept the night in a nice hotel.

Saturday, August 1: I ran about four and a half hours around the town near the hotel. We spent the morning at the Indianapolis Zoo, which is a nice little zoo. Just about one morning's worth, I think. They had a cool tank for petting sharks, and we also went to a nice dolphin show. It was fun, and it wore the kids out a little for the five more hours that we had to drive. In the late afternoon, we checked in to Salt Fork State Park, a little tired, but game.

Sunday, August 2: I discovered that Salt Fork State Park is mostly hills. In fact, all of east-central Ohio is mostly hills. Very picturesque, unless you happen to want to run on them. I ran another four and a half miles, and it felt like about six.

That evening, we had a big, big, big old family get together, with piles of people who I hadn't seen in a long time, and not a few people who claimed to be related to me, but I'm not sure exactly how. The youngest was a nine-month old baby, and the oldest was Grandma Jogger. We celebrated her 75th birthday (in May) and my sister's 50th (in December). It was a great time.

Monday, August 3: More hills. 8.4 miles worth. My legs were really starting to feel it. We went to the beach either that day or Tuesday and went on a hike or two. (More hills!) That evening, a few family members who hadn't escaped town came over to the cabins for a smaller get-together. Cousin Robert made a fantastic paella, and we had a fire and made s'mores.

Tuesday, August 4: I got smart and drove down to the beach. There is a half mile or so of flat road there, and I ran up and down it three times, for a total of a little over three miles. Even a slow three miles hurt, so I took Wednesday off from running. We bummed around the park some more. The weather was threatening, but it never really got that bad.

Wednesday, August 5: No run. I think this was the day we went in to Cambridge to the Hopalong Cassidy Museum. This is a sight not to be missed. Basically, it's a big old antique shop, crowded with junk, and in the back, they have one room dedicated to Hoppy souvenirs. The admission charge is $1, although they just have a little Plexiglas container sitting out, so I doubt that everyone pays. (For the record, we did.) We also went to the National Museum of Cambridge Glass. This was a much bigger deal, and they had a lot of very beautiful glass pieces. The woman there didn't actually talk our ears off, but she seemed to be trying.

Thursday, August 6: Back to the beach. More flat, but at least I picked up the pace a little. We went to the Wilds, a 10,000 acre conservation center built on top of an old strip mine. They have rhinos and giraffes and lots of different endangered animals. It's a big open park, which they drive you around, so you don't always get to see the animals. However, this morning, lots of the animals were hanging out near the roads, so we had a great tour.

Friday, August 7: I decided to tackle the hills again, and tackle them I did, to the tune of almost 11 miles. It was a great run. Later in the day, we went canoeing and also swimming, so I think I got my exercise. We had one last campfire, this time with just the family who was there: me, Mrs. Jogger, the four Little Joggers, Grandma Jogger, the Photographer, my sister, her husband, and their two kids.

Saturday, August 8: My last crack at the hills, but I was too tired to crack them very hard. I ran a pitiful three and a half. We loaded up the van and drove back as far as Champaign-Urbana. We had a terrific Mexican meal at a place called Dos Reales. If you're ever in town, look them up.

Sunday, August 9: I did 5 miles on the treadmill in the hotel. We got an early start and were actually home in time for a late lunch. Grandma and the Photographer decided to drive on home. They had to weather a few storms, but they made it.

I took yesterday off from running, so that brings me to today. I was happy to be back on my home turf. I did a good 6.1 miles. I picked out a hilly route, but really it wasn't hard. I think our hills here are as steep as, if not steeper than, Ohio hills, but they aren't as long. And there are actual breaks in between them. In Ohio, at least at Salt Fork, it's up one hill and down the next.