Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On the SIde of the Road

During yesterday's run I saw a turtle that some car has run over while it was trying to cross a road. Sadly slow turtles don't have a chance when drivers aren't attentive. This turtle was about 50 yards from where my daughter and I watched a mother turtle lay some eggs in the dirt a few years back. I wonder if they were related? A couple of years ago on another run I came upon a stopped car. The driver was a running friend who saw a turtle crossing the road and so had stopped to make sure the turtle was safely across. Aren't runner great?

A few miles later during yesterday's run I came across a baby fawn (well parts of it) that had been hit by a car or killed by a predator. I didn't really want to look that close. It was much tinier that I thought a fawn could be. It must have been recently born. Last year I saw two fawns in a little marshy area off the side of route 111A getting drinks of water. That was worth stopping my run and watching until they left.

At a preseason college cross-country camp in Wisconsin many years ago I was off running through some paths deep in the woods. I heard a crashing and all of a sudden a deer ran towards me, then he ran alongside me for about 25 yards before running back into the woods. I do not know who was more shocked the deer or I. Another year at the same camp with my teammates, we went out for an evening shakedown run. One coach had his dog with him. Running ahead of us the dog yelped and then we felt a light mist. Then there was a horrible smell. The dog had been sprayed. He was nicknamed "Skunkface" after that. Since he saved all of us from a possible spraying he was allowed to continue sleeping in the cabin with us!

This message is brought to you with the advice to be careful as you run the roads. The high schoolers are out there in their cars. They have started yelling stupid things out of their rolled down windows. I can never hear what they are yelling but they must think it is funny. Nothing has been thrown at me yet this year, but that has happened in the past. One year I was riding my bike up a hill in Hollis and a car was getting closer and closer so that is was almost pushing me off the road. Then all of a sudden a girl in the car reached out and pinched my butt. OK that was the strangest thing that happened to me on the roads!

The best thing that ever happened was at the Lake Winnipesaukee Relay a few years back. I was on a team of Gate City Striders that was in third place overall when I was handed the baton. Less than a mile into my 11 mile leg I thought I saw something green on the side of the road. I ran past, did a double take, and reversed direction. It is not that often that you find $20 on the side of the road. I went back and picked it up. Fortunately whatever time I lost making some cash did not result in any lost places in the race!

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