Saturday, December 19, 2015

"I never saw that!"

Have you ever come upon something in your world, a house, a tree, something large and conspicuous that had have to be there a long time and you're like, "I never saw that before!" It happened to me the other day. Twice. Do what?!

Hmm. How long do I wait?
You know I made a friend on The Great Noxapater Journey Run, James Bevis, who ran with me from French Camp to Ackerman. We agreed that day to get together for some more running. A couple of weeks back, we set up Friday, December 18, as our ramble run date. I called the night before to make sure we were still on. All systems were on go. "I will call about 8:00 am when I get onto Highway 40." That's how we left things.

I got up early, made the drive, and called James at 7:47. No answer. That's OK. I'll ride around a bit and look for a place to park which is what I did and decided to park at Columbiana United Methodist Church on the highway. I called again. No answer.

I finished drinking my coffee, made a sign to put on the dashboard (name, number, and what I was doing), and loaded my Gatorade into my hydration pack. I called again. No answer. 

I am new at making maps on Google.
Since Penny was off work, I was facing a time frame a little tighter than I normally have on Fridays. I started putting on all my outer layers and called again. No answer.

I looked at my watch and thought, I need to be on the road by 8:30. I called at 8:30. No answer. I left running south alone on Highway 407 at 8:35. 

After a couple of miles, I decided to check my phone. I slowed to a walk and noticed I had a text from James. "Are you on your way yet?" To make a short story long, he didn't have service, didn't receive my calls, and joined me a few miles into the run. It was nice to have him. 

We ran to the Kilmichael Road, a stretch of asphalt I haven't traveled in probably twenty years if not more, and started up it with the enthusiasm of explorers seeing country never spied before. 
I should have used my zoom. An old house
on a hill with an older barn and some
 fat cows in the pasture around it.

When we made it to Kilmichael, a small town of about 600 people, we were at around ten plus miles and were hungry, so we stopped at a convenience store and ordered a fish plate. When we left, our bellies were full, our legs were tired, and the cold wind chilled us to the bone. We tried to take a long walk to let the digestion begin, but we soon had to run to stay warm.

Two tired runners. Too tired runners.
It's a good thing I had James with me because I would have taken the wrong road out of town. He knows the area a lot better than I do. The route we traveled was a big triangle of Highway 407, Kilmichael Road, and Lower Milligan Springs Road. Lower Milligan proved to be long and laborious as we both tired and yearned to see 407. 

We slowed to a walk and thought 407 had to be around every curve and over every hill, but over and over again we were disappointed. Then we saw something that blew us away: a water tower loomed above the trees up ahead. 

"I never saw that before," I said.

"I haven't either," James answered.

We were mystified and walked along like zombies in our fatigue and confusion. Finally, we came to a yellow sign with a big red dot on it that signaled a road really was over the next hill. 

When we got there, it was 407. How had we never seen that water tower? James called his fiancee who picked him up there because he needed to be somewhere else. They offered me a ride to my truck, and I almost accepted, but decided instead to finish my journey. I shuffled and walked the remaining mile and a half to my truck. Total for the day was 20.69 with only 13.08 of actual running. Where were my legs? Maybe next time.

I drove back home, and as I was approaching Greenwood from the east, I noticed a water tower. "I never saw that before," I said out loud. Really, I'm not making this up. I guess I better open my eyes the next time I go out. If I don't, I might run into something.