The township map is filling in, thanks to short, regular runs. You know, the kind of runs that make for the base of most runners’ training.
Between our 6:15 outdoor service with breakfast, and the regular 10:30 service, I had some time to run. I did a short piece, under 2 miles, which mostly consisted of an out-and-back of Peace Valley Road. Starting out at another township border, this is perhaps the only place where you can enter the township on a flat piece of road. Along route 890, the township sign is just south of United Plate Glass and a garage on the right of it. There is a large gravel area that extends to the bridge over a creek, and based on the signs allowing fishing, it seems fine to park here.
One might think that an Easter morning run down a road called “Peace Valley” would be just about the nicest thing ever. But I have to say, this is not my favorite road in the township. It’s not the climb up a slow hill, all the roads have that. What I noticed however, while not a surprise, was somewhat disheartening. There’s a reason people live on dead end roads. They don’t like other people. This road is not long, but has more NO TRESPASSING – KEEP OUT – PRIVATE PROPERTY signs than I usually see elsewhere. At the very end, I almost chuckled, wondering whether there is a real bear caged up somewhere to be let loose, should an interloper mistakenly cross the line. I doubt I will return to this road with my good camera, so I snapped a quick shot with the phone of this interesting sight. A closer examination reveals that this is no ordinary car in the weeds. I noted when I first moved here that this is the kind of semi-rural place where people will sell a car in the front yard, but here I saw a Jaguar sold like that. Now I’m finding abandoned Mercedes in the absolute backwater of the township. What is this place? Turning around and getting back to my car, I got home in time to clean up for church and play Easter bunny.
Just Across the Highway
Parking in the same spot two days later, I did about a 3 mile loop, only having to repeat .28 miles total, specifically the climb up the hill along 890 to get to Derr Road. It was going across Derr that I was able to take in this view. From that view, it was downhill to the creek where I picked up Cider Press Road. This is probably my favorite road so far. The random thoughts and memories that come to mind on a run are sometimes mundane, sometimes fascinating. I didn’t see an actual cider press, but it brought to mind the time that my friend and colleague Patrick split a vanload of apples with me. We took them to the cider press below Mount Pleasant Mills and pressed something like 30 gallons. I brewed most of it, but it all ended up so dry as to be nearly undrinkable. Memory two was more recent, as the stretch of road along the creek reminded me of mile six in the DC halfmarathon from last month. It is not often that a rural road and a city route look alike. But that is the beauty of well-planned urban areas with good parks that take advantage of natural formations. And as I was thinking about that race with thousands, while now in the solitude of a run where not a single car passed me on that road, an enormous blue heron took flight from the creek. I stopped and watched. They really are majestic creatures. Every time I see one, I remember my friend Rachel who has a blue heron tattoo, the creation of which I witnessed.
Any road can be memory lane.
It ends back at the township border where I parked. If you ever get the urge to run in this area, I recommend parking there as it looks safe and legal, and conspicuous. Then head out Cider Press Road and see where you end up.
Yes, The Whole Township is Steep
The last segment of this week was also up north, covering a two mile circle starting at the Baptist Church along 61, Up the road about .4 mile, then left onto Klinger, winding down past CC’s (a place I just learned existed) and turning left on Swank Road, then another left on Ross to return to Route 61. The downhill was as steep as any, which sounds fun until you run it. Much energy spent in keeping yourself from falling forward. For those who travel 61, here’s a possibly familiar sign.
It feel good to get back out for regular runs, even when some of them turn into slow slogging stair climbs. This was one of those days
Total Runs 11 (last update was missing one from December)
Total miles 37.59
Total unique (no repeat in township) miles 30.75