Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Midweek Trip

Okay you guys, where did you hide my tofu?

I had a great trip. Wynette and Lee Ann picked me up at my house about 9:00. We drove straight to Starbucks for sustenance. After getting our various beverages, we hit the road. We were headed for Port Townsend, about 1.5 to 2 hours away. The drive to Port Townsend is beautiful – first we got to see the progress on the new Tacoma Narrows bridge – which is being built right beside the old one (the second old one, the first was Galloping Gertie and went down in 1940). The new bridge is an awesome sight – the towers and suspension cables are up, but there is no platform. It is something to see. We also got to travel over the Hood Canal floating bridge on this trip.

We finally made it into Port Townsend and after lunch spent the afternoon shopping. I only bought one thing on this trip – a bag of vanilla bean mulch for my houseplants. It looks good, smells better, and helps keep the moisture in.

We stayed in a castle that was built in 1892. The guy at the front desk asked about our stay, and when he found out I was planning to run in the morning, fired off a set of directions that would lead me to a “path by the water”. Of course, I forgot the directions within minutes of walking away. We went back out for a fabulous Italian dinner, then back for more conversation and finally to bed about 11:30. But then we laid there and talked more, so it was probably about midnight when I finally got to sleep.

Sure enough my internal alarm went off about 5:30. Since I usually get up at 5:00, this was sleeping in. Wynette was already awake and reading, so I tried to quietly get ready for my run. Didn’t work and I woke Lee Ann up anyway.

I tried to remember the front desk guy’s directions, but it wasn’t working so I ran out to the main road and started down a long, winding road to downtown. I got about halfway down and decided that if I was going to find the path, I needed to be closer to the water. So I turned around and started back up the hill. I turned on the first side road towards the water – it was a dead-end. I kept going back up the hill to the next road, turned toward the water again, and discovered that road continued up hill and back toward the main road. I gave up and went back to the main road.

I finally got to the bottom of the giant hill – I was about two blocks from the water, so I cut in and ran through a marina. No path in sight, I kept going, taking little detours whenever it looked like a possibility. I ran all the way to the ferry dock, and then decided I’d better turn around. As I was heading back, there was a narrow sidewalk that dropped down in front of the buildings lining the beach. Thinking I’d finally found the path and wondering a little about why I hadn’t seen the other end of it, I headed down. It took me in front of a restaurant, then a hotel, then…it ended abruptly in someone’s back yard. I look toward the road, no way to get there. Straight ahead is the yard, to my left is concrete steps to the beach. I hit the beach. Now, most of the beaches in the Puget Sound area are rocky. This one was no exception. I’m running along, dodging seaweed, clamshells, dead crabs and kelp, while trying to keep my footing on the wet, slippery rocks. I could see that this little stretch of beach was coming to an end, so I climbed a short embankment of big rocks, cut between a hotel and an office building and got back to the road.

When I got back to the marina, I ran through a gas station to get back to the main road. At this point, I can see the castle way, way up on the top of that big long hill I ran down. The only thing I remember from the guys directions were that 12th Street would take me downtown. Somehow, in my confused way, I figured if I tried to get to the castle the back way, it wouldn’t be so hilly. I thought maybe there’d be short hills, with flats, then maybe another short hill and I’d be there. I will admit that this doesn’t make any sense, but it’s what I was thinking. Those who know me well probably aren’t too surprised by this thought process. So I crossed the main road at the foot of the hill, cut through a McDonalds parking lot, and there it is! 12th Street! I turn and take a look. Oh. A really big, really steep, really tall hill. I’m thinking okay, it probably looks worse than it is. Wrong. It was bad. I walked the whole middle. It was steeper than the big hill on the hill run at home. Then, it did one of those things where it looks like the top, flattens out for 25 feet, then starts up again. I started running again part way up, got to the true top, took a left, and found the castle two blocks later. I had said I’d be out an hour, and it was 54 minutes. I didn’t see any sign of a path on this whole run – however, there was a bike path on all the main roads. I think that must’ve been what he was talking about.

I checked gmaps when I got home, and IF I remembered all the turns and backtracking correctly, it was 5 miles. That’s a big “if” though! After two breakfasts (one continental at the hotel, and a kind of brunch at a really great restaurant later), with a walk through Fort Worden in between, we headed for home. The three of us have never been on a trip together, though we’ve talked about it for a long time. With Wynette’s retirement, she’ll be moving over four hours away, so we decided to do it while we could. I’m so glad we did!


robtherunner said...

I imagine you will have your fill of hills by the time Sound to Narrows is over with.

We threw the tofu out last night after me and Eric pounded down a couple of beers. We saw some Racoons later eating the tofu so grabbed the bb guns and went out for target practice. After that we decided to go streaking around the neighborhood before I headed home. Glad you left the boys home alone. Riley had fun too.

backofpack said...

Good thing I know you two are all talk! Sheesh, and you wonder why I worry about the both of you...Good thing Riley was here to keep an eye on you.

Robb said...

You should go away more often...I think that's the real message. Very funny.

I'm glad you had a fun trip. It's good to get away but even better to return home.

olga said...

At least you came back eventually...and all your boys survived.

Liv said...

Guess you've had your fill of obstacle courses for a while!

I can't believe your internal alarm goes off at 5:30. Oh, you crazy morning people, you.

TryAthlete said...

I imagine you came home to find the fridge full of beer and steak, the boys slumped on the couch, and the TV still on.

What boys will get up to when left on their own!

Maybe you should sign up for those orienteering competitions!

Thomas said...

The castle was on a hill, so I guess you were in for a big climb, no matter what route you took. And as long as you enjoyed the run, I don't see the problem!

Dori said...

Sounds like a good time. I'm glad you had a chance for a getaway with your friends. Running in a new place can be a good way to see it, but it can also sometimes be frustrating. Good job on your five miles.

Donald said...

My son's kind of a bridge freak, and he loves watching the video of the old TN bridge tearing apart. It was on a "Modern Marvels" episode that he hasn't let us delete for 2 years now.

I'm sure the new bridge will be fine.

Anne said...

Sounds like the ideal Girls Weekend Out. And I've been in that kind of circumstance where you're just running with purpose but a little aimlessly. It can be fun, but did you notice you always end up running back up big hills?!