Friday, June 24, 2005

Prickly Pear

Went down to Sand Ridge State Forest this morning and ran/hiked 2 hours with my training buddy, Pam. Well you don't exactly "run" alot there since for the most part the trails are multi-use well...sand...remnants of outwash from the Kankakee Torrent of 15,000 years or so ago. At least if i understand my geology correctly.

Started on the more hard packed green trail, cut through at backcountry site 10 onto the blue. About a mile in we ran across a snake on the trail; i'm thinking it was an eastern hognose, but my herpatological (?) skills are seriously lacking. The heat was brutal even in the morning, highs today 96 or so. Took two water bottles but wasn't enough. Stopped at a water pump near horseman's camp for cold spring water, helps the legs and the soul. The open meadow areas are crawling with prickly pear cactus, albeit not giant cactus because of the short growing season, but cactus nonetheless. Learned a little lesson about prickly pear. Don't touch, repeat, DO NOT TOUCH the damn things. I made that mistake and got about 50 mini thorns in my thumb and forefinger.

Overall a good training run/hike, hopefully aiming at the Glacial Trail 50k this October, the one i was gunning for last fall before the fracture.

Typing of cactus, watched the Edward Abbey video documentary "a voice in the wilderness." Abbey, the old anarchist desert rat, in my opinion an american literary giant. The Thoreau of the late 20th century. Finished "Desert Solitaire" two weeks ago and would not hesitate to put it up in my top 5 or so non-fiction american works. Written with passion, grit and immediacy.

"I'd sooner kill a man than a snake." -Ed Abbey

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