Last Saturday while Bill and I were still at my parents’ house we woke up at 8:30 AM to 22 degrees. Mom checked her little weather station for the overnight low and it had gotten down to 17 degrees! We waited around until 11:30 to go on our run, and by then the temperature had risen to 45 degrees. It ended up being pretty perfect running weather.
I’ve mentioned before that it’s quite hilly where I grew up, and this picture doesn’t really do it justice, but that’s one steep hill! The locals have called it Billy Goat Hill for years and I think it had something to do with my great-grandfather raising goats on the property next to the hill many years ago.
Of course when you run up a long steep hill, you probably are going to have a nice downhill on the other side. By the way, this is the view that I had when I was little and I’d sit on the front porch of my grandparents’ house.
After crossing that big long hill, the road eventually flattened out where we ran along the river for a while until we hit another long gradual uphill stretch.
Along the way we stopped where my great-grandparents’ and then grandparents’ little country store stood before it burned to the ground when I was in my mid-twenties. It’s hard to believe that a store once stood here, and still had room for a little gravel parking lot in front. From two months of age until I was almost five, I stayed in that store with my grandmother during the day while my mom taught school just across the road.
After almost four miles of very hilly running, we reached our destination… the little country church where my parents were married, then 27 years later where Bill and I were married, and finally on Thursday where we had my dad’s funeral.
After a brief visit at the church, we turned around and made our way back up and down the hills on our way home. When running out in the country, I never know what I’ll run past. Usually I encounter loose dogs that like to bark and follow right at my heels making me nervous that they are going to be sneaky and take a quick bite out of me. Sometimes I encounter a cow that’s gotten out of her pasture and I attempt to be a good neighbor and get her back in, but on this particular run, my uncle drove past us while moving a piece of his hay equipment. Something I don’t see on my runs in suburbia…
Heading back down Billy Goat Hill, Bill charged ahead. Funny how much easier it was running down that hill!
As we cut through a little gravel road, we admired the fallen leaves on the road and marveled that the trees were so far ahead losing their leaves compared to ours at home.
Just as we reached a turn in the road, this turkey hen walked down over the bank and into the road. We stopped so we wouldn’t scare her, and she continued along her way. Despite growing up on a farm, this was my first up-close encounter with a wild turkey.
Running under the beautiful blue sky and brilliant sun made this fall country run absolutely beautiful.
We finished our run next to the hay fields beside my parents’ house. It was a refreshing and relaxing run even though those tough eight miles seemed more like twelve.
- Do you have a favorite place to run when you’re visiting relatives?
- Do you run across many hills on your daily runs? Pun intended!
- Who raced today or is racing tomorrow?