Mar 11, 2016
As mentioned previously, I’ve backed off the running a little in favour of cycling during the second half of this week. But that doesn’t mean I’m not running. In fact, it’s a joy to run in a different location for a change, especially one as pleasant as the town of Mudgee.
Thanks to Geoff Davis for adding me to the Wikipedia list of those who’ve run across Australia. Perhaps he might even be able to add Tony Mangan and Kevin Carr next, to make the list even more complete.
Here’s a very atmospheric photo of me running on a cold and frosty morning in the south of France. The Pyrenees (not visible) are off to my right.
On This Day
Mar 11, 2012
Distance today = 53.50 km; Total distance = 3314.56 km; Location = Salome, Arizona – 33 46.847′ N, 113 36.724′ W; Start time = 0913, Finish time = 1712
Another great day on the road, but first, a short recap on last night.
We ventured into downtown Quartzite for dinner, settling for Silly Al’s. This was pretty much forced upon us, as the recommended joint was closing up at 8 pm when we arrived. As it turned out, it was for the best. The meal of Silly Al’s Homemade Texas Chilli and a 20 inch pizza (that’s a half metre in diameter – HUGE) were just what the doctor ordered. This was complemented nicely by the carafe of merlot and the local rock’n’roll band playing old favourites. And they were OLD favourites. The crowd was predominantly what are known here as Snowbirds – older people escaping the northern winter by coming to Arizona and staying a few months in RVs or trailer homes. The Snowbirds were revelling in the music, and we enjoyed watching them enjoy themselves. In fact, we were the youngest table in the joint. The girls loved that little fact.
And this morning we learned that Wyatt Earp was the sheriff of Quartzite for a while. That was before all the RVs, trailers, and other temporary accommodation moved in. He wouldn’t know the place now.
I began the run on the same rough gravel road I finished on yesterday, running the first 5 km in trying conditions. But the road surface improved, and I soon found myself on a very straight road – so straight, in fact, that I didn’t strike any appreciable change in direction for 24 km. It’s strange, because it’s both interesting and monotonous on these long straight roads.
At the 36 km point of the day I saw two crosses just off the road. I investigated, only to discover a very sad story. They were commemorating two young girls, aged 6 and 2. They had died on the same day, presumably in some sort of car accident, but it’s difficult to see how an accident could happen on such a good stretch of road (what happened to the parents?). The saddest thing was the sight of their toys placed at the foot of the crosses, as well as their shoes. It was very hard to look at a two year old’s shoes in that context.
I pressed on, arriving in Salome with 53.5 km under my belt. We are staying in the Westward Motel, which I would recommend to anyone making their way through these parts. The owners have gone to the trouble of making this much more than your run-of-the-mill motel, with some unique little touches.
Mar 11, 2013
Distance today = 47.60 km; Total distance = 17,772.66 km; Location = Hauterives, France – 45 15.266′ N, 05 01.385′ E; Start time = 0845, Finish time = 1701
Another day of very pleasant weather, which always makes for a pleasant day of running.
Our breakfasts for the past several weeks have consisted of muesli with yoghurt and honey. We didn’t have any yoghurt this morning because the supermarkets were closed yesterday. So Carmel drove me the 8 km back to my starting point for the day, and went ahead to buy some yoghurt. I would meet her in an hour or so for breakfast, when I ran past the hotel. At home, I always run before eating, and I have no trouble. However, because I’m used to eating first now, it took me only 2 km before I hit a point of low blood sugar. I was feeling very weak, and struggling with each step. Luckily it was only another kilometre to a shop, and I was able to buy a can of coke to get me through to breakfast.
After my muesli, I headed on to the town of Romans sur Isere, another of the 2000 year old settlements from this region. Four years ago, we stayed just outside this town, in a lovely old mansion. In front of the building were some blocks from a Doric column, being used as stools. Apparently, there are many such artefacts from the Roman days that are just lying around in fields, or being used as part of structures that were built long after the Romans departed.
The afternoon involved a long climb to the high point of the local region (I always seem to choose routes that involve climbing). I was surprised at what a good view I had. I could see clear over the nearer mountain ranges of the Vercors and Chartreuse, to the Alps themselves. They were a long way away, but their snow-capped peaks stood out like white beacons.
I’ll finish with a note about dinner last night. We were given a menu in English, and Carmel decided to order the sausage and potatoes, thinking this must be a French version of bangers and mash. Not so. The sausage (there was a single fat one) was filled with offal and large chunks of fat. Carmel couldn’t eat it, so gave it to me in exchange for some of my salmon. I couldn’t eat it either, so we effectively shared a single meal (her potatoes were OK, though). In general, the food here in France has been great, but there’s always a negative surprise waiting somewhere down the line.