As I sat in the parking lot at Slate Run Park, waiting for Mark C and Steve O to arrive, I looked out over the bleak landscape, one that I had seen too often and for far too long this winter. The scene reminded me of my childhood when I lived in Siberia with my mother and father, my father doing time in the labor camp for having been on the right but wrong side of a political dispute. As we neared his scheduled release, we learned we had an opportunity to emigrate to Ohio. I studied Ohio and learned the winters were much milder than the brutal winters in my homeland. Not until this year, have I endured a winter that reminded me too much of what I experienced as a child. You see, my last name is Wilson but orignally it was Wilsonofski.
Anyway, we headed out into pretty deep snow. Mark and I hiked with Steve for about a mile and then I urged Mark to take off running and I'd be right behind. Of course, my strategy was for him to break the deep snow which frequently was up to my middle calf, making my way easier. We ran through the fields and then into the wooded gorges and finally reached the Buzzards Roast parking area, 3.3 miles from the start. Mark does not run fast but he also can run forever so as we headed back I was ready to walk for awhile and wished him well. On my way back I caught up with Craig Butler, who was out snow shoeing. I asked Craig what he planned to do this season and among many ambitious goals he has signed up for a 50 mile trail running marathon. Craig is also having some difficulty sourcing all the components he needs for that sharp new custom frame so he may not open the season with it. I arrived back at the parking lot with 6.4 miles and for the day, hopefully a few calories more burned than consumed.
Note Mark C, after reaching 190 in December, began dieting and is now hovering around 170. His successful program has him counting calories burned and calories consumed each day and he is careful to always end the day with more calories burned. Appears to be working well since his clothing hangs on him like a burlap sack now. The forecast for this week shows a warming trend. I'll have a good route planned for this Saturday. I got out for a good ride on Sunday but surprisingly, did not see other cyclists.
In the image below, although hard to pick them out, there are 8-10 red birds (cardinals maybe) sitting in the brush waiting for their turn at the bird feeder at Slate Run.