Scout's Honor

SF DPW is doing construction on the 23rd Street overpass near my house. This is my main access into and out of my neighborhood. It is also the way I start my run almost every day. 

I have only a few options for the first leg of my run: uphill, uphill, dangerous road, 23rd street. Starting a run uphill is something I am used to but not something I enjoy. The view is good, the burning pain not so much. 

The crew was setting up cones, signs, and standing around when I began my run today. I put my head forward and ignored everything. I looked for cars without making eye contact and sped across the bridge. Sadly, it is the only way through the field of unwanted attention. This is not meant to be a comment on sexism.  In general, I feel uncomfortable when I run by people who are stationary. If you are biking, rollerblading, running, etc, then we, the people in motion, share a temporary rite of passage. This connection is typically marked by a quick wave, a nod, a smile, a quiet "hey." It is the secret handshake that isn't a handshake. For a second, we belong to an exclusive club of mostly obsessive outsdoorsyish pain seeking guilt ridden goal oriented health freak endorphin rushed crazy people. It's awesome! For the five years I have lived in San Francisco though, this secret society is, in my opinion, a little too secret. 
Maybe no acknowledgment is the new acknowledgment. I would hate to lose credibility if I wave - "hey" - nod to another runner.  I guess this is more of a rant than a concern because I rarely see anyone else running.

As I approached the bridge on my return home, I saw an older woman on her knees on the sidewalk, trying to lift herself up with the support of the flimsy safety fencing. I could tell she had fallen and immediately ran over to her. I was confused: 'there are about 20 construction workers loitering around, does no one see her?'  I gave her my hand and helped her to stand up. I laughed uncomfortably as she smiled. She brushed off her pants and insisted she was fine. We were just outside the hospital, but she seemed more embarrassed than injured. I ran home.  

Running will either keep me strong for life or destroy my joints. Even though I will never get old, someday I might fall.

I was originally going to write about power -- like, telephone poles and turbines -- but I got sidetracked, as usual. 

Desert Road, North Island, NZ

Desert Road, North Island, NZ

Lake Taupo, NZ

Denise: What's that?
Me: That's hail. 

Oh, you cute Floridian.
We stayed in Rotorua too long and left Rotorua very fast.  In fact, we had initially eliminated Rotorua from our itinerary but added it at the last second. As awful as that town smells [ewww sulfur], it was fortunate that we stopped. I was benched, forced to sit on the sidelines watching the days go by and our plans get slaughtered. Stupid shoulder stupid cave rafting.  I am not one to hold onto physical pain for long but oh yes, bring on the emotional torture -- I felt tremendously guilty for ruining our upcoming adventures.  
And here is where the storm comes in: some of our adventures were canceled anyway.  
In anticipation of bad weather, we left Rotorua and drove straight to Wellington.  
Desert Road is a segment of Highway 1 just south of Lake Taupo that runs through Tongariro National Park and into the Rangipo Desert. It is often closed due to inclement weather -- mostly snow. 
Storm's a brewin'. 
Wellington to Picton

Langs Beach, NZ
Fishing for clouds
Pacific Ocean, east coast, South Island, New Zealand, Tranzcoastal train
A single popcorn cloud, comin' right up!