Tag Archives: Glen Arbor

Something New, Something Old, Something Trail, Something Road

I had a classic yin-yang run yesterday.

We went to our campground up north this weekend, and I brought everything needed for my regular Saturday long run. Shirts, shorts, socks, hat, handheld water bottle, gear belt, all that stuff.

Except my road shoes.

As I am not a barefoot runner, this was a problem. Fortunately, I had brought my new trail shoes. So my run would be on trails instead, and I’d get to try them out. There were some offshoots of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail I’d seen before, but had always left to “some other day.” This was the day!

Buying my new shoes had been unusual, even aside from masks and social distancing. Every pair I tried on felt good on my feet. I was out of there in half an hour with new Saucony Kinvaras, a slam dunk given my history with them, and the Topos, which were a surprise as they’d never fit me well before, and I’d tried on just for the hell of it.

I’d left the Kinvaras at home, so trail run it was. But I had a pair of old road shoes in our trailer, so I took them along to the run just in case.

Switching: Yin to yang.

The first half of my 10.5 miles, (the “yin” part) was in brand new shoes on trails I’d never done before, which included dirt, gravel, mowed prairie, and plenty of elevation change. I enjoyed it, and the shoes felt great. but after five miles I was done. I felt sore and sluggish on the long uphill climbs. I’d also had enough of mosquitoes and deerflies chasing the sweaty idiot with no bug repellent on.

So I returned to the car, switched to the shoes I’d once found on top of a trash can, and hit the road, circling Glen Arbor on familiar, fully paved roads, flat as the proverbial pancake. The perfect yang to the first half’s yin. And the distance turned out nearly identical to what I’d done on the trails. Just like I’d planned it, uh-huh, uh-huh. Whether karma or coincidence, I took it as an unequivocal sign to wrap it up and go get coffee

And at the coffee shop there was one more little twist. Normally I match a hot, bitter coffee drink with a sweet pastry. This time I had an iced chai latte (way too sweet) with a savory pastry. Why? Because that’s what my body told me it needed. Hope to God I’m not pregnant.

And speaking of, happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!

Signs of the Apocalypse

I’M GIVING YOU FAIR WARNING.

During my wonderful vacation up north last week, I took some photos that suggest something “revelationary” is brewing in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. No fire and brimstone or geese flying backwards, just a collection of little signs that cumulatively suggest – dare I say it – an omen. I haven’t been this worried about my spiritual health since the Harmonic Convergence, whenever that was.

This whole thing has me so shook up I took today off from training. (Okay, Saturday’s half marathon followed by a ten-mile recovery run yesterday also contributed.) While none of what you’re about to see is directly related to my training, I saw them all while running or cycling, so that’s good enough for me.

Here is the evidence. Decide for yourself.

Sign - Church of Christ - Beulah

This is in the lovely town of Beulah (otherwise known for The Cherry Hut) following a round-trip bike ride to Frankfort. Okay, a cute motto but otherwise unremarkable, right? But then I came across this while running the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail into Glen Arbor:

The small sign reads, "Sorry - No Room at the Inn".

The small sign reads, “Sorry – No Room at the Inn”.

I checked, but there have been no reports of a bright star overhead or three rich guys on camels. Yet.

Still skeptical? On the other side of Glen Arbor is this:

Sign - Wine at Gas Pump - Glen Arbor

Was there just an overabundant grape harvest? Or did Jesus just pass through?

Bemused, bothered, and bewildered, I stumbled into the Blue Caribou Cafe in Beulah after Sunday’s recovery run. After yet another ownership change, they finally saw the light and installed an espresso machine. And here was one more sign:

The sign reads, "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I'll have another coffee."

The sign reads, “Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll have another cup.” Sorry for the image quality. I believe I must have had too many.

So there you have it. Coincidence? The paranoid fantasy of this ultrarunner’s overheated brain? Or is someone out there trying to tell me something? Say, for instance, about my upcoming weekend at Run Woodstock?

Holding the Banner

Thus saith the Lord: TIE DYE IS AN ABOMINATION! And don’t even get Me started on those “Natural Runs”!!!

I’ll do my best to keep you all posted. And if New Jerusalem does descend and land upon me, I just hope they have a good running trail.