We haven’t had much of a winter this year. The temperature made it up nearabouts 60 degrees today. The nights are long though. Considering how temperate it has been, I should be out there doing more night runs. I’ve had a few escapes, some notable, including a Baker Lake jaunt, but not as many as in past years.
But I got out there tonight, I did; and I ran well, which was refreshing, knocking out about nine miles. I essentially did a modified loop around Sehome Hill, which is a loop that a lot of people do, in one fashion or another, but my loop is best. The loop starts and finishes in Fairhaven. Tonight I added an out-and-back to Arroyo Park, with a detour up the C. Moore loop and through the dark wooded neighborhood that probably has a name. I pick the regular loop up again at the Connelly Creek area, and wind my way through student housing and the Arboretum, to the top of Sehome Hill.
I always have to summit the lookout tower at the top of Sehome Hill. The view tonight was brilliant, looking out at the Bay, with the city lights reaching to Cherry Point and Canada. Baker was not out. Sadly, a body was found on top of the hill this past weekend, somewhere near the lookout. Suicide, it was reported, a young twenty-something. It really made me a bit sad tonight, even though I don't know anything more.
From the tower I drop into Western’s Red Square, taking a secret trail down the ridge, and then run down the steps behind the Viking Union, past the Outdoor Center, down to Forest, and then take a right turn at the secret Palm Street steps. These steps are crooked, and tilt downwards, on a 45 degree slope--very dangerous in winter. From there it's down to Boulevard Park and run over the water on the trestle path back to Fairhaven.
When running is good, it’s hard to beat. I felt like I had it tonight. I can be faster and all, with training, but I had that click tempo pace that works. No headlamps—I know these trails too well, and I enjoy the confidence before, and affirmation after, that I do.
The other night I had a pack of raccoons in the back yard. They came by last year too. The only reason I heard them was one of them knocked over the bird bath, which is glass, and I heard it. I opened the window, no lights, and I saw a shape out there. This raccoon had heard me open the window, and was on its hind legs, probably three feet tall, staring at me from ten feet away. While we were in the staredown, his pal climbed over my fence, and cut across the yard, a lumpy shadow.