Wednesday, May 12, 2010


My work took me down to Olympia today.  125 miles from Mount Vernon, one way. I had a 1:00 appointment, which lasted forty minutes or so. After the appointment, fighting Seattle to Everett traffic made little sense, so I put on the tennies and went for a jog.  I always like checking out towns I don't know.

I started at Capitol Lake, a little lake somewhere near the Capitol Building. BTW--Olympia is the Washington State capitol. If you're not from around here, Washington State has some interesting history, or at least I think so. I suppose if you are from around here, Washington State history is probably not so  interesting, amounting to a boring required elective in 10th or 11th grade. I did take this course. You'd learn about the Whitman massacre, Lewis and Clark, the mountain men, and potlatches. Since I grew up in Maryland and Virginia early on, I found it all fascinating, for its absence of wars, colonists, and all sorts of other things. I had to sing Dixie in elementary school and have nerf ball Civil War battles.

So as I was saying, my run started at Capitol Lake. Right away there was a sign honoring the first women's Olympic marathon, which was held here in 1984, and which Joan Benoit won, who even today is still honored by marathoners in the way Ann Trason is thought of amongst ultrapeople. Joan Benoit was one of the most inspiring marathoners ever--I thought she was incredible back then.

After the sign, I ran up some switchbacks up to the Temple of Justice, aka the Supreme Court. They weren't in session, but I went into the library, which sort of has a Catholic church religious feel to it, just without the holy water by the door. Then I ran over to the Legislative Building. Worth checking out.

From there, I went into neighborhoods, trying to see how Olympians live, and somehow ended up at the running store in town. I bought some shoes and a vest. Sort of a score--$10 for the vest, $30 for the shoes.  After that I checked out the Farmer's Market, which wasn't happening, and then the Olympia Port, boardwalk and waterfront.  A nice town, Olympia.

The Temple of Justice

Top of switchbacks to Supreme Court, looking at Capitol Lake

Trail infoboard on 1984 Olympic Trials--click on picture to expand and read

South Sound Running

Capitol Building from law library window

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