Saturday, May 03, 2008

Topaz: The Great Beaver Hunter

Thoughts of today passed through my brain all week long. I knew that I had to work at the annual City/Township Clean Up Day, which is always held the first Saturday of May. It is always cold; sometimes rainy, sometimes snowy. Rain is the worse of the evils.

I stand on the muddy dirt road, walk up to a zillion trucks in a long line, take the driver's license, check address, check what type of junk they are disposing of: TV, appliance, motors, electronics, household junk, etc. Collect the fee and direct them onto the next stop.

All week long it rained or snowed. The forecast for today was more rain and snow this morning and later clearing. Clean up day is bad enough when it is dry. I stand there for 5 hours as I freeze and my back becomes sore from standing in one place and shivering.

Well, today wasn't as bad as I anticipated. It wasn't raining! It was just very very windy and cold. I wore a winter parka, wool hat and gloves and yes, my sorel boots. I had my snowboard pants in the car just in case my jeans weren't warm enough. Thankfully, the snowboard pants stayed in the car.

After my 5 hours were up I headed home. Steve and the boys were at the indoor archery center so Topaz and I headed for an afternoon run.

As I pulled into the lot I couldn't believe my eyes. 15 or so cars were parked in the lot. Ish. I almost drove to the gravel road as I figured I'd rather run gravel road solo than trail with 15 cars full of people. Then I thought maybe they were using the lot as a park n ride or something, how could their be 15 cars? I ventured into the lot, barely found a spot and hit the trail.

We ran along, surprising deer and the sand hill cranes. I though it interesting that the deer were so near to the trail when there must have been people around somewhere. The ponds are absolutely full with water; the canadian geese and swans love it. Topaz loves it. He dive bombs into the ponds, disturbing the birds, trying to get to them before they fly off. It's hilarious. He comes out all drippy, can't stand that I'm in front of him so he shakes as he is running, passing me by.

We almost finished one loop before we finally saw the reason for all of the vehicles. A boy scout troop was touring the trail. They were identifying the turtles and frogs down by the river banks. I was glad that I didn't pass up the trail for the gravel road!

While running toward a pond I saw something dark move slowly across the trail. Topaz spied it too. I couldn't figure out what it was. As we approached the animal it began to move more quickly, it was lumbering, kind of wobbling back and forth as it moved forward. I saw his tail. It was a beaver! Topaz took after it and the beaver began to move more quickly, waddling as fast as he could. As he reached the pond Topaz began to gain on him, the beaver slid into the pond with Topaz right after him. Topaz couldn't find him once he hit the water. He dug around the shoreline, blew bubbles underwater but could not find the beaver.

We ended up running 20 miles, never to find the beaver again. Each time we passed that pond, Topaz stopped to look for the beaver. I bet he stops by the pond again tomorrow, looking for that beaver.

2 comments:

Steve S said...

That’s cool to see deer and beaver on your run. You sound so nonchalant about 20 miles, like a stroll in the park. Ok, sort of like that. Did you used to live and run in Washington? I’m a NW runner and I’m back to running ultras for the last couple years after a few years off. I run with the Puyallup Y Club and got your link from a running friend Olga.

Enjoy the weather and healthy running

stevestoyles@msn.com

SteveQ said...

Getting ready for Ice Age, I decided to read a bunch of race reports and saved the best (yours) for last. You've got me really looking forward to it now!