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Posts Tagged ‘Rose-Hulman’

Mileage today:  1.5 miles acquired during the daily constitutional, 4.39 total for the day

Unfortunately, the last several days have not been the best for walking.  A combination of factors are to blame.  First, there was the trip to Lisle, Illinois for the accreditation forum.  I was able to get out on both Wednesday, May 12 and Thursday, May 13, getting miles in around the Marriott Conference Center.  In fact, there was a wetlands area nearby, and I sighted a snowy egret, redwing blackbirds, and (heard) vocal frogs along the way to the Starbucks.

Really, there is an egret in the picture above.  The important part of walking while away from home is to observe the natural setting that could be wedged between the civilized domain of a strip mall and the wildness that lies just beyond the parking lot.

The second factor was the rain, incessant rain, all weekend.  But I am happiest, I think, when I return to my accustomed routes and sights.  Here are the wild roses I saw today when I stepped out around 11:00 AM near the practice football field.

My plan was to go around Maple Avenue Lake, but the geese commandeered the path.  I have encountered the same geese family this spring.  I think they are notable because they have at least 12 goslings in their brood.  Even for geese they seem particularly fecund.  For some reason I don’t want to challenge them for the right of way.  Instead I backtracked to the wetlands route, where I found a broken stump with life emerging.

I have also started Wuthering Heights, the most Yorkshire and most Bronte of the novels I plan to read.  More on the novel in the next posting.

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Mileage:  1.5, along the National Heritage Road, past the Oakley Observatory, and back; total for the day, 3.5.

Setting out around 9:30 this morning, the sky appeared ominous.  It seemed likely that my walk would end in a downpour.  The clouds over the football practice field almost convinced me to retreat to my dry office.

Given the looming skies, I kept to the paved route, down the National Road Heritage Trail that runs behind campus.  This path parallels the Wetlands area, so I could hear the geese although the view was screened by honeysuckle. 

The cardinals and wrens dodged back and forth, and I even saw a green heron who perched on a power line.  Beneath him I found wild iris, deep purple and a cousin of the Siberian iris

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Mileage:  2.5 miles from White Chapel, through the Ropes Course, and around Maple Avenue Lake; total for today, 4.5 miles.

I started from the Hulman Union today and directed my feet toward White Chapel.

This route edges along Speed Lake before it runs behind the chapel.  Along the way, I came upon this clump of Siberian Iris, their deep, rich purple tucked away until I discovered them.

I pass so many different flowers, both wild and cultivated.  Seeing the iris called up a few lines from Gray’s “Elegy written in a Country Churchyard”:

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,/And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Of course, Rose-Hulman in the spring doesn’t suffer from the dry, desert air (that will have to wait for August), but it does seem ironic that so many flowers along my walks are never seen.  Deep in the Ropes Course today, I was sure I was walking along paths that haven’t been crossed for a very long time.

While I have provided pictures of flora and fauna in all of my walks from the past several weeks, I have resisted including pictures of the most problematic natural feature–my feet. 

I have suffered from an inflammed plantar fascia tendon in my left foot for the past two years.  Repeated visits to the podiatrist resulted in a moment of truth; since the high doses of ibuprofen and orthotics were not curing my problem, the only other treatment would be an injection of cortisone.  That news was part of my last visit, and I haven’t been back.  So today, I resorted to YouTube videos from quacks and self-healers, searching for pain relief.  Tough it out, I shout at my left foot; the walking trip is not negotiable.  So before I subject myself to the painful needle, I will try to warm up the tendon before I walk, ice it when I return, and stretch it in the interval.

As I write this, I am rolling a frozen plastic bottle of water under my left foot. 

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 May 4 mileage:  2 miles around the Ropes course and front of campus, 4.5 miles for the day

May 5 mileage:  2.5 miles around the Wetland and Maple Avenue Lake, 5+ for the day

May 6 mileage:  3 miles total, with a short jaunt in Hawthorne Park

I decided to try a new route on Tuesday, going around the Sport and Rec Complex and meeting up with the area near the front of campus that is dedicated to the Ropes Course.  This route takes me around the baseball and softball fields, then across the front of the Rose-Hulman campus.

The gentle rise and fall of the front campus is a better challenge than the even, paved paths of other routes, more like the hills that we will face in England.  The only drawback is that the new route brings me right to Highway 46 and the constant traffic.  I prefer the quiet of Hawthorne Park, or the geese threats of the Wetlands.

I am still keeping up my mileage by supplementing a mid-day walking break of 2 miles with additional walking on the golf course at Pine Woods.  The combination is keeping me at roughly 5 miles per day.  I won’t think much right now about the 10 miles that I will need to complete during the week of July 17th to 24th.

While I appreciate the additional walking I can do on the golf course, I wonder why I am paying the extra fee for a cart when I am not using it.  Nick drives the clubs while I hike the fairways.  Actually I have carried my golf bag in the past, and the experience isn’t that pleasant.  And the cart comes in handy when I have to scale the near vertical cart paths at our local course.  If only there could be a golf cart to ferry me up the likely hills in Yorkshire.

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