Sunday, May 5, 2019

Upstate NY and Boston

One race that keeps calling to me (besides Big Dog) is the Don't Run Boston 50-miler the weekend before the Boston Marathon.  It's a trail run with navigational elements, a fat-ass event with support, and an adventure in a wonderful park south of Boston.  Whenever I'm anywhere near New England in the spring, I try to figure out how to get there.

As a side benefit, Mom and I got to spend more time together, very enjoyable.  Then it was time to pick up my rental car from Burlington and head south.  And since "straightforward" is a word that rarely applies to me, I took a detour to Albany to visit friends along the way.

Which is how I ended up at Crown Point, one way to cross from Vermont into New York.  There have been a couple iterations of bridges at this spot, and for a while it was actually a ferry crossing while this newest bridge was being built.  Admiring the structure on a bluebird day:

The memorial lighthouse across the way:

What's this, another trail?  I had not heard of the North Country Scenic Trail before, but apparently it ends right here:

Another view of the pretty bridge:

Walking around the old fort, a nice bit of leg-stretching in the middle of the drive:

Trail sign - these tend to catch my eye nowadays:

Continuing south, I stopped at the town of Ticonderoga.  I'm pretty sure we went on at least one field trip to the fort here when we were young.  La Chute River through town connects Lake George to Lake Champlain (file under: I learned something new today).  I very much enjoyed walking along the river and checking out the shapes of the water:

Much of this is probably manmade, props to whoever came up with these designs:

I've never seen a diagonal waterfall before:

A covered bridge for good measure:

Now the real reason I stopped in Ticonderoga...

The Star Trek Original Series set tour - only open on weekends (bummer) but at least I could say hi to the Gorn (and I'm only half-nerd, because I don't remember anything about the white furry guy):

Mock shuttle Galileo out front:

Live long and prosper - but don't park overnight:

Dinner with my friends/former coworkers was great fun and full of reminiscing and laughing.  Thank you guys!

Another little side trip the next morning, to Kinderhook to continue the "I don't know why I started this, but apparently I'm going to keep visiting dead presidents" quest.

I do appreciate the little sign at the cemetery:

A nice commemoration for Martin van Buren:

His large house on the other side of town:

The drive to Boston was uneventful and I had time to stop at another cemetery in Quincy:

The previous location of the graves of #2 and #6:

A lovely town square with John Hancock presiding:

And of course an excellent statue of John Adams:

The church gives a nice tour that focuses on the presidents and their history in the area, along with a visit to the crypt in the basement.  I also learned that "visiting presidential gravesites" is a thing, so at least it's not just me.

The US flag at the time of John Adams' presidency:

A few more stars by the time JQA was in office:

Every year there is a wreath-laying ceremony; David McCullough was there to participate a couple years ago:

And now - to Boston!  Even though I wasn't running in the marathon, I greatly enjoyed seeing the city the weekend before the race.

On my way to the race expo, I emerged from the T to see the 5K that just happened to be going on - racers crossing the finish line, cool!

A bit of 2013 emotion about this place:

Site of a future memorial:

Didn't expect to see a Tesla here, nice!

I enjoyed a couple of the runner seminars at the expo - a morning meditation and a panel talking about mental strategies for racing:

Heading back down the street, there was another race going on.  I suspect from the Jumbotron that it was a mile race, probably not a beer mile:

More wandering around the city, admiring the bloomings:

Another Chinatown:

Large public art:

A Boston Tea Party ship:

At the Children's Museum:

I met up with my friends Jeff and Nicole for lunch and got to meet their adorable son Jake - I believe his bib says "Home brewed", too funny:

Now for the "race report" portion of this post.  Short and sweet this time!  I just love running in Blue Hills Park, following a map around (and around) through the maze of trails, up and down, over rocks on the Skyline Trail, and with plenty of actual running on non-Skyline trails.  This time I ran most of the race with Steve, who had just gotten into the race the week before and didn't really know what he was getting into.  He was game to follow me around and we chatted and worked on finding the turns in the trail together.  Toward the end we teamed up with Evren for a few miles (and one major mishap while I was going on and on about the Barkley).  It was a different experience running with other people on this course and I enjoyed the company.

The highlight was climbing up Rattlesnake Hill and getting a group photo (Boston is sort of in the background, easier to see in person than in a picture):

Photo credit - Evren Gunduz

Fun times!

Well, that's it for my Big Trip!  Back to California to spend a couple months finishing things up before we get back on the road again...

No comments: