Friday, October 1, 2010
October 1st and we've just seen the hottest week of the year in Western Wyoming. The world seems topsy turvy--snow in late August and now highs in the 80s. It was still a pleasant temperature somewhere in the mid 40s for this morning's run, a soothing, mind-cleansing sort of 5 or 6 mile run in easy, flat terrain. October, and I avoid the woods as hunting season is in full swing, so it was the lake bottom today, for the lake has gone away, swelling potatoes now that will soon swell MacDonald's french fries that will then swell American bellies and arteries. I ran at random across the lake bed veering into what must have once been an irrigation canal in hay meadows before the construction of a dam and the stopping of the Snake River. Barely identifiable, silted over, I suppose, in places there are hummocks of piled rock on each side slowly giving way to grasslands. How much work that? Decades of a rancher clearing rocks. The ditch bottom is relatively smooth, easy running in most places, the grass laid over by the presence of the lake part of the year, a faint game trail giving over to sand for much of its length. The lake gives way to grassland, the grassland was once hayfield, the hayfield once meadow and likely tree-lines along the river course. Flat. I can see 15 miles north until the river bends, 20 miles or more south. Rising east and west are the Snake River Range and the Caribous, sporting patches of aspen orange and yellow and highlights of red from the last of the Rocky Mountain Maples now losing their leaves. Absolute silence. The only sound that of my feet on the earth and the "jick, jick, jick" of the dog's collar. Rejuvinating. Room to think and clear my mind.