Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cheryl’s 15 Mile Chipmunk Run

Cheryl by the trailA little easier than the 20 mile run, this time I thought I would document the run with my own camera instead of borrowing pictures from other people.   pved path for the first 1/4 mileI mean,   They probably have better cameras than I do, and can wait for the best shot that remains in focus.   As for me,  I have the camera dangling from my neck and have to shoot from the hip…so to say.


Watch out for the chipmunks! So lets begin….As you can probably guess, Chipper scurries under Cheryls foot!  (see the little blur?)the critter of the day was the Chipmunk.   I failed to capture very many in focus as we trotted down the path.   Several of them ran so close that Cheryl had to actually dodge them for fear of stepping on them!   Others simply stood still until we were right up on them.  

Of course there were also rabbits and many, many birds; but the foxes, deer and Pheasants remained hidden.  It may be because we started a little later today. 

Off the paved part for gravel DSC_0356The Parking space actually had a couple of people already ahead of us.   The bike trail starts off paved, but quickly turns to gravel once you cross the main road to Washington.   This is where the majority of chippers were running around. 

Cheryl is past the gates.  the gates keep the autos out.About three miles in, we get tot he bridge. An iron bridge in the middle of farm country...   It is big, old, and rather artistic…..looking out of place in the middle of farm country.  It’s always a pretty good place to have as a land mark.   EFinally to the bridgespecially on the way back.    Judging from the lines and the extra gravel on the trail today,  we are guessing that they are getting ready for the half marathon from Keota to Washington in a couple of weeks.


Indigo Bunting Sighted! The Bunting takes WING!   Perhaps the best part ( for me, anyway) was the Indigo Bunting I finally caught on film!   Remember my camera is not the “best” for wildlife photography.   But I still am pretty surprised I was able to capture what I did.  I really love the “bullet” pics of the bird.   I guess the shudder must have been timed perfectly between wing flaps.Like a bullet in the air!  I should also mention that I’m impressed I was able to find him again.   The indigo Bunting around here in Wellman I was only able to see once.  FSpreading wings for only a moment! I’m not sure if he was simply passing through or if he was a permanent resident that was at the edge of his boundary.  

West Chester half way point between Keota and Washington The park we start at when we run in the morning. The 7 mile mark is West Chester.   A main road runs across the path so you have to watch out fro traffic.   On the days we came out here in the morning, we parked in the small park next to the school.   I’m not sure if the School is seven operational.  

Running through West Chester  A quick run through town and we are on the other side next to the large fertilizer holding tanks.    At the turnaround point,  Cheryl took a break for some water….then it was time to head back.Almost to the turn around point.   Giant Fertalizer tanks can be seen in the distance. 

Cheryl hydrates up at the turnaround.By this time,  she had lost the outer layer and forced me to carry it.   Never mind that I was overheating as well!   Ah well,  the bike is far easier to handle than running.   Even though there are still plenty of obstacles that I have to watch out for.  I may not have to worry about tripping or stepping on a rabbit, but I do have to worry about hitting one of their holes in the middle of the trail.  One of MANY rabbit holes on the trail. I wonder if the race officials from the half marathon will fill them in before the race.   Not that any runners would be so careless to step or trip over a rabbit hole.  Who knows?

Back to the bridge....only three miles to go! Finally back to the bridge and Cheryl continues to chase down Chipmunks.  It might be to blurry to see, but once chipper runs right under her foot! Another Rabbit jumps out.

Cheryl was aiming for under 2 hours for 15 miles, but that didn’t happen.   Still,  she was tracking for a decent pace.   We did not bring any snacks for refueling or take abundant water stops.    I’m sure the heat played a role in it a bit.

In the end, Cheryl shows off her time. ony a few minutes over 2 hours.    Not bad for a warm, sunny day. 15 miles seem like a walk in the park compared to last week.   Cheryl guesses it is because she is slowly molding her mental condition to the stresses of running further and further.   As for me,  Well, riding along side with a bike is far easier and even with a camera I was surprised how easy it was.   Of course, I had to weed out lots of “bad” pictures because they were either blurry or too far away to see what was in the picture. Cheryl chases the Rabbit   Maybe with more practice I will get a better knack for it.  

Hope everyone has a great long weekend this weekend.   Cheryl chases the Chipmunk. I know we are ready for a break from the job for a little while.    

To end..even more pics of Cheryl chasing small rodents….Enjoy!

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