About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shhhhhhh...Quiet

Shhhhhhhhh…Quiet! Do you hear that? I hope you are hearing what I heard while running the remote sand hills of the Wild West which was the sound of nothing. For Mother’s Day we got some much needed peace and quiet at the BR Ranch while spending time with family. Luckily I was able to sneak off for a few early morning runs while Maddie and Cara slept in. The ranch is in one of our nations least populated counties in far West Texas where cows outnumber humans.


In fact, while out on a run, I didn’t see another human being for over three hours and was able to take in the sounds of my surroundings which was almost nil. I didn’t hear any noise of passing cars or car alarms which would be outlawed if I were King. I didn’t hear the rumble of helicopters from Ft Bliss flying overhead or the exhaust from a Harley. Nor did I hear little Maddie screaming (in a descending minor 3rd interval), “MOM, MOM, Mom! READY FOR A WIPE!” 
No barking dogs, loud music, leaf blowers or garbage trucks for three solid hours.




The only thing I heard was the beautiful sound of my feet crunching along the gravel and sand road I was running. This road rolls and twists along our southern most border heading toward a place called Indian Hot Springs. The springs were once a tourist attraction complete with a hotel, but the complex is now in private ownership and difficult to visit.

Enjoy the sound of running:


The only thing out here is a few ranches, but further north is a rare earth elements mining operation (95% of rare earth minerals come from China). This area is so remote and unpopulated that an Amazon CEO purchased a ranch 60 miles (as the crow flies) from here to start a space tourism company called Blue Origin. They secretly launched the first test flight about a week ago. 

Watch the rocket launch:


At least fracking hasn’t come this far west yet although a company has drilled some test wells in the northern part of the county. I’d also like to note that Greg Abbott’s Texas National Guard has not shown up yet to protect us from Union troops as they begin their Jade Helm 15 joint exercises in the Southwest. Shhhhhhhhh.…


For now, I will continue to enjoy the quiet as I run along this stretch of the Rio Grande known as the Forgotten Reach. Colin McDonald, a Texas Tribune reporter wrote about this area as he recently traveled the entire length of the Rio Grande to bring attention to the problem of the river’s disappearing water. 

Click HERE to read posts by Colin McDonald:

The only other thing happening around here is a local honey farm. Hives are placed along the road every few miles or so. Occasional I can hear the buzz of a million bees doing their work which is better than listening to the noise pollution of a tricked out Honda Civic four-cylinder with an extra loud muffler which adds nothing to the performance of the car.


Listen to the bees (turn your speakers up):



Sometimes my quiet is broken by the singing of birds, the call of a quail or the rattle of a snake. Fortunately this weekend I didn’t hear the latter. Most of the time I was bathed in the sound of quietude, stillness, calmness, solitude. I can only hope that the space rockets, fracking, miners and military troops stay at bay so I can continue to enjoy the sounds of nothingness.

Hear the birds:



See you on the trail.

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