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 spend countless hours running in the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, TX. I call it "going to church". I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Black Friday

I scored some really great deals on Black Friday. We spent the weekend at the BR Ranch in West Texas and, of course, had a traditional feast on Thanksgiving with our family. The following day, I had to fight an unruly crowd as I was trying to get my shopping done. After lacing up my running shoes, I tried to get out of the ranch house door, when I was overrun by six excited dogs who wanted to tag along with me. 


I ran in the desert looking for some bargains which I found after a short distance; once all the yipping and barking died down, that is. I stumbled upon some quiet and solitude in the surrounding countryside as well as crisp fresh air. I ran some smooth dirt roads and then along a rough levee that was washed out in several places. 
Lucky and Taz
The dogs had a good time chasing a jackrabbit and then they flushed a few ducks from a stock tank; more accurately the American Wigeon, a beautiful brown duck with a white patch on its head, dark green stripe across its face and white bill.  A Red-tailed hawk flew over head and then along the levee as we were running. I suppose he was looking for his own Black Friday deals. Jackrabbit: catch one, get one free.


I also ran toward the Quitman Mountains where I spotted a few yellow wildflowers. Even though the temperature had recently dipped to just above freezing, flowers were still in bloom. I found another inconspicuous plant hiding underfoot with pink and red buds that seemed reluctant to open due to the cold.

The landscape was vast. I could see nothing but a sea of creosote bush, divided by the bendy ranch road all the way to the fog shrouded mountains. Behind me was more of the same except for a brown line that was the border wall separating Texas and Mexico. Occasional I grabbed a glimpse of a stock tank down in the valley between several sandy mesas or the painted cliffs of eroded badlands. Flanking the track were stratified layers of alternating pink, yellow and tan.

The Painted Cliffs
After the run, I did some birding around the ranch and was able to spot a Loggerhead Shrike, Yellow-rumped Warbler and flock of Gambel’s Quail. The latter are comical looking ground birds with a plume of feathers sticking up on their heads like an Alfalfa cowlick. When spooked, they take off running which reminds me of an old silent film reel going too fast.

Can you see the small yellow patch on his rump?
(Click photo to enlarge)

Black Friday was indeed very productive. I spent the morning rambling around in the desert and all it cost me was around 1000 calories or so. After Thanksgiving, I had plenty of those saved up.

See you on the trail.

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