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, November 30, 2016

What I Did on Black Friday

We spent our long Thanksgiving weekend at the BR Ranch visiting family and getting some much needed R&R. I decided that I wouldn't run at all the entire four day weekend. Just kidding. Pretend I never wrote that last sentence. Actually I did a lot of running in one of our least populated counties —Hudspeth, TX. Black Friday seems like such a bore to me. I can't even imagine what some people go through just for some Christmas savings. On the other hand, I got some great deals on quietude, scenery and nature and all it cost me was some calories which I had plenty of after eating our Thanksgiving meal.

Harry and Lucky leading the way
Quitman Mts (Hudspeth Co, TX)

Out here, there are nothing but miles and miles of dirt roads that wind along our southern most border and into the Quitman Mountains near Sierra Blanca, TX. There are more cows around here than people and wildlife abounds. When our family gets together in West Texas, everyone brings a dog or three and I always have some friendly company on my runs. My dogs Lucy and Sierra are getting older and Lucy was bitten by a rattlesnake last fall so they have only been going on walks with me lately. Taz, on the other hand, loves running with his cousins Harry (Potter) and Lucky, so named because she was found stranded in the middle of the desert on these very roads. 

Read: Rattlesnake Bite, Again!

Taz is part Mexican hairless so he wears a shirt or sweater
While out on my jaunts, I enjoyed watching quail, hawks, water foul and jackrabbits. The dogs chased a jackrabbit across the road and I've never seen any animal run so fast. In fact, they can reach speeds of up to 40 mph and leap 10 feet. Jackrabbits are actually hares because they are bigger, have larger ears and, unlike rabbits, live completely above ground. The only way for them to escape predators is to have fleet feet which this one did, because the dogs returned empty handed and out of breath.

Gamble's Quail
American Coot
It's what's for dinner
While running and taking in the great beauty of this vast landscape, I thought about how  thankful I am to live in a country where I can run free in wide open spaces. While refugees around the world are fleeing danger, we are able to live and raise our children in a stable environment. No matter how bad we may think we have it in the US, never forget that others around the world are dealing with much worse and sometimes devastating situations. 

Li'l Red and Ranger
Besides running, I had a good time riding around checking out the border and Rio Grande river levee where we saw a huge rattlesnake stretched out across the road.  On the way back, some collared peccaries (javelina) were milling about on the side of the road. The river, which is usually dry in this stretch known as the "forgotten river", actually flooded recently because more water than usual was released from lakes upstream and the channel was blocked downstream. 

Mexico on the other side of the fence
Border fence
Read: The "Forgotten River" of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo

Indeed I got in a lot of R&R at the BR. (By the way R&R stands for running and relaxation.) I logged around 45 miles over four days. When I wasn't running, I occupied myself by watching sunsets, birds, and kids riding horses. Of course I took a lot of pictures too so I will leave you with a photo gallery of my weekend. See you on the trail.

W. Texas sunsets

Texas rainbow cactus
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Quitman Pass
Purple Prickly Pear Cactus
Quitman Mts

Juniper in a side canyon
Flood plain

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