Monday, April 30, 2007

I Like Spring

Anxious to hear Red Chief's report about his visit to Brookfield Zoo near Chicago yesterday. The Princess Mother reports he couldn't stop talking about it last night. Apparently he has a lot to tell me about the buffaloes he saw at the zoo.

I've always been a big fan of "The Amazing Race" on CBS. Next Sunday is the finale for this season. I'm rooting for the "beauty queens" to win the million.

Friday, April 27, 2007

In the Works

I have been assembling a history of the Buffaloes with hundreds of photos I have taken of my running buddies over the past eight years and a lot of fun memories. This is taking a while because I have so much material to choose from, but it will get done.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

When Trail Mix Just Isn't Enough

Note to self: Near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border on the Appalachian Trail, a place called Rocky's New York Pizza will deliver to a state park on the trail.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Weekend Outside

Ethan in his wagon, Wally, hunting aliens with his ray gun.

The Chief and his bike, Buffalo, on the concrete prairie. Early triathlon training.

Didn't do as much swimming, biking and running as I would have liked this weekend but the weather was fantastic for taking the Chief to the park and cooking out on an open fire.

On Sunday morning I ran the Allerton trail with buffalo buddies Dr. Rose, S&M, and the Riddler. Weather couldn't have been nicer for a good 6-mile run. The Riddler always asks me about my planned Appalachian Trail backpacking adventures: I'm seriously thinking of doing an out-and-back from Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, near the Maryland border, and heading north on the 41 miles of trail through Maryland, then hoofing it a bit in Pennsylvania before going off-trail 11 miles to Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania and back. Backpacker magazine's latest issue has an article on the entire stretch of the trail in Maryland. This area is rich in history and very scenic, with much of the trail on the South Mountain range. There are no bears on that stretch of the Appalachian Trail and it is an easier hike than Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, which I did last summer. Yellowstone is still in the plans for this year too.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Weekend Menu - Will Try All

Saturday: Swim, Bike, Run, Yardwork
Saturday Night: Adventures with Red Chief
Sunday: Swim, Bike, Run, Yardwork

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Franchises Available

Send me your life savings and we'll get you set up.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Moving Dirt for a Different Animal

Aerial photo showing my office building (circled, lower left) and the site of the amphitheater construction (marked by X). Drawn in to the right of the X is the future hotel/restaurant complex. The big white disk is the Assembly Hall.

I can't help but notice what is going on outside my office window these days at the UI Research Park. Construction just east of my office building is going full tilt with earth-moving for an amphitheater just below my office and the hotel/convention center/restaurant complex across the street (First St.) to the east. The old South Farms just ain't what they used to be. Bricks and concrete will replace pigs, horses, and other critters.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Helping with Trail Tribulation

Buffaloes (left to right) Wonder Calves, Dr. Rose, Devil Dawg, and the Fire Marshal at the aid station campfire at McNaughton Park near Pekin.

Limey (my buffalo buddy Tracy Thomas), always a colorful character, in a not-so-subtle hat.

Twelve-year-old Jessica, daughter of the Fire Marshal and Party Marty, pauses while sawing wood for our campfire. We were accused of violating child labor laws, but she insisted on working.
Duane Frichtl, the revered Wonder Calves, one of the founding fathers of the Buffaloes.

It is always rewarding to see other runners trying to reach their goals, so the trail race at McNaughton Park near Pekin was a special event this weekend as the buffaloes manned an aid station on the course. Arrived there Friday evening and handed out food, drink and words of encouragement to runners until almost 6 a.m. Saturday morning. When I finally did get to sleep in my tent, the sound of raindrops woke me up after about an hour and a half of sleep. My tent passed the test with no leakage. A continuous campfire and an always interesting array of weary runners through the night made the time go surprisingly fast. Mohawk and Dr. Rose were entertaining conversationists throughout the night by our campfire. I also worked the aid station much of the day Saturday. Some of the Buffaloes finished the 50- and 100-mile distances. None of the herd was entered in the 150-miler, the first of its kind in the U.S., but of those runners entered, several managed to finish. Amazingly crazy people.

I had a chuckle Sunday morning after getting a good nights' sleep at home after the race. I had placed my buffalo hat on a bench by the front door to air it out after campfire smoke had permeated it. A guy with political flyers walked up to my door and took a long glance at the furry object on the bench. He left the flyers at the door and walked away, still staring at the hat. The horns couldn't be seen, so it looked like a furry animal of some sort.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Snips and Snails and Buffalo Tails

That's what little boys should made of. And speaking of little guys, the planned rendezvous with the herd and the trail baptism of Red Chief tonight will have to be postponed until better weather is here. Besides, the Chief has told his mom that he needs "fast shoes" for running. I ran the trail last night, and as expected it was a swamp in places, which was fun.

Big gathering of the herd this weekend at Pekin for the McNaughton ultra trail run. Many of the herd will be working the aid station "Heaven's Gate" at the race. Some of the buffalo are running the race, which has distances of 50, 100, and 150 miles. 150 miles. Good luck with that. I hope to post photos of this event soon.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Dudes

Grandson Ethan (Buffalo nickname=Red Chief) in a rare still moment at Easter dinner. I may bring him out to the Buffalo Holy Thursday trail run this week and introduce him to the herd and trail running.

My son the Timster with his Easter basket. He's still my baby boy. His big sister, the Princess, worn-out mother of the raucous Red Chief, was camera shy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Moonlight on the Buffalo Trace Trail

The only shows for the full moon run last night were Cuzzin Don and me. I figured everyone else was watching the NCAA championship game or recovering from the 30-mile Clinton trail run. Too bad no one else was there because they really missed a show. I am an avid basketball fan at tournament time but the real show was out on the trail in a cloudless, moonlit setting. A group of deer in an open field fully illuminated by the moon was spectacular. The bright night and the always stimulating conversation of the crazy Cuz made for a fun time.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Crash and Burn . . . but Smiling

Just before the start of the race with my buffalo buddies Worm (left) and Scarface.

Well, I managed to finish 20 miles of the 30-mile trail race yesterday. Next year I'll train properly and the anguish won't be so bad. My longest training run was 10 miles; that won't make it for a 30-mile race on a hilly course. My quads tightened up so much that I could barely get up the hills at some points. The trail around Clinton Lake is the toughest trail I have run, nastier even than Forest Glen. A lot more ups and downs. And I like running in mud, but there was so much that it eventually got on my nerves. Had a great time with fellow Buffaloes.