oct 30/RUNHIKE

run: 3 miles
hike: 2 miles
franklin loop + extra trails
56 degrees

Scott and I decided to run part of the franklin loop, and hike the rest of it on a few of the extra trails near it. We started by running north on the river road trail, crossing the lake street bridge, then continuing north on the st. paul side. We stopped to walk when we reached the steep road that descends to the paved trail that winds through the flats right beside the east shore of the river. When we reached franklin, we climbed the steps — so many steps! — and crossed the bridge. We stopped to read the plaque for the Winchell Trail then searched for the northern start of the Winchell Trail. We hiked the trail, even the part that extends below the railroad trestle — a first for me — all the way to lake street and the Minneapolis Rowing Club. Very cool!

We talked about all of the vision stuff I’ve been skimming for the past 2 days and the differences between peripheral and central vision. There Plant Eyes (Godin) + Brainscapes (Schwarzlose) + Downcast Eyes (Jay Martin) + The Mind’s Eye (Sacks). And we talked about what Scott has been reading on extroverts and introverts (Quiet, Cain). We talked about the relationship between the senses (like touch and sight), how we navigate using senses other than sight, and “Batman” and echolocation.

10+ Things I Noticed

  1. A downy woodpecker. Heard it’s tap tap tapping first. I wondered if it was a squirrel pounding on a nut, then I saw it at the top of a dead tree. The tapping was rhythmic and persistent, reminding me of morse code or an old-fashioned typewriter
  2. Loud thumping and knocking and slapping — steady and rhythmic — oars from a 8 person rowing shell*
  3. Paths, dirt and asphalt, covered in yellow leaves
  4. Cheering coming from a football game at St. Thomas
  5. The coxswain instructing the rowers
  6. A man and a woman walking in the east river flats. Overhead the man say, “We are experiencing a drought” or something like that
  7. Scooters passing us on the trail, calling out, “on your left”
  8. Dead leaves floating on the surface of the river. From high above on the Franklin bridge, they made a strange mottling pattern on the water
  9. Smell: strong sewer gas coming out of a cluster of vents near the rowing club
  10. Many limestone ledges, exposed. At one of these ledges, the drip drip dripping of water, slowly seeping down
  11. Countless trails leading down to the river, created by seeping/draining water
  12. The white sands beach, just off the winchell trail and far below the paved trail above, is steep and broad and has trash and recycling cans
  13. From the shore at white sands beach: seeing the remains of the long-defunct meeker dam, which you can only see when the water is low

*Although I have written many times over the years about hearing the rowers below on the river, I have NEVER heard the sound of their oars slapping the water or the boat until today. What I was hearing before were their voices. It is very cool to hear the loud, awkward, unromantic, almost clumsy sound they make.

one more thing, added on 31 oct: I just remembered a moment during the hike/run that I don’t want to forget. Walking through the part of Winchell Trail that is wider, between the white sands beach and the minneapolis rowing club, I mentioned to Scott how, when I was a kid growing up in north carolina and virginia, I loved exploring the woods and semi-wilderness that existed at the edges of the many sub-divisions I lived in. I liked walking on trails that had already been made, not wandering through the thick woods, making my own path. I think I said something like, “I wanted to go where someone had already been.” Not sure if that quite captures the appeal of the already traveled path? Whenever I see a break in the trees, and a dirt trail winding somewhere, I long to take it. Or, if I don’t want to take it, I at least enjoy thinking about where it might lead. The path, created by countless feet tamping down the earth, or water descending to the river, is an invitation to imagine other worlds. Maybe also, I like it because it’s evidence that I am not alone, that others have been where I am, wanting to go deeper. To follow the trail they’ve made through their haunting (frequenting), is to connect and contribute to the reinforcing of that invitation. Will this make sense to future Sara? Does it make sense to present Sara? Almost.