Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shorter Days, Longer Shadows

Behind Mal's Auto Body

Today: 13 miles. This year: 1131 miles.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Excavation at Woburn Street

Construction along Woburn Street in Lexington has reached the trail. An excavator was cutting a trench across the end of Vine Street and Hayes Lane this morning, stopping just short of the detoured bikeway crossing.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 1118 miles.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Heads Up!

I wore no hat today under the solid overcast, so of course a mature acorn crowned me near the Bedford end of the trail this morning. A full-size acorn doesn't weigh much, yet packs a quite a sting after falling thirty feet.

Someone repainted some of the distance-from-Bedford markings at half-mile intervals recently. They're fresh up to four miles from Bedford, old and faded after that. The full-mile marks nearly agree with the mileposts -- they're each within sight of the matching milepost without lining up exactly.

Eastbound approaching Hancock Street

Hancock Avenue in Lexington dead-ends at the trail and was a handy place to park while skating. And it will be again, once the full reconstruction and repaving are done.

At Hancock Avenue

I skated against the clock on Tuesday and Wednesday to reassure myself that I can still keep a 5:30/mile pace over long distances. A steady pace and minimal coasting let me strike small obstacles much harder and raise my chances of a fall. Even without falling, the staggering and flailing that follow these impacts really strain my shoulders. I'm backing off.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 1075.5 miles.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lost? Forgotten? Discarded?

I expect I'll never learn the story of these skates.

At Hancock Street in Lexington

Today: 24 miles. This year: 1023 miles.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Coming Detractions

There's construction on Woburn Street within sight of the trail. An eruption of pavement markings at the crossing tells me it's going to be dug up soon.

Looking west across Woburn Street

Today: 16.5 miles. This year: 990.5 miles.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Little Foggy in the Morning

Wetlands near Hartwell Avenue

Yesterday: 21 miles. This year: 961 miles.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Deer Spotted

A doe and fawn were grazing along the trail west of Wiggins Avenue this morning. A bicyclist and I saw the doe first, on the trail side of the trees, then the cyclist spotted the fawn nearly hidden behind the rock wall and tree line. I wanted to headline this item "Spotted Deer Spotted" but couldn't get a clear picture of the spotted fawn.

I saw a deer near this spot several years ago and two adult deer together in the woods near Valley Road last year. Between those two points I've seen a fox, rabbits, snapping turtles, snakes, chipmunks, squirrels, and mice. There was even a beaver dam near Hartwell Avenue in past years, but the beavers were reclusive.

West of Wiggins Avenue, Bedford

Today: 13 miles. This year: 927 miles.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lexington Sweeps Clean, In Spots

There was plenty of storm debris on the trail in the first half of the week, especially along the East Lexington Shoals and at the private driveway between Seasons Four and Woburn Street. I fell in the sand and gravel at the driveway on Wednesday, so Thursday I was happy to see that Lexington had done some sweeping -- but only along the shoals and not at other sandy or littered spots.

I felt old on Wednesday even before I fell, as a skater half my age tore past me in the wetlands near Hartwell Ave. I sprinted after him in hope of crossing Hartwell in the same light cycle, so I was in time to see him make a sharp left around the gate and finish off with a 270 spin. I'll never skate like that.

The end of July means that Queen Anne's Lace is in bloom and the oaks are dropping tiny acorns. Last year I thought the tiny acorns were just the early ones, but they turned out to be nearly all there was. 2007 won't be a mast year either, at this rate.

Queen Anne's Lace near the Great Meadows

Yesterday: 13 miles. This year: 905 miles.