8.31.2014

Bears and Tornadoes

Today was a glorious weather day up at the cabin on Shell Lake WI. Windy, sunny, and cool. The wind out of the south created some great "surf" on our beach.

I set a personal fitness goal to run/walk the nearly 10 mile circumference around Shell Lake this morning, which I achieved, and conditions could not have been better.

It was mostly cloudy and I think the temperature was in the upper 60s, so it was not brutally hot and the sunscreen I had put on wasn't really necessary. There was a decent breeze too that felt great.

I ran along the lake road, slow and steady, and I allowed myself to walk whenever I felt like it, but I probably ran about 97% of the time.

The route is pretty flat, because the road basically runs along the shore of Shell Lake. The only small hill was near the end of the run/walk when I was almost back to the cabin. It wasn't too taxing, even though my muscles were getting pretty sore by that point in the run/walk.

Up until this challenge, I have only been doing 2.5 - 3.25 mile runs with my friend and neighbor Danielle in Madison WI, where I live. So I was surprised how well I did, notwithstanding the fact that I was not pushing myself super hard. My only goal was to complete it. Basically, I mentally thought of it as doing three 5Ks back to back, which is essentially what it was.

According to the Map My Ride app on my phone, I burned about 1,600 calories or so, but it may have been a little more than that in reality, because I had MMR set to "power walk," and actually it was more of a slow jog.

I did not see any black bears, which are prevalent up here, although I had kind of hoped I would...at a distance. Bears are kind of reclusive and seeing one is kind of a rare treat. I have seen them from the car before and even on a bike, but they are usually just crossing the road or standing by the side of it, glaring back at us.

I have never seen a tornado, but as dangerous as they are, I would like to. The beauty and power of nature fascinates me. Again, I would like to see one at a distance.

We are supposed to get storms tonight in Shell Lake, some severe with possible hail and tornadoes. I love that shite. The enjoyment I get far outweighs the fairly low risk of death or dismemberment. So I hope the forecasts are accurate, though they have not been lately, at least in Madison.

Anyway, today was a fantastic close to a pretty fantastic summer that included:

1. Buying a new house and moving to Madison.

2. Biking to work a lot more as a result of #1.

3. Going on RAGBRAI, and being in good shape for it thanks to #2.

4. Having HIATVS play in my new jam space finished basement at my house warming party.

5. Some GUPPY EFFECT shows and Sunday night open jams.

6. Grilling some tasty meats and vegetables, Paleo style, on the new gas grill that my family got me for my house warming.

7. Running with Danielle and completing today's fitness challenge run/walk.

It was a great summer weather-wise too. The same polar vortex that made last winter so brutal also brought cooler arctic air southward this summer.

This weekend was supposed to be BIKE WITH (OR WITHOUT) MELINDA weekend, and it still was, except that no one signed up to go this year but me. So I adapted by doing my run/walk in lieu of BWOWM. Just as fulfilling.

Don't get me wrong. I am not consenting that seasonal summer is over, even though recreational summer is winding down. Recreational summer ends for most people on Labor Day weekend because their kids go back to school. I don't have kids, so my recreational summer usually goes well into September and part of October until the true chill of fall arrives.

Speaking of school, though, I signed up for a six week piano class through the University of Wisconsin Continuing Studies Program. It starts on September 15, I think. It will finish well in advance of my departure for Australia in late November.

Well, I am going to tip a (Spotted) Cow and sit on the deck at the cabin waiting for the hail and tornadoes.

I would love to know how your summer and Labor Day were. So kindly leave a comment on this post if you would.

I will leave you will some northwoodsy pictures from around the cabin. This year there were some crazy toadstool blooms.

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