Connecting Communities One Step At A Time

Edge of Madras towards Prineville

I am writing this outdoors just after sunset, while the sky to the north is an ethereal mix of blue and purple. A photo does not do it justice.  

Today we ran from just outside of Madras, through the town, and continued down Rt. 26E towards Prineville. All of the scenery here is new to me: the vast spaces filled with grasses and pine trees, the hills and mountains, even the smells are different. We ran past farms, coin laundromats, drive-by coffee stands (which I have yet to visit here in Oregon-it is on my list), more farms, and into the Crooked River National Grasslands. We try to do the majority of our running as early as we can to avoid the searing midday heat, which means I begin the day in a light jacket and end the run in a singlet. I hope we can continue to inch back our starting times to both beat the heat and increase the miles we cover each day.

Adam and I stopped by City Hall as we passed through Madras, which actually resulted in us talking to a reporter from the Madras Pioneer. Local media coverage is important as we reach out to forthcoming communities, so I hope we spoke intelligently and clearly enough that our hopes and ideas come through.

A brief word on our RV, Rex. Rex is a tease, and an expensive one at that. Once we troubleshoot one issue, another one rears its head. I suppose this is always the case with older vehicles. I am optimistic he can pull through, but our group frustration today reached a new high: we decided to splurge and eat dinner at a restaurant.

As Adam and his Dad found a way to get potable water, I opted to go for a walk near our campsite for the evening. We are staying down the road from the Madras Airport, which was heavily used for a period during WWII. I peeked into the hangars, watched some small aircraft take off, and enjoyed views of Mt. Jefferson just before sunset, somewhat hidden by a stream of horizontal smoke. I walked back in the other direction and waited until the sun was close to setting to take additional photos. They too fall short of conveying the beauty of Oregon.

Spending time and working (intensely) with Adam and his Dad has been wonderful, but I have cherished these few minutes I’ve allotted to myself this evening. I realized that while running is indeed a slow means to travel across the country, it is almost too fast to be able to fully appreciate the surroundings. I have overthought and overtalked and overquestioned many of these early runs: why does my foot hurt when the shoulder slants, why is Rex behaving badly, how will we raise money. In a prior post, I claimed that I was ready to listen, but I’ve found myself forgetting to do that while running. I reminded myself tonight that an important personal goal for this run is to better understand how I can help people in my life and career. Answers to that will come in the quiet moments.