Pork Chop Cologne & Wile E. Coyote

Last night, Steph and I packed up to do my hill repeats up on the only hill worthy of the name in the area. As I think I mentioned last time around, it’s a sled hill, basically just an unexplained bump in the middle of a park, with wooden logs pressed into three sides forming a sort of staircase for wintertime, and a gazebo (complete with cliche grafitti) on top.

As any discontinuity seems to, this place acts as a magnet for things going on. People seem to love to walk their dogs around, up and over the hill, whether for exercise or novelty. This time around it was dogs, and what I can only describe as a self-propelled para-sailer. (para-sailor?)

The dogs were no different than dogs always are on runs, you’re moving fast(ish) you smell interesting (like balls. Dogs like balls) and you’re not looking at them. Much like singles night at a crappy bar, this is a recipe for being irresistible to dogs. So every owner had to tug on a leash as I loped uphill by them. Only one inconsiderate guy made me run the 6 feet in a circle around him so that I didn’t test how well behaved his pooch was, everyone else was an absolute saint. Still, I felt like I had pork chops in my pockets.

Pork Chop

The other entertaining encounter was a guy who asked me, on the downhill side of my second repeat, “Which way is the wind blowing up there at the top?”. Not having prepared for a meteorology pop quiz, I vaguely gestured that it was blowing against the direction I was running, and kept running. Each repeat for the next 2-4, was like watching the part of the WB cartoon where Wile E. Coyote establishes his amazing trap to catch the Roadrunner. First, the guy was unpacking a mega sized duffle with cords, and harnesses and nylon. Next, he was shouldering and stepping his way into this harness, and the contraption was beginning to take shape. Finally, I saw him unfolding a parachute, checking the lines, and then trying to catch a breeze and take off, by running down the hill, into the wind. Every once in a while, I’d look up and see his multi-colored parachute fill with air, and hold my breath, hoping that I’d soon see that nutcase go hovering overhead.

Wile E. Coyote

Sadly, it was not to be. Something about the wind going the wrong direction. The guy told me a bit about his hobby when I stopped after my last repeat, but I have to admit it was pretty full of the kind of jargon hobbies accumulate, so I wasn’t entirely sure how it worked. But I do know that in other, better times, when his motor was not out for repair, he goes flying with a 44″ fan strapped to his back.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. I’m glad I found this place, for the blog posts, if nothing else.


2 responses to “Pork Chop Cologne & Wile E. Coyote

  1. Even though I’m the owner of two dogs, one of the giant breed variety, I’m still terrified of other people’s dogs during runs. My favorite run from my dad’s house takes me past a German Shepherd with an invisible fence. Every time I go by, he fiercely “chases” me from one end of his yard to the other, scaring the bejeezus out of me. This story immediately conjured thoughts of him as I read it. Glad to hear that at least most of the dog owners were responsible.

    • I’m definitely afraid of dogs while running. I’m not afraid of them at any other time, though I’ll admit to being more of a cat person (my apologies to Duke!). While the old cliche was the dog vs. the mailman, I think the new one is the dog vs. the neighborhood runner. Folks in more ‘rural’ areas of my town seem to leave dogs unleashed in open yards and just yell at them to stay as I run by. This does not leave me brimming with confidence!

      Most people out on the road or parks are smart, whether from fear of lawsuits or from actual politeness. They have the dog on a 6ft leash and do the sort of arm-raised pull in as I go by. I always make a point to thank them.

      Sadly even if 99% are great, I really don’t want to get bit by that hundredth, so fear it is!

      Invisible fences are absolutely no comfort to me. A cat in my neighborhood used to taunt Cocoa, a chocolate lab in the next yard, at the edge of his invisible fence. One day Cocoa got sick of it, ran from the center of the yard dead at the cat, and ‘powered through’ the fence to get his rival. I’m a little bit more considerate/less evil than a cat, but still…

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