Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Deconstructing Construction, and a Mini-Rant

This morning I drove down to Loveland before daybreak to meet a former coworker to run around the lakes with her. The lakes are where I love to run in the fall. We were supposed to meet at 6:30 am and I left the house a little early to get there. I wanted to be there early, she's a new runner and she was nervous about running with me, and she had never been there before so I wanted to make sure I was there in case she had trouble finding me.

Well every damn back road between Fort Collins and Loveland that I usually take to get down there was blocked off for construction. I swear, every time I turned to make a detour, my alternate route was blocked by another road project. After driving twice as far and out of my way several times, I was pissed. Why do they always do this? They can't just do construction on one little part of the road, they have to do it on multiple nearby intersections, so the only logical detours are also under construction. Some bonehead planned that one. We seem to have an ongoing problem with that in this area. Hmmm.

I don't have a lot of patience for traffic anyway, I'm sort of like TOWANDA! I'm older and have more insurance, so get the hell outta my way, get your thumbs out of your ass, put your foot on the gas pedal, point your car in the direction you want to go, get off the phone, quit texting, smoking, eating, putting on your makeup, yakking at the person next to you or on your Bluetooth gadget, and drive with a F@#$ing purpose!

Yesterday I had to go somewhere on an errand at 3:30 pm. It took 5 changes of the light at Horsetooth and Timberline before I could turn right. It wasn't even rush hour. It's not even a big city. But Timberline road is under construction right now, on both the north and south ends of town. It also happens to travel through the part of town with the most growth. Hello traffic engineers?! Hello?!! It took me 25 minutes to go somewhere that normally takes 10 minutes.

It's funny, Fort Collins was named one of the safest driving cities by some insurance company, probably because no one files claims with them. But Fort Collins, is AWFUL in some respects when it comes to traffic, no matter what they say about it being a great place to live. There are so many slow damn drivers, people who drive, as I like to say, "with their thumbs up their asses".

Slow drivers especially make me absolutely nutty. And it's true that slow drivers are worse because they cause accidents, because people get pissed off and then try to get around them and end up crashing into something. I try not to do that, though, I usually just cuss them out under my breath and make snide remarks about their level of consciousness and lack of intelligence.

But I'm launching into a rant, and I don't feel like going there, so I'll save it for another time. Maybe.

Anyway, I ended up driving way around Boyd Lake and down Madison, around to Highway 34, and then up Rocky Mountain Avenue with all the roundabouts by the hospital there. By the time I got there, I was late and hoping Laura wasn't lost. She wasn't. She was sitting in the parking lot waiting. And I was pretty much on time, less than 10 minutes late.

There was a foggy sky and the sun didn't peek over the clouds until close to 7 am. As we came around the north end of the lakes and started on the trail section, we saw this line of pelicans perched on a pipe that extends into the lake.

As we got closer, a heron joined them, first tiptoeing his way onto the pipe, as if he wasn't sure if the pelicans would accept him.

He got bold and sat down in line with the pelicans.

After making himself comfortable, and us watching from the shore, we took off. The entire east side of the lakes were bulldozed and broken up into muddy swaths and there were fences lined up alongside the original road. A subdivision was going in that extended from Houts Reservoir to the end of Equalizer Lake.

My peaceful loop was being encroached upon by suburbia! Can't leave any open space unaccounted for, can they? I was afraid it was over. My favorite place to train in peace for long road ultras, destroyed.

Laura and I followed the path to the original road, jumping over chunks of mud and rocks torn up by the heavy equipment. We ran down the east side road and caught the bridge to the south end, which was intact. The construction was all the way down to the existing houses.

We rounded the corner by the big cottonwood tree and finished the loop, then we cut across the trail between the lakes for a pit stop at the portapotty.

While I waited for her, I noticed this sign on the barricade. Temporary. What a relief. At least the loop will still be here, but I am afraid of what the increased density will bring. Of course the condos were built a few years ago on the other side of the lake and that has never affected foot traffic around the lakes much, and I usually run on weekdays anyway. Oh, the benefits of having an obesified populace...damn, I'm in a snarky mood today. I am hoping they won't pave the entire loop, though.

After that we ran backward and caught the ditch road and followed it west. As we were running, I recognized a runner I had met just last Monday at the half marathon, we'd been standing in line together before the race and got to talking. We stopped, I introduced her to Laura, and we talked. Then Laura and I took off, and we soon turned around to limit our run to an hour and a half.

It was so nice to see Laura. She started running about a year ago and when we worked together, she was frustrated that she had gained weight when she had her last baby a few years ago, I think her youngest daughter is 3 now. She dropped some weight, started running, and now she is very fit and seems happy with her newfound passion of running. She wants to do an ultra. Her son ran cross country and track in high school and was a very good athlete. I'm pretty sure he got his running talent from her.

After I drove back to Fort Collins, on I-25, which I would have taken in the first place if I'd known about traffic hell, I got home, took a shower, and went over to Starbucks to meet a fellow nurse, who is in graduate school and working in oncology, to discuss the state of health care in general, our career ambitions, and solve the world's problems pertaining to health care and delivery of cancer services.

Progress is what it is. I guess they call it progress, even though it can be so destructive. Construction is destruction, on the one hand, but it also means growth for the area, economic growth, which is what I need to keep my business viable into the future. So I have to deconstruct it, and deal with the fact that there might be a bit more pavement on my old half dirt loop out there. As long as they leave the view of the mountains, I'm okay.

After our talk, I went out and distributed some flyers for my upcoming bimonthly exercise & cancer support group that I'm starting at Raintree Athletic Club in October. And picked up some crack at Runner's Roost- the chocolate cherry Clif Shot kind of crack, to have for my race. The high octane stuff.

It definitely feels like fall, yesterday I considered turning on the heat! But I didn't. It got down to 62 degrees in the house. Finally, I am not being kept awake hot flashing. Such a relief!

I'm not looking forward to ice, but I have a feeling winter will come early this year. It feels like it's about 3 weeks ahead of schedule. But for the next few weeks, I can enjoy the changing colors and all the other things that make it my favorite season.

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