She's not from Maine - Day 2

Slept in until 8! Woke to the sun on the leaves, making them glow bright red and yellow and orange against the deep blue sky. And I believe to the sound of a passing logging truck.

Have been reading and writing and lounging all morning, but must get out at some point and wander about. Trying to determine if my knees will accept a hike up Grafton Notch, or whether they'd prefer a 10k run. I'm fairly certain they'd prefer to stay in bed.

So yesterday, I had my route, which started with a dreary run along the two-lane which the locals treat like the autobahn. No real shoulder to speak of, so pretty terrible. Finally get to the turn off, Vernon Street, which goes back, way back behind the pond and loops around to town. Paved, but very quiet. Too quiet in fact. Realised that there really wasn't much out there in terms of anything. My thoughts turned to city-girl fears - bears, serial killers, you know. On the other hand, I'm enjoying the peace and the woods all around and being the only thing on the road. To combat my fear of startling a bear (my brain is a truly stupid place), I started to sing whatever my ipod was playing, of course terribly because I'm running, I'm wearing headphones, and who can sing the Beegees and Abba? Was fully expecting to come upon a bunch of locals BBQing in their backyard and staring at me. Luckily, that didn't happen.

Passed the occasional house and bit of civilization. After about 12.5k I came to the next turnoff that I'd seen on the map. Paradise Road cuts directly into town instead of going further around and then back. This seemed more efficient to me as I'd sat at the house planning. It looked harmless, as all truly bad things do. There were quite a few houses along the route, although the road was narrow. I took it. It had started to rain, a light drizzle, it was a bit cool, windy.

I now have a new rule about checking elevations when I plan a running route.

Paradise Road got its name because its purpose seems to be to bring you to the kingdom of heaven. The grade started slowly for the first .5k, then turned into the equivalent of running up Peel Street ten times, in a now harder and cooler rain. At a few points I actually felt like I was moving backwards. I was rewarded at the top with a vantage of the mountains and surrounding colourful countryside and a cemetery with one headstone. There are a couple of houses up there and I was mighty jealous. The way down was much less steep and I made it into town in time for the sun to come out. I wandered a bit and then ran, stumbled, occasionally walked, the last 7k back to the house, iced my knees, went and found some food, had a hot bath, and read until I couldn't stay awake.

Out and about again!