native-american

4 weekends marathoning – this Saturday: kick around, do laundry?  Heck no – road trippin’ SD: “Great Places, Great Faces”.

Ended Friday work week with my final father-daughter dance lesson.  Too far/too late to reach South Dakota – but how ‘bout Lusk? [Wyoming of course 🙂 ]  Small but clean digs, free buffet breakfast.  Short hour-half drive to Custer State Park, car-dodging buffalo by 9am.  FAAANNNTASTIC!  Native to the U.S.A, our American bison – BIG, STRONG, MASSIVE.  Personal fave of the animal kingdom.

20 minutes west thru Custer, 20 minutes north to Crazy Horse Memorial.  Had heard mixed reviews ‘bout the Monument.  Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear commissioned the project in 1939 – Crazy Horse’s massive 87ft face wasn’t completed ’til 1998.  Current work is focused on Crazy Horse’s hand, finger & his horse’s mane.  Timeline?  Long after my life span.

Paid an extra $10 to school bus-ride near the base of the Mountain.  Felt a bit nickel-n-dimed but WOW – gotta say, being so close to something so massive, was well worth the $$.  Wrong time to be short-sighted with cash.  Once completed Crazy Horse will rival nearby Mt. Rushmore.  Sculpted to ‘honor the culture & heritage of all North American Indians’.   Just WOW.

Didn’t leave the Memorial Museum for almost 2 hours.  LOVE LOVE LOVED!  Native American artifacts, photographs, sculptures, paintings.  Completely unexpected.  WELL WORTH GOING!

Wait, wait – the day’s not over.  Next up: Mount Rushmore.  Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt & Lincoln – literally carved IN the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Short-hiked up-n-down the Presidential Walk.  Fave spot?  Rushmore’s ‘Walk of Flags’ entrance.  Every state, every U.S. territory represented.  Left beaming USA pride.  Bought an ice cream recipe’d by Pres. Thomas Jefferson himself ❤

Sleeps in historic Deadwood.  Dinner above the saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was killed, tomorrow visiting his marker.

 

 

 

6:30am Start – up early, 5:30 shuttle last transport from my hotel.  One block from the Outdoor Memorial.  National Anthem, followed by 168 seconds of silence – respect for the lives lost in 1995.

Chilly start – gusty wind & light rain.  Running in shorts again…gotta check the weather app before I leave home.  LOL>  25,000 runners, corral start.  Lotta local crowd support, much appreciated.

Started tenth-mile behind the 4:15 pace group.  Hung close thru mile 2.  Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home to OKC’s Triple-A Dodgers).  Past two [Phillips 66] oil derricks, 500 feet outside the Oklahoma State Capitol.  Caught the 4 hour pacers at mile 5.  Halfers peeled off before 8.

Gorilla Hill, Nichols Hills, Rose Hill, Heritage Hills – not a flat course 🙂

2:01 first Half.  Couple minutes slower than last Saturday…on a more technical course – I’ll take it.  Struggled the two miles ‘round Lake Hefner.  High gusty winds.  Head lowered, pushed thru the day’s weather obstacle.  Misty rain blew sideways.  4 hour pace group matched me, moved past me.

Tree cover at mile 16, more at 18.  Downhill stretch [thru mile 20] before a quad-burning 4 mile climb…topping out in OKC’s scenic Heritage Hills.  Mighty late in the day for 4 miles of UP.

Run/walk combination last 2 miles.  Mental dip/endorphin drop but not a bad performance – maintained posture, felt good in my shoes.  Hilly run…third straight weekend marathoning – finished just over 4:15, an Oklahoma PR. 2nd fastest of 2017, 16th best of my 88.  128 consecutive run days – feelin’ STRONG!

 

2017 Results – OKC Marathon

 

Haga, K R   LOUISVILLE  CO   4:17:20

 

6 hours to burn before my Colorado flight home.  Fried pickles at Toby Keith’s (while in Oklahoma, gotta/hafta), feet up/giant Coke & a movie….then, 2 stops of interest: Oklahoma’s Land Run Monument & a brief pull-over at the State Capitol.

More than 50,000 Americans lined up at noon on April 22nd 1889 for our country’s last great Land Run.  Towns were formed, homesteads staked.  Ironically, monuments outside the state’s Capitol Dome celebrate Oklahoma’s Native American population (from whom the land was taken).  Cowboys, Indians & Oil.  American history is kinda messed up, huh?

Far North next weekend, adventuring with my Canadian bestie Sarah.  Marathoning of course but ALSO…Niagara Falls!

 

 

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

 

 

Last time I saw Sarah, she set up a sweet hike above scenic Lake Louise in Banff Nat’l Park.  Hike day culminated in a high-altitude tea aside an alpine lake, Lake Agnes.  Set the bar mighty high, huh?  Well…she IS Canadian after all.

Early morn hot air balloon, diner breakfast – next up, one of my hike faves, Brainard Lake.

Alpine lake, lodgepole pine, glacier snow on the peaks – all at 10,300ft starting elevation…pretty SPECTACULAR.  Ever Google the elevation in Toronto?  249ft.  True flatlanders.  Whatta sport – thin air, little oxygen, yet not a peep of negativity outta Sarah.  Hiked to Long Lake – pic I use as my website cover art.  LOVE LOVE this place.  Sharing the experience with friends, no words.  Full heart.

Anything any better?  uh…Cue, wildlife.  Chipmunks, pika, black squirrels, elk – easy.  How ‘bout MOOSE?  FAAANNNTASTIC!  Shower, change of clothes, night trek up Boulder Canyon to Gold Hill Inn.  Fine dining at 8,000ft.  Kinda hard to match Banff but folks – an alpine hike, 2 moose & a 5-course meal at 8,000ft – I attempted to reach that bar.  WOW, whatta day!

 

(whole lotta photo credit: sarahontheroad.com)

 

Sunday: [marathon] bib pick-up day in Colorado Springs.  10 minute chore – check, done.

Garden of the Gods.  Monolith red rocks curtained by mighty Pikes Peak in the background.  2 ½ hours from home, but I visit this Park at least twice a year.  Any excuse, friend/family visit to Colorado – Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park to the North, Garden of Gods to the South.  Both treks highlight every itinerary.  AWESOME amazing acts of God.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings.  Something old, something new – well, at least new to me.  LOVE history, LOVE everything Native American. Visited the three-story Pueblo-style Cliff Dwellings, descendants of the ancient Anasazi (existed 1100-1300 A.D.)  Honestly not a ton to see & do, but happy to have gone once.  Museum’s a bit dated – more walk-thru placards than actual artifacts.

Dinner & a short tourist walk downtown.  Highlight: the healing waters of Shoshone Spring & a random local releasing their pet sugar glider (small, nocturnal gliding possum).  Startling, unexpected but pretty cool experience.

Night sleeps in Manitou Springs, tomorrow another 26.2.

 

(even more photo credit: sarahontheroad.com)

 

Labor Day 2016 (Colorado mix)

 

 

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