Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Running With Gators Nipping At Your Heels

Ahhh sunset at the southernmost point in the US. I stayed in Coconut Grove, FL over the past weekend. It was a lovely place to run. In fact, there were so many runners out early in the morning that I kept checking for race numbers to make certain that I hadn't wandered into an organized event. I've actually never seen anything like the sheer number of runners out in any one place before. Frankly I was surprised. And this is probably my own bit of prejudice against the sunshine state, but Florida has always seemed like a pretty unhealthy place. In other areas of the state where I've been recently, I'm usually the only runner to be found. If you head out at night in South Florida, it seems like every person around you is smoking. But there I was running with mobs of other runners on both Saturday and Sunday morning.

As you can tell from the pics, I did manage to make it down to Key West for a day. I'd never had a burning desire to go there, but once I was there, I found it to be a beautiful little place. I'd actually like to go back and visit it when I have more time.

The next day I popped over to the Everglades. I hadn't been there since I was in my early teens. I had forgotten just how close you come to the gators. They're pretty much all over the place, and there are no fences. It is somewhat surreal. Beautiful birds (anhingas and cranes) and fish (gorgeous gar, in particular) also were everywhere.

All in all a lovely experience. I will confess (as I did above) to not being a fan of Florida. But this trip did allow for the state to put its best face on. And I felt lucky to have experienced it.

Back in Kansas, this morning I arose and went for a run in the balmy 19F temperature. It sure was nice to be home - read into that whatever you will...

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