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Remembering Dad

February 12, 2014

After a long and tough decline in health, my 88-year-old dad passed away this week. Today, as I went for a run on my usual Irvine Park trails, I thought about why I enjoy being outdoors, soaking up sunshine, reveling in rain, delighted by dust and mud and rocks and plants and all God’s creatures.

It’s because our dad (and mom) went through a lot of trouble to regularly pack up our station wagon and drive us all over the West in the 1960s and early 70s. Here we are just outside of Bishop, CA.

1960s outside of Bishop, CAThe Eastern Sierra, Anza Borrego, San Clemente, Death Valley, Eel River, Redfish Lake .  . . so many beautiful places where we camped and explored.

Thanks, Dad.

So there I was waxing nostalgic on my trail run today, after spending the morning finalizing Dad’s obituary and working on other details for the services later this week. I hardly ever run in the middle of the day; here’s one reason why: the Eastern U.S. may be getting pounded by more winter storms, but here in Southern California it was almost 80 F, way too hot to go shoeless at noon, even if it is February.

About a half hour in, my feet began to feel semi-fried. An hour later, my soles were tenderized, much more sensitive than they’ve been for years, and I worried I might have blistered them.

I didn’t want to know if they were starting to bubble, so I waited until I got back to the car to check them. Whew. No blisters, but a bit sore.

Note to self: don’t run in the middle of the day when it’s 80F.

Here’s some photos from my 90-minute “lollipop” along Roadrunner, then up the Chutes trail to Barham Ridge, back down Cactus Canyon, up Coachwhip, and then down Barham Ridge/Chutes/Roadrunner to Irvine Park.

It's been such a dry winter . . . even the cactus are showing signs of strain. This poor prickly pear is majorly shriveled.

It’s been such a dry winter . . . even the cactus are showing signs of strain. This poor prickly pear is majorly shriveled.

Dessicated toad in the trail . . .

Dessicated toad in the trail . . .

Blue sky selfie . . .

Blue sky selfie . . .

Same trails, a week ago, after a brief rain:

Same trails, a week ago, after a brief rain.

Spider web jewels.

Laurel sumac droplet.

Elderberry leaf & droplet.

California sagebrush hanging on to the moisture.

California sagebrush hanging on to the moisture.

Laurel sumac and raindrop diamond.

Laurel sumac and raindrop diamond.

Barefoot trail running: always a good stress remedy. “He has made all things beautiful in his time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

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