Day 459 to 464 Redding to Corning CA. – 62 Miles


20151212_124440Our day off in Redding found us indoor for most of the day. Constant drops of water fell from the sky. We did leave our habitat for a bite of the always delicious and always nutritious Chipotle. Other than that we were fine having a sedentary day. We slept an ample amount. It was as if we were bears hibernating for the winter. The weather had been unpredictable and we were just glad to be staying in the comforts of the Red Lion Hotel.

20151212_124458The next morning I woke up to yet another cold and wet day. It progressed from bad to worse when I went to the trailer to grab something to eat and I discovered that the support truck had been burglarized. The front seat had papers strewn everywhere. Some of our books had been tossed about and in a search for valuable items. After a few minutes of tidying the trailer I discovered which items the thief had taken. He or she didn’t get much. They took loose change, a batman bag that had seen better days, and two pairs of gloves. My hands relied on those gloves every day of the cold winter. My body slumped and the sky seemed more grey than usual. I couldn’t understand why our truck had been broken into yet again. The incident marked the third year in a row that the holiday season brought small misfortune.

20151213_130602I was lucky to have several light days before my feet. I didn’t feel much like running at first but some sprinkles hit my face and gave me a push. From there I let my constant motion become the focus. I had a few turns on the day but nothing confusing. My phone rang halfway through the mileage and informed me to head to the Traveler’s Inn in Cottonwood. When I reached the motel, I discovered an aromatic curry dish waiting for me. A cloud of seasoning floated out of the door of the trailer when I opened it. I would dine and let go of all my troubles before entering the western styled room with warm dry air. I changed out of my sweaty clothes and went to meet the kind couple that donated the room to us.

20151213_155526The next day, was another light day. It was a good thing too; Crystal and my mom had to take the freeway while I took a back road. On this day I noticed several signs on the properties that I ran past. The posts were about a fifty first state of Jefferson. I had heard in the past that people wanted to break California into pieces. Other than that my roads were silent until I began to approach the outskirts of Red Bluff. I heard some baaaing from the hills. When I looked up I witnessed a goat halfway up a steep, wild hill. It amazed me and I wondered how the creatures kept their balance.

20151213_155526Red Bluff was a nice stop. The three of us even enjoyed some lunch at the local Applebee’s. I had stopped counting the times we dined at the restaurant. We were just grateful that they were with us for so much of the journey.

20151214_130556I was excited to run to the city of Corning. I was scheduled to speak to the kids in all the schools in the district. As I ran toward the city, the plant life took an agricultural turn and I ran along rows and rows of olive trees. Oddly enough I ran past an ostrich farm as well. Those large birds seemed happy to make my acquaintance. They ran up to the fence to give me a greeting. For some reason I thought the birds stuck their heads into the ground when humans passed. Rawson road went for miles and miles. I didn’t have to think much. I just tried to enjoy the rhythm of the run.

20151215_170036The Lodge at the Rolling Hills Casino rolled out the red carpet for us. We were greeted by members of their education foundation. Karen the manager of the place had a big smile and warm personality. She had arranged for us to have lodging for all the nights we would be in Corning. She even arranged for my mother to have her own room. To top it off, a lady named Ong arranged complimentary meals for every meal. There was much to do on the property but I figured I would wait for the following days. The next morning I had to be at Olive View School bright and early in the morning.

20151216_093951It seemed like moments after I shut my eyes, it was time to get up again. The day was a whirlwind. I gave presentation after presentation. I ran with the kids at some of the schools, gave away sets of books to the libraries, and sometimes I demonstrated my speed. I went to three schools in the district and gave five presentations. Working with the kids reminded me of my purpose. The kids cheered me on and gave a much needed boost for the coming days. Even though I was close to the finish line, I still had a few hundred miles to go. The day provided sufficient warm up and I was sure I would do the next day on auto pilot. As for the sightseeing, I just wanted to take a nap first.

20151215_171923I eventually took a tour at one of the local olive oil manufacturing places in town with my mom. Of course it was on the next day after I spoke with two more schools. I went to Lucero’s. They had a showroom with all their oils on display and available to try. The first one I drank had a peppery taste. I warmed my tiny cup in my hand and then I let the oil roll down my tongue and slide down my throat. I had never tasted straight olive oil before. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. I tried a couple other flavors. Surprisingly I felt energized. Of course I needed another nap. Afterwards we would dine on five star cuisine at the restaurant Timber’s Steakhouse. Even though I was a vegetarian, the steakhouse was still a good choice. They prepared my ravioli with lots of butter, cheese, and spinach. The food melted into my mouth. It was an amazing way to end our stay in Corning. We would have loved to stay longer but we had to push forward.

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