Day 465 to 466 Corning to Williams CA. – 53 Miles


20151218_115504I found myself enjoying one final buffet breakfast before hitting the road. Sweet cinnamon rolls and veggie omelets filled my stomach. With so many colorful choices the result could have been gluttonous. My mouth seemed to be drier than usual so I downed glass after glass of mixed juices. When I could no longer nourish my body I said good bye to my mother and Crystal. At that time I got an earful about the cold and rainy weather. There wasn’t much I could do about the whims of nature. I just had to remember that nothing was permanent and that the sun had to come out eventually.

20151218_152029Running in the rain wasn’t too bad. The mist stopped shortly after I hit the road. I was reunited with the old 99 and I didn’t need to look at my map for directions. I just pushed forward; secure with the knowledge that I was within striking distance of my goal. After telling all the kids in Corning that any goal was attainable, time came for me to utter those words to myself.

20151218_152021I found that my sweat dampened my gear more than the rain. Before reaching the town of Willows, Crystal and my mom had passed me and stopped at the Blue Gum Motel. It was a cute little place run by a nice little Indian Lady named Fatima. She was happy to donate a room and get us out of the rain. I however needed to polish off the day and end in Willows. I didn’t want to make up miles the next day.

20151219_120923Reaching town was a snap after the wonderful surprise donation. The five miles felt like a few minutes of my life. When we returned to the motel, my stomach growled like a lion. Crystal and I gathered our many containers filled with gourmet leftovers. The gifts from the Casino continued to give. A hot shower rejuvenated my body. When I had dried myself completely I sat in wonder: amazed that we had made it this far.

20151219_103255The next day the clouds parted just a tad. The elements decided to take pity on me and they let a crack of light escape the grey blanket in the sky. It was good enough for me. My body ached a little more that usual. I thought to myself that maybe I shouldn’t have sprinted with the kids while I was in Corning. I found that every time I raced with kids over the course of this trip, my body rebelled. I also noticed I had a dull pain on the inside knee joint. I was sure the culprit was the shoe I had been wearing. While they were good for light training, the heavier miles took a toll.

20151219_111812While I ran, a putrid smell filled the air. It was the familiar scent of cow dung. The dampness in the air seemed to accentuate the aroma. It helped speed my legs. Once again, I was on the 99. No deviation in my road. I told myself the aches were all in my head. Instead of slowing down, I decided to run faster. I had over 9000 base miles under my feet. I wanted to return to my speedy ways. On this day I continued to run across signs for the new state of Jefferson. I guess people were serious about breaking California into pieces.

20151219_114454One sight struck me as peculiar on this day. As swarms of flying v formations swirled above, I noticed that I was running past a wildlife refuge. I thought that meant that the animals in there were protected. So, I was naturally confused when I saw a gang of trucks and a bunch of guys in camoflauge toting rifles. It dawned on me that they were hunting ducks when the loud booming shots got fired into the air. I didn’t see the sport in shooting at a target rich environment. I kept running to make sure no stray ammunition fell my way.

20151219_145249My body paid the price when I reached the Granzella Inn of Williams. I dove into a bath filled with Epsom salt and massaged my legs over and over as I bathed. Perhaps, in that bath, the truth dawned on me; I was forty-one years of age. I could have looked at that realization in one of two ways. I could have said, “Oh no, I’m forty-one.” Instead I chose to say, “Oh yes, I can’t believe I’m forty one and still performing like someone in their mid-twenties!” Yep, I preferred the second option. It was the only way to stay forever young. The next order of business was to find my tube sports cream.

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