Walking, losing weight and taking photos of life in Virginia.

Posts from the ‘More Photos’ category


Friday the 13th Incident A Day Early

So today is Friday the 13th. What does that mean, exactly? I’m not sure. I do know that I’ve had issues, this week, and I’m hoping, maybe, that they were not some sort of warning about today. Like warning signs on the highway. Slow, slower. Maybe you should park under your bed when it gets here . . . Last night (Thursday, the 12th) we had a nice hike over at the University of Richmond. Back in the days when I started walking and losing a lot of weight I used to walk the paths at U of R. So I felt confident about leading a hike with a group from the Central Virginia Trailblazers. The University of Richmond is an important part of the Richmond landscape and it has been voted, at least on one occasion, as the most attractive campus in the nation.

But I was worried about the weather. It was hot and humid yesterday and T-storms were in the offing. But then the weather took a turn for the better and we headed out on our walk around the campus. All was well until ominous, dark clouds headed in from the west and I took a sharp turn to the east, back through the wonderful International Center building and down the road to our cars.


Everyone was returned safely to their cars and I headed home when the heavens opened up and delivered a deluge to our area. It was dark. The rain came down in sheets and I was relieved to reach my neighborhood and make the final turn to safety. Warmth, comfort and cheery lights in a dry house with two, slightly on edge, doggies was just a few feet away.

Except that when I made that final turn, seeing dimly our corner the street sign, I forgot that it is on the right side of the street, not the left, and I turned into a ditch that frames the property of our next door “neighbor”.


It was at this point that things got a little odd. I called AAA and they assured me someone would come around in 15 minutes to back my car out of the ditch. But it took about an hour for him to show up because, he said, he had to pull 3 or 4 other folks out of ditches because they also had problems with this torrential storm. Not a problem, really, except that my “neighbor” showed up a few minutes before he got there and wanted “my information”. I told her I lived across the street! Then she wanted the police. So when the AAA guy showed up he called the police and they came. A young man, clearly endowed with innate wisdom, arrived and walked over to us for a short conversation. I told him what happened. My “neighbor” suggested that I had hurt her driveway. But the car was several feet from her driveway. It was in the ditch. It had not touched her driveway. She suggested that she couldn’t see the situation very well because it was very dark. He suggested she could come out in the morning and sweep the dirt and pebbles around. She retired from the scene. The AAA guy backed up my car in about 30 seconds. We all went on our separate ways. The young policeman told me on his way out that he hoped the rest of my evening would be “better”.

I don’t know my neighbor. Our other neighbors have had issues with her but I don’t really worry about that. I do know that she planted many plastic Flamingos in her yard as, I guess, some sort of protest, awhile back. A flock of plastic Flamingos in this neighborhood is not, generally, well received. People who are like this depress me. They obviously have issues. They have been abused in some way and feel it is necessary to strike back at every opportunity.

While I was waiting for the AAA guy a lot of our neighbors drove by and stopped. They wanted to know if everyone was alright. When I think about this incident I prefer to remember them. I prefer to think we want to help each other when an accident occurs.

Blue Moon August 20 Not Two Full Moons In A Month


I was hiking downtown last evening and admiring the full moon. It’s called a Blue Moon and not because there are two full moons in August. There will be only one full moon this month. But there will be four full moons this summer, an unusual occurence. And the third is called a Blue Moon so that the last can still be called the Late Moon.

NPR and StarDate led us down the wrong celestial path in 1980 according to the article I just read by suggesting that the term meant there were two full moons in a month.

In any case, it was a beautiful moon with wispy clouds framing it and a cool breeze to make watching it more enjoyable.

Walking with the Central Virginia Trailblazers is always fun and I look forward to being with them and sometimes meeting new people. Last night I walked with a lady who has recently joined our group. Her name is Chris and she and I share several things in common. We both have degrees in English Literature and we both have worked in the field of social work.

Last night we also spend time viewing a painting on a rock adjoining Belle Isle of a skull about 8 or 10 feet in circumference that commemorates the Grateful Dead band. Apparently they used to party here after concerts back in the 1980’s. Here is a FB page about it.

Thanks to Jim Dimmette for this photo of me and the gang.
So it was a fun evening and thanks to Jim Dimmette, our group leader, for organizing the 4 mile hike and sharing some local lore with us.

Stabbed In The Foot! / Tempers Rise

Yesterday I was running in the hood and doing pretty well in the 90 degree heat.  I was almost to the eight mile mark when I stepped on a two inch nail that was somehow standing straight up next to a car.  I could feel it go through my running shoe and up into the ball of my foot.

Bummer!!  I leaned against the car and pulled it out.  What was happening here?  This is what it feels like to be stabbed!  This is perhaps what Jesus felt when they nailed him to that piece of wood  (Well, maybe in a small way).

So I hobbled home and took a look at it.  There was just a tiny hole and no bleeding.  And today I went to my MD and got a tetanus shot.  So no big deal.  I did duck into the club today and use the treadmill however.  Because it’s hot out!

I can deal with the heat and humidity.  But nails in the road?  That’s too much for my yuppy sensibilities.

So the treadmill was a fun alternative.  It’s cool in there and you don’t have to worry about cars.  Afterwards, I went out to the pool and lazed around there for awhile.  I tried (unsuccessfully) to get someone’s attention to order a drink.  There were kids running around and moms working on their tans.  This is the alternate universe, people, where no one is worried about their boss and time is held in suspension.

I may have to return in the days to come.  At least until the weather cools off.

The summer doldrums are here.  People are backing out of hikes because it’s “too hot”.   Tempers are rising because of events in the news.  Chances that cities will go up in flames have increased.  But I’ve got to say that I’m proud of my fellow citizens at this point.  We are dealing with our issues in a peaceful way.  Let’s all go to the pool and toast our injuries in the cool waters.  Open the hydrants.  Go to the beach.  Chill.

Put the blades away.  It will only make things worse.  There is no injury that will not be addressed in time.  You don’t need to be the one who makes it happen.




Seven Mile Hike Downtown Richmond

This past weekend we had a seven or eight mile hike downtown and it covered some historic areas of the city. There is a path along the James River that is part of the Slave Trail. One hundred fifty years ago slaves walked where we were last weekend. While I was walking along it I tried to feel what it must have been like to be a slave, walking along in the dark. Probably cold and hungry. Frightened.

It was not pleasant. But we had a good hike and ended up in an area overlooking the city. There were lots of puffy clouds so I got some landscape photos with good sky. In cold weather it really is important to wear clothing that will block the wind and move the sweat away from the body. I could see that some of our hikers did not have this and they seemed to get cold when we stopped for a picnic lunch.

It’s good to think these things out before you do them.

And that’s all I’ve got tonight. I’m not feeling like a writer or even somebody who knows the alphabet. Today I decided on a new theme for this blog in an attempt to spur some sort of enthusiasm for the sport of blogging. This lack of motivation happens every once in awhile, perhaps once or twice a year. But it’s not important. Blogging is not a job. Nobody cares if you don’t show up for work. It’s an attempt to be creative and communicate with other folks. It’s also like a diary in a way.

Anyway, I have to go. It’s almost midnight. The day is almost done.

Below Freezing In Richmond / The Blogger Turns Back

Today I decided to go downtown (Richmond, Va.) to take a four mile hike starting at Brown’s Island and heading along the James River to take photos of Blue Herons nesting. But it is very cold today and I cut it short because the tips of my fingers started to burn with cold. Apparently these gloves I purchases at REI are not as helpful as I thought and will require some chemical hand warmer packs tucked inside when the temperature dips below freezing.

Better this was discovered here than on the trail! So after a short loop it was back to the warmth of the car and some cool jazz. Mission aborted! Since I started hiking 8 or 9 months ago I’ve had many situations that have not gone as planned. Equipment doesn’t perform. Or I don’t have the right equipment. At some point, hopefully, I will have enough experience to do these things with predictable results! And I will be able to share notes on products that actually do a great job!

I’ve actually had a great time experimenting with hiking gear and clothing. REI is my partner in this effort. They treat their customers very well and I never have a problem bringing something back or exchanging it. If I had to keep everything I bought in the first few months my new hobby would have run aground by now. I could not afford to keep buying sleeping bags, for example, until finding one that was comfortable enough to allow me to sleep. Too expensive! Here’s a photo from the point where things went south and I decided to turn back.

Next time, boys and girls. And sometime soon.



My aborted adventure actually fits in well with the WordPress Daily Prompt today which is Ready, Set, Go . . .write a post in ten minutes. There’s not much to say about getting out of the car, walking around in a circle, snapping a few shots and then returned to the vehicle!

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