Elisa Jones with tree on pet-e-kes winter snow

Norm the Juniper and Brock the Rock

“I meditated on love and reasoned it out. I realized what is wrong with us. Men fall in love for the first time. And what do they fall in love with? …They fall in love with a woman. They start at the wrong end of love. They begin at the climax. Can you wonder it is so miserable? Do you know how men should love? A tree. A rock. A cloud.” 
― Carson McCullersA Tree, a Rock, a Cloud

I’m having a hard time focusing right now. Too much going on. Listening to Macklemore. Brain hasn’t had enough processing time. Too much. Too much.

So- to the trail today. Did one of my go-to routes: up Eagle Tail and down Pet-e-kes. Dragged Dave along so I could tell him the outcomes of my meeting this morning. Had a nice chat. The body pains I’ve been suffering from seemed minimized for a short time. The valley was inverted, but we ran above in the sun.

I don’t think I’ve told this story before, so here it goes. I used to only be able to workout between 5-7am. So I did a lot of trail running in the dark. This could be intimidating for some,  but not for I. It was/is such a rare occurrence for me to run into any other person that I rarely felt fear. I started this running in the dark/snow/rain/whathaveyou back when I lived in Utah and my runs were in the mountains slightly more remote from civilization that my typical routes here.

But, I am still hyper-aware when running alone in the dark. There is this one turn on Pet-e-es where I would always catch the silhouette, man-height. I would freak out a little, see it was a tree, and laugh. Then would get startled by the same tree the very next time. And the  next. After about 5 times I decided I would just anticipate the tree and make him my friend rather than let him startle me into thinking he was a man on the trail about to murder me. I named him Norm.

Now when I ride up Pet-e-kes and I catch Norm in the corner of my eye, I chat him up. I’m like, “Sup, Norm? how’s it hanging? Good! I’m good, too! Yup…” and we have this whole conversation while I ride past. He’s a nice gentleman.

Well a similar thing happened to Dave whilst running in the dark. Only for him it was a rock, up a little higher. Looming in the dark, ready to pounce. So we named him, too. He’s Brock the Rock. He’s a short and stout kind of guy; boxer-esqe. He has facial hair, and it’s red. He has bright green eyes and some funky accent that you can’t quite place.

Okay, you get the idea. We personify these inanimate objects. Makes us feel more at home. It’s nice to have a friend along on the trail.

Looking at the monument cliffs from Eagle Tail
Looking at the monument cliffs from Eagle Tail
Dave and dogs headed down Pet
Dave and dogs headed down Pet
check out this sweet little pinion pine growing out of a rock!
check out this sweet little pinion pine growing out of a rock!
Dave fist-bumping with Brock the Rock.
Dave fist-bumping with Brock the Rock.

Pictures supplemental (added 12.14.13, thanks, Dave)