Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday Run and Scouting Mission

I headed out the door with a route in mind, and as so often happens, got a sudden notion to do something different. I have friends from overseas moving here in a couple of weeks and I had reason to believe that there was a perfect little neighborhood for them that would offer everything they were looking for. So I decided to check it out.

But first I ran most of the bayou loop. Although the temps were only in the low 80s, the humidity made it feel like soup, and I was soon leaving my own little drippy trail. As I neared downtown, I saw two fenced-off areas where fireworks had been staged. The second spot covered the running trail (thanks, guys) and there was a detour sign pointing to a trail I had never used.

Odd, that there should still be a trail on Buffalo Bayou I hadn't run, but there it was. I had never bothered with it because I thought I knew where it went. I was both right and wrong about that, but it was a nice change and I'll be keeping this detour in mind for future runs, since it will allow me to avoid a spot that always has bayou silt several inches deep after major rains.

I came up the Allen Parkway side of the bayou, crossed the street after the bat colony and headed into the neighborhood. I ran up to South Boulevard and headed toward Montrose. I love the little neighborhood along North and South. It's a wealthy area, with trees that meet overhead in a sort of tunnel over a brick sidewalk on an esplanade. I got to thinking about the first time I found this little gem, 20 years ago, back when I was just an ignorant suburban kid who had no clue that such places even existed in Houston.

Next I ran through a slightly less expensive neighborhood, where I lived for a year in the late '80s. And then I crossed Montrose and headed into the area I wanted to check out. It was just as I remembered it-- an easily overlooked little rincon of older homes and brick fourplexes. There was some new construction, but most of what was back there was just as I remembered-- slightly run down, but in a charming and human way, with twisting streets, crepe myrtles, oaks and pecans. I stopped to talk to a man watering his yard, and he confirmed my memory of the neighborhood being quite safe. It's only a few blocks from the light rail and major bus lines, it's surrounded by churches, museums, parks and cafes, and the rents appear to be reasonable. I found myself sort of wishing I hadn't signed another lease where I'm at now, because I've always loved the area near the museums. I resolved to return over the weekend, get some phone numbers and make inquiries for my friends.

And then I ran toward home, giving myself an impromptu tour of some of the Montrose neighborhoods and eventually ending up back on the bayou where I completed the loop and added another couple miles for good measure. Although it was past 10:00 by this point, it still wasn't terribly hot out because of the growing threat of rain. I frightened a baby bunny, but didn't phase an older one who knew a runner and bunny-lover when he saw one.

I took my stinky, dripping self home after that, wrung out my running gear (how disgusting is that?), iced my legs and then took a shower. It was time to get cleaned up and reward myself with Indian food!

I sure do love my Saturdays!

12 mile run


Spider63 said...

You are a good friend, I hope that you can find them a nice home!

Wil said...

OMG I love Indian food :) And you are such a stud! Way to go on your trek!