Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sun Mountain Lodge to Winthrop

I spent the weekend at a conference at the Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop. It's a good thing that the lodge is wonderful and Winthrop is very nice, because getting there was driving torture! The North Cascades Highway is still closed, so we had to drive over Steven's Pass, then north on the other side of the mountains, and the whole drive on Friday night took more than six hours, including a fairly quick dinner stop in Leavenworth. We finally arrived after 11 p.m., stiff and sore after all those hours in the car.

Most of Saturday was going to be occupied by my conference, but I got up early on Saturday morning and took an hour's walk/hike on the trails just outside my room. It was pretty brisk out, but still sunny and beautiful. It was clear that we were in mountain country, when I found the upper part of the trail still covered with snow!

I'm a food nazi, so after I returned from my walk I stirred up a packet of oatmeal and fruit that I'd brought from home. Cinnamon, dried cherries, sliced almonds and a whole banana diced up—delicious. And a cup of hot chocolate with espresso to really get the day going!

After many hours of presentations on juvenile law, we adjourned for the day and it was all free time until the drive home on Sunday. I had a nice dinner in Winthrop with one of the other attorneys from the firm, then retreated to my lovely suite to try out the jetted tub (cool) and read my book (restful). (Yes, I am the most boring person who ever lived.)

Before sending my roommate off to party with other young lawyers who are more fun than me, I gave her the plan for Sunday. Before the long drive home, I wanted to take a long run. I had taken advantage of the wireless internet service at Sun Mountain Lodge to measure out the distance from the lodge into Winthrop, and if I measured from the far end of the lodge (where our room was) to the far end of Winthrop, it came to just 10 miles. So my intent was to load my stuff in the car, then run into Winthrop, leaving Jasmine to drive the car into town to meet me around lunchtime.

The road from Sun Mountain Lodge into Winthrop is mostly downhill, so I got the perks of logging a long run that was easier than a typical run (particularly the very uphilly runs I have been experiencing lately!) Even better, there are periodic signs showing the distance to the lodge, so I could easily measure my progress and even gauge how fast I was going (which I don't usually bother with on a long run).

When I ventured outside on Sunday morning (around 10 or so, I guess), it was sunny and unusually balmy. I immediately decided to leave my gloves behind (not typical for me). On my way out of the lodge I stopped at the front desk to pay the bill, then headed down the road.

Ah, the joys of a downhill run! Well, mostly downhill. Let me assure you, and myself, that there were a number of uphill stretches also, and some flats. Still, I calculated that I was maintaining about a 10-minute mile, without pushing myself too much. I got into Winthrop, and to the end of town, in about 99 minutes overall.

I had about 15 minutes until I was due to meet Jasmine, and I suspected perhaps a little bit more, as I had told her not to feel rushed and she seemed to be sleeping quite soundly when I left, despite my moving about and coming and going.

I walked back down through the main street of Winthrop, stopping to look in at the River's Edge cabins, and spying a deli that might be a good place to pick up a sandwich for lunch. Then I stopped at the sweet shop and espresso stand for a latte to drink while I waited. As luck would have it, the espresso stand also sold big cinnamon roll--and how could a I resist? I ordered a cinnamon roll and greedily accepted when offered frosting on top.

I settled myself at a table in the sun to enjoy my treat while I waited for Jasmine.

(That is the end of the running story. The whole story ends some six hours later, after the long, long drive home. Curses on the North Cascades Highway for staying closed this late!)

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