WanderlustBy Sam Lepore

Subject: Finishers Wander 11 - Portland, Maine
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 21:22:01 -0700

    Scout is one big lovable slobber. Golden Retrievers are born to please, but this is one of the most enthusiastic I've seen yet. Not just please, more like oh please! oh please! oh please!
    Bill and Mary Kay (not the cosmetics lady) took me to a pretty good steakhouse called Dakota, done in the theme of the Plains Indians with some real and some realistic artifacts. Rebecca would have been apoplectic and we probably would have had to restrain her before she rearranged the displays. Even I, who learned a little through her interest in Indian culture, recognized glaring errors. The plaque above said Sioux War Jacket, the curator's tag said Cree winter coat. Then there was the Sioux Warrior Skull Cap ... which was tagged Crow. The Crow and the Sioux were mortal enemies. May as well have labeled a jewish yarmulke a "Palestinian War Bonnet".
    Of all the areas of the country - and I've seen them all - New Englanders are the most passionate about ice cream. I remember many an evening sitting on a freezing curb outside (the original) Steve's in Cambridge. I always thought Steve's was the only chocolate better than I could make myself. Until last night. After dinner we went to the just opened for the season Tulmeadow Dairy. This is the quintessential old summer evening hangout. Four outside windows for service, a row of hay bales for seats, a couple old farm wagons full of flowers and plants for sale, and half the population of the county drifting in and out on a warm night (which this wasn't). The chocolate chocolate chip was outstanding.
    Gosh the states sure are small here. When I was a kid, it was a big deal to go all the way to the next state to visit grandma. Now I think nothing of riding three times that distance for a club breakfast. Here it was barely 50 miles and I was about to run out of home turf. Then I had to stop for some utility line construction and I was sadly reminded of an accident that took the life of a friend. The crew had stopped traffic to string a line across the road. After they pulled it up, they waved traffic through, but as soon as they turned around the line came loose and dropped to within a couple feet off the ground. Horns blew and cars screeched. No one was hurt here. The circumstances are different, but a line across the road snagged and killed a friend on a motorcycle last year. In teaching the motorcycle safety class, when we discuss where to look in scanning, I always ask if they think they should look up above too ... danger can be anywhere.
    Whoa! Was that a State? Geez, about 3/4 of the entire state of Rhode Island could fit in the 5 mile magnification view I normally ride with on the GPS. I swear the Tejon Ranch in California is bigger. Oh, well, the 3/4 is significant, because passing through about half of RI gave me the 3rd of the 4 states needed to finish this wander. 1 more to go.
    Angling my way up toward I495 for a circuit around metro Boston, I passed through Hopkinton one day later than originally hoped. Yesterday was the running of the Boston Marathon. I would have loved to see it again. The first two marathons I ran were Boston 69 and Boston 79 (before you had to qualify). The story I tell of running in 69 was doing it on a lark with a friend. We both had run cross country athletics and were "sort of" trained. Standing in the back of the pack, we decided to squeeze through the crowd to see what it was like up front. We were in the second row, turned around to head back, and BAM! the starting gun went off. It was either turn and run with the seeded runners or get trampled because spectators lined the street and ropes kept them out (and us in). We turned. We ran. It was the fastest 5 miles I had ever run in my life before I could break out of the pack. And then there were only 21.2 more to go. I finished. Friend did not.

248 miles
Weatogue CT185 CT178 CT218 I291 I84 I384 US6 CT66 CT14 RI102 RI100 RI98 MA146A MA122 MA16 MA85 I495 NH107 US1 I295 Portland
Sam Lepore, San Francisco

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