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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Excitement

The heading probably is a bit hyperbolic — excitement is a relative term, especially to someone who runs for hours in the dark. But on today's return to the predawn pathways of eastern Great Falls, Montana, the strength of my heart was tested when, on the far and darkest end of my run, I nearly collided with a large porcupine.

It was in the stretch of road mentioned in previous posts, that of infamous telephone poles. In fact, the critter was very close to the place where the little black picture (two or three posts below this) was made. I was plodding along, in starlight and a little glow from the base about a mile to the south, listening to Inventing a Nation, when a dark shape loomed up, moving, just feet away off the road. It took a second for it to register with me, first that something alive was there, and second, exactly what it was. I veered toward the middle of the road and it waddled off into the field north of the road. I watched for half a minute as it disappeared into the darkness and my heart rate slowed. Almost like jumping a rattler — got that familiar jolt of electricity that's akin to putting your tongue on the top of a 9v battery.

I have seen porcupines in this vicinity before, but closer to the river. Actually, come to think of it, the same porcupine is a possibility, though it's been a couple of years since I saw it at the overlook, which is about a mile north of today's sighting. Anyway, it made today's run a little more memorable.

I tried a different route back, following an old road bed back to 10th Ave North, then back through Portage Meadows. Felt pretty good, despite a four-day hiatus to let my innards get back to normal. Should have no trouble reaching 100 before month's end. It's warm today, 40 or so, and not much wind; clear, but no moon.

6; 6; 80-1/2; 80-1/2
Posted by Mose, 5:30 AM

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