A good example is from yesterday – Stacy went to the “Bridge”- that dreaded word to some people, the goal of a lifetime for others, or just another ho-hum 9.5 miler. Yesterday, Stacy ran into an old friend – Rudy. He’s 90+ years old, and they meet less frequently now, but there he was with his family in tow – standing around the new 2 ponds ¼ mile up the trail. When you don’t see a real ‘ole timer for awhile, there’s that nagging suspicion something must have happened. But there he was with his indomitable smile. After a warm greeting, she moved on up the trail. After awhile, she realized she hadn’t said a word about how much she loves him. There might not be another chance! This being Sourdough Trail, even people you don’t know are your potential best friends. So, further up the trail a couple horses were coming down. Without hesitating, she flagged them down, and explained the whole scenario – and would they please find Rudy (probably still near the ponds) and tell him his friend Stacy wants him to know she loves him. There, that should do it. But then a few minutes later, a runner came around a corner – going faster than the horses, so she flagged down the runner – and went through the same routine – sharing the message to find Rudy and let him know Stacy loves him.
So, what IS this article about? Telling people you meet on the trail that you love them? Yes, and it’s really about becoming more familiar with an important part of your neighborhood. And just plain ‘ole being neighborly. It can be done 6 feet apart. And this leads me into meeting some of my very best friends on the trail – the flowers. The following is a horrible admission – how about NOT trying to see how fast you can get from point A to point B? Well, it does have its benefits. You get to smell (admire, eat, take a picture of) the flowers. You might not burn as many calories. So, I too want to share the “Rudys” I’ve met this past week. Do I need to say “go up Sourdough soon” and follow my directions to find my best friends? It’s up to you.
One of my favorites that just started blooming this week is the Yellow Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis). There’s so much to say about this flower. Again, it grows on the left side of the trail going up – and is scattered all up and down the trail – though I haven’t seen them much before the 1 mile mark. Their stalk is several feet high, and looks just like the cinqfoil (5 petals) – but this flower only has 4 petals, or the cleft can make it look like 8. Soft yellow – and in full bloom can be 1-2 inches across. The “evening” in the name is because it can stay in bloom at night, and closes up in the morning. So, it opens up in the afternoon. The petals are sweet – and edible. Walking the sidewalks along Durston Road right now – there are several commercial ones with HUGE yellow petals – low to the ground, almost no stalk.
- David Summerfield