Running the Back Alleys

After two months of a cancelled YMCA membership, the weather being too cold to run with Jake in the jogging stroller, and it being dark before Greg got home, my running had to be shelved.  This last week, the planets aligned, in a good way, and I got to pull my running shoes out again. 

Before I had to quit running last Fall, I got really bored with running through my neighborhood.  It’s an incredible neighborhood, which I will properly photograph and show you someday, with cute houses, neat lawns, the occasional yard gnome to break up the neatness, but overall really tame.  As usual, when I delve below the surface of anything, I find some amazing things.  Yesterday, I discovered that people will keep a tidy front lawn, but along the back alley, anything goes.  Some things were so entertaining, I drove my route later, camera in hand, so I could be nice and share some of the best things I saw.

 

There are lots of stucco fences around, but few with decorations imbedded.  I actually kinda like this.

On the other hand, this fence seems to be constructed by the “what junk do I have laying around in my back yard?” method.

The Unabomber’s little sister lives here.

About four miles into my run, I was getting tired.  Inspiration came in the form of Star Wars on my iPod and seeing this at the top of a very long hill…

And then laughed when I saw this…

 Why, yes, it IS the Olympic Gas Station.

Continuing on with my run, I saw what must be the yard of the most envied kid in town.

I wonder if this house is for rent.  Apparently, I haven’t grown out of my desire to live in a treehouse.  🙂

Many things in Colorado Springs seem to start out with a really good idea and then go straight downhill.  This gate seems to be one of those things.

I think I might rather wake up to a Godfather style horse-head, than live with this one every day.

I’m not one of those girls who are afraid of bugs.  But, seeing this one outside of my house could be a great caffeine substitute every morning.

(This bug is somewhere around fifteen feet tall.  Creepycreepycreepy.)

Last but certainly not least, I saw this…

These people are passionate about horses and tennis.  And given their weird collection, I’m pretty sure they have never actually seen a horse or a tennis court.

I thought all of those things would be hard to beat, but as I rounded the corner of my own back alley, I found the best reward of the day.  The only neighbor I have met so far, who I met because I have been attacking my crazy back yard, was admiring my hard work with another neighbor.  After we got through the praise and the sincere thanks for me cutting down what had apparently been a haven for mice who terrorized the surrounding houses, my neighbor and I got to talking.  She is a rather amazing woman.  A single mother of a seven year old girl, a serious gardener, and an expert in the wine business.  She is a fascinating person and I sense a kindred spirit in the making.  She told me some of the history of the neighborhood and apparently, the ladies who lived in our houses fifty years ago gardened, gossiped, and lived in the backyards and that they would be happy to see that spirit of community come to life again.  We have already been invited to participate in the backyard parties this summer and I’m hoping that we can finally get involved in our neighbors’ lives. 

Running off the beaten path definitely has its rewards.  Both in bizarre things to keep me entertained while I’m running and meeting fascinating people with shared passions.  With the last several months of bandits, court, therapy for Jake, insurance insanity and being tired-er than I have been in a while, I’m always thankful for a good day.  Yesterday was a very good day!

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