Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Roosevelt's Tree Army

Summer is coming to an end. The kids are in school. Football is starting. This is a great time of the year. I love the fall except for one thing: it leads to winter. My least favorite time of the year.

This past weekend, summer came to a close for us with a camping trip to North Higgins Lake State Park in Roscommon, MI. Decent campground with a beautiful lake and beach. Alas, no pictures to accompany this post as the family and I enjoyed the beach without a camera tagging along.

I managed a 14 mile long run on Sunday. The first 7 miles were off road through the Civilian Conservation Corps trail. Again, I found the trail portion of the run a lot more challenging than expected. Loose sand, small hills, roots, twists, turns....I flashed back to the The Legend trail run I did a few weeks ago. I was very happy to emerge from the trail and return to the nice, flat campground. Don't get me wrong, trail running is a lot of fun. It's just a lot more physically demanding - much more than I wanted to get into for a weekend long run. A few more miles along the beach and through the campground and 14 miles done! Two more LONG, long runs to go for this marathon training session!

A word about the CCC Museum from which the off road trail began. There is a museum dedicated to the roughly 100,000 folks that made up "Roosevelt's Tree Army" in the 1930's until the advent of WWII revitalizing Michigan's natural beauty. I got to thinking about the power of collective effort in our Me First society. Now, I'm no socialist. I believe strongly in the rights of individuals to pursue their own personal ambitions and wealth (as long as it doesn't trample on others). I think this benefits society on the whole. However, this is not absolute. There is room for us to band together collectively and create something for the benefit of the whole...whether it be building national highways, revitalizing our park system, creating a social security safety net, or - maybe one day - health insurance for all. These ideas didn't seem so extreme decades ago. Before the days of the Red Menace and Rambo films. Before hyper capitalism. During my time on the CCC trail, I wondered if a politician could get away with creating a 100,000 person corps to PLANT TREES in this day and age. I think not. They would be labeled the worst kind of government fat cat, spending tax payer money, tree hugger.

All I know is that I enjoyed my time on their trail. I'm glad it was there for me and others. If it cost someone a few tax dollars to create it, well, so be it. Thanks. It was worth it.

Anyhow, I had no intention of going off on a rant.

I feel a post coming on soon on the differences between trail and road running. It is significantly different to warrant its own discussion.

Also, I need to finalize and make official my 2007 Chicago Marathon goals. I hope to do that soon.

Happy trails.

6 comments: said...

I would love to see your observations on trails versus roads. I run both and am amazed everytime how my body reacts so differently.


Tom said...

I enjoyed the rant. You can't plant enough trees and not fast enough. I love trees and caring for mine in our yard.

Since you brought it up, what your goals for Chicago? I always set three--a realistic I disclose to others,a stretch goal I tell a few trusted runners, and a Dream Goal I keep to myself.

I feel the excitement growing with each day.

Keep up the great running and posting!

Mike said...

last summer the camping group at higgins went on the mountain bike 5.5 miler across the highway along the little lake there. i know, real crappy description.

Man, it was a beast.

Fun Guv said...

But Mike, we camped at South Higgins Lake and he stayed at North Higgins Lake so he would have had to also run around (or across) the entire lake to get to the Marl Lake trail that you guys did last year.

sRod said...

I've always been scared of trail runs. Isn't that how every CSI episode starts: a runner on a trail run suddenly finds a dead body? I'm not a fan of dead bodies. I'll stick to pavement.

Mir said...

I guess I'm a tree hugger. :) I like trees, in fact I like them much more than some people I have met. I sure wish my tax dollars were going towards planting more instead of paying people to freak out about flour being sprinkled on the ground. Things are so depressing sometimes, sigh.

On a happier note, I can't wait to hear about your goals for Chicago. Which reminds me, I need to work on my goals for Twin Cities.