Sunday, November 02, 2008


Ahh, the smells of Autumn!

It was a rainy day Friday. A perfect warm rainy day to run. I mapped a route and ran 20 glorious miles. I felt great.

Yesterday, it was cloudy all day, threatening mist and drizzle. Even a little warmer though, in the 50's. I enjoyed Friday's run so much, I decided to tack on 5 more miles to the route. I tried mapping my run to avoid the steepest hill on the route this time, but instead ended up with even MORE elevation AND the steep hill. Oh well.

I took it easy, tried to run 30 secs/mile slower than Friday. I headed down the road through the mist and meandered up and down the roads that lead me further and further into the back country.

Maybe it was my "feel good" spirit that heightened my senses, or maybe it was my willingness to breathe in the countryside...but this run turned into an adventure of the scents!

The air was thick. I'm sure that helped. It kept the scents low to the ground, from escaping into the atmosphere. It made them available for my breathing pleasure.

It was wet. It had rained through the night and it was still misty and drizzly. I smelled the wetness. On the leaves. What a great smell! It reminded me of living in the Midwest. But here, the aroma of the damp leaves blend with the pine needles that are so thick here in the Pacific Northwest. Mmmm...there's nothing like the sweet smell of pine needles all around.

I passed through Green Bluff, which is an association of small family farms and food stands. As I ran, I caught another smell in the air. I stuck my nose up like my dog does. What is it? Mmm, it smelled so good, so warm, so full of comfort. Then I saw the sign: "Get your HOT APPLE CIDER here". Ahhh, yummy! I drunk in the soothing aroma and felt warm and comforted as I passed by.

And I smelled the cookings from the homes that I passed. Everything smelled so....homemade. Gosh, I wondered if I could just knock on the door and ask for something, like some more water, and maybe I'd get a bite of the home cooking to go...

I was enjoying this bonus aromatherapy for hours while I ran. It made my run very pleasant.

And while I pleasantly ran, I took note of other things that defined this part of the county. The houses became fewer and the ranches became plentiful. Each entrance had a sign posted that named the ranch. There was " JR Ranch," "Whitetail Ranch" (and guess what I saw there as I passed?). I passed "Snow Creek Ranch" and "Best View Ranch" (and guess what the view was there?).

I thought to myself how nice it must be to name your home and your land. I thought about how a name declares it, defines it, puts in on the map, gives it meaning. I wondered what I would name my ranch if I had one, or what I would name my home....

And there were some cars on these back country roads, just a few. But there were lots of trucks. And they moved WAY over into the other lane (not that there were actually lanes in the roads) as they passed. I'd give the one-or-two-finger wave from my water bottle, together with an appreciative nod, and each passing drive responded in kind.

And there was no garbage on the road. OK, maybe a beer can or two. I was surprised to see one empty "31 Flavors" bag, but other than that, these roads were clean, less traveled, well-respected. I did see a few carcasses, and while I could add those to my aroma theme, I prefer not to dwell there.

I finished the run and decided that I like aromatherapy. They say that smells can influence the mind. Well, for me, it's true. I wish a camera could capture scents; I'd post them here for you. Good thing is, I still have some of those scents lodged in my nose. That's good. I will sleep well and dream of Autumn and the comfort it brought me.


Journey to a Centum said...

Mmmmmmmmm sounds like a delicious run!

Laura H said...

Doesn't the olfactory bulb hold memory the longest? I think I read that in Jitterbug Perfume (Tom Robbins). I could almost smell this blog! Thanks!

Backofpack said...

Sounds wonderful Lisa. When the weather turns, it prompts me to cook and bake more...I made homemade veggie soup yesterday, minestrone a week or so back, homemade split pea before that, apple crisp and cookies too...I have to be careful now that we are empty nesting though - the boys used to eat up all the baked goodies but now it's up to Eric and I. Oh, the pounds we could put on! We did chortle the night I made the apple crisp because we didn't have to share it with hungry boys...and it was gone by the next night...

Lisa B said...

Eric - Oh yes, a delicious run. But maybe not quite as delicious as the cooking and baking going on in your home! Michelle, feel free to send extras or left-overs this way. :)

Laura - I think you're right because olfactory is the most rudimentry of the senses. So, that um, makes sense!