Saturday, April 17, 2010

Homes Tour

Image: wikipedia

Today I planned to do 6-8 miles as a low mileage week between 12 (which turned out to be 11) miles last weekend and 14 miles next weekend. My legs were still a little sore and cranky from my trail run this week, so I decided to run the miles out at the flat Army airfield.

The first loop around, 4.5 miles-ish, went fairly easily and fast. That's one good piece of news. Every time I run a loop or two out there now it feels relatively easy. I think grass and trail running is really strengthening my legs and building my cardiovascular health as well.

When I came around from the loop, I saw some Army tents and soldiers sitting out in front of them. Mostly, everything looked dark inside the tents and I couldn't make anything out. There were also a few personal vehicles around the tents as well. My first thought was that it might be some kind of training but secondly I thought it might be a dragoon encampment! Dragoons are re-enactors who dress in 1840's uniform and educate people on what it was like living and working in a frontier fort. They usually have horses, tents, shoot cannons, as well as perform ceremonies (flag raising/lowering) and march. There are women as well who demonstrate what it was like to live and travel as an Army wife. I've heard they also have balls with full 1800s gowns and dress uniforms. Anyhow, when I saw them I decided to run the street nearest to them and check it out. Unfortunately, when I ran by, it was just far enough where I still couldn't make out what they were doing and it's not in the spot they usually perform. I didn't want to run by if it was a real training exercise so I took the road that led away and up to the old disciplinary barracks... home to the military prisoners for over a hundred and forty years.

I ran past some horses behind the DB and guiltily snapped a pic (it can be illegal to take photos on a military base). They always have horses on base but it had nothing to do with Cavalry anymore... I think they usually belong to families and even civilians. Past the horses I kept taken on the hill that leads up to the prison. It used to be called "the castle" and was built by it's own prisoners in 1875. A new facility has been built recently, but it still felt wrong to be running up along side the huge walls and guard towers. At one point I ran past the huge doors/gates that were open and led into some sort of yard inside the walls. I wanted to take a picture so bad but didn't.... So just think Shawshank Redemption and you'll pretty much get the picture not taken.

Once I got up past the DB and back onto the main post roads, I headed for the old housing. It turns out that day they were having the annual Homes Tour which features structures from the 1880-1890s. People pay to go inside homes and see the architecture and collections... in the fall they do an awesome history and ghost tour as well.

I passed the homes, wound around to the National Cemetary (c. 1844) and then pass the golf course and back to the main road for the last 1.5 mile back to the airfield. I had filled my hydration pack up with 50ml of coconut water and plain electrolyte water from Whole Foods. I ran out sometime in mile 6 so next time, if it's warm out at all, I need more than 50ml for a 1.5 hr run.

Lots of people were out walking in nice clothes for the Home Tour. I think I was attracting lots of stares passing them by at mile 6, 7 and 8 with my sun-pinked skin, hydration pack and huffing and puffing. Hey, I was just taking the tour as well... at a little faster pace!!


  1. Brings back memories. My dad used to work at the DB as a guard!

  2. Oh wow! Was he an MP??
    We will have to all go for a run out on the Post trails. I can't wait to show you guys the GIS map I got of the trail system out there. I want to explore it all this summer!