Hazy fingers stretched across the sky, providing a thin veil, as a nearly full moon hovered well above the western horizon.
It’s difficult to find motivation to get out of bed this early. There’s a chill in the air and no hint of morning. It’s so still that the pungent, suffocating exhaust of a passing truck hangs in the air. My lungs are filled with it.
There are few vehicles out this morning and the passing drivers, off to work or perhaps heading home from an overnight shift, must think I’m crazy. Who would run on a concrete bridge with nothing but railroad tracks below?
It’s not beautiful, at least not in the daytime. But there’s something magical about these bridge runs in the dark, before the hustle and bustle of the day makes the sole reason for traveling on the long expanse a necessary duty to get from point A to point B.
Midway across the bridge, my watch vibrates to mark the third mile of this early workout. After crossing, I’ll run another block before turning around and heading back across.
The eastern sky is different. The horizon is darker, but a deep indigo blue rises above. In the distance, a cloud rising from the beet plant smoke stack hangs in the sky. The only breeze is the one created by my motion.
This routine seems like a contradiction. There are times I crave the trail and running in places off the beaten path. Sharing a bridge with cars and trucks in the middle of the city is far removed from a peaceful adventure, but after a couple of bridge crossings, I’ll head home satisfied with my work. Usually, I’ll reflect on some other place I’ve been, and my memory of those experiences will be sharpened. Sometimes I consider the places I have not yet been. By the time I get home, it will be time to feed the dogs.