North Highlands to Elk Grove, California

18 marathons down, 117 to go

I had an opportunity to spend a day with Tony, a friend of a friend, and after that 42-mile romp, I decided to do that and some community building instead of foolishly trying to run another marathon the day after 42 miles and a bad knee. So yesterday was a day of making new friends, playing tourist in Sacramento, and eating good food. Unfortunately, Tony’s wife, Ariel, was working a double-shift so I didn’t get to meet her yesterday.

First stop was Chocolate Fish Coffee for some excellent coffee served by a great barista, Lucas. This is how to start a recovery day. It also gave Tony and me a chance to start getting to know one another.

From there, we headed to Old Sacramento for some sightseeing and education. It was a lot of fun playing tourist for the day, especially since all I remember previously having seen of Sacramento is the state capitol building. There is a very interesting costume shop in Old Sac containing three stories of costumes.

Sacramento, California
Old Sacramento, New Sacramento

From there, we went to the capitol grounds to see what was in bloom. Turns out the roses were in full bloom.

Rose garden, capitol grounds, Sacramento, California
California state capitol grounds
Sacramento, California, from the state capitol grounds
Sacramento, CA, from the state capitol grounds
Vietnam Memorial, state capitol, Sacramento, CA
Vietnam Memorial, state capitol grounds, Sacramento, California

After that, we decided it was time to eat so we headed to Monk’s Cellar in Roseville. I went full English: fish and chips, with an aioli dipping sauce for the fries and homemade tartar sauce for the fish, and an English-style porter. Did I mention we ate outside? I didn’t? WE ATE OUTSIDE. After snow, rain, and wind, eating outside felt so good, and the food was excellent.

Tony makes a great PR person. Everywhere we went, he would start talking with people, “Do you want to hear something really incredible? My friend here is…” and he would be off. He asked me at one point if I minded him doing that, and I really didn’t. Too bad Tony doesn’t fit in my trailer with all of my gear!

After dinner, we headed back to Tony’s and Ariel’s. Ariel wasn’t expected until after 10, and I was crashing and burning, so I didn’t get to meet Ariel yesterday. I did get to meet the four dogs and cat. When I get up this morning, I pack up the trailer, load it into Tony’s SUV, and Tony, Ariel, and I head to the Waffle Experience. There I get to know Ariel a bit. I’ve had an incredible time getting to know both Tony and Ariel, and I now consider them to be friends. As for the waffles, I’ve had liege waffles before and I thought those were good, but my waffle this morning is out of this world. I had the “All About the Berries,” which is fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberies, house made lemon curd, fresh whipped creme, and lemon zest on a liege waffle. OMG. I may have licked the plate.

Once breakfast is over, I have to say goodbye to Ariel, and Tony drives me back to my last hotel to start today’s run. Today’s run is rather straightforward. Because I’m a bit off-route, I decide it’s best to head to Elk Grove. One interesting thing happens shortly after I leave the hotel parking lot. I’m passing a homeless man who is walking down the street with his cart piled high. I look him in the eye, smile, and say good morning. He says good morning back, and then he gets the biggest smile on his face. All I did was treat him the same as I would anyone else. Nothing special, but it looks like I’ve just made his day. I know people have legitimate concerns about talking with people on the street, and I know some day my confidence that I can get myself out of most any situation on the street may prove wrong, but this is something to think about. Sometimes, all it takes to make someone’s day is to treat that person the same way you would anyone else: acknowledge the person’s existence and treat the person as a person. Now’s I’ll step down from my soapbox.