My schedule and the weather afforded a rare run outdoors on Monday morning this week. It has been a while since I've been able to do so - last outdoor run was in Sedona a couple of weeks ago, and the hilliness of the area really made it a task.
I do enjoy the morning runs around here. Typically, I'm out the door and on the road a little before 4:00AM, and as one would guess, I have the road to myself. At this time of year, I'm out there well before the sunrise, so I'm often greeted with a nice moonscape and/or a sky of stars. Ultimately I'll meet up with the guy delivering papers (he's about the only one I see), and I'm usually back and working on my first cup of coffee by 4:45.
Most of the time, I won't go when there's a chance for ice or frost on the ground, as it's just not worth the risk of injury, hence I'm pretty safe. The only time I was in peril was a couple of months ago. I was running down the road as something on my right which was moving caught my eye. I turned to my right, and in the moonlight I could clearly make out the biggest skunk I had ever seen in my life running right at me.
He was making a beeline for the road, but at the same time some early-riser was in their car, also on my right (I run opposite of traffic) and he was making a beeline for the skunk. Given speeds and trajectories, it looked like we were all going to meet each other. That meant that the skunk would get hit, and spay everywhere (including me) or he'd make it just past the car, would be scared and pissed off, and would run right into me. I had already begun to figure out how I would call into work to tell them I wouldn't be coming in as I had been sprayed by a giant-sized Pepe Le Pew as I was sure this wouldn't end well.
As we all came together it looked for sure like the skunk would get hit, however by some miracle, he must have turned at the absolute last second because as the car passed, he was nowhere to be found.
I still don't know what happened, and how he didn't get hit. He just flat disappeared like Scotty beamed him up. Regardless, I came out of the situation smelling like a rose.
Or at least smelling like a runner that didn't get sprayed by the biggest skunk in all of Wisconsin.