When you live in Austin, summer running is about maintenance. The heat and humidity make it nearly impossible– or at the very least unadvisable– to train to the seek great improvement during June, July, and August. (And in some years, May and September, too.) Even though this summer has been refreshingly cool in Austin, I still love my annual escape to the Cape because of the cooler temperatures I enjoy while running.
Want to join me on my favorite 5K route, from my in-laws’ house to the beach? Come along!
Here we go:
The first part of the run goes through a neighborhood of traditional Cape-style homes, where many year-round residents live. The streets are wide, not heavily traveled, and mostly rolling hills. Then I hop off the paved road an onto this shaded dirt road:
Last Summer, I saw a fox run across the path about 50 feet in front of me. I was a mix of thrilled and scared. Thankfully, it was pretty intent on going from the forest on one side of the road to the other, and it had no interest in me.
I cross the Old Kings Highway and start running past some impressive old estates. This home is from the early 1800s…I assume the tennis court off to the left was added later. 🙂
Then I pass one of the most quintessential Cape sights– an old stone wall with a barn on the land beyond. What you can’t see is that Cape Cod Bay is just on the other side of the barn, down the cliff. If there are any animals in the barn (which I doubt), they’d have an awesome view.
Up and down a few more rolling hills, and I pass one of the most– no, THE most– spectacular estate I’ve ever seen. You can’t tell from the photo, but this is at least 20 acres. Again, the Bay is just on the other side. In mid-summer, the hydrangeas are bursting with color along the fence line, and there are daylilies lining the roadside. The whole sight is one of genteel old money.
Adjacent to the impressive estate (which I refer to as the Ralph Lauren Estate, even though it is not) is an old cranberry bog. It is still active in the autumn, but in summer it is a beautiful mix of reeds and wildflowers.
This home, one of my very favorites anywhere on the Cape, was one I got to see being built over two summers just a few years ago. I love the modern interpretation of classic Cape-style elements. It’s beachfront location doesn’t hurt, either.
Finally, I can see our family’s favorite spot, which we’ve nicknamed “Little Beach.” You can see that it’s not so big, but it’s also not crowded:
In fact, on this morning, there was only one family there when I arrived:
And it was my family!
Look what they brought me:
What a great way to start the day.