We bottled our third batch of India Pale Ale (IPA) the other day. We’ve found it very challenging to produce a good American IPA — we couldn’t seem to get it hoppy enough, or pale enough, or carbonated enough. Based on our tasting of this batch on bottling day, we think we’ve got the “hoppy” and “pale” parts right… so now begins the two-week wait to see whether this batch will have a rich, foamy head when opened and poured.
True to our tradition, the beer required both a name and a code. We write a code on the bottle cap so that when we open it later we’ll know which beer it is. We have grand ambitions of creating labels one of these days, but for now the code works pretty well.
We had a working name of “Take 3 IPA,” and a code of “T3.” But on bottling day, CFL wanted a more descriptive code so he’d remember that this batch is an IPA and not some obscure beer style that starts with “T.” We settled on “I3” for the code, but when he wrote it, it looked more like “13.” When I got out my batch log to change the code for my records, I made an amazing discovery! This is our 13th batch!
Well, the 13th batch of beer demanded a name celebrating that fact. I offered up a few ideas like “13th Floor” but nothing was really clicking for us. Then we thought about the trails that we know and love… the places where I run and CFL rides his bike. Those trails have mile marker signs. Our 13th batch of beer is a milestone of sorts.
Voila! Mile Marker 13 American IPA is born!
Well, actually it’s in the midst of bottle conditioning right now, but it will be born in mid-March.
Meanwhile I got to thinking about mile markers, and for the life of me I could not picture the mile marker 13 sign on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Surely the trail construction crew wouldn’t have simply skipped over that sign out of some “unlucky 13” silliness, would they?
So yesterday I had to go out and run that section of trail to try and find mile marker 13.
I found it!
It was a good five feet off the trail and during much of the year it is probably hidden by brush, but in the dead of February it’s definitely visible. I’ll have to remember to look for it again later in the year…
The hunt for mile marker 13 was a highlight of a rather awesome long not-so-slow 11.3 mile run. This section of trail is flat and fast. Without a great deal of effort I was running at a half marathon PR pace (not counting my camera stop). I wouldn’t have had any problem continuing at that pace for another 1.8 miles and completing the half marathon distance. But unlike my past half marathons, I don’t think I’d need two weeks or more to recover afterwards. I’ll be ready to run again tomorrow.
It’s been a year now since I quit my job and declared myself post-corporate. The time I’ve been able to put into running, hiking, and walking since then has rewarded me with increased stamina and resilience, reduced stress, and a whole lot more smiling! I’m grateful that I can choose to live my life in this way… recognizing that it’s not an option for most people. Still, anyone can choose to do something — anything! — to be a bit more active every day.
Today is day 56 of CFL’s and my activity streak. I’ve logged 155 running miles and 260 total miles. I’ve seen a lot of trail mile markers along the way.
CFL has me beat on mileage, but only because he can go a bit further on his bike in a given time period than I can on foot. We’re totally non-competitive and mutually supportive — we simply make movement a priority in our day. Every day.
We go when it’s raining. We go when it’s cold and windy like today. We walk to most places we go within our small city. And when we’re finished, we relax and have a home brew!
What about you? What are you doing for exercise today? Tomorrow? What mile markers are out there waiting for you to discover?