The Magic Bridge and Turtle Cove

Our friend Phil ran a marathon a few years ago, and he told us that he named the different parts of his training run. I’m getting pretty attached to the 3-mile loop on the hike & bike trail from the Mopac Bridge to Pfluger Bridge — and I’ve started making up nicknames for some of my favorite spots. There’s The Spiral that connects to what I always think of as “the other side,” even when I’m on it… Turtle Cove, a sweet, shady spot just before a lot of uphill running, on the trail near the train tracks in Zilker Park… and The Magic Bridge, the crossover/turnaround point just before Barton Springs Road.

Yesterday, we saw a hippy-type guy in his 20s furtively scanning over his shoulder, after shuffling around in the bushes further down the trail. I was sure he was up to no good, convinced — after watching way too many Law & Order episodes — that he’d dragged a body into the words or buried some contraband. He jogged onto the path in front us in SANDALS, which only increased my suspicion. Should I tackle him and call 911? Was it my civic duty to go to that spot in the bushes to rescue someone in distress? He got halfway across The Magic Bridge, glanced around guiltily, then… climbed the railing of the bridge, took a deep breath, and jumped into the water below with, I have to admit, a very satisfying splash.

Hippies, man.

Anyway… today there were lots of turtles sunning themselves in Turtle Cove, and while I jogged past them, a huge, beautiful swan floated past. Then I set my eyes on the top of Concrete Hill, pumped my arms, and chugged on up.

Tonight while watching the fireworks (and eating a hamburger from Sandy’s!), I’m going to thankful not only for American independence, but for my personal independence from the body image monster. He’s still around, but now I outrun and outsmart him on a regular basis. Poor monster!

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