warm horse apples make excellent hand warmers

At last…A chance to redeem myself to readers of Madeline’s blog! From
reading past blogs, one might get the impression that I force poor,
resisting M. to accompany me upon grueling, horrific runs. (I believe she
once referred to me as “The Running Nazi,” after all.) Finally, the truth
can be told!!

M. and I take turns finding and registering us for area
runs. Last time was my turn and I found us a nice, sedate 10K just twenty
minutes from our town. It sucked, in that we finished in nearly last
place and by the time we returned there was not even one bottle of water
to be had. The conditions were far from adverse, however – it was 50
degrees out, and the Christmas lights along the lake were beautiful. Even
the stench of the most polluted lake in North America was almost

This time, however, it was M.’s turn to find and register us for a run.
Talk about grueling and horrific…She found one called “Last Chance” at
Highland Forest, 50 miles away. We set out at 6:45 Saturday morning, stopping
first at our local convenience store for sustenance. We determined right
away that regular Gator Aid was not going to cut it, and we chose, instead
ENDURANCE Gator Aid. That’s right – rather than train sufficiently, we
choose, instead, to place our faith in the magic of sugar water. We
picked up Heather along the way, and by 8:30 we were on the trail. We all
looked the part, decked out in fancy schmancy yak trax and running pants. Between the three of us, we had all the essential items – M. had a cell
phone, H. had a GPS, and I had the all-important chap stick. What we did
NOT have, though, was the foggiest notion of just how damn SNOWY a Central
New York forest can be. Or how freaking mountainous. My dear husband has
since informed me that we did NOT run up mountains as “mountain” is a
geographic term reserved for land masses above 1,000 feet. I beg to
differ. Kilimanjaro has nothing on these bad boys. The place was
LITTERED with mountains, each more steep than the next.

And well marked it was not. While I am reluctant to use the word “lost,” I will say that we
became more than a bit disoriented, backtracking several times. Our
“short cut” probably added several miles to our overall distance. By sheer
dumb luck we stumbled upon a real paved road, and since this beat trudging
through calf deep snow, we decided to stick with the road.

Oh, and did I mention that we were visually impaired throughout this
entire experiece? My glasses were completely fogged up, and M. removed
hers for the same reason, so it’s rather miraculous that we aren’t still
stumbling around out there. After we became disoriented (NOT lost, damn
it!!) we didn’t see another person, and to distance ourselves from our
physical agony, our mental stress and our fear of the eventual need to dig
a snow latrine, we engaged in deep conversation. This VERY deep
conversation covered diverse topics such as the correct pronunciation of
“gefilte fish,” mens’ idea of foreplay (“Brace yourself!”), link sausage
as the perfect food, and the inherent evil of our president. Finally,
just when it seemed as though we would have to go the route of the Donner
Party (“Hey, Madeline, Can you just bend over to check my yak track for
me?” Impale M. with Chap Stick wielded as lethal weapon, chew raw M.
flesh and imagine it is succulent sausage…Mmmmm…Sausage), we saw a
Man/Beast up ahead. It turned out to be a woman on a sleigh pulled by two
enormous horses. As we closed the gap, we prayed for hot, steaming horse
apples in which to warm our freezing hands (hence the enigmatic title of
this rambling entry). This was not necessary, though, for the lodge was
just ahead. Inside we were greeted with the smell of pancakes, REAL maple
syrup (NOT the “Aunt Maple’s” pseudo-syrup from Aldi’s that I typically
force upon my poor family) and SAUSAGE!!!!! Heather took dainty, delicate
bites, Madeline displayed an average and normal appetite and I ate twice
my own not inconsiderable body weight in sausage. (Ten links, but who’s

Back in the car we changed into dry socks and engaged in a tried and true
female bonding ritual whereby we compared the length and thickness of our
leg hair. (For the record, I had the most hair and the fewest tattoos.)
Altogether, a very satisfying experience. I can’t wait ’til next time!


2 thoughts on “warm horse apples make excellent hand warmers

  1. Y’all are making me nostalgic. I used to do things just as crazy with my cycling partners. Now I warm my hands over my keyboard and smile at your exploits. And anytime you say to yourselves, “Maybe this is tooo crazy,” be sure to answer yourself, very quickly, “Nah.”

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