"Off to the Races..."
Monday, February 22nd
Monday, February 22nd
Yes folks, today is THE day. The day that we begin our 15,864 mile journey across the United States. I am happy to report that the weather looks wonderful for this last week in February, so I strongly suggest that you get to work logging those miles because fairly soon we are going to find ourselves in the middle of Iowa, in March, with sub zero temperatures and freezing rain. I am sure you all know by now that not every state is lucky enough to experience "Spring" in late February!
Anyway, with our first "Mile Monday" behind us, I am predicting that we have made it off the Greenhills campus, and down Douglas Blvd, maybe stopping at Target for a quick snack and a "road-y soad-y". (That is East Coast talk, meaning a drink for the road.) We then turned West onto I-80 passing through Sacramento.
As you know Sacramento is our State Capital! But did you know that it is actually our 6th State Capital since 1854? Other cities that have had the distinction are: Monterey, San Jose, Vallejo, Benicia and Auburn! Did you also know that the city of Sacramento is actually located in two counties - both Sacramento County and Yolo County. When we are at Greenhills, we are actually located in Placer County.
One claim to fame is that Sacramento is home to the Pony Express. Long before we had mail trucks delivering our mail, messages were sent by horseback. The Pony Express stretched from here all the way to the State of Missouri, which we will "jog" through later on in our journey.
The Sacramento Kings are our local Basketball team, with "Slamson" as their mascot. (I believe he is a lion?) The Kings started in Rochester, NY as the "Royals", and then moved to Kansas City before they landed in our city. While my loyalty lies with a completely different team, for the purpose of our journey here, I will claim the Kings to be my second favorite.
Moving on from Sacramento we continued our journey West on 1-80 towards San Francisco. At this point we were probably a little tired from the 108 mile journey but still happy to check out the Golden Gate Bridge and ride the Cable Cars. Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge was almost painted black and yellow, as it was decided that this would help big ships to see it in the fog? I'm not sure it would have made our "list" if it had not been painted the deep and beautiful orange known as "International Orange". The bridge is rarely shut down, but in 2014, two black-tailed deer decided to check out the bridge for themselves during the evening commute and shut the whole thing down causing quite the commotion.
As for those cable cars, they are our only "moving" national landmark. And they don't move all that fast either, toping out at 9.5 mph uphill or downhill. I'm not sure how often you have spent walking the hills of San Francisco in high heels, but those cable cars are often times a welcome site! But enough about San Francisco, we need to keep movin', so back on the Interstate to "jog" south towards the San Andreas Fault, 281 miles away. I am estimating that we didn't make it there today (~1 mile x 350 kids) but we will (easily) get there this week if we all keep up the good work! Oh, and make sure to make a quick stop outside SFO for the "Manhattan Clam Pizza" (hold the clams) at Amici's East Coast Pizzeria.
Heading South on Hwy 1 ...
Thursday, February 25th
Thursday, February 25th
With this weeks mileage totals beginning to trickle in, I felt it was time for another quick update. First off, MAJOR PROPS to all of our Third-Graders. Third Grade has truly embraced this Virtual Jog-A-Thon with several of them logging more (daily) mileage than I logged while training for the Chicago Marathon. Totally impressed. Personally, I can't wait to see a huge uptick on Friday when the rest of you add your contributions to the effort. (hint. hint.) Oh, and as a side note, I did have to change a few of the questions on the "mileage submission form" as clearly the question around the capital of Illinois was way too easy for you guys. Go Greenhills Teachers! :)
So yes, while we have technically (only) logged 159 miles to date, I am optimistic that many of you have already 'done the work' but are waiting to record that mileage on Friday. As a result I will be taking some liberties in order to push us onward towards our lofty goal. If I don't do this now, one of these posts is going to wind up being way to uh, "epic", for any of our respective attention spans.
After dining on "clam-less" pizza at Amici's we headed South on Highway 101 towards San Jose. I would have suggested a brief stop at the Tech Interactive but surprise, surprise it is closed. Instead grab a late night snack (to go of course) at Aqui (the Chicken Taquitos are A-MAZ-ING) and continue on, jogging past the Monterey Bay Aquarium (also closed), beyond Carmel (if your legs are up to it, you are welcome to take a short detour to the "17-mile drive") to the Bixby Bridge.
Bixby Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in the nation. Growing up on the East Coast, I was under the impression that ALL of California looked like this. Well played California, well played. Anyway, the construction of this bridge began back in 1931 at a cost of only $203,000. In 1998, the State did a $20 million seismic retrofit (to make it Earthquake safe). With this type of ROI, I guess we should have all invested in bridges back in the 1930s. You know, if any of us had been born yet.
Beyond Bixby Bridge is Hearst Castle. (And.... closed.) Hearst Castle is listed as one of America's "10 Most Amazing Castles". While jogging by the grounds, we were lucky to spot one of the 126 wild zebras that roam freely through San Simeon. William Hearst had a private zoo at the castle until 1937 when it was disbanded, hence the zebras. Luckily he returned the Polar Bears to a nearby zoo. While I am all about bumping into a zebra while out on a run down Highway 1, I am not as cool with running into a Polar Bear.
Now onto the San Andreas Fault and a little geography lesson for all of us. The San Andreas Fault is a right-moving ('dextral') strike-slip fault. It marks the boundary between the North American Plate on the east and the Pacific Plate on the west and was the cause of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The SAF stretches 700 miles in length, but, luckily, does not pass through Placer County. Phew.
Our final stretch for the day takes us another 158 miles to Death Valley. Did you know that Death Valley is the largest National Park in the Lower 48? It also boasts the highest temperature ever recorded IN THE WORLD at 134 degrees in 2013. Even I would remove my sweatshirt in that temperature! Our country's lowest point, Badwater Basin, at 282 feet below sea level is also in Death Valley. Good thing we are passing through in February as the average temperature now is a mild 72 degrees. Say goodbye to all that beautiful California weather though, we head East in the morning!
What Time is it Anyway?
Sunday, February 28th
Sunday, February 28th
That being said, we ended our first week adding two new (really big!) states to our tally. I’m sure that your legs are starting to feel it by now -- particularly all those third graders who represent 51% of all logged miles. A jog through Death Valley left many of us longing for a tall glass of water and randomly, an ice cream cone. Luckily, just outside of the Mohave Dessert (in Nevada), we crossed paths with “Seemoore's Ice Cream Stand”. Seemoore's claims to be the tallest Ice Cream Stand in the World (yes, that is an actual thing.) It is here that we all snarfed down a waffle cone all the while fending off the native antelope ground squirrels who appear to have a predisposition for our frozen dairy delicacies. Who could reset a dessert in a desert? :)
Virtual Jog-A-Thon - WEEK ONE RESULTS:
Monday, March 1st
Monday, March 1st
1024.3 miles through California, Nevada and Arizona.
(14,659.7 miles to go!)
For their last and final Jog-A-Thon, our Third Graders are really making their mark. I think we should all cheer them on for their 4th (sometimes 5th!) and final Jog! (sniff. sniff.)
Other Teachers that have been represented but not visible on this chart are: Shafto, Palazzini, Chen, McMahon, and Pool (EVA).
I must say that I am quite impressed with those that were able to "skip" an entire 10 miles. Although I am even more impressed by the 9 miles logged "cartwheeling". Some serious talent here at Greenhills!
Other "States" that were popular but did not make a large enough impact on the chart to be visible are: Japan, North Canada, New York City, Washington D.C, Philadelphia and the often requested "Hawayyi" or "Haawii".
The answer is..... "International Orange"! Nice work!
The answer is.... Fairfield! This was a tricky one!