You can take the girl out of Colorado, but you can’t take the Colorado out of the girl! At the top of my agenda for my first full weekend in Georgia was of course finding trails suitable for running. And don’t worry, I successfully completed this mission. I actually found a really great Web site that has a map of places to run in the greater Atlanta area. I do have a nice park near where I am staying, but I am of course a huge city running snob. As in I can’t stand city running. I’ll do it if I have to, but it’s definitely not my first choice. Anyway, I drove to the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area on Saturday morning, long overdue for a quality trail run. During my final trail run in Colorado, I ran on this gorgeous ridge overlooking the Denver skyline. And there was a rainbow over the skyline. And then I passed by several baby deer. Let’s just say I had very low expectations for trail running in Georgia. However, I am pleased to report that trail running in Georgia is awesome. While it’s certainly no Jefferson County Open Space, the trails at Chattahoochee were great. Picture soft, red clay trails over rolling hills under a green, leafy canopy. It was a completely different experience than running in Colorado, and I must confess, it wasn’t half-bad. Shady, pleasant, and hey, there were even pine trees!
There really was something quite nice about running under the cover of so many trees. Trails in Colorado are often on the side of mountains or foothills and are fairly exposed. Running at Chattahoochee was comforting, and I almost felt like I was enclosed in my own world. I know I am getting all Walden Pond right now, but I am definitely learning that I need to run and get outside for my own sanity. Running is a necessary part of my life for a lot of reasons, and after I finished running on Saturday, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. In fact, I had such an awesome experience on Saturday that I went back for another run on Sunday morning! That really says a lot about the trails, because as much as I am a city running snob, I am admittedly also a trail snob.
My life in Hotlanta has not been all about trails though. My other priorities are definitely in order as well. For example, 102.9, Atlanta’s only hip-hop station, is already the first preset on my radio. I had a good weekend as well, involving free frozen yogurt and a really random party at this bed and breakfast where some of my intern friends live. Also I went with a group to The Atlanta Cupcake Factory on Sunday and sampled some of its fare. The verdict? Good, but The Shoppe on Colfax still makes better cupcakes in my opinion.
Oh yeah, and The Carter Center internship, which I suppose is the reason for all of the Atlanta business in the first place, has gotten off to a good start. I spend all day working on Latin American democratization/political issues, which I love. All things considered (NPR!), life in Georgia is not shaping up to be too bad. Trail running and cupcakes – it doesn’t take much to make me happy.