Thursday, February 16, 2006

Our Town

I've mentioned it before, that I live in the same town that I grew up in. I live in a suburb of Columbus called New Albany. It's about 25 minutes northeast of Columbus. Growing up, NA was a country town with lots of farms and open spaces. It was super-small and no one knew where it was (even though a trip to the "city" wasn't all that far). My graduating class was 52 people.

Times sure have changed. When I was either in middle school or high school, Les Wexner "discovered" New Albany and basically came and bought the town. Les Wexner, for those who don't know is the owner of Limited Brands, which is Bath and Body Works, Limited, Limited Too, Express, and Victoria Secrets to name a few. He formed The New Albany Company which bought all the land, tore down the farms and created beautiful million dollar houses, a country club, and a new school. Some of the outside areas of New Albany still remain farm land, but most has been redeveloped.

Last night's run was 12 miles and I started it by doing my usual country club route, but I decided to go backwards from what I usually do. When I got to the top of the route, I noticed there was more trails that veered off to the right. I had never noticed them before and I also noticed a gigantic house under construction so I thought I would venture. When I came to the end of the trail I was at Reynoldburg-New Albany road and right across from me was "The Farms." And the gate was open.

The Farms is a private gated housing development where the very, very wealthy live. I mean we're talking multi-million dollar houses. I just looked up one from that neighborhood and the price on it is $4.4M. Being that the gate was open, I decided to go back there running. This neighborhood is so private that there aren't even addresses; the houses just have numbers like #1, #2, etc. I went down one direction and some dogs started barking at me from their driveway so I turned back around. Then I noticed a little boy going up and down his driveway on rollerblades being pulled by his dog. As I approached that house, the dog took off after me, the kid in tow. The kid was smart enough to let go of the leash and fall into the grass, but the dog kept chasing after me. I was screaming at the dog, NO!!!! The dog came charging right up to me and I thought I was a goner. I turned my backside towards him so that if he was going to bite me at least he would bite me in a more meatier areas and possibly do less damage. Luckily, he just kinda circled around me. Then he discovered another dog down the street and took off after it. The kid was wearing those shoes that have the rollerblades in them and he came running up his driveway toward me. I asked him if he was okay and he was. Then he started yelling at the dog to come home and it didn't. The kid took off running towards his house and there I was left standing. I didn't know what to do. So, I kept running.

I came to a fork in the road and I decided to turn left. As I approached the end of the road I noticed 7 deer staring straight at me. They were in a field, or so I thought. I looked left and there it was. Wexner's house. It's like the holy grail of houses. Then on the other side of the road is Bobby Rahal's house. Bobby Rahal is a former race car driver who won the Indy 500 and now own's Rahal Racing with David Letterman. Supposedly Letterman has a house in New Albany too. I probably ran by it yesterday.

My run continued on around the country club. When I came to the end of the upper loop before I passed under Route 62, there was a gentleman running toward me who veered way off the path. I wondered what the heck he was doing. As he approached me he said that there were several deer just right off the path. I looked and there they were. Seven to either deer staring at me. If you're keeping count, that's about 15 deer in one run.

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I did see a beautiful red cardinal in the woods. It looked really red among all the brown and grey of winter.

I had a great run. I did 12 miles, but I really thought of continuing on and just finishing the 16 miles I had planned for the weekend. By the time I ended, though, it was dark and I knew if I stopped to put my headlamp on that I wouldn't get started again. What a great adventure.


jeff said...

now that is cool. i love running into nature (not the dogs) when you least expect it. 15 dear has got to be a record! =)

Anonymous said...

actually, letterman stays at one of bobby's guest houses. he does not own a home in NA.