I was still recovering Sunday morning from a late Friday night, and I almost talked myself out of running at all. By the time I finally decided to hit the road, the temperature was well into the 80’s. I didn’t want to wreck myself again and set myself up for another tough training week, so I decided to keep it slow and short – 8 miles in the hot afternoon sun should be plenty.
I headed out towards the road with the ‘taters, one of my new favorite venues. The first 4 were so nice, I decided to add on a mile or so and ventured a bit further into the countryside than I’d been on that side of town.
Just after the turnaround, I saw a beautiful lake with some boats tied to a dock and what looked like a small shop. The entrance to the place had 3 different commercial business names on a professional-looking sign, so I figured I’d take a jog back to the dock so I could hopefully buy a bottle of cold water and use the bathroom.
As I approached, I saw a man coming in from the boats – a happy, smiling soul who greeted me warmly. I asked him what was this unusual place in the middle of the countryside, and he replied with a broad grin, “This is my home.”
He invited me to walk across the beach (yes, there was sand) and into the shade of the tiki stand while he explained the history of the beautiful and unique 30 acres that surrounded us. The conversation continued as I refreshed with some water in a plastic margarita glass and sat my sweaty ass on the outdoor sofa.
He motioned across the gravel road to two buildings, one of which was his older contemporary-style home, and the other was, according to the owner, a 12,000 sq. foot bunker built into the side of the hill.
I felt like I was in the fucking twilight zone.
Mr. Bunker wanted to show me around a little, and since he seemed harmless, I joined him in one of his 3 golf carts for a tour of the property. (I know, I’ve already received a well-deserved lecture.) The gravel paths were just wide enough by design for the cart, and he drove me up to the top of the bunker building where there was a lovely garden, a gazebo, and another lounging area on a bed of small stones that he called Pebble Beach. It all overlooked the lake with the most incredible view of neighboring flower farms. We returned to the golf cart and wound around back through more gardens, complete with a huge koi pond with probably 100 fish.
The last stop was in front of a huge panel on the ground floor of the building that must have been 30 feet high. Mr. Bunker retrieved a key from a passcode-secure box and pushed it into the lock while the door slowly lifted to reveal the most gigantic, most organized garage I’ve ever seen – everything was industrial sized. Shelves and shelves from floor to ceiling filled with bins and parts and tools and equipment. The boat looked miniature in comparison.
We walked through another door from the outside and toured the empty office space he has available for rent. A real gem.
Finally, I thanked Mr. Bunker for his hospitality and set off for the sweaty return trip home.
You just never know what kinds of crazy adventure a run may bring.
Kids: Don’t try this at home.