Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yakking It Up

Living in rural farmland country, I don't need a running buddy because I already have dozens of them. Of course, they're not the human kind and I guess technically, they're not the running kind either. But on any given run, I get to cross paths with all kinds of company: cows, horses, goats, chickens and even the occasional llama. But a couple of weeks ago, I encountered something new--a yak.


I had to look twice. Seriously... a yak? Don't yaks live in arctic cold climates like Tibet? Oh wait... this is Idaho. Nevermind.

As yaks go, he was a friendly fellow. Admittedly, I can't say I've ever met another yak with which to compare, but he seemed a fairly typical yak. He watched me approach; we made eye contact. I nodded to acknowledge him and out of courtesy struck up a little conversation.

"Haven't seen you around these parts before".

He didn't reply, which I might have taken for being a bit rude, but in his defense, he did stop chewing whatever was in his mouth. Our encounter was over in a matter of seconds, but I like to think the yak and I formed a little insta-bond in that moment of time when our existences intersected.

I finished my run and didn't think about the yak again until later that night. It was my daughter's ninth birthday and we gave her the choice of where she wanted to go out to dinner. She chose a hole-in-the-wall burger joint a few miles past Grandpa's old farm that serves one-pound hamburgers on gigantic buns with all the fixings. You didn't read that wrong... one pound burgers, as in one patty that weighs one pound. Despite how it sounds, they're delicious and the place is always hopping. They even have a wall with photos of people who have managed to eat the entire one-pound burger by themselves. No, I'm not pictured on that wall. 3/4 is as far as I've ever gotten.

We stepped into the diner and were waiting to be seated when I looked up and noticed a chalkboard sign above the cash register:

"Now serving yak burgers!"

All the sudden I felt a little sick to my stomach. Not at the thought of eating a yak burger, but at the revelation of the fate of my new BFF. Out of respect, I offered a moment of silence. But then I promptly proceeded to down my share of the one-pound hamburger when it was put in front of me. (Don't judge me. I don't personally know any of the local cows.)

Again, I didn't think about the yak until this morning's run when my route took me through his pasture. There he was again-- or one that looked eerily just like him. I can't be sure, but I don't think it was the same yak. This one didn't stop to look at me, much less stop chewing... and to be honest, I couldn't look it in the eyes anyway. Instead, I nervously averted mine and focused straight ahead towards mile six without looking back. But as I did, my stomach rumbled a little from hunger and I couldn't help but wonder...

Do yaks go better with french fries or tater tots?

11 comments:

Mel said...

Loved this post! Running in rural ID definitely has its advantages;)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

YOu are too funny. Never had or encountered Yak mayself.

robison52 said...

Only you would stop your run to YAK with a Yak.

Topher said...

Great post! Loved it.

The Hoyt's said...

Oh my word girl where do you come up with this stuff.. You are so funny!! And I thought I encountered alot od furry friends along my trails but I cant say I have ever seen a yak.. Awesome!!

queenieweenie said...

Only in Idaho!

RunMom said...

This is hilarious! And I was worried when I had a goose staring me down. Love your blog, so glad I stumbled upon it. Following along now.

I'm also giving you an award over on my blog. You can view it here Secrets of A Running Mom

Peter Murphy said...

Pretty sure this is the funniest running related blog post I've read all yeah. Classic.

Nitmos said...

I always evaluate the local cows in my area by perceived taste and texture and how they would go with my beer of choice. Then I say "Mooo" and run past.

joeyb said...

Ang, where DO you meet these animals??? Your friends who read your blog should go back a few years and read your story about running with goats. If they are new and haven't read it, they will CRACK up. I have repeated that story to so many people. Watch the buffalo....they can be kind of aggressive. You rock!

Rachel said...

How did your Wasatch Back Relay go? When I got up there, I realized I never got your number or gave you mine, but kept an eye out for you! Hope things went well. What runner were you? How did you like no sleeping and poor eating? The runs seemed okay for me, it was the other stuff that got to me! I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat!!!