I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized that I close on the sale of my Boston condo in one month. One month! 31 days! I'm running out of time! I'm sure that I have at least 31 places that I like to run in Boston. I'll need to get running to cover all the ground that I want to cover in Boston for this blog. I currently do a lot of my running along the Emerald Necklace park system. Designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, its course starts in the Back Bay Fens, near Fenway Park, and winds through many Boston neighborhoods, near the Longwood medical area, along the Boston's border with Brookline and finishes at Franklin Park - home to hundreds of high school, college and open cross country races each fall. Like the Charles River, an entire loop is not in the mileage plan for me. So, I am breaking it into sections for the blog. Also, like the Charles, the Emerald Necklace parks have ample dirt paths and worn-in trails, and most of my runs in this area are on soft surfaces. Despite living in a large city, I have many trail systems conveniently located for me to log many soft surface miles. The Run (map): I started this run just outside of Brookline Village, parking on Brookline Avenue next to Brookline Coal and Ice. I ran the Boston side of the Muddy River past Longwood to the Back Bay Fens. Keeping the river on my left, I ran past many of the colleges and museums in the area including Wheelock College, Simmons College, Emmanuel College, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and Northeastern University to name just a few. At the conclusion of the Back Bay Fens at Boyleston Street, I looped back along the Fenway Park side of the Muddy River, ran through the Fenway Victory Gardens, and returned to my car along the Brookline side of the Muddy River. Thought for the Day: At the rotary in front of the Landmark Center, where Brookline Avenue, the Fenway and Park Drive all come together in a typical Boston traffic nightmare, there is a restoration project to "daylight" parts of the Muddy River that had previously been diverted underground in a series of pipes and other conduits. The goal is to return the river to a more natural open stream. Apparently changing the course and flow of the Muddy River through the years has created issues such as flooding that have caused property damage and interrupted train service in the nearby Fenway subway station. In fairness to the current managers of the river and parks, much of that diverting was done the 1940's when part of the river was filled in for projects such as a parking lot near the Landmark Center (which used to be a Sears building). My inner environmentalist is happy to know that, despite the Muddy River not being the longest, widest or most raging of rivers, it was still able to defeat the engineers and force humans to put it back to the way nature intended it.