Solo run: Dave’s at work, so Jackie tries to find her way around the trails

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, but Dave had to work. I had to work, too… as a freelancer it is very hard to remain disciplined when it is so beautiful out. I managed to that in my dark little writing cave until after 5pm, then headed out to the sunshine.

Starting out on the trails, nearly 6pm.

There are some trails just up the hill from here that Dave has taken me on before. I am a great navigator on my own, but when I am following someone else I kind of stop paying attention. So even though I have run these trails before, I don’t actually know my way around. So I figured I’d go explore, figure them out. I offered to take Dave’s dogs out – ostensibly to give them exercise – but also because they’ve run this route 100s of times before and I knew they’d show me the way. But Dave said they were fine – so I headed out on my own. (And, since we now have this blog, I brought my camera – setting it up on logs or rocks with the self-timer).

Down through the ravine - I remembered that part.

I remembered how the route started, trails through the forest, down through a little ravine,  then a gradual uphill as the path opening to a quad trail through a clearcut, and then  a logging road, heading past a small quarry, and then at some point finding a small path to the right that would wind me back down through the forest to near where I had started.

But what I didn’t remember was the V in the logging road. Both routes looked familiar. Well, I chose the one to the left, figuring that if it’s the wrong one I’ll just make this an out-and-back, come back the way I came – just making sure to turn around with plenty of time so I wouldn’t be caught in the dark.

Power gels. Free, local, organic. Natural source of fluids and carbs. Chock full of antioxidants. No artificial colours or flavours.

The road went on and on, and I knew I was not on the track I had meant to be on. But, whatever. I was exploring. It was still a gradual uphill.

Lots of this...

Heading down, down, down.

The logging road got narrower and more overgrown, and finally ended. Here, a beautiful quad track continued through the forest, so I followed that – now downhill.

My sense of direction told me that this would likely meet with a trail I had been mountain biking on the day before – so I continued, hoping that I would meet that trail soon – otherwise, I really would be obligated to turn around to make sure I got out before dark.

And sure enough, I found the trail! I turned left on it to see where I was, and immediately came to a bridge that I didn’t recognize. So I went back and turned right, and found a trail sign where I had turned off on the bike the evening before. Success! So I ran back down it, looping back towards where I had started,

Cool plant - I think it's Indian Pipe (or something closely related) - although the flowers are upturned rather than dropping.

looking out for the trail that I had meant to come down.

I found it, ran back up it, found the logging road and the quarry, and did the whole loop I had originally planned to do in reverse. Yay! I finally know my way around out there!

It's a plant that lacks chlorophyll, so it gets its nutrition by using fungi to connect its roots to those of nearby conifer trees.

  1. #1 by dave on August 19, 2011 - 12:13 pm

    Hey! you are out on my trails without me! That would have to be some form of running blasphamy? Have the entire Port ALberni trail system memorized by the time we go run again!

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