Dave and I appreciate living in Port Alberni pretty much every day. How many places in the world could anyone live with such a network of varied and beautiful running trails right at your doorstep? But these trails didn’t come from nowhere, of course: people built them.
Fortunately, Port Alberni has quite a healthy population of people who enjoy the outdoors and the trail systems: runners like us, but also hiker, mountain bikers, and dirt bikers. All of these groups get out there and build new trails, as well as work to maintain the old ones.
And Dave and I do our bit, too. There are some old disused trails that Dave has shown me, that we’re going to get out to clear – get those trails back in circulation.
But even the heavily used trails need some clearing from time to time – especially now, in this wet weather. Running through vegetation gets you cold and wet pretty quickly. I was out on the Alberni Inlet trail last week after a rain, and I was fine for most of it – but once I hit the section along the water, my feet immediately got soaked from all the water dripping off the overhanging ferns. So Dave and I went out yesterday – Dave pulled the ferns by hand, and I used clippers to cut the berry bushes back.
It takes a community, both to build and to maintain these trails!