A Run in the Woods

I willed myself to run 5K minimally Saturday and Tuesday, going slightly over on the weekend when my husband and I ran in Mundy Park (the local urban rainforest), and then again on a great urban run Tuesday where I had some strenuous uphill but got to sprint down a long hill that was so much fun. I decided that my health concerns are just too uncertain for now for me to worry about and that my biggest hurdle is still running in hot weather. But that concern may be eased soon, as the next two weeks show some rain (finally!) and temps between 12-15, perfect running weather. I have a Great Climate Race November 8 and would like to be running 10K regularly by then, at least once a week.

Anyway, Tuesday night we got free passes to see the movie “A Walk in the Woods,” starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. I really enjoyed it. The movie is based upon Bill Bryson, who has published many travel and science books and hiked part of the Appalachian Trail. In the film version, the guys doing the hike are quite older than Bill when he first began hiking it, and they are very humorous (as is Bill himself), Nolte playing a recovering alcoholic and Redford playing an admirable older man who is super inspired by the nature surrounding the trail. At a few points along the trail Redford’s character (based upon Bill) stops and gives epiphanies and facts about rocks, trees,  stars, and other natural wonders. I really enjoyed this aspect of the movie and wish more storytelling would build in such narratives. It’s odd that humans feel so separate from nature that simple observations or explorations of these surroundings fails to compete with other conversation topics (though my husband and I are often exploring and discussing the nature surrounding us–the science of it, the beauty of it, and how the wilderness is going away).

I used to dream of doing a long hike like the Appalachian Trail. In my youth I spent many afternoons with my cousins and siblings exploring and climbing those beautiful mountains and trails. My dream came to be to visit Spain someday and do the Camino de Santiago, at least the northern route that starts in the Pyrenees. My heart throbs for Spain, though I’ve never been there and probably will never go there–and it no longer matters to me as much as it used to. If we do anything in the coming years, we’ll take Mom to Ireland, her roots, a place she has dreamed of going her entire life. Anyway, there’s long and beautiful hikes closer to home, more doable in a week or so rather than months, which may be hard for us to get off from work. BC has so many hiking trails, and even if we would do a serious one, it would mean getting some real hiking shoes! It is kind of a dream though, to spend a week or more hiking, camping, and just getting out in the wild.

For now we do these short runs in either the local urban walks or trails, or sometimes in parks when we travel. I was blogging about Wells Grey the other day, a beautiful place not too far north of Kamloops, in Clearwater, BC. We went a few falls ago and decided to go back in October, on the long Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. That way we have a little getaway, spending a night at one of the lodges and having an entire day for hiking. We’ll also be closer to in-laws to spend with them for Thanksgiving, so that’ll be great!

Here’s some photos from our last trip, including Helmcken Falls (4th highest waterfall in Canada), a scene with the lovely fall foliage and mountains, and the Clearwater River.

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