Often times in the past my husband and I have been to Mundy Park, which is a large 435-acre urban forest nestled in our city. The eastern edge of it is up a very long, steep hill from us, and going west heads over to the playground, swimming pool, and sports field. Well, because it’s so close, I decided to run there last Saturday. I had been to the park several times. In April 2013 there was a geomagnetic storm, making possible the aurora borealis, so we went over to the dark park at midnight and set up the tripod and camera. Got lots of neat photos of stars and coniferous-poked sky but no lights. Other times we hiked around Mundy Lake, about 1K around, and found several red-eared sliders, an invasive turtle in our area. It was the season when the turtles were laying eggs, so we’d see the females doing just that in the middle of our footpath.
This time I went in a different entrance and hoped to find Mundy Lake but got lost. So I ended up on the perimeter trail for a while, and it is very hilly. I think my elevation that day was higher than normal (I have forced myself to run hills lately, which is great training, they say). I ended up quite out of breath after a couple miles and had a stitch in my back, so I stopped my run monitor, took a 10-minute break, and then ran another mile around Lost Lake, which is closer to the park side of near where we live.
Anyway, the perimeter trail goes smack dab into urban rainforest. I was so fascinated that this real rainforest, and so much of it, is in our backyard. We have traveled to the Great Bear Rainforest up north, to the rainforests on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and closer in (like Roberts Creek)–and you see this coastal temperate rainforest biome’s markers everywhere around here, really. But at Mundy Park it was just wilder and larger than in other pockets of the city. I had a big smile on my face seeing ferns, lichen, and dense rainforest floor with its debris and fallen trees, the stately cedars and other trees. It felt really wonderful running there, and I was flooded with some kind of emotion, thrilled that this forest was preserved in the park for people to enjoy. I took a photo, but this photo doesn’t really do justice (it’s also kind of blurry because I didn’t want to completely stop during my run).
I’ve also been delighted to find one shower in the locker room, after weekday runs, that I dubbed “Rainforest Mist Shower”. It’s probably broken a little, for it sprays a mist rather than a stronger force of regular shower water. This is my new favorite shower. After a sweaty run I close my eyes and stand beneath the cold mist (I like taking cold-to-lukewarm showers after running), imagining being in the rainforest rain. Lovely feeling. Today’s run was tough because I have constant fights with my diabetic medication, where it upsets my stomach all the frickin’ time, but I did my two and a half mile run, hoping for rain. I don’t set too many goals, but I knew a big rain was coming and I decided to run until it began raining. Well, it finally began raining–not the big rain (yet) that we’re supposed to get but a fine rainforest mist.
Speaking of rain, we get a lot of it, and that’s why living here is so beautiful. The rainforest is a sight to lay your weary eyes on, and the tranquility and wild within is great to get lost in and take your mind off city noises, commutes, and a number of every day nuisances. Anyway, today we’re braced for another subtropical storm as the Pineapple Express makes headway, with 150mm of rain expected in our area by tomorrow. I kind of wanted to run in that, but it’s just not here yet! Other areas of BC will be getting winter storms. Lord knows our elevations need the snow, for the our local Fraser River, which makes up our valley, is mostly fed by snowmelt rather than rain. We were going to try snowshoeing this winter, but so far the local mountains are really drought-like with snow. I have taken on Yoga instead and quite like it, but am waiting for more snow (maybe next year?) Until then, I am satisfied to work my legs in the valleys.