Instead, let me tell you about a slice of happiness I found last weekend.
I hadn't been out for a trail run since The Beav - apart from lack of time and the early darkness, I was trying to be nice to my still-sore ankle and was keeping it to even, non-technical surfaces.
The puppy inside me wanted to go play and explore, though, so last Sunday I finally went for a romp in a place I'd never been before - Snyder's Flats.
It had rained most of the prior 24hrs so it was a touch wet.
|Double track or double stream?|
..but it was also unseasonably warm. December the 2nd, and there I was comfortably trotting around in a skirt and light shirt!
Having forgotten my GPS watch (d'oh!), I simply ran around exploring. From the maps I had seen there was enough trail to do about 6k, which was all I really wanted.
What I didn't know is that only about half of the bits of singletrack in the former gravel pit are actually laid out on the map - the satellite view gives a bit better impression:
|Though I don't think even this shows all of the little bunny paths.|
I started out on gravelly doubletrack, but soon found my way to the pond at the northeast and the muddy singletrack that runs between it and the Grand River.
|Definitely more interesting than the wide-open gravel field|
|Shoes were gaining a pound with each step|
As I looked over the pond, I saw that the mild air had led to some of the ice melting, and a fascinating cloud of mist hovering just over the surface.
|Always such a neat sight|
The trails I followed were certainly not frozen, though - I'm glad I wore wool socks, as there was definitely some puddle jumping going on!
|SPLURP SPLURP SPLURP|
The flat terrain had me thinking that this would be a fabulous place to bring our cross-country skis once there's enough snow to safely cover all the gravel.
|Though it's not without a bit of flood-carved contour.|
I ran along the river toward the setting sun, delighted by this stolen moment of autumn amid the awful winter weather we'd been having.
|Certainly not very December-ish.|
As I neared the end of my run, I found myself having to stop more often to gape at the incredible sunset unfolding before me.
|This deserves a moment of its own.|
I knew from the time that I'd arrived I wouldn't have much time to explore, but I was able to run almost all of the trails in less than three quarters of an hour, even counting the time I spent standing still to absorb the tranquility of the fading light over the water.
|I missed a few bits here and there, but not very much.|
Full Endomondo data is here
|Just what I needed.|
I had to return to the world of unpleasant chores, frustration and doubts upon leaving, but for forty three glorious minutes I was just another wild animal frolicking on a beautiful evening.
I have no idea when I'll be able to get out for another taste of the glorious freedom I felt that evening, but I sincerely wish you all a similarly joyful experience before this year is up. Carve out a bit of time, then go out and play!