Friday, October 21, 2016

They followed me home - can I keep them?

Last week I told you about the fun we had in Algonquin Park for Thanksgiving weekend, wandering in the woods through all the pretty colours of autumn. We had to say goodbye to them when we left and wait until the seasonal change proceeded South, but fortunately it didn't require much patience before our area exploded into brilliance.

Saturday morning it was right at the freezing mark when I woke up, but I decided since it sunny and was supposed to rapidly climb to summer-like temperatures that I'd hop on my mountain bike and cycle down the trails to the farmers' market. Yes, believe it or not I still remember how to ride a bicycle!

This is my favourite Saturday morning view.

Lots of leaves down but not much colour in Blair

A little prettier down the Galt section.

After picking up most of our groceries for the week, a hearty brunch and a few chores (like finally unpacking our packs and hanging up some still-damp gear from backpacking), we took off to Huron Natural Area so I could spend two and a half hours or so trotting around and taking photos of the loveliness.

Not that much visible colour in the woods themselves..

But stunning displays around the edges.

A few brilliant spots around the Board of Education Pond

And a brilliant bit of sugar maple I found while playing "How Much Stinging Nettle Can I Plow Through?"

Despite some scratched up legs and getting absurdly sweaty, I had a great time and actually felt pretty good for my first long run in quite awhile - between various trips in September and October I'd only been out for 2+hrs one other time since Iroquoia Trail Test, and that had been a fortnight prior in the Agreement Forest.

Having fun frolicking in the forest.

So I stayed out past sunset, running until I couldn't see the pretty colours anymore.

Sunday it spent most of the day raining, but the clouds broke apart just before sunset in time for me to get another run in along the Grand River Trail from Kolb Park among the brilliant hues of fall.

Where the trail ends South of Kolb Park

Along the Grand River

Trailhead at the West side of Bingeman's

Having fun, even if I'm barely capable of dressing myself.

I ran most of the way to the Economical Insurance Trailway trailhead, then turned around to head back as the light started to fade.

Colours above
More colours below

It got a bit dark as I made my way back to the car, but I'd brought my headlamp (maybe I can actually learn from experience!) and so was not only able to stay upright, I even found the bit of trail love my sweetheart left me while he was out hiking.


It was all urban running through Monday and Tuesday, but on Wednesday I left the car with Tanker and ran from my office down to my Mum's through the trails in Mississauga. The mild, breezy evening felt like stealing one last day of summer, but the foliage was decidedly autumnal.

Crossing Cooksville Creek

Down in the creek valley

Is it any wonder why I run here?

These not have been as spectacular as our traipse through the woods in Algonquin Park, but I feel very lucky and grateful to run through such beauty in the places I call home. It was a lovely way to finish my build for the Horror Trail 6-hour next weekend!

He's happy because he doesn't have legs with over 70km of running in them in the last week.

Now it's time to taper, and maybe panic a bit because I am committed to 12 hours of running in hilly places in the next 22 days..

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