Impromptu Adventure Run
A few weeks ago I went for a little run at our cottage in northern Ontario. The roads up there are almost entirely gravel, with quite a few unmaintained right-of-ways leading to hunting camps or logging claims criss-crossing the landscape. I knew from past experience that there was a decent logging road about 3km from our place, and chances were good that with the dry summer we’ve had that the water-logged section near the start might be dry enough to bypass on foot. Well, I was wrong. Recent rains had replenished the wetland adjacent to the trail and the spillover was significant (and typical). Now, I don’t have issues with getting wet or dirty but slogging through shin deep mud (pic 4 in the gallery at the end of this post) would have been bad enough on it’s own without the knowledge that I was going to have to come back through it on my way home. Deciding to make the best of a bad situation I looked around and noticed a fence gate a little way back (pic 5). After eyeballing it and the pasture beyond for a while I made my move, hopped the fence and skulked off into the pasture (Pic 6-8). Upon cresting a hill I noticed a small lake off in the distance and (much like a goldfish) I was suitably distracted .
What was SUPPOSED to be a quick detour, turned out to be a 2hr “adventure”. By the time I reached the lake the vegetation had gone from rolling meadow -> grassland -> to bog with knee deep boxwood shrubs. My progress slowed ridiculously, but I was out in the sun, not a sound to be heard; peace and serenity. Had I been a little more boy-scoutish I probably would have reminded myself that I was in the heart of bear country without any protection, and my movement essentially slowed to a crawl, but it was lost on me at the time and the adventure continued on.
Eventually, I reached the far end of the bog and realizing how long I’d been gone, I thought it prudent to get back and let the family know I hadn’t been eaten by bear/sasquatch/hungry lumberjack. My bog-slog morphed into full on bushwhacking as I tried to skirt the wetland and return to the logging road. Another half hour of crashing through the tree and underbrush later, legs scratched and bloody, I was back to the road and on my way.
All in all I was pretty pleased with my day, but I really should have taken more precautions while out there. Enjoy the outdoors folks but respect it at the same time. Regardless I’d like to go back with a few friends and see just how far we can take that logging road (water, mud and all), according to the map there’s a lake 5km past the area I was, and it might make for a fun afternoon jaunt. Only time will tell at this point.
Enjoy the pics, let me know what you think! Would you run alone in unfamiliar territory?