Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi

Setting sun

Welcome to 2015


Setting sun

This was the last sunset of 2014

It’s been almost a week into 2015 and life in the north has not disappointed.  Here are some exciting highlights…

We had a Chinook on New Year’s day, evening actually.  There was a really warm wind and within a few hours it went from -15C to +7C .  The drastic temperature increase resulted in a drastic snow melt and then 10 hours later it dropped back down to -15C and turned everything to ice.  Have no fear because then it started to snow, a lot, just so all the treacherous ice was well hidden.

winter running

New Year’s day run, Kobi is behind the bigger dog. The Chinook happened after this.

After the impressive snowfall, I had to go for a snowshoe with my wing-girl Kobi.  We took off on the trails behind our place (middle of nowhere) which are all uphill for what seems like forever.  Not 10 minutes in I noticed Kobi lock onto something with her doggy radar.  It was a small herd of elk.  They ran into the woods once they heard me getting Kobi back under control (i.e. yelling at her).  Fortunately I had her under control before she could be a real terror.  That was exciting.

We carried on and then Kobi locked onto 2 grouse.  She loves grouse.  What dog wouldn’t love giant chickens that fly and travel in large flocks?  When one flies away there are more to choose from.  Don’t worry, no grouse were harmed, much to Kobi’s disappointment.

Eventually we arrived at the home stretch which is all downhill.  Nothing feels as good as running downhill after walk-jogging for 2km uphill in fresh snow with snowshoes strapped to your feet.  I have never felt so fast in my life.  I’m sure I wasn’t fast, but I felt like Meb.

snowshoe running

Me running like Meb, notice Kobi is standing still waiting for me

Then there was the full moon on the weekend which was amazing, but then it got really cold.  Like -27C (-17F) not counting the windchill as who counts the windchill (probably smart people).

full moon

Full moon = cold weather

I had to go cross-country skiing the next day because it was just so bright and shiny out.  If it was -30C or colder I may have reconsidered, but heck, it was only -27C (-32C with the windchill, but I’m not a smart person).

A word of caution here, do consider the windchill and don’t try to take too many photos documenting your adventures when it’s -27C out.  It’s hard on fingers and gadget batteries.  Although, recall I have prototyped a pretty awesome smart phone warmer (read here).  I also keep the hand-warmer business in business as my hands are chronically cold from October to May.

dog in the forest

This was the -27C ski day. Kobi is sporting her new pink jacket.

The icing on the cake was the northern lights on Sunday night (and prior to 11PM).  However, by the time I got all my cold weather gear on (snowsuit, toque, headlight, gloves, mittens and neck warmer) and camera tripod ready to go, they had settled down so no spectacular photos.  Maybe next time.

northern lights

Some brief northern lights

How about you, do you consider windchill before venturing outside?  Ever feel Meb fast?  Does your dog like chasing things they’re not supposed to like large ungulates and flying chickens?

Author: Angie

I live in northern British Columbia, Canada. I found my dog Kobi in 2011 when she was only 5 weeks old and we've been having running adventures ever since.

19 thoughts on “Welcome to 2015

  1. Those are AWESOME photos! Love your photo of the northern lights and I always love seeing Kobi. I never look up the windchill, only ever go by the temp that the thermometer on my deck says. We have a grouse that loves hanging out by our chickens…he keeps trying to impress the girls.

    • I hope to catch more northern lights again. Wish they worked with my sleeping schedule better!! Windchill is deceiving as it’s easy to forget (until you’re in it) and often you can avoid it if you hide in the trees. That’s awesome you have a grouse hanging out with the girls. He probably wants in where it’s warmer and where there is more food!!

  2. Cold weather running can be pretty amazing sometimes. Good on you for getting out there. I wish I lived in a little more secluded area so I could get away from the lights.

    • You’re right that it can be pretty amazing. I do see some pretty cool stuff most times. Now that I have the clothing layers totally figured out it isn’t that bad. I think I take for granted that there aren’t a lot of lights where I run. It’s nice to see the stars and northern lights, but sometimes a bit freaky when you hear something large close by, but can’t see what it is (usually a moose).

  3. Wow, what a beautiful sunset. Looks like a painting. 🙂

  4. Love your adventures with Kobi. Brings back good memories of life in the North.

  5. Bandit loves chasing after birds.

    The only time i’ve ever seen northern lights was on a flight. I’ll never forget it. It was magical.

    Does Kobi prefer cold weather running? Or does she like any weather? Bandit is a warm weather dog. When I try to take her out in cold, especially wet, weather she looks at me as if I’m nuts.

    • Bandit is so cute. Has she seen squirrels yet? Or is she just a bird dog? Seeing northern lights on a plane would be amazing. I’ve never seen that and can only imagine how that must have looked. Kobi likes coldish to cool weather running best. -15C is her most comfortable winter temperature. Colder than that and I notice she never stops moving as she is trying to stay warm. Summer time running I have to make sure we have water holes for her to cool off in at least every 15-20 minutes as she really over-heats. She doesn’t mind the rain as it equals mud and she loves mud. Torrential rain she doesn’t like as it hurts her eyes. She needs a hat. Does Bandit wear jackets?

      • Yes, Bandit likes squirrels, but we hardly ever see them. They don’t live where we’re at. She wears a jacket or sweater, but she still gets cold. Her fur is very short and she doesn’t have much padding in terms of fat. Her paws also get very cold. We need to find puppy mittens for her.

      • It’s hard to stay warm when you’re that small. I got Kobi little fleece booties, but she wasn’t impressed when I put them on her. Always good to get them used to stuff when they’re still young.

  6. Your photos are so pretty! But I can’t believe those temperatures! I went skiing once and it was -2F at the base and I was completely miserable despite wearing all my clothes and with those hand/toe warmer things. Do you just adapt to it? Or are you cold all the time?

    • Well, sometimes I’m cold all the time. There is quite the art to layering. I have the largest collection of winter gear and have very specific items for specific temperatures. -15C is quite different than -20C. I always start off a bit chilly, but if you dress right you warm up and stay pretty warm. You can’t stop much though. My hands get very cold and that’s a pain. You probably adapt somewhat too or just kind of know you’re going to be uncomfortable for a bit and get used to it.

  7. Ahh I love reading about your adventures! I especially like the picture of Kobi running away from the sun. No need to worry about windchill here and it’s been a looooong time since I’ve felt fast while running haha.

  8. I really like your out door walks with your dog

  9. So many awesome adventures so far this year! You are a brave soul out there in the super duper cold. I definitely regret every time I pull my phone out to take a photo when it’s below 0… bye bye battery and definitely hate taking my poor fingers out of my mitten/glove deals.
    I live in Elk County – about 30 miles east of me is Benezette which boasts the largest Elk population in the state of PA, but they have yet to migrate all the way here. The running is good down there, too. Maybe someday I will see some on one of my adventures. Grouse on the other hand… I almost had a heart attack this summer on one of my mountain bikes when I got into some thick stuff and stirred up a few. They are sneaky little things!
    So glad your faithful friend is along for the ride! Happy (belated) New Year!

    • Elk are cool. Hopefully you get to see some while out running. Grouse usually scare the living daylights out of me too as they wait for the last second before they fly up. I was chased by one (a mamma with babies) years back. I was scared and laughing at the same time. She meant business.

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