Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Mosquitoes, Unicorns and Frogs

runner and dog

Look, I’m wearing shorts outside! First time since last September!!

Just wanted to catch y’all up on what’s been happening up north.  We’ve had a mix of weather up here ranging from snow to thunderstorms.  Typical spring.  The best part is that the leaves are starting to come out and the robins have come back!  There are huge flocks of sandhill cranes and swans flying by and the frogs are once again croaking.  I even saw one of these the other day.

Mosquito

I should have killed it as it probably had 3 million eggs in it to make more evil mosquitoes.

I can’t describe how wonderful it is to hear robins singing again.  Winter gives you an appreciation for some of the simpler things I reckon.  It’s light out for a long time now too which wakes the cats up very early.  They think it’s fun to wake up at 4:30AM.

cats

How can you get mad at those faces?

I just heard the frogs croaking at my place yesterday.  I love frogs.  We only have two types this far north (boreal chorus and the wood frog).  Both are smallish, the chorus frog is tree frog small and the wood frog a bit bigger.  Both burrow into mud and freeze solid for the winter and then thaw out in the spring and start all over.  Cool hey?!

I’m still running around lots with my partner in crime.  She’s a filthy muddy mess pretty much all the time now.  She’s replaced her love of snow for a love a mud puddles.

dog blowing bubbles

Kobi loves mud puddles and loves blowing bubbles.

I also saw the baby unicorns again.  Their horns still haven’t grown in though.  I think they need to be a few years old.

horses

Baby unicorns!!

I shall report back soon as I suspect I’ll have some exciting adventures to share as I’m sure I will be seeing the large predators (aka bears) out and about soon.

running with dogs

run run

Do you get excited when the birds come back?  Does that even apply to where you live?  What’s worse, mosquitoes or bears?

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The Season of Mud

The season of mud has arrived.  I think it’s called spring in other more modern places.

mud and dog walking

My running trails look like this now. Aren’t my Mucks pretty!?

I do like this season because it means things will be green soon, but I don’t like this season because before things get green, they’re very brown and wet.  It also means the bugs and bears will be out soon.

This favourite season of mine also makes running tricky.  You see, I like trail running and the trails are mostly mud and/or soft impassable snow right now.  Which means I have to run on the paved community trail in town.  That means Kobi is “supposed” to be on a leash.  She’s not very good on a leash, more like I’m not very good on a leash.  I don’t heel well and I also don’t sprint, stop, sniff and repeat with the same level of enthusiasm she does.

dog running

The view on most of my runs. Yes, we were breaking the law and I was off-leash.

This season of mud also brings with it random snow-storms and other extreme weather events like severe wind and hailstorms.  Two more of my favourite things.

dog and hail storm

Kobi’s please-don’t-make-me-run-in-this-hailstorm face.

dog catching ball

We had snow showers and hail storms all on the same day!

As a result of the mud and nasty weather (aka hail storm), I have not run much this week.  But Kobi did have her first bath of 2015.

dog bath

Casper was supervising. Kobi really doesn’t mind baths, but you can’t tell that by the look on her face.

I’m sure things will dry up soon enough and I’ll be back on the dirt trails worrying about bear encounters.

Does your dog like baths? Which do you prefer, running in a hailstorm or severe wind or both?  What’s your favourite season?


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Running with Wolves

dog photobomb

Oh hello

Over the long weekend I headed up the highway to the tiny community of Toad River where my friend was house-sitting at a local guide outfitters lodge/home. Being the spontaneous types we are we decided to run to a place referred to as the Nonda Creek Tower. It’s a radio tower at the end of a very rough road. I had driven to this place 10+ years ago so my memory wasn’t serving me well. I figured the route could be anywhere between 6km and 25km. Neither one of us consulted a map Google first.

dog in the mountains

Woo Hoo, we’re in the mountains

We aren’t totally dumb and did pack day-packs to be on the safe side (I’m quite certain mine weighed 20 lbs).
After 9km of blissful uphill running on a nice hard snow packed surface (thank you snowmobilers) we still had no clue how much farther the tower was.

group shot

We look so happy! The dogs didn’t want their photos taken though.

We did clue in to the fresh wolf tracks and wolf scat (poop, but scat sounds smarter). I also noticed that Kobi started heeling a few times. I just thought she was tired or perhaps demonstrating how well-trained she is (she’s a hooligan, but I’m easily fooled).

winter road

Not a bad view

Finally, at 12.5km, we admitted defeat and turned around as we still had to get ourselves back to the truck. By this time the hard packed snow was more like soft snow and my feet were wet and my toes were hurting from attempting to grip the snow from inside my shoes (futile, but I do this).

dog in a creek

Just a cool photo for your viewing pleasure

A few km’s into the return trip, Kobi heels again, this time so intensely she nearly trips me. Again I’m thinking, “what a good girl, so well-trained.” I’m completely exhausted at this point and my blood sugar is low and all the cells in my body were doing their best just to keep my legs moving at the expense of the higher cognitive functions of my brain. Basically, my brain didn’t translate heeling dog = imminent danger.

I’m quite sure there was something lurking in the woods watching us, likely wolves. I’m sure Kobi and the other dog Dino knew we were being watched, but the two completely exhausted humans were unaware.

mountain view at Toad River

More mountain views

Perhaps my obliviousness was my subconscious way of not freaking out. Had I put two and two together, I would’ve been scared. Especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere where cell phones don’t work and where no one else knows your exact location.

Kobi eventually took her usual place of 20-30m in front of the pack (I should have named her Scout) and we made it to the truck. Exhausted and with sore toes, but we made it.

winter trail

This is where Kobi is when there isn’t danger, way out in front.

I’ll know better next time to pay more attention to Kobi’s reactions.  I have high-tailed it out of many areas before because I’ve seen her acting odd.  I’ll blame my recent poor observation skills on low blood sugar and thin mountain air.

Do you find yourself gripping your toes inside your shoes when you run on uneven surfaces? What do you think was lurking in the woods? Wolves? Yeti? Other?