Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Full Moon Running and Other Adventures


You know the change of season is here to stay when you dust off your headlamp(s) and start heading out for some night runs. Last
Wednesday, I got myself mentally prepared for the challenge of going for a trail run after work in the dark. It's something that takes me awhile to wrap my brain around. I wanted to go run up Sulphur Mountain and it would be light for most of the journey up and then dark for the journey down. I haven't been up there since before the Bear and the entire trail is rapidly accumulating packed snow. It was a windy, cool evening but in the protection of the trees it was sheltered and warm. I ended up power walking the whole way up, to ease my brain and body back into the notion of climbing. It was of course, a beautiful night to be out on the trail and I saw precisely, nobody. I tagged the top and enjoyed the view for just an instant: the icy wind was going to freeze my solid unless I stayed in motion. So off I ran, cautiously at first until I got used to my first steps on snow packed trail by the light of my headlamp. Then I took off. Weeeeeeee! I had a fun run, but my spider senses were tingling by the time I finished. The woods were eery and I was finding myself getting scaredy-girl for no reason at all. Sometimes, I get scared running around in the woods.


I did a repeat of this run last night, with friends Mike and Brenda. Night runs are always better with friends and a lot less scary! It was a full moon, so I was excited to get out and see the mountains all lit up by moonlight. We had a great time and chatted all the way up and all the way down, but the moon was totally obscured by cloud coverage. It didn't make an appearance once!

We turned back the clocks this past weekend, so we are entering "the dark months". November and December are our darkest months, where basically you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. In Banff we call this season the shoulder season - not enough snow to ski and too much snow to hike. The ski season is upon us, with our local resorts opening the next 2 weekends. What shoulder season is really about thought, is being social. It's a great time of year to reconnect with the friends in town and elsewhere. Speaking of reconnecting with friends, we headed to Montana this past weekend to visit Danni and Ted and enjoy some fall weather and Halloween debauchery. It was awesome! We had a fun weekend, relaxin', drinkin', eatin', hot tubbin' and runnin'. Danni and I ran with her running group on Sunday and had a beautiful run in the countryside just outside of Kalispell. Thanks Danni and Ted! And I almost forgot! On highway 93 going through Kootenay National Park, we came across something that I have never, ever seen before. I probably drive this road a dozen times a year and have never seen a wolf. On Friday, we came across a pack of wolves. 4 huge animals in the middle of the road! We pulled over and were awestruck and aghast. What an amazing sighting. They were not fearful and not in a hurry. And when they walked it was so efficient. Incredible.

10 comments:

Danni said...

It was so super awesome to see you guys. The night run sounds great. I've been really unmotivated to run for some reason.

Gary Robbins said...

WOW, I can't believe you saw a pack of Wolves, that's AWESOME!!

Night runnin is certainly best done with friends, and/or a pooch with flashing red lights around her neck so she doesn't end up being the one who scares you half to death...just sayin, not that I'm a scared-e-cat out there myself...

GR

Derrick said...

What a treat to see a pack of wolves. Very cool.

Yup, winter is almost here. Time to put fresh batteries in the headlamp.

Sunshine Girl said...

Hi Danni,
Thanks for a fun weekend! Maybe you need an event on the horizon to keep you motivated? I want to do Coyote Two Moons in March, are you interested?!? Could be fun!!

Heh-heh, G.R. You So Funny! And it's true. It's important to light up one's doggy.

Hi Derrick! How are you re-adjusting post-holiday? I still can't believe I saw a pack of wolves...

Derrick said...

Not well. We wanna come baaaaaaack!!

T. said...

wow that sounds so neat! I have never seen a wolf. I love love love night runs and find myself making excuses to get a run in every single night! The mtns are beautiful at night and my heart sinks every time I have to work on a full moon.

ExtrmTao said...

Wow, an endurance runner in Banff. This is a great blog you have here and just what I was looking for. I am also an enthusiastic endurance athlete and I will be visiting your town come December. I am looking for a local's opinion on what activites we should persue during our trip. If your so inclined to email me extrmtao @ hotmail we sure could use some local advise. Thanks, Jonathon

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DEANNA STOPPLER said...

Nice about the wolves sister! I get a bit jumpy in the dark too. It's funny how when we have a friend or dog with us, we'll feel safe and sound.

Sunshine Girl said...

Hi Thea! I've only ever seen a few wolves, so it was a GIFT to see a whole frickin' pack!! The only thing about running around in the woods here is THERE ARE THINGS THAT CAN EAT YOU. Ha! But otherwise, night runs are F-U-N!

Hi Jonathon and welcome! I'd be happy to give you some advice, I'll drop you a note. If you're from South Carolina you are going to freeze your nipples off.

Hi Deanna-
Yup, friends are good on night runs. As are illuminated puppy dogs like G.R's.....personally, I like to howl at the moon when I'm out there. Occasionally something answers back!