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.
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.