It just doesn’t feel like the time is right so no fall groups

Hi Everyone

I have been debating long and hard whether it is appropriate to start offering trail groups this fall. I have been running the trails almost everyday since the spring and despite the heat it is just wonderful. I have seen so many different animals and talked to many runners and bikers. It has always been such a peaceful place to escape to. Up until a couple days ago I was thinking of doing smaller groups of 6 for 6 weeks starting the beginning of September. It seemed like that was workable and respectful in the current situation. I was looking so forward to seeing so many people I miss and haven’t seen since last fall. There are so many people working so hard to try to control the pandemic and most folks are doing all the right things by wearing masks and following the guidelines. I went for a walk the other night up at the sports fields at Sunnybrook Park and saw multiple soccer games with 15 to 20 adults in each. I thought that that’s is a great way to spend a summer’s  evening but I didn’t think we were there yet. The lessons being learned in states like Florida and Georgia are vivid and scary. I wish we were at the point where such things can safely happen but for me even 6 people, 7 including me, spread apart in the woods with all the best intentions and effort still poses a risk that I don’t feel comfortable taking. I miss the groups and my friends that come to them, I miss racing both trails and roads, I miss it all. I hope spring brings a new season of groups and racing and a full range of activities to all that love them but it doesn’t feel right, not yet.

cheers

Lawrence

Caught in a hail storm

Hi Everyone

Today’s run was going along nicely. Zipping past the beautiful blooming carpet of Squill coming out of Pottery Road. Stopped briefly to talk to a runner/neighbour on the uphill paralleling Bayview. Wearing a pair of old road shoes because the trails have been so muddy the past month that my trail shoes hurt my feet due to lack of use. Grabbed that yellow/orange Loblaws cart that was beside the trail heading towards the Millwood bridge. It had been driving me crazy and seeing as I had just grabbed the red one past the bridge yesterday it seemed fitting. Pushed it to the sign board by the bridge and will get it back to the store by the end of the week. Headed out along the Ridge and surveyed the cleanup from yesterday (see pictures). Flying past Thorncliffe and planning the next clean up, feeling good about that. A big huge shout out to whomever or whomevers put in the new bridges along Rim Job and Part Atmosphere. That is a lot of hard work and much appreciated. The incredible rain we have had this spring have resulted in some huge trail washouts. Thanks so much to the folks who did that. Came off that trail and I was heading on to the trail I call Rock Paper Snake which is really called Climbmax and the drops of rain started. I could hear the drops hitting the trees and wondered if I could escape and get home without too much damage. Sadly no, the rain was hail and I got pummeled. Strangely I ran stronger and with more determination as I headed the last 8 K or so for home. Enjoyed the run immensely and made it up the Pottery hill in fine form. Finally home, front and hair drenched but butt and back of T-shirt dry. Perfect, faster then the rain.

Lawrence

Not this spring

Hi Everyone

We are in that shoulder part of the year for trails. The sometimes nice frozen trails have given way to melt and mud. We wait for bluebells, trilliums and the single track to dry out. Most seasoned folks know that this is the time to stay off the trails and let them heal. All sorts of plants, some desired and others not all (see invasive species like Dog Strangling vine, though that comes later) are pushing their way through last year’s leaves. Boston is just a few weeks away and our groups will hit the trails as soon as I return. It has been this way for the past 5 years. I love this part of the year, so much before us and so much of it is glorious and gentle. This year there is no Boston, which for me seems so odd after 17 of them, and no trail groups. Even the small groups of 9 or so spread out in the woods, even at six feet apart or more is not a good idea. I will miss this and you who have been part of my spring, and fall, for the past five years. I know most of you as well as I know the woods, familiar and amazing, honest and kind. Shoots are already poking their stems out of the soil, new growth for the valley and us. I hope we can make our way through this new year without many of our familiars. When this winter of discontent and steep challenges passes I truly hope we will find each other well and healthy. When the time comes we will meet again and talk of roots, running form and many other things. Until then, thank you to you all. I am not given much to expressing my emotions  publicly but perhaps this one time, I miss you all very much.

Lawrence