Monday, April 18, 2011


 First, I just want to say how great it is to have every other Saturday off from work. This new schedule is working out really well. My day is longer, but I get more done in that day, and the Saturdays are a like a bonus!

That said, this Saturday was my day off but I was still working. I went to the CHFA (Canadian Health Food Association) show with the store's owners, and it was well worth it. I wasn't obligated to go, but I really wanted to see what such an event was like.

The photo shows all of the samples I came home with. I also received too many brochures and price sheets for company specials.

 There is so much available for vegans now it's remarkable. Most reps at the booths know what vegan is whenever I asked about their products, or they saw my pass and the name of the shop and would stop me to show what they had suitable for vegans.

We didn't even get to all of the aisles and we were there from 10 am to about 4:30. It was tempting to go back on Sunday for more samples, but I think we covered enough ground to take advantage of the show specials and find out about some new possibilities. Plus, the show's guidebook has all of the exhibitors listed along with their websites, so I can shop around that way as well. It was definitely a learning experience and I felt a bit like a rookie and an easy target for someone to pitch their products to me. There's definitely an art to getting the info you need and getting away quickly.


 Sunday db and I decided to start hiking the trail that I will be running at the end of May for the Tender Knee event.

I did my run in the morning on the inlet trail the runs along the water and is a 3 k distance when you run from one end to the other. I did that a few times to get in my required time for the week, and the went home to meet up with db.

We drove to the North Shore and the parking lot where I started the last trail run (My First Trail Race). We found the Twin Bridges trail, which is a wide double track road that winds down towards the Seymour River.

Along the way I noticed this area cut into the hill that looked like wood grain, but we assumed it was rock. I took a picture of course. db touched the surface to reveal that it's actually clay. It was very dry and crumbly underneath.
 Seymour River. There's a trail that runs for many kilometers along the river called the Fisherman's trail. I expect it's very popular, and we did see a couple on bikes (the trail is quite bikeable) with paniers and fishing poles strapped to their racks on the back.
 Twin Bridges trail. It's nice and wide for the start of the race to sort out the different paces of everyone before we hit the narrow trails ahead. Just an aside, there are no twin bridges. They once existed, but only this one newer bridge remains. However, the name remains.
 Mystery Creek trail. Here's more of what I expected of trail running. We left the Twin Bridges trail and headed straight uphill.
 Mystery Creek trail is fairly steep and has a few switch backs, so I expect I can run sections of it and break it up with walking. It comes out at the powerlines. From there we head straight up a very rocky narrow path along the powerlines. It's a steep and rough climb. db and I took several breaks and we were just walking it. I don't think I will be running much of that climb since it's far too steep. However, I think I can probably hike it in about 20 minutes. I'm being very optimistic!

db and I never actually went all the way up to where it meets with the Mushroom Trail, but will save that for next time. It was getting late in the day and I really just needed a good sense of how steep these climbs are. They are steep! They're as steep as any trail I've hiked before, and I realized that I need to did a little more training on similar terrain. Fortunately, not far from us is a powerline trail that goes straight up to Eagle Ridge. It's not far from where we use to live, and is always populated with people out for some exercise so I'll feel safe to do that on my own. I'm going to have to start training on that trail if I want to have better success for Tender Knee.

So db and I headed back the way we came and took the Fisherman's trail to the Homesteaders trail. It was nice to be on level ground and walking along the river.

 The skunk cabbage is coming up everywhere. This was such a nice patch!

 Salmonberry flowers are also abundant right now. This one looks closed, but they are open all along the more open trails like this one.

Finally, up we go again along the Homesteader's Trail. It's another wide path that provides quick and easy access to the Seymour River. I was really lagging behind db by this point because my legs were done after that power climb and my morning 10 k run.

Today, my achilles is a little sore. I've put some Traumeel on it (free sample from the CHFA show!) and so far the pain has eased. I'll keep applying and keep doing my calf raises to try and keep it from injury. I'll make sure db has some at the finish line!

Next week we'll cover another section of the trail...probably the Mushroom Trail and the Baden Powell section of the route. I'll have to keep my eyes out for morels too. pw informs me that it is morel time here! Burn morels come later in the season, but morels are definitely out there to be found. I'll be checking every pine cone just to be sure. Ha!

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