This morning I was supposed to do 10 miles. I decided I would drive to Point Defiance Park and run 2 loops of the beautiful 5-mile-drive. Its thick forest with sweeping views of the Puget Sound. There’s an occasional car on the week days (they close it to cars on the weekend A.Ms) but they are usually going slow and are considerate. Its hilly and calm. Really and ideal place to run.
I parked the car and swore to myself as I stepped out into the chilly rain. Just me and the seagulls–I thought maybe the rain had scared other runners/park goers away. I started running and soon came to the first gate, which I had never noticed before because its always open. It had an “Area Closed–Dangerous Conditions” sign on it. “Hm,” I thought, surely they just mean no cars.” I went around the gate and climbed the first hill. About 1/2 way up I noticed several maintance people in vests. As I got closer, I could see that there was a man way the heck up in a tree with a saw. I stopped, they shouted, “It’s clear!” and soon I heard the saw and then a HUGE branch fell from the sky. He shouted to his crew, “Not going to lie, this is a little scary!” My heart was pounding. They shouted up to him that I wanted to pass and he said, “She needs to go around me through the woods, I feel movement up here!” Great. Through the woods seemed like a much more dangerous option at this point.
I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I carved my way through the forest on a trail with some serious debris from the storm. I soon imerged on the road again, just up the hill from the tree choppers. I came to my turnoff and was bummed to discover that, indeed, the second gate was closed with the same sign. I went around the gate and was stunned when I realized the road was covered in tree branches big enough to do some damage to anything they may land on. “EERRRR”!!! I wanted so much to run down that road but I could hear my mother in my head and then I realized she was right. I might get smooshed if one of those trees finally decided the storm had been too much.
I took another route that would lead me back to my car but got a wee bit distracted on a trail and had the silliest chicken fight with a squirrel. I didn’t intend to chicken with it but it was this awkward, “You go.” “No you go” thing. A few moments later, I had another encounter with a young deer. We just stood starring at one another for a few moments and then I ran off. I think the animals haven’t had much human interaction this past week. They weren’t quite sure what to do with me.
I didn’t do the 10 miles but its no big deal, I have plenty of time left in the week to get my mileage in. My run was only 50 minutes today and much of it was outside the park on street roads but the 20 minutes inside the storm blown park with the relieved animals (THANK HEAVENS its not so freakin’ cold and the trees aren’t falling on us anymore!) was just delightful. I love running in the forest.