Looking for a dry trail

Not a sight you want to see when you have your heart set on a trail run.

Not a sight you want to see when you have your heart set on a trail run. I couldn't even make it to the parking lot, much less the trailhead.

Trail Boy doesn’t like to take “no” for an answer.

Whether it’s in my day job as a newspaper reporter or any other part of my life, I usually don’t take rejection without a fight.

That’s what happened this morning.

I jumped out of bed early for a seven-mile run on a trail near my home before work. But when I got to the trailhead, the gates were locked and a sign said the trail was closed due to mud and high water.

Bummer. I was looking forward to this run, big time.

So I pondered that for a minute. Then I thought, yeah, maybe this end of the trail is closed. But I know another way in. Let’s see what the trails look like there.

I drove to the other end of the park, to a secret entrance. A hiked in for a few hundred feet, and then ran into high water.

I should have guessed. This is the rainy season. Rivers and canals all over town are high.

So I stood there for another moment, weighing my options.

I could drive to another park 20 minutes away, but that would leave me little time to run. I could go home and run around my neighborhood roads, but I really wanted a trail run today.

This is what it came down to: Most setbacks, I’m convinced, are really not that great. They just require a little creative thinking and determination.

I wondered whether the entire park was flooded, or just a few low-lying areas. I got back into my car and drove a few blocks away, to a higher point in the park, and entered the park by another secret entrance. And voila, the trails were accessible.

Sure, the low-lying path by the river was muddy and slippery. So I stayed away from that area. I don’t want to damage a trail.

But a whole bunch of other trails in the interior, higher area of the park were perfectly firm and dry. So I happily romped along them. 

Unfortunately, I spent so much time driving around and inspecting the trails that I didn’t have time to run seven miles. I ran maybe three or four.

But four miles on trails beats 10 on the road every time.


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