Friday, December 30, 2011

Well done Alberta!

The reason for the title of the post is because the government of Alberta recently opened its newest Provincial Park. This provincial park also happens to be 10 minutes from my house. With lots of trails. For running...

Run data can be found here.

A nice map tells you where you can and cannot go. I think it's much easier to stick to the trails.

The first part of the run involves a relatively steep descent through trees. Because it is winter, there is lots of ice and such, so I had to tread carefully. I ran this last week in my mukluks, and they had much better grip than my NB Minimus shoes.

It was a nice run along the bottom of the trail. I knew that I had descended, and that to get back to the car, I would have to ascend. I'm also pretending I had not run this loop yet.

So, that comment about running back up to the car at the end of my run. Well, there are two big elevation changes on this run, and I had to go up to the high point. Twice. This would account for the 168m elevation gain in 7.2 km.

Up and and up and up. It was very windy, much to the normality of living in the Bow Valley. This hill happened to be headed west, so I was uphill and into a headwind. Insert sob music here.

A hill. The last big one, but I had to walk. My goal is to be able to run this hill.

At the west-most point of the run, there is a fantastic view of the town I call home. Cochrane, yeah yeah, in all of it's windblown and brown glory. (It's not that bad, actually).
This is looking south-east (ish) along the Bow river. It's very nice, methinks.
I really like the way this photo turned out. I may have to print and frame it.

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is an actual ranch, and it also used to have a village on it. So throughout the run, there are remnants of the old village that used to be there, as well as signs of obvious modern day ranching, such as cows and poo on the side of the path.

It appears I dropped my camera and it took some photos of me running away. Perhaps my camera has heard that I am looking to replace it soon. And yes, it is December 30th and I am wearing shorts.

The is the final long ascent back to the parking lot. I passed a dude who was carrying his full camera gear and he simply smiled at me and said good-day. I liked that.

The best part of the run is knowing I've completed it and that I will do it again soon.

Ok, one more moment to enjoy this sensation.

That is Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. A very nice park in a very nice part of the world. A place I can call home. It would not make a good place for snowshoeing as it is a working ranch and everyone is asked to remain on the trails. There are plenty of trails, some 28km, or so I've been told. I've only explored 7.2km total, so there is much more left to discover. Right out my back door.


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