Almost exactly a year ago (oh, it must be something about the autumn) I took the road less traveled. Often, while out on one of our group’s frequented trails, we’d pass this curious gravel trail branching off from the more inviting asphalt path, a trail that seemed to lead down into a bit of nature that while far-from untouched and wild, was not exactly as inviting for a group of novice runners as, say, the much more obvious running path. In other words, not exactly a great place to explore with a mixed group of runners in tow.
I posted about my explorations there, sharing a bunch of photos and a story of akward, route-finding confusion.
I had taken my camera, and then fumbled through a path that turned out to be an old city-street done up in the style of post-apocalyptic abandonment, that was essentially a too-expensive-to-remove stretch of asphalt remaining from when the patch of land where it resided was clamped between the much newer multi-lane ring-road and the upscale suburban neighbourhood through which I’d early run.
It was a quasi-path that led down to a freight-train-sized culvert, covered with graffiti, and providing a kind of adventurous egress from the known paths of my running ‘hood, under the highway, and into the South-side not-quite industrial lands below.
Last year, I’d crossed through and then reluctantly turned back having not seen an obvious route onward. But returning to map my route later on, back home on the computer, I’d discovered that I’d have been rewarded with even more adventure had I pushed through and kept plodding south.
Then, promptly, vowed to go back.
One year later (almost to the day) I returned. And this time I kept following the path, even when it turned into a nearly sheer-climb through a narrow fox-path of a trail.
The result was nothing spectacular, but there is something awesome about discovering a route that can be run (almost completely) safely and still results in a reasonable loop through interesting parts of the city.
And while I’m not quite sold on taking just any group through there, with some pre-run briefing and a clear understanding of the adventure, I definitely know a few people who would love to check this little route out for themselves.