Cheeky Autumn Trail Run on Bowen

The morning air was crisp yet temperate, salt and brine infused in the air, and the sound of seagulls permeated throughout the harbour. Smoke and tar from the adjacent business man’s cigarette removed me from my tranquil respite. Navy suit, black roller bag, sharp leather shoes; not the typical passenger aboard small island ferries. At 9:45 Kaylie Robinson rendezvoud with me at Horseshoe bay Terminal for our 10:15 sailing to Bowen Island. Earlier in the morning I received word that Buddy, Kaylie’s dog had an eye infection and wouldn’t be able to come! Poor buddy he certainly had the energy. This was her first ferry ride while in Vancouver, I was eager to share all the local shenanigans we do aboard the ferry such as towers of ice cream in minuscule cups, if only this was a longer sailing! Masks on we stepped aboard. The sanitiser coated thick on our hands, slow to evaporate. I think we were the only ones that used it.

Land ho! Disembarked from the vessel, our feet took us slowly through the sleepy cove. With a quick bar of chocolate purchased at the general store, we started up the main road for our jaunt. I opted to rely on memory rather than navigation tools; and we missed our first crucial turn within the first 5 minutes of our run. We had meant to take the mountain route over to our first destination, rather my memory lead us along the trans island road which circumnavigates the mountain. It wasn’t all bad, the houses and island properties filled us with dreams of owning converted vans, and big cosy island property. The miles went clicking by, weaving between road and lightly tracked trail. Our spirits were high. Reaching the beaches we rested and ate. It was a sad lunch, Gels, Chews, chocolate, bars, a salami sandwich for myself. (Recipe: Four slices of salami between two pieces of bread. Bon appetite.) Self supported runners lunches are often sad, after filling up my vest with essentials and non-essentials, where is the room for a bag of chips?

We psyched ourselves up for a swim, we had swimsuit towels and all. I was the drama queen out of the two of us despite being the instigator of the swim. Our legs were slowly losing feeling, our breathing intensified, “I heard that cold water is good for you”. 3, 2, 1, GO! We submerged. As fast as we dunked, we scuttled faster over the rocky beach to our towels. “pshh that wasn’t so bad! I would totally do it again.” Looking back no regrets dunking in, only regret not going deeper.

Frigid and ready to warm up we left the beach to go round the north side of Gardner. Off the beaten path, the entrance to a cave opened up. Dark and inviting I dug for my headlamp. The splash of water reverberated through the adit. Our gloves picked up sediment from the rocky walls as we balanced across the logs placed in the flooded floor. I definitely picked up some stoke for caving…

Out and back onto the trail we bumped into a local who recognized us running the main road earlier in the day. We must have been quite the oddity to sleepy Bowen if they never see runners on the main road circumnavigating the island. She pointed us the way so we wouldn’t get lost. Up and down we occasionally stopped to take in the view, looking at vistas, mushrooms, and simply the verdure of the trees. At the end of the trail a lady stopped us to see if we had seen a lost dog. To my ears it sounded like she was looking for a dog lost three years ago, Kaylie seemed to agree. Apparently it was only a dog lost three hours ago. Honey if the dog was lost three years ago, your dog is one with the environment. We opted to take the road and ditch the lake path as sun was setting. Cruising into the village, we realized our mistake and where we should have made the turn, alas for next time. Aboard once more on the ferry Kaylie led us in stretches, boy oh boy did we need it. Many looks were cast in our direction. They must have been in awe of being in the presence of athletes like us…

Kaylie dropped me off home but not after a desperate gas stop, she thought we would hardly make it out of horseshoe bay with the amount in the tank! There was talk of grabbing a snack, but fatigue enveloped us and yawns filled the car. Cheeky bowl of pickle brine, hot shower, and off to bed.

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One Response to Cheeky Autumn Trail Run on Bowen

  1. Roland Burton says:

    I think that’s the lake where one of my kids was attacked by a swan and had to give the swan his peanut butter and jam sandwich. Fortunately there was a store that sold ice cream.

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