Thursday, October 22, 2009

Run with the Bears

This morning I got to run with a bear. Well, briefly. The picture above is of a bear track 15 seconds after the bear made it. I chose to turn round at that point. My faithful service dog had barked at him (I presume, because of his size) -- not bad for a 17 pound Shetland Shepherd! The bear had been about 50 feet from us, paused, looked at us both nonchalantly, and sauntered on his way, which was my way until it became his. Grin.

This morning was also my first test of my winter traction system. The traction part of the test went very well. I wore Kako ICEtrekkers chains on my feet, purchased a size smaller than normal as I stick the chain between my toes.

Chained up sole and my faithful bear dog, Ardie.

My challenge in winter is that there are often icy roads between me and the trails, when then have a variety of challenges all blended together: exposed rock/gravel, snow pack, powder, icy and fairly steep, generally alternating back and forth very frequently. At least with this morning's run of three miles, the chains handled all of it very well (I had everything except deep powder -- just 2-3 inches). The only failing of the system is that snow gathered on my toes, melted, then numbed my feet (on a dry 20F my feet do fine. Not so wet). Apparently the bear was telling me not to push it too much because my toes were heading for frostbite. Thanks, bear!

For future, I plan to try a combo of NEOS over shoes and the Kako ICEtrekker chains as needed.

Plus 3 miles.
Total Milage: 140

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