Finding Adventure in Digby’s Outdoors

Me and the CARP gang! Thank you Stacey for the only picture taken this day.

Me and the CARP gang! Thank you Stacey for the only picture taken this day.

My how time flies (It’s the middle of August already!) We say this all the time and it still shocks us when we look at a calendar or stop to think what day of the week it is, but what exactly are we doing about it? I know I can say nothing really. And that’s no good considering the travel adventure I was just on.

I haven’t been doing much outside of working and the (very) little running I’ve been doing. After last weeks banter about being home and blah blah blah. Enough of that! Come on Jill, Nova Scotia is pretty great and you are failing to see it! So that was that. Everyday is not going to be great, and that’s okay. Training programs have their highs and lows – have you been following Erin’s NYC marathon training? – this is why they last so long. Probably not, but thankfully I’ve picked up a bit of momentum having begun my running training and with a little help from my friends. Yup, Erin won’t be the only three time marathoner. Mine isn’t until February 2015, but I’ve signed up for another marathon nonetheless. If I’m going to sit around and be a lump on a log that’s no one’s fault but my own. Now that I have a new running goal, reunited with some old pals, and of course the amazing support at the Y, I feel back on track.

I hadn’t realized how many of my friends are around. This is great news for my social calendar. My university friend Katie (hi, Katie!) is from Annapolis Royal, it’s a 30 minute drive from Digby. Her and her new husband are living in Bedford (another NS geography lesson it’s about a 2 hour drive from Digby) and planned an outing to go Tidal Rafting the weekend before the August long weekend. I hadn’t seen Katie in years! I needed to go. Plus what in the world is Tidal Rafting anyway? I will explain all in a post to come. But just know it’s awesome. This post is about another adventure we went on.  A tree topping, zip lining adventure!

Upper Clements Park is Nova Scotia’s version of Canada’s Wonderland. Well… it would be if Canada’s Wonderland had one roller coaster made of wood, some bumper cars and a giant maze. And that’s all. But they do have the Flume Ride, another park attraction. You have to think small scale here. But as a kid it was a great place. The face painting, the cookies as big as your face, and candy apples were the highlight for me. And you’d usually spot a pirate or two around the park. They were of course very cool.  But for years this would be a place I’d abandon. I had zero interest in going as a teenager I out grew the rides and the childlike fun, and now I don’t have kids in my life to share this experience with. Little did I know the Park also grew up. Now there is an Adventure Park.

Katie introduced me to her formal colleagues at CARP (Clean Annapolis River Project) and they invited me to the Adventure Park. I’ve seen zip lining in Costa Rica, but never dared to give it a try. This time I had no excuse.

The park is divided into Games (aka. obstacle courses) and Zip lines. Calling these things Games is supposed to give them a fun non competitive approach but these things are not easy! Don’t be fooled by the swinging steps and tight wire walking, my arms and balance were tested big time. If you’re a bit afraid of heights that will disappear once you try to pull yourself across a rock climbers wall of over a ladder of some sort. They make you work for the fun that’s for sure. If you’ve never done something like this before (that was me too) there is a full hour of training before you enter the park. Billy was our guide. After what we could assume was a late night for Billy and a long day ahead, he managed to shake the monotone directions and showed us a good time. If Billy happens to be your guy, ask him how the burger and beer competition went. If the zip lining didn’t scare you that just might.

Zip lining was the best part. The fast moving, freedom you feel when you’re flying through the forest was amazing. Each Game had a small zip line to the end the course, but the second half of the park is all zip lining. The Adventure Park is one the best in the province and I can see why. All the grown up fun to be had is worth a second or third trip. Just make sure to bring your gloves unless you want some “kick ass” callus. If that’s the case, join the club.

Adventures in urban running

Last night, I got bit by a dog while on my run.

It sucked.

This is not the dog that bit me. But it looks kinda like him. It was dark, though, and I'm not a dog identifying expert.

It was so nice and balmy outside after a terribly cold week. I was excited to get in an easy run after taking a rest day early. Matt’s parents were in town and they took us for dinner. I think that’s as good a reason to not run than any! Matt’s mom is also an expert marathoner, so I was eager to get her advice on my training plan and conquering the horrible hills I’d need to get under my belt for Around the Bay in March. Hills = enemy.

I planned a 6.5k route that ended at the Wine Rack at Broadview and Queen. (I’m such a regular in my workout gear there, the staff now asks me about my running. It’s both awesome and embarrassing). But about 2k in, my foot started to hurt a bit. Nothing to worry about, but a sign that I went from 0-60 post-holiday too fast and I should back off. I made the decision to head back early, running along Dundas instead of Carlton. This is not the prettiest stretch, but it’s neat to see all the development happening in Regent Park.

Then right at Broadview and Dundas, there was a man. And a dog. No big deal, right? I called out “on your left” and passed them.

Boom! Dog jumps on me! I yelp, but don’t stop! I check my hip. No blood. I’m a bit shaken up, but then the owner laughs. “Sorry!” Uh, dude: your dog attacked me. NOT FUNNY. In my fluster, I don’t think about the proper course of action. Instead, I do what any not-so-rational person does: I run away. I buy a lot of wine. I get home. I disinfect my wound, google “dog bite” on the internet and then drink the wine. ALL OF IT.

I’m okay. Getting bit by a dog is just another story I can add to the “Proof Erin is a runner” file.

Image: Liza Daly. Liscensed via Creative Commons.