We did a loop around the lake, checking out the newest addition to the trails we cleared last week and taking our sweet time romping through the woods. We talked about new trails, maintaining old ones, and even stopped to explore the charred remains of what we believe was an old boy scout camp. We looked for paw paw samplings, discussed the up coming trail maintenance day, and counted the deer we scared up. The sun was up, the humidity was down, and the mud was nominal. We covered about 12 miles not paying any attention to the time or our pace.
It was an absolutely perfect day to be running in the woods and I realized this is what the non-runners don't get and don't seem to understand. I believe trail running is good for the soul. Growing up on a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, I miss being close to nature and trail running lets me feel like I'm back in the wilderness. Even with a slight headache, there was nothing else I would have rather been doing at 8 am on a Saturday morning. That isn't something easily explained to critics.
But to those who have to ask "Why?" I am convinced you will find the answer out on a trail in the early morning when there are more animals moving around than people. And if you still have to ask why, then you clearly don't understand and I'm afraid you never will.
To quote Aldo Leopold:
In wilderness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf, long known among mountains, but seldom perceived among men.