Reasons not to run on the Bruce Trail during a thunderstorm:
- A tree could fall on you and you could die.
- You could get swallowed by the mud and die.
- Lightning could strike you and you could die.
- You could slip off the 500-foot scarp face and die.
Reasons to run on the Bruce Trail during a thunderstorm:
- It’s super fun.
At a certain point, when you’re soaking wet and freezing cold and lathered in mud, and the forest is as dark as night, and the rain is lashing you like a blizzard of molars, and you’ve still got 15 kilometers left to go before you get back to the car, well, at a certain point, you’ve just got to throw up your hands and laugh, don’t you? After all, you checked the weather online. You saw the probability of precipitation (75%) and the expected accumulation (20 – 40 mm), and you saw those clouds amassing on the horizon like an army of unwashed hoodies. You knew what you were in for and you just laughed, didn’t you? Well, now it’s time to laugh again.
As for all that mud, well, that can’t be a surprise either. You do you know what happens to dirt trails when you add water to them, don’t you? You did play in a sandbox as a child, right? When water is added to dirt, that dirt turns into mud. You know this. If you add enough water, you get something worse than mud. You get a slippery, shoe-sucking, toffee-like substance called glop.
But it’s not all bad, is it? There’s nothing like hypothermia and mud inhalation and blood loss and the threat of plunging into a crevasse cave fathoms deep to fire up the old endorphins, is there? Especially when you arrive back at your car after three hours of slogging through rushing creek-beds, and stare at yourself in the rear-view mirror only to see a hollow-eyed, scabby-elbowed, tick-bitten runner; hair singed from stray lightning bolts, face besmirched with mosquito guts, and you swear you’ve never seen anything quite so idiotic!
And you swear you’ve never seen anyone so brave. And learn that arriving back to
the car after that insane deluge, that you remembered to put the car windows up. And so . And so, and on you go. “The brief horizon is beyond”. xo