Summer’s little secret – The Ream Wilson Trail

So yesterday I taught Woody Allen how to come into the house through the doggie door.

Woody and the door

Clearly, I’m winning at life!  Of course, now he goes in and out all day long and it’s starting to work my last nerve so maybe I’m not really winning.  The jury’s still out on that one.

Anyway, yesterday and today I detoured from my normal running route and visited an old favorite, the Ream Wilson Trail.  I used to run there all the time but haven’t in quite a while.  I’m not sure why I stopped because it’s shaded and in the summertime, it’s a godsend.  Trust me.

 

Anyways, I thought I’d show it to you.  So, without further delay, let me introduce you to one of my favorite trails.

Ream Wilson Trail

The Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail is an off-road trail connecting the Gulf of Mexico at Clearwater Beach to Tampa Bay at Safety Harbor.

I usually run down to Kapok Park which is close to my house, run around Kapok Park and then enter the Ream Wilson Trail from there.

REam Wilson Trail

I couldn’t wait to enter the shade.

Ream Wilson Trail

It may not look like it but that’s a pretty steep hill.

Ream Wilson Trail

It wasn’t dark, it’s just that shady!

Ream Wilson Trail

I swear when you get to the bottom of this hill it’s 10 degrees cooler.

As the sun comes through the trees the next portion of the trail is beautiful.

Ream Wilson TrailReam Wilson TrailReam Wilson Trail

Ream Wilson Trail

The bridge is good practice for hills.

Ream Wilson Trail

At the end of the bridge, I go to the left towards Safety Harbor.  This is the area where I always see bunny rabbits.

Trail

Ream Wilson Trail

Can you believe all this shade?

Ream Wilson TrailRunning Trail

Ream Wilson Trail

Ream Wilson Trail

Still Shady!

Ream Wilson Trail

Can you see what’s at the end?

REam Wilson Trail

Just up ahead across the road is Tampa Bay.

Ream Wilson Trail

When I do my long runs I sometimes turn left here and head up towards the Safety Harbor Marina along Bayshore and I cannot even tell you how beautiful it is.  Unfortunately that part of the run is not shady but you do have the pleasure of running along side Tampa Bay so I guess you just have to pick your battles.

Maybe I’ll share that trail with you next time.  You might have t to wait til winter though or at least til it’s a little cooler out.  Until then, I’m sticking with the Ream Wilson Trail.

Ream Wilson Trail

 

Tell me about your favorite place to run when it’s hot outside.

 

Yeah, we run in paradise around here.

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery.

birds

I haven’t much felt like running, as you probably already knew if you read my last post, but I still managed to somehow squeeze out around 24 miles last week although a lot of it was walking but the highlight of my week was Sunday.

On Sunday my sister and law and I went over to the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail and while MacGyver fished, we walked.  It looked like this:

Courtney Campbell TrailIt really makes you want to come run this trail doesn’t it? Because if it doesn’t then you’re not normal.  Come on down.  I’ll just wait for you, right here, under this palm tree.

We walked about four and a half miles of the trail although the entire length of the trail from Clearwater to the other side in Tampa is ten and a half miles long.  It’s one of the most scenic trails you will ever run on and I highly recommend it.  I’ve actually seen dolphins while running this trail and (what I believe was a devil ray) sailing out of the water.  It’s truly epic.

It is hot and muggy in Florida, I’ll give you that but seriously, we run in paradise around here.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?

‘Not Guilty’

Yesterday morning I really wanted to run the Legacy Trail once more before leaving Nokomis but then I had to motivate myself because I ate ALL the things in the fridge the night before.  Why is it that when you know you’re leaving some place and there are left overs in the fridge you are determined to eat them all?  Why can’t you just throw them out?  Or is that just me?

Snaccident

Anyway, I finally got my ish together and got out the door.  It was easier than I thought because once I started running I felt fine but isn’t that always the case?  Anywho, I made it to the trail head and then turned left and ran toward the bridge over Shakett Creek and soon realized that the North portion of the trail was closed.  As in closed which meant I had to change my course.  Damn.  I almost said screw it and gave up, instead I turned around and went South.

Then I realized I would have to run over the steep highway 41 bridge, it’s short but steep.  UGH!

complaining runner

This is totally me

I ran anyway and the great part about running on this part of the trail is that it turns into the Venetian Waterway and you get to run along the canal.  Since this was a casual run I decided to take a few pics for you.

venice canalVenice waterwayThe building to the right is Venice High School.  If you went to school there, please for the love of God tell me how you managed to graduate.  I would have played hooky every day and ran the trail and then fished in the canal.  Every. Single. Day.  I wonder how many of you alumni actually did that?

venice high

Bless it.  I would have failed out of high school for sure.

Before long I forgot all about how crappy I felt and all the food I ate the night before and I just feel into the motion of my stride and because the weather has been so rainy, the trail was nearly deserted.  That means that instead of the usual humming, I sang.  Out loud.

cant sing

Y’all it aint pretty!

I was totally in my own world and having the time of my life and that’s probably why I was completely startled when the vagrant guy driving the three wheeled, junk filled bike came rollin’ up on me.  I swear to Jesus had I not been about to shit my pants I would’ve taken a picture.  He was covered in tattoos and he rolled up real close to me and said, ‘Damn girl, you are fast, I’ve been trying to catch you for the last 10 minutes.’

scary

I wasn’t running fast at all but you can bet your sweet ass I was after that.  In fact, you have no idea how fast you can run until a homeless guy in a garbage bike rolls up behind you sporting a ‘not guilty’ tattoo on his lower back.  You can fly sis!  And I did.

When I got back to the house I told MacGyver about it first thing and he asked if I had my pepper spray and I said yes, and then he said, ‘what kind of idiot gets a tattoo that says not guilty?’

Really

He obviously thinks I’m completely capable of protecting myself. #fooled

Seriously though, I’m telling you this story because while I didn’t feel as threatened as I have in some other situations, I did learn a valuable lesson.  I’m definitely going to be more careful about getting so lost in my thoughts when I’m out there by myself.  It could have gone horribly bad if that guy had been dangerous because I was so into my own world that I had no idea he was there until he was on my heels.

So, be aware when you’re out there.  I’ve been running a long time and even I do things every once in a while that I later realize were pretty stupid.  (Singing doesn’t count.)

worst tattoo

Can you imagine? Holy hell, that’s permanent.

And for God’s sake if you’re going to get a tattoo, take your mother with you.  She will be honest.

Have you ever been so lost in thought and then gotten the scare of your life while out running?