So, I have two words to describe yesterday's run on the Rexius Trail: "big mistake". Here are a few more: "goodness gracious" and "never again".
After running on the Amazon Trail I was prepared to push the stroller through the bark that I anticipated would also make up the Rexius trail. The problem is that although at one time (in 1960) the Rexius trail may have been covered in bark (still questionable) that bark now has been worn down to a nice "barkdust" which is really nothing more than glorified sawdust. This is all good and dandy for running on, but to push a jogging stroller is another story. I don't know if you are familiar with riding a bicycle in the dry sand at the beach....it's pretty much impossible. Well, trying to push 60+ pounds of kids and stroller through the barkdust that is Rexius trail is like being in the deep, dry sand at the beach (more like quicksand), it doesn't make for easy going.
The run itself started off nicely enough, the weather was warm but pleasant. We began on the paved bike trail that parallels the barked Amazon trail (really is bark) to then hook up with Rexius trail. This brought us past the dog park which elicited the first comment I have received while running since running in Eugene (they were easy to come by in Klamath). As we passed he dog park a little old man yelled "run faster mom", which of course was all in good humor with a twinkle in his eye I'm sure, however, Emme (my 3 1/2 year old) thought it would be great fun for her and Calvin to yell (yes I do mean yell) "faster mommy faster, run faster". This, of course, was cute for a bit, but after 3/4 of a mile, as we slogged through the barkdust, it seemed like even they were against me.
So, the run continued around the Rexius trail (which by the way wasn't uphills both ways, but it may as well have been) slowly, and not so surely, but we made forward progress none-the-less. At one point I decided it was just ridiculous to continue running in the dust so I crossed the street in order to run on the sidewalk (much easier going), however much to my dismay, after turning a corner the sidewalk ended (a mere 100 feet from where I was finally smart enough to get on it). Would you like to know what really happens "Where the Sidewalk Ends"? Unlike Shel Silverstein promised, there was no "soft white grass or a peppermint breeze" only a choice, run on the road (dodging cars and bicycles) or go back to the Rexius barkdust (quicksand) and slug it out.
Short story long, (despite all my whining) we made it around the trail and back to our house. There was even a nice "play park" in the middle of the loop that the kids had a fun time running around on while I tried to regain my running composure. I did however learn two lessons: 1. Jogging strollers were not designed to run through barkdust and 2. The Amazon trail wasn't as hard going as I originally thought. In fact, we're headed there shortly....see you on the trail.