While winter trail running in SLC can be limiting in terms of possible routes, one nice consequence of traveling the same set of trails on a daily basis is a growing sense of intimacy with the terrain and the ability to appreciate minute changes in trail conditions, lighting, weather, and wildlife. There is a habituation that occurs to place and my presence in it. I know each bend, each rise, the most efficient footstrike patterns to negotiate obstacles, what the temperature means for the snow conditions and expected traction. The strange is made familiar: a state facilitated by the proximity of these trails to my workplace and the city at large, the expectation of being here in the minutes I squeeze out of a lunch break or the early morning hours, the folding of this activity into my routine. At times this can promote a desultory, even complacent attitude towards the surroundings and the daily ritual of weaving to and fro amidst the foothills. And yet there are moments where strangeness returns, where you are reminded in the clearest of terms where you are and what you are: in the natural order of things, an animal of bone and gristle running instinctually during the bright, brief window of time you are alive.
Strangeness. An odd term for what is the truest encapsulation of our existence. It's been nice to have a few daily reminders of this.
The following photos were all taken over the last 3 days in Dry Creek, only minutes from the University Hospital. Mountain lions are alive and well in the foothills judging by the carnage and plentiful surrounding tracks.