Saturday, 1 October 2011

Gorillas in the mist

Gothenburg has been covered in a thin layer of fog for days now. It's uncanny. It makes the city seem like it is isolated from the rest of the world, an island in a sea of floating raindrops, the last shelter in a post-apocalyptic world. 

J and I set out to run Torrekullaleden, expecting the fog to be our constant companion. As soon as we got to the start of the trail, though, the fog faded away and a glorious autumn day revealed itself. It was awe inspiring; the sun warmed our skin but everything else around us (the flame-kissed trees, the silence, the absence of weekend warriors) told a different tale: It's the 1st of October, sucker! Don't get used to this warmth, because it's not staying! 

The trail was soaked in many places, forming thick, black mud patches. Sometimes we could run around them, other times we had to balance on stones to get across them. My new Inov-8 trail shoes turned out to be unreliable on wet stones and planks, but luckily I only almost died once. But hey! Their grip was excellent on asphalt, so that's ok! Otherwise they were very comfortable to run in, and the chafing problem I'd had the first time I tested them was resolved by taping my feet.

Yep, that's the trail.
The trail crosses a ”canyon” of sorts, a stream that has carved the landscape in such a way that it is now surrounded by two slopes. It's wet. It's very wet. It's been wet every time I've run Torrekullaleden, no matter if the conditions on the rest of the trail would make the Sahara desert look like a rainforest by comparison. My foot sank in the grey goo and it was soon followed by the rest of my leg up to my knee. Oh how I laughed, finding this extremely funny and thinking that this must be no less than a ten on the coolness scale. At least until I tried to pull my foot out and found that I was stuck, the goo holding on to my leg. There was nothing around to help me pull myself up except grass and thorny bushes. I was doomed. I would have to stay there, eating mud and catching stray ants and chewing on fallen leaves to sustain myself, until the goo dried up enough in the summer to let me break through it with a stone that I will have patiently honed into a sharp instrument over the long, cold, lonely months of winter.

Then I remembered that J was there with me and asked him to give me a hand.

Here is photographic evidence of how I almost got eaten alive by a pool of goo:

This is how my shoes looked before the Incident:

From then on it was child's play. Trail gave way to forest path, taking us past familiar places and back to more civilised surroundings. The weekend warriors were there now, carefully avoiding the mud pools. I, on the other hand, would have to get hosed down before I even could go into our flat again.