Running with the Coyotes – Final run of 2013

Big Salmon

I had my final run of the year today and it was one of my favourite runs of the year.

Sara and I decided to run at Frontenac Park as we hadn’t been there for a while. The snow was very icy, so snowshoes weren’t needed, but MicroSpikes were. We ran the trails to get to the tip of Big Salmon Lake. Once we arrived at the lake, we decided that since there were tracks on the lake and the conditions had been fairly cold recently, that we would do our run on the lake.

Lake runs are some of my favourite runs…especially at Frontenac. It’s so cool getting to see this beautiful landscape from down on the lake and looking onto the shoreline. Big Salmon Lake in particular is a spectacular lake. Narrow at the Western tip, and then gets gradually wider, wilder and more rugged as you head east.

The north side of Big Salmon features a gradual shore, while the south side of the lake has a much rockier shoreline. The views on both sides and looking across the lake with the cold wind blowing brought my thoughts back to the Yukon. It was nice to be able to share this with Sara, even though it wasn’t quite the same as the north.

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Just as we were approaching about 3/4 of the way down the lake and were considering turning around and heading back, we saw a number of things moving back and forth. My first thought was that it must be a wolf or coyote kill of a deer. We decided to keep going to see if we could get a little closer look.

Sure enough, as we got closer, we saw a frenzy of activity. We assumed that they must be coyotes as they looked a little too small for wolves. The coyotes were running back and forth to the poor deer that they had killed. One would run to the carcass, pull a piece off and then run away, while the others in the pack would take turns doing the same thing.

We kept running towards the kill to see if we could get a closer view of the action without the coyotes running away. Running along the edge of a bay we hoped we could sneak around the land and be able to see them a little better. Unfortunately as we got closer, and before we could get a picture, they sensed us and ran off to the opposite shore.

As much as the thought of seeing a dismembered deer wasn’t so appealing, we couldn’t resist getting closer to see up close this bit of nature at it’s most primal.

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It was shocking to see that what was once a deer was now just bone with the occasional leg scattered here and there. Looking to the shoreline where the coyotes had run to, we could see that they were still there and waiting to return. It was a bit of an eery feeling being at the site of what was probably a very violent kill. I felt the hair on the back of my neck standing up with the feeling that we were being watched closely and right near their dinner. After a few minutes we left. Instead of continuing on the loop on the lake, we returned the way we came so that we wouldn’t approach the pack or get in the way of the remainder of their meal.

We kept looking back to see if the coyotes returned to the kill and sure enough, once we got a safe distance away, they were back to the site and feasting again.

Of all the times I’ve been in nature and running in a remote area, this one stands out as being one of the most wildest experiences.

What a great way to end the year!

With this being the final run of the year, it is alway fun to look back at my training log and the numbers as well. I’ve struggled a bit with injuries this year, so my volume is a little lower than I would have liked, but still respectable.

Number of hours – 552 hours & 37 minutes
Number of runs – 462
Average per day – 91 minutes of running per day

As mentioned previously, I’m pleased to have turned over another year in my streak as I surpassed 24 years of running every day on Christmas Day.

Looking forward to a bigger and healthier 2014!

photo 5

If you look closely, you might be able to see the hungry coyotes waiting to return to their dinner from the shoreline

Comments

  1. Wish we could have snuck in a little closer before they took off. Still, amazing to see.

  2. I hope that wasn’t Keith the coyotes were feasting on?

  3. Was very cool to see!

    Haven’t heard from Keith in a few days, so i suppose it is possible.

  4. I was running with the ditch dawg on the weekend and he is accounted for!

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