The restorative power of a really long walk

As I type this, the Fitness app on my watch is reporting that I have completed:

  • 31,878 steps
  • 25.31 km

This is not just higher than my average daily going-out-and-aboot, it’s way higher. Was I tied to a runaway horse? Yes! Well, no. I decided to go for a walk to Burnaby Lake, to take photos of birds and soak in nature for awhile.

Weirdly, I chose to start this at 7 a.m. (I got up and had breakfast at 5:30). I got there shortly after 8 a.m., spent some time at Piper Spit, took about 350 photos, then continued to walk the entire lake loop and back home, returning just after 11:30 a.m.

A few observations on this early morning trek:

  • It was chilly starting out–only 2C. By the time I was back, it was up to 8C and fairly comfy.
  • Despite the chilly start, I only felt a little cold while snapping pictures at Piper Spit, since there was a breeze coming off the lake and my hands were naked while holding the camera.
  • Speaking of Piper Spit, there were only two people there, both at the far end of the pier with absurdly gigantic telephoto lenses on their cameras. I believe they were taking photos of the recently-returned swallows.
  • Speaking of Piper Spit even more, a lot of birds were snoozing at 8 a.m. and most were farther away from the pier, possibly because there was a noticeable lack of free food supplied by the public.
  • Even though I walked over 20 km as part of the trip there and back, it felt entirely manageable, as I broke it down into chunks, stopping and taking what were effectively breaks when I saw things to take pictures of.
  • The weather was perfectly decent, with little wind, and the sun eventually came out. I wore my lined hoodie and t-shirt and this was quite adequate. I also wore pants.
  • I didn’t see as many birds as I had hoped, but I still saw a bunch, plus two bunnies! No squirrels, though. Maybe it was too early for them.
  • I am very glad I went out.
  • Going early was aces, as the kids say. It’s already light at 7 a.m. and the only people around are joggers and people walking their dogs and wishing they were still in bed. So peaceful and still.

I will post select pics in a follow-up post. Yesterday was bad, but today did a lot to erase the bad, or at least smear it around so it’s less easily identifiable.

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