Much as I love running on the island where my knees don't have to contend with pavement, it gets a bit tedious (and sometimes a bit embarrassing) doing four circuits for my longer runs. In Vancouver, of course, I have all kinds of choices when I want to stretch out. Generally, I opt to run down to, and around, the Stanley Park Seawall, which offers some stunning vistas along with the many diversions of its countless visitors. Often, I wish I had my camera with me when I run so that I could show you what I see as I count out the kilometres. So last weekend, when Pater and I headed out on a walk, I packed the little PowerShot and snapped some pics for you. We didn't cover the English Bay side, but started East of the Lions Gate Bridge.
These colourful industrial structures, blight on a natural landscape 'tho they undoubtedly are, always catch my eye, reminding me of an Edward Burtynsky photograph (or Jeff Wall or Stan Douglas). I feel the same way about the eerily-cheery yellow sulphur mountains juxtaposed to the industrial blue.While their presence right at the tidal zone should (and at an intellectual level, of course, does) disturb me, their Meccano-set references to childhood often catch me smiling as I run.But now that I've embarrassingly waxed nostalgic about the comforts of industry and its garish and surely-polluting raw materials, shall I continue guiding you on my run? Here's another familiar sight, this one perhaps more pleasing to a wider audience: Girl in We
stsuit by sculptor Elek Imredy has been perched on this rock since 1972.As I'm passing her, I'm often having to take care to avoid tripping over fishermen, generally of Asian heritage, Vietnamese, I suspect, with their lines out for perch and their buckets of supplies nearby. Here's one, crouched in the shade just ahead.
And here he is, with Ms. Wetsuit lolling on the rock behind him. Having past him, I'm gently turning south where Coal Harbour swivels into view bringing with it the highrised backdrop of downtown Vancouver.
I have to admit that while I was initially very skeptical about the Conference Centre being built at Coal Harbour (by a government whose politics I'm not very keen on), I'm very much liking what it's doing for the waterfront and skyline here -- it creates a very generous foreground with a gorgeous swooping horizontal line and the extensive Green roof will incorporate some natural texture into a city that appreciates those elements. I apologize for the quality of the photo below, but I do think you can sense the generosity of that horizontal line which echoes the water's waves and, oddly, grounds by unsettling the verticality of the highrises. Also note the seaplane landing just right of centre at the water surface -- another bit of free entertainment that keeps me from noticing my tightening quads.From here on, as the run circles back toward the park's centre and the downtown's spine (at Georgia Street), tourist traffic increases and it's hard to grumble about sore feet when happy families, friends out for a weekly walk-and-chat, owners and pets, roller bladers, cyclists, are moving past, fuelled by endorphins and fresh air. And if they're not energetic to move under their own steam, I get to see scenes like this.
Still, I'm pleased when I pass this statue of Harry Jerome
'cause next up is Although I know the point is named for the Salvation Army's historic practice of singing here, with its Hallelujahs ringing across the water, I nonetheless like to think it's a marker of my own Hallelujahs at getting close to the end of my run (although I still have another 3 or 4 kilometres before I'm home).
Really, though, my course is nothing like what these guys go through to get home, right?
Do you have a favourite route for running, walking, or cycling? Do the sights or distractions offered by the route make your workout go faster? Or do they encourage you to amble or dawdle?