This video has nothing to do with running but since I enjoyed the Saint Joseph Abbey trails, I thought it only fitting that I raise awareness about the monk's legal battle with the State of Louisiana. Currently they sustain themselves monetarily in various ways, one of which is the manufacturing and selling of caskets. Apparently their business is not in line with Louisiana law. It's really an interesting story.
The crazy idea of "Photo Running" was born out of this run. I always felt like a broken record trying to tell others about the weird, unique or beautiful "thing" or view I saw while out running. However "words" alone can never accurately describe what the eyes see.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a social media training for non-profits hosted by Lauren Coudrain of The Coudrain Group. Lucky for me, Lauren decided to have the training at the Saint Joseph's Abbey Retreat Center. For those of you not from around here or if you haven't heard of the place, Saint Joseph's Abbey sits on roughly 1200 acres on the outskirts of Covington, La. I've heard of a cross country camp that takes place on the grounds during the summer time so i assumed there had to be some trails on site or if not, at least nearby. So i decided I would bring my shoes and a change of clothes in order to take a little jog around the place after the training session was over (running is fantastic; you hardly need any equipment and it can be done any where). Believe me when i say i was not disappointed. There were miles and miles of grass and dirt trails everywhere. I knew I had found my running "mecca" and would return as soon as I could.
Of course I told my wife all about it. Knowing that she wouldn't be able to visit St. Joseph's Abbey any time soon I thought i would take some pictures after my next run. A few days later I got my chance. The original plan was to finish up the run and then grab the camera to get a few shots but since my point and shoot is fairly small and I was pressed for time I decided to carry it during my run. If you are a visual learner check out the red bull scene from Yes Man. This was new to me since I was always a purist in the past, not wanting to add any distractions I would rarely even listen to music while running. But this was a special occasion.
This place is truly breathtaking. I instantly starting snapping pictures as soon as I began the run and almost got two deer in my first shot. I did stop quite often to get some pics but I still got in about 3 and a half to 4 miles and only saw a portion of the trails. Running out at the Abbey trails can give you a sense of being completely alone in a world of craziness. That kind of escape is needed from time to time. If you've ever been running, hiking or biking in the Austin, Tx. area, think the exact opposite. Places like these can be found all across the nation if we only spent the time to look. Even if you don't run or bike just get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. It's good for the heart and the soul.