[photo by Gary, bench on side trail off C+O Canal near Lock 38]
Along the trails we run upon we frequently encounter park benches of various types. These occur most often along popular routes with easy access, as opposed to benches installed in the remote backcountry (of which I have seen none).
The fact that a bench exists means that someone went to some trouble to get approval for, to obtain, to install, and to maintain said bench. That effort is worthy of respect and thanks
Accordingly, here is my philosophy: It is my sworn duty as an Ultrarunner to sit on any bench I encounter when I am trail running. After all, it would be disrespectful NOT to spend a few moments enjoying such a labor of love.
The bench in the photo above is not well used--witness the yellow flowers growing up through the slats--but I managed to squeeze my butt onto the edge for a quick respite from the uphill slog. Here's a close up in case any alert readers can identify the flower: