Archive for the ‘hiking’ Category

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reflecting on 09 and pondering 2010

January 3, 2010

New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing but Heather and Granola Girl have captured me with their reflections on 2009 and their hopes for the year ahead. I always thought September was more my time of year but suddenly I’m in the mood to take a look backwards and forwards.  There were some significant changes in 2009 and so many yet to be defined in 2010.

sewing on the beach

In 2009 I took care of a few items on my bucket list:
– learned how to use the pottery wheel (it was so good to use my bowls when I was home for Christmas!)
– starting this blog
– training for triathlon
– trying dragon boating
– going to Glacier National Park in Montana
– dipping candles
– visiting New England
– going back to school for teacher training
– getting involved in the (Vancouver) Olympics – I dreamed of volunteering at the games but the logistics didn’t work out and carrying the torch was closer than I ever imagined I’d get

Olympic toch relay

Plans are already in place for a few more items to come off the list in 2010:
– attending the Olympics (I still regret that I didn’t go to Sidney where I knew 10 people who were participating!)
– finishing teacher training
– starting a new career
– taking a cross Canada road trip

tenting on Maui

There are some things I’m really proud of from last year but need to go a step further with this year so I can truly say I love this life!

Getting fit. Getting into a cycling and swimming routine last year was great but it took a lot of work for me to get to the point where I enjoyed it (and these were both sports I loved when I was in public school and university). Then I lost momentum when I spent half of the summer without my bike and away from a pool. I’m not sure that triathlon competition will fit into the plans this year but I need to get back on the fit routine so I can enjoy hiking, photography, and whatever 2010 has in store for us. I think the key here is to remind myself of why I want to get fit and starting my day with exercise.

Glacier NP - view from the E!

A decade or so ago I went so far as to run a few nights a week so I could develop the endurance to hike longer and higher. If I could handle that, surely I can handle a few pilates, swimming and yoga sessions a week now!

artful attempt at shore protection

Finding rhythm. I know that I need to get to bed earlier so I can get up earlier and do more with my day but I can’t believe how hard it is to do when my days aren’t jam packed with activities outside of the house or something to proove in a competition. I’m hopeful that regular glimpes at this post will help keep me on my game but I’m also going to need to find a way to limit my time on-line. The rhythm I’m still struggling to find needs to squeeze my computer time out but make space for fitness, socializing, sleep and healthy eating so I can be ready for a summer of outdoor exploration.

silhouette at big rock

Doing what I love. Taking leave from the career I felt was destroying my soul was a big move last year but finishing my training and starting afresh are going to be big too. There are still a lot of questions about where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing seven months from now and beyond but the most critical thing for me is it to find what I love no matter what situation we end up in. That means being open to whatever our future holds and rediscovering the outdoor activities we enjoy but haven’t done much of lately. I also need to be open to enjoying new things and doing what it takes to love the work I’m doing.

Kev on the slackline

Having goals are a big help and so this year, I resolve to get outside, get to bed early, get fit and love life. Have a great 2010!

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last minute sewing

December 31, 2009

I love sewing, especially things that I have to figure out my own method for. The crayon rolls were a satisfying project but my favourite sewing is the kind that is done in a day, or better yet, done in a few hours.

With my new camera I want to be sure that I can take it on any and every trip so that it gets used. That means it needs a place on my pack where I can reach it, and a way to protect it from the rain when we’re on hikes. I am determined to make sure this camera stays out of both the lid of my pack and Kevin’s pocket. And it won’t be staying at home either!

When we picked up my camera we found a small, lightweight neoprene case that was just the right size. If not for the zipper it would probably be fairly water resistant. Today I followed through on my plan to add straps so it snuggly fits on the waist belt of my pack and then came the fun part – a lightweight pack cover out of sil-nylon. Sil-nylon is a royal pain to work with but it’s hard to beat for raincovers, tarp tents and stuff sacks when you’re a gram weenie.

modified camera case and rain cover

The form of my two projects aren’t my best but they are definitely going to rock in their function! And it didn’t take me months to strike this project off my list. Hiking season is still quite a few months away for us but I’m ready!

modified camera case ready for action!

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hello and goodbye

August 17, 2009

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This past weekend Kevin and I made another trip to the mountains – our last one for the summer:(

Again we took a rather passive approach to planning for our weekend but we had one twist – we needed to transport my sister, a friend and their bikes between mountain towns on Saturday evening.  That limited our hiking options somewhat but with Kevin’s knee acting up on our last trip it was just fine.  We had looked at a few options for where to hike but when we drove by Bow Lake we decided to dismiss our other “plans” and hike up to the waterfall instead.  (We’d viewed the lake, falls and glacier while atop Cirque Peak a few years earlier and many folks recommended taking a walk up to the falls.)

k and falls

The hike was alright… not too exciting, but that is the way I usually feel about valley hikes in the mountains.  The views just aren’t as nice as from above.  Despite my slow pace, I still really enjoy the ups that come from working my way up to a ridge.  The terrain closer to the falls was certainly more enjoyable than the roots and puddles near the beginning but time in the mountains is time in the mountains so I’m not really complaining.

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Our timing was perfect to go meet up the cyclists at the appointed hour but only a few minutes into our drive we found them.  Silly me thought that pulling into the next pull out (in the bottom of a dip) would be mean so we drove a bit further to one that wasn’t immediately followed by an uphill.  Apparently the dip near where we saw them was nothing.  I can believe it!

We fed them and chatted and then we were all on our way.  The cyclists arrived shortly after.  There was much conversation on the drive back to Jasper and now I feel almost as though I’ve ridden that highway myself!

e and bikes

After dropping the girls off we headed out to find a place to camp and wound up at the overflow again.  There was much more room this time but sadly, there were generators running most of the night.  I just don’t get how people think that it’s alright to do that.

On Sunday morning we went into town to start our lazy morning and at the appointed hour met up with Granola Girl for the first time.  We had a wonderfully leisure afternoon at the lake where we learned we have even more in common than we had originally thought. Unfortunately we didn’t take any photos of our visit. We did have fun though and I look forward to spening more time with her and her family.

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priorities

May 5, 2009

Wow, I’ve become quite the inactive blogger lately!  I hardly noticed how quickly the time had passed until I looked at the date of my last post.  Oops.  And I still have some Maui info to get to.  Today though I wanted to write a bit about what I’m focusing on these days – making time for the things that are important for me.  The net result has been less time on the computer but with the recent arrival of spring I hardly think it’s a bad thing!

Triathlon Training. For a few months now I’ve been dedicated to getting out for my triathlon training sessions (except when injury and work out of town have gotten in the way).  My biking and swimming are progressing well but running is a different story… I haven’t done one since right before I hurt my knees and I’m a little frightened of trying now since my knees still get ouchy when I walk for very long.  There’s no way I want to give up on this important piece to regaining my physical health so for the forseable future,  Tuesday and Thursday evenings will continue to be training.  I’m hoping to add some weekend rides outside too!

Getting Adequate Sleep. I don’t know why this is so darned hard to do!  I used to go to bed early and get up early but that seems like so long ago.  One thing that has really has helped is “putting my computer to bed” at 9pm.  It’s been a hard one to stick to but I feel so much better today after going to bed at 9:30 last night!

Preparing Healthy Food.  The last two days have been exceptions where we’ve eaten at other peoples houses but generally we’re taking more time to plan healthy meals, reduce the need for trips to the store and making our own nibblies.  This hasn’t been as big of a change as I thought it would be and I’m so much happier eating my own crackers and tortillas like in my starving student days.

I’m also planting another veggie garden and at lunch today I figured out what is going where.  Now to get some more compost and plant those seeds!

Learning More about Waldorf. I’ve been helping with a playgroup on the weekends since February and in March I started a distance course on the spiritual science of things.  I’m loving that I’m constantly learning but I’m still struggling to make time for all the readings I know I should be doing.   I’ve also started painting or drawing once per week.  My time in the classroom is making me feel more confident about the decision I need to make about school next year and the anthroposophy studies are helping me sweep out the cobwebs that collected during the 5+ years that I decided to stop paying attention to my gut.  Both are adding good doses of optimism for each day and the years ahead.

Maintaining Relationships. Sometimes life can seem so busy it’s hard to make time for getting together for friendship and shared interests.  This is the first thing I “dropped” when I started doing school things earlier this year but I’m making sure it’s a little higher up the pecking order now.  A good friend and her son came to visit this past weekend, K and I celebrated birthdays  with my sister yesterday and in 2 weeks we’re going to see my Sasquatch relatives.  And hopefully M and I will be able to get together this week or next for some crafting.  I find social interaction can really energize me so I need to make time for this… it helps me get some of the other things done too!  The healthy food and early to bed part are also working wonders for my relationship with Kevin;)

Finding Time for “Me”. This really overlaps with everything else but it also means making time for some of the things I love which I haven’t yet mentioned, especially textile crafts.  I’ve barely done any sewing in the past year but in this last month I’ve done two things, both which required binding.  I’m not sure why I would go for things like that since sew on binding is a pain in the arse!  Hiking and camping fit here too.

Getting organized.  With my sister-in-laws finally moving out on their own we’ve had the opportunity to downsize our collection of stuff a bit.  It’s always nice to be able to help others out with the stuff we don’t need and since we’re planning for a move and eventually a tiny house now seems like as good a time as ever to get rid of stuff we don’t need.  It’s been so nice to have such eager recepients and soon we’ll be making donations to the local Sally Ann and freecycle too.

So that in a nutshell is how I’m spending my time these days.   More and more of it is outside too.  Yay!

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maui photos cont’d

April 28, 2009

It hasn’t even been a week and already my memories of the sun and the sand are fading.  Darned Alberta spring’s which bring a mix of sun and snow.  I’m not actually bitter but I’m worried that a snow storm will get in the way of birthday celebrations with friends from afar as they have for the past two years.  Anyways, onto the main subject of this post – photos!

dsc_0176Today I’m focusing on what was definitely a highlight of the trip and one of the only pieces that won’t be hampered by the stubborn little detail of an unfinished roll of film in the underwater camera.

dsc_0193Last weekend we headed up Haleakala, or House of the Sun to escape the box jellyfish that are known to head towards leeward (swimming) beaches 8-10 days following the full moon.  I’m guessing there’s not much of a problem with jellyfish since everyone we spoke to seemed to be surprised to even hear about them but I wasn’t interested in taking any chances!

maui-s210_041809_0084Haleakala is of course a volcano.  My details on the history of the volcano and the facinating tales that relate to it are sketchy at best but I hope to get into my book on Hawaiian myths and legends because it sounds so interesting and I’m sure will make for great teaching material too.

We spent two nights camping a good deal of the way up the mountain at Hosmer Grove.  It was a little weird to tent in a field with a group of strangers but we met some great people over dinner and trips to the car.

dsc_0194After getting up early – but not quite early enough – for sunrise the first day we decided to act on numerous recommendations and take a hike on the sliding sands trail to the Ka Lu’u o ka Oo cindercone.

dsc_0200The landscape up here was quite barren in comparison to sea level but it reminded me so much of “home”, which in the case refers to the Rocky Mountains (I’ve lived close to them on both sides).  The temperature was similar to what we get in the summers and the weather was constantly changing from cool, vicious breezes to still air and intense sunshine, to cloudy with some rain.  Thankfully on this trip there was no snow.

dsc_0197There were marked differences as well.  Whereas here we have the hard work of hiking up first, this trip started with the descent.  And while the surface we hiked on looked similar there was a wider range of colours and hiking on it felt markedly different.  Instead of talus that slows your ascent, the volcanic material stays “still”, probably because the root materials that have been eroded are so different. dsc_0293Anyways, it was a great hike and I’ve enjoyed going through the photos for this post.  I hope you enjoy them too.