Idaho Peak in snow

Another day and another hike. This one was particularly interesting. We’d done it in early summer before the road up had opened – and it was gorgeous with wildflowers. This time around I think that Helen, Rick and I put it to bed. I doubt very much that anyone else will do this 1,000 plus metre hike after the snow predicted in the next few days. We already had a fair bit of the white stuff all the way up.

At any rate, we parked about a kilometre below the parking lot because the road was getting a bit sketchy. – then up on the trail – and up and up and up relentlessly on the switchbacks. When we finally got to the summer parking lot, Rick was done. Helen was also concerned about the condition of the snow on the way down. I was game to go to the top (itching!), but when you hike as a team, you make compromises so that’s what we did. We left Rick in the parking lot and hiked toward the final top until the view opened up on both sides. A few photos and back we went.

As it turned out, the conditions down were pretty good. Helen only fell once and Rick ditto. I am proud to say that I almost fell (as good as – lol) but hey – nobody died!

It was a good day. Now, after three days of hiking, I think I’ll be quite glad to have a day off to catch up on home chores – and there are quite a lot of them!

I am also itching to write another story!

I love the way we are pushing this shoulder season!

I love how it feels to finish a long hike and to get out of a hot bath and luxuriate in the comfort of it all.

Feeling excited for what is to come.

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Kinball Lake

So much for shoulder season being a hiking problem. Today, Helen and Rick and I had two options: A – Idaho Peak. B – Kinball Lake. Idaho Peak was socked in so we drove up to Plan B.

And we had a super hike. A bit snowy at the top and I had a moment of worry when I was taking a photo and a tree dropped a wad of snow on my camera. Hence half my photos are in the recycle bin (virtual one). But I think (fingers crossed) that the wet didn’t get into my sensor – just on the lens, which I have cleaned and cleaned.

We shall see because tomorrow, Helen, Rick and I are doing Idaho Peak. Yay!

We expect cold and snow.

Tonight we are heading to Silverton Hall for a hiking presentation. Whew! Busy! Oh – and Wednesday hiking again at Strawberry Pass.

In amongst all this I have to find time to write another story that is brewing in my head, bake bread, do laundry etc. etc.

Ain’t life grand?

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Seven Summits

Another day where all I can say is, “Did not go as planned!” Funny thing is though, when plans don’t work out, I seldom have a complaint..

Today, I was supposed to meet my carpool guy at (I thought) Playmore Junction). I can only assume he thought it was somewhere else. I waited almost 15 minutes and decided on Plan B. Instead of hiking in fall colours near Trail, I drove to Strawberry Pass and hiked a good portion of the Seven Summits Trail. My GPS says I did about 17K and about 700 metres elevation in 5 hrs and 15 minutes.

What my GPS did not say was that it was about minus 3 or 4 at the pass and got progressively colder as I gained elevation. I had lunch at about 2200 metres – and yes, I had it standing up and very, very quickly. My fingers were frozen. The wind was cold. Lots of snow on the ground and ice on the trees.

Hiking alone was good for my soul – you know, things often turn out the way they are meant to.

I thought a lot about ideas for stories (as if I needed even more ideas that I am in position to write down!)

It was all quite lovely – also lovely to meet two fellow KMCers on the way back – two of my favourites!

And that’s it – a quiet, contemplative day. And a hot bath when I got home with a fire in the stove. Life is good.

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More About Shoulder Season

Well, shoulder season just got more interesting. It seems that Helen is going to be hanging out in our neck of the woods for the weekend – and wants to hike Sunday and Monday. Let’s see – what to say? How about, “Okay!” (hehe – I already did of course)

And I’m hiking with KMC tomorrow. I don’t know where. Really – no idea. All I know is that I’m meeting some guy at the junction tomorrow morning and we’re heading in a southerly direction. Works for me!

And then, Nicky wants to hike next week. Yay!!!!

I wrote my longest story yet today – 10 pages single spaced! Holy heck! Proud of myself. Simon read another one of my stories today. It made him laugh. He liked it. Thrilled!

Editor of Inspired Living has my story uploaded and ready to go in the December issue!

You see? Life is good!

And now all I have to do is go over my new story and edit it! Ha! That shouldn’t take too long…..

Better get at it.

I love this feeling of excitement, of “I can hardly wait to get at it.” I haven’t felt that in a long time and to this degree? Never! Ain’t life grand when you become new over and over again.

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Shoulder Season

The dreaded shoulder season has arrived – hence the necessity of going with Plan C – Pulpit Rock and the Flagpole. The only (and I stress “only’) merit of this trail is its quick elevation gain of 660 metres. I figure it will keep me in shape for the upcoming snowshoe season.

Yes, there were also some nice fall colours despite incipient rainstorms all morning – which magically held off until I got back to the car.

I would have gone with Plan B, which was the Seven Summits Trail – but I had an email from a magazine editor – send photos! And of course, because they were last year’s photos and on a different computer, this ate into time – a whole hour! And so I opted for Plan C.

The magazine: Senior Living or something like that. I think I am in the December issue. But it’s a paying gig and that’s lovely. I’ll keep you informed. I’d written the piece so long ago that I’d almost forgotten about it.

All that said, hiking alone does have that wonderful effect of focussing my mind (when it’s not entirely blank) on ideas. I love ideas! I’ve always said that I’m an idea machine! Such fun! Don’t necessarily ask me to execute them (that’s what you pay people for – right?) but just having an endless stream zipping through my head is a sheer delight. Today’s ideas revolved almost exclusively around story ideas. I have so many of them that I’m beginning to think I should write them down.

Maybe.

Or I could just keep on having them and write down what I remember. A certain amount of chaos is rather good, I think.

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Snow and thankfulness

Snow! We woke up this morning to snow falling from the sky. And that, gentle reader, is the reward (curse) of living high on the side of a mountain.

But no matter, snow or no snow, life is amazing. Tomorrow I will be hiking. Today, I ticked off everything on my list including doing Abby’s nails and writing another story.

It occurred to me that I didn’t write my usual Thanksgiving blog – you know, the one where I list everything I’m thankful for. I suspect I omitted that little chore because I’ve been feeling grateful pretty much on a daily basis.

But now that Simon is home – and safe and happily working on his book and clearly delighted to be back with his family, I thought I’d catch up on written expressions of gratitude.

First, I am grateful for Simon. Yes, he drives me mad at times (and he’ll say the same thing about me) but my gosh, I’d be hard-pressed to find a better man. I am grateful that he loves me and that he loves his daughter and his puppies and nature and trees and animals. What it all comes down to, I think, is that I’m grateful he has such a huge heart with infinite amounts of love to spread around – and that he spreads so much of it in my direction. He is a good man in every sense of the word.

I am grateful that I love him and that we are together for the duration. I am grateful for that sense of warmth, security and commitment. This commitment is incredibly freeing and yes, comfortable. Nothing wrong with this kind of beautiful, warm comfort.

I am grateful that I have so recently re-discovered my passion for writing and that I have found my writing niche. I am excited about the story I wrote today – can hardly wait to go back over it and edit it.

I am grateful for mountains – these ladies in the sky that call to me – grateful I can hear their beautiful voices – grateful that I stand among them so often in awe and bliss.

I am grateful for new friends – some of the most beautiful people I have ever met – grateful for the giving and receiving of love and affection and friendship.

I am grateful for the puppies and for my home and for my life. Imagine! Being alive! What are the odds of actually being a conscious individual in this massive universe! It boggles the mind. If you can’t be grateful for that, then really – are you actually paying attention?

I am grateful for nature – the mother of us all.

I could go on with a very long list which would include, hiking socks, dark chocolate, almonds, Bruce Springsteen, Merino wool, wood stoves, marmots, people who build trails, hiking apps, down pillows, electric lights, paved roads and tree frogs.

But that’s enough for this year. remembering to be in gratitude every single day.

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Writing (still)

Yes – in spots, the snow really was that deep yesterday – thanks to Chris Cowan for the photo.

Today has been, in its own way, just as adventurous. I did all my chores this morning – as is my wont, so that this afternoon I would be free to write. And I did – wrote my longest short story yet. My ideas and inspiration seem limitless.

And that’s it. Really! There isn’t much more to say.

Simon called this morning – he is on his way home and will likely arrive in three or four hours. I’ve missed him – a loving presence in the house – I have felt its absence. The puppies are going to be thrilled to have him back. I’m looking forward to a big hug and to the warmth and comfort of having him beside me in the bed.

The fact is that I love him.

Simple.

Tomorrow – some work to do on getting my stories out there.

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