Mount Roberts

Today was Mount Roberts part 2. This time we made it – and what a day it was. Hot! We were peeling off clothing down to our T-shirts 10 minutes after setting out. And not once did we have to layer up again. Far from it. “Why didn’t I wear my shorts?”

And, of course, the sun was reflecting off the snow in a perfect, cloudless sky.

It was a pretty awesome day. We plodded up about 900 metres to the summit of Mount Roberts, being very careful to stay off the rather large cornices. The sky was deep blue, the views were amazing and the peak we sat on allowed a kind of precarious perch. What I mean is, you didn’t want to keep looking straight down while munching on your sandwich.

We had a lovely time – travelled about 15K in 6.5 hours.

And made plans to go back next week to summit Record Mountain – about 200 or so metres higher. Yay! I do so love being in the alpine.

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Brilliant – yes, there are those who would say, “Of course you’re brilliant, Goody! Wonderful that you are acknowledging your incredible genius in a blog post.”

Sadly, the title refers to a hike called Brilliant Overlook. So it’s not really about me. Unless you take into account that everything is about me in the end. (hehehe)

Okay – so Tammy and Nicky and I drove down to Castlegar and started up Dove Hill. I gave a loud and clear disclaimer at the beginning of the hike that once we started heading down from the top my knowledge of the trail was a tad sketchy but I figured we would find our way.

We walked up in warm sunshine – lovely trail: shorts and T-shirt. Yay!

We started seeing flowers at the top: glacier lilies by the dozens and then coming down Dove Hill we saw trilliums! Wonderful.

The sky was clear and the going super.

Then we headed up Brilliant Overlook – slightly gnarly trail but in excellent shape. Then, of course, the damned boulder field. Grrrr. But with that behind us we continued up until we hit patchy snow near the top. A gorgeous lunch up there and then the sketchy bit going down.

Yes, the various trails were a tad overgrown. I believe Nicky mentioned “bushwhacky.” But hey – it was a loop, right? And loops are always the best right? And no one actually got wet feet – so that was a bonus. And no ticks – another bonus!

And – here’s the amazing bit – no getting lost and finding the right trail back all the way. Yeah – I admit it – I was a bit stunned.

Back at the car 4.5 hours after setting out, 13K, 620 metres elevation. Pretty darn fine for a shoulder season hike!

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Warmth and sun

It’s been an unwinding ( winding down) get chores done, do laundry, bake bread, walk the dogs etc. kind of day.

It’s also been an – oops – what the hell is going on kind of day?

Like – suddenly this morning, as I started my first load of laundry – no water. None. Nada. Simon went up to the water boxes. Seems there was some debris (read entire trees and crap). And so the work he had planned on doing this morning (putting the basement back together now that the floor is done) had to go on hold while he fixed the water issue. And then he had to go to Nakusp to get the sheeting for the outside and and and….

Just one of those days.

That said, it was nice to walk the dogs on the Galena trail without even a jacket. It’s warm. No more fires. Doors open to let the air in.

Simon is making our basement sink look like new – he insists that caustic toilet bowl cleaner was the best solution he could find. I have to admit, it appears to have worked.

He is now installing the sink.

Tomorrow will be my first shorts hike of the season! Awesome!

And the next day, I will be in waterproof pants again and snowshoes.

Ah yes – spring in the Kootenays.

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Back Home

I set the alarm this morning for 6 a.m. I was wide awake shortly after 5.30 and was on the road by 6.15. The early start was a blessing. The day was fine; the sun was shining and I was driving against the rush hour flow of traffic. Getting out of Vancouver was a thing of great ease. In fact, the entire drive back was easy peasy all the way – with time out for two quick naps and lunch.

So here I am. My heart is still overflowing with love.

Beautiful to see my man and the puppies.

And that’s all I feel capable of writing.

I have a huge to-do list for tomorrow and then – two days of hiking/snowshoeing.

With Sandra walking with me every step of the way.

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Sometimes  – every rare once in a while, my heart feels like it is about to burst. This evening is one of those times.

I feel so full of love that my body can’t contian it – love and gratitude. A ton of gratitude.

First, was Lee’s birthday party: so much love in that room and so beautiful to be with my women. Then Sandra’s walk today, with a small vial of Sandra in my pocket  walking with my women, feeling the love surrounding us  feeling Sandra near us, all around us. I wanted to hold on to those women and never let them go.

Then walking home up that long hill and understanding, in a flash, what I had to do with that piece of Sandra entrusted to me – put her in my backpack and take her with me to all my mountaintops and through all the forests and canyons and up the snowfields  –  everywhere I go, I will take this woman I loved, who loved walking so much. She will walk with me. And I feel that love.

And then, ending up the day with a long talk with Kathleen, a new friend and one I have come to love and appreciate so very much. She is an amazing and beautiful person. I am so grateful to have her in my life.

My heart is full of love. And tomorrow I will be back in the arms of the man I love.



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Walking and driving

This is the reason I walked for three hours this morning. Yep – Mink chocolate. It really is that good. I refuse to discuss how much money I spent at the shop. Let’s just say that the ONLY reason I brought a backpack to Vancouver was so that I could fill it with Mink bars and not have to carry the thousand kilo bag in my hand when I was done shopping.

Disclaimer: I didn’t shop just for me. I always include an order for Kathleen – after all, she does me the great honour of putting up with me when I’m in town. And I didn’t forget that Chris wanted a bar. And I may have given a passing thought to Simon. Yeah, I know, a bar here and there. Confession: the VAST majority of what is in that backpack is mine and, as a matter of fact, I have just eaten an entire bar of it: organic, fair trade, rich, dark, creamy, luscious, orgasmic (as opposed to organic), taste bud tingling deliciousness!

I took the sky train and bus back. Needed a nap. Had one. Need a shower before getting dressed and driving south of the border to a birthday party.

Let’s get philosophical for just a minute. I left the house at about 9 in sunshine, under blue skies and with that amazing cool ocean breeze blowing. Spring. This is the kind of spring I have missed so much. The green – oh, the amazing green all around me. Magnolias were dripping heavy blossoms. The apples and cherries are already done but gardens were overflowing with golden alyssum, tulips and all the early flowering rock garden plants I can’t think the names of at the moment, all whites, every shade of blue and purple. Camellias were dropping their petals on the sidewalk.

Everyone was out in shorts and t-shirts: biking, running, sipping coffee on sidewalk patios, shopping, walking babies in strollers – Granville Island was in full festive mode. Music on every street corner. Kayaks, sailboats and dragon boats on the water.


It was Vancouver at its best. It was the West Coast at its most glorious. I’m not saying I want to live in a city (I do not) but the coast is a wonderful place. This is the spring I have missed.

And so it was a lovely morning walk. I gave my brain a break from thinking, which was rather delightful. And even now, I don’t want to give it too much time to analyze. I am simply soaking up the sun and the colours. No grey anywhere. The world out there is like a kaleidoscope.

And I want to go out into it boldly, bravely and above all, with immense joy and passion. I want to live my life in colour, full-blown, excited colour.

I have this sense of what it feels like. The practical bits? I don’t have a clue.

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There it is: my big purchase in the big city – new reading glasses (drugstore type).  You will notice the fashionable black frames. I think they make me look like an academic or intellectual. Or possibly both.  The glasses on the left are about 20 years old and being held together with duck tape. I felt no guilt about replacing them.

A note of pride. The magnification hasn’t changed. I believe that means I am youthifying.

At any rate, I left home shortly after 7 am and drove in really nice conditions. Totally uneventful. That is, until I got just past Hope where the traffic became quite awful and added an hour to the drive – 10 instead of 9  but I took a zen-like attitude and it helped.

So – Vancouver. What can I say? Magnolias and cherry trees are in full beautiful bloom. Tulips are flowering in drifts as are the daffodils. Everything is madly, gorgeously green and, yes, a gentle rain began to fall as soon as I got on to the Grandview Highway.

I brought my stuff in and walked to Stongs for my favourite chickpea salad and tabouli for dinner. It’s going to be a very early night.

Random thoughts on the road today: I was torn between the feeling of driving “home” and driving away from “home” – realizing that Simon really is home for me. And then there is the conundrum of not feeling at home where I live now. Perhaps home is two things? A place – yes  perhaps also a person?

This requires further thought. And I had more thoughts. As I came back from Stongs, I looked at all the beautiful flowers around me and all the lush green and thought how gentle and civilized the spring was and how wild and fierce the landscape is at home. Each different. Each calling to me.

And this was what I wrote about days ago. Feeling homeless. Not in the sense of being a poor homeless person, but feeling like a vagabond without roots.

This is not a bad thing.  This is all good food for thought. It is at times like this that we have an opportunity to learn and grow.

Hoping I am learning.  And growing.

Certainly feeling an enormous amount of love for my dear man.

Oh – and the puppies. Must not forget the girls.




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