Preparations

Yup – the beast is pretty much packed and ready to go. Just have to add the food tomorrow morning. And – excitingly – I seem to have managed to pack for 4 days and come in under 30 pounds. If my weighing is correct, I’m topping out at about 27.5 pounds.

Yes – that’s great news!

And the weather still promises to be fine.

I’ve been thinking about the Auger Point for years. And now – finally! I have no fear of being disappointed. I know it will exceed my expectations, especially in the pain category. Ha!

I have lots of chocolate – that’s the important part. I may have skimped on clothing – one spare T-shirt – but hey: I have chocolate!

So – an early start tomorrow morning. The alarm will be set for 5.30 a.m. Abby is going to go off and play with her boyfriend for 4 days. She probably won’t want to come home.

The astounding news for the day” I found my Q-core pad. And where pray tell was it? Wrapped up in my sleeping bag. Why???

I can only think that as I was emptying my bag of non-essentials before my Switzerland trip last year that I stuck the pad in with the sleeping bag because that made sense and it was such a good place to put it that I would know where to find it!

Right.

So – signing off for at least 4 or 5 days. I plan to have tons of photos to post when I get back.

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Connection

There was a time, not all that long ago, when I was sure I wanted to go it alone in this world. I didn’t need anyone – certainly not a life partner. I told myself, and anyone else who would listen, “I suck at relationships!”

I had plenty of proof that this was true. I had two failed marriages. Now (if you count common-law) three.

I hereby rescind that statement. I refuse to let it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I will wholeheartedly admit that I have made mistakes – lots of them. But I am willing to learn and I am more than willing to once again jump into the fray.

Because, here’s what sprang to mind today. I believe that intimate human connection is primal. In fact, I think it’s necessary for us to realize our full potential as loving, caring, creative human beings. We’re programmed for connection.

It starts when we’re born (or possibly even before that) – we are so connected to our parents – especially our mothers at first. We are utterly dependent on that connection and we thrive on it. I remember visiting a friend about 24 hours after she had given birth. She was lying on the couch, her arms wrapped around her baby, holding him close. Her partner said, “She hasn’t let go of him since he was born.

Lucky baby. That’s the kind of connection that that we need and want. There’s enough science that tells us that without this connection we grow up stunted.

That need for connection doesn’t magically disappear when we grow older. It may manifest in different ways, but we want it, need it, love it.

So we fall in love because someone “sees” us – accepts us – connects with us at a deep, primal level. Or, at least, we think so. And then we get hurt and we put up some guards and it repeats and repeats and our skin grows thicker until it becomes more and more difficult to truly connect. Because we can’t connect unless we are willing to show up naked and vulnerable. That’s asking a lot – but it’s necessary. Vulnerable – willing to be hurt.

If I want to experience the fullness of life, I have to let my defenses down. I have to tell the truth: I want an intimate relationship in my life. First (and this is important) I have to tell that truth to myself. No bluster. No sticking my chest out with bravado and saying, “Nah! I’m good. I can go it alone.”

Of course I can. But I don’t want to.

I want to show up authentically and courageously. I want to give it all I’ve got. I want to be brave. I want my emotions to share equal billing with my intellect.

I want to love.

I want deep human connection.

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Crest Mountain

How I know it’s been a good day: I’ve taken more than 50 photos.

Yep – it was a good photo day.

I got up at 5 – early yes but totally worth it. I was at the trailhead at 9 and began the upward grind. Hell – 1500 metres. Whew! But the trees are magnificent and the sunlight was glorious and the temp was low 20s with a breeze. In other words, perfect hiking weather.

And I was pretty much alone all day. Said hello to a couple of people on the way down and that was it.

I love Crest Mountain’s huge plateau and succession of ridges. I love its 360 views from the top.

There was nothing not to love on this day. Yes – alpine bliss.

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Hemer Park Walk

Great afternoon walk today in Hemer Park with Julie and Ocean.

In fact, I would call it a good day all around. Things are coming together: Auger Point, Flower Ridge – everything is falling into place. The weather is turing again.

And tomorrow: Crest Mountain – it appears I will be doing it on my own. It’s going to be a lovely day. In the alpine!

I had some quiet meditation today – a day of being mostly quite still. A day to love life.

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About Forgiveness

I’ve been thinking about this word since yesterday – or not thinking about it so much as feeling it and being with it.

So here’s what comes to me: you know how they say you can’t love someone (fully or authentically) until you love yourself?

I believe the same is true with forgiveness – indeed, that the two are intricately interwoven. You can’t forgive someone until you forgive yourself.

I think that’s why it’s often so hard to forgive people – because underlying all that is step 1 – forgive yourself. For instance, I had the hardest time forgiving my ex-husband for my abortion. On the surface, I could easily say “It wasn’t his fault etc. etc.” but deep in my heart I wasn’t that glib. It wasn’t until I forgave myself for it, that I could forgive him. And that forgiveness wasn’t easy. It required taking responsibility – my choice. my decision.

Sometimes it works in more subtle ways. Sometimes it’s not our fault, but if we believe it’s our fault (true or not) we have to forgive ourselves at some deep emotional level. When I was young, I thought it was my fault that my parents were fighting and shouting and angry. As an adult, I know this is not true. Still, I had to forgive myself – not because it was my fault, but because I believed it – and I had to forgive myself for even having that belief. I had to stop my inner voice from saying – “what a stupid thing to think!” I had to embrace that child and forgive her for being so innocent and fragile.

We are generally far kinder to others than we are to ourselves.

I’ve had many moments of shame throughout my life – like the time I auditioned for leader of the Pursuit of Excellence and crashed and burned on stage in front of all the other leaders and the founder of the company. Oh yes, I could tell a story about that incident – every tortured moment of it. We don’t talk about shame – we hide it. As Brene Brown says, shame feeds on secrecy. And so I’m pretending everything is “just fine” – where is the forgiveness of self?

I have to own my shame. I have to own my actions, thoughts, words – and forgive myself.

It is said, correctly I believe – that forgiveness sets us free. If I can do that, if I can forgive others – if I can forgive myself, then I will be free.

It takes conscious effort. I like to tell the story of how I was “hard done by” by my first husband – how he played the suicide card when I left him. Have I forgiven him? I doubt I would still be telling that story with such relish if I had. More importantly, have I forgiven myself? Have I owned my part in the deterioration of the relationship? And then, have I forgiven myself? Once I have done that, I suspect forgiving him will be easy.

Love and forgiveness – intricately joined together.

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The List

What is it with me and lists?

Whatever it is, I like it and I am not about to change it. First – if I write it down I don’t have to think about it and god knows I have enough crap floating around my head that I don’t also need to consider “Buy more peaches.”

And then, once it’s down, I know I will do it. I am weirdly meticulous that way. It’s like a promise I make to myself and I won’t break a vow I have made to me. Doing what I say I will do increases my trust in myself and for me, that’s a big deal.

And then, there is something wonderfully satisfying about ending the day with everything ticked off (not being ticked off).

So, what I’m getting at is that everything is ticked off and I have made a new and very short list for tomorrow. I can now put my feet up.

Yay!

My thoughts are heavily on backpacking. I think, looking ahead, that Pat and I will probably just head out on Sunday even if the mountain weather forecast is not perfect. It appears to be improving so – what the heck. Let’s go for it. That seems to be our prevailing thought.

In the meantime, Crest awaits on Thursday, the only good day this week – at least in the mountains.

 

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Tour de Maple

Pat and I met this morning at the Osborne Bay Road side of Maple Mountain – the goal being Maple Syrup (Upper and Lower) to the top and then an easy stroll down the climbers route.

Best laid plans and all that.

What I failed to take into account were the changes that logging and mountain bike trail building had wrought on the mountain. Holy cow and all that.

At any rate, we started off fine and then hit an unfamiliar junction. At that point we headed up climbers instead of syrup. Well, that was okay – so many sections had been re-routed that familiar landmarks were gone. No matter – we had a lovely hike to the top where we had lunch. Then, instead of going back down climbers – because why go down the way you came up? – I suggested the lake trail.

Well that was lovely. The catch was that it too had changed once we got to the far side of the lake. So we kept going, mostly on gut instinct. Happily, it worked: the new route took us to the old route and then a new route again and so on. As it turned out, the day ended up being longer than expected.

Did we care? Not a bit. The weather was superb and we hiked through lovely landscapes and had a super time. All day we met only one person – Rick, a mountain biker and trail builder who Pat knows. So it was nice to meet him and to thank him for all the trail clearing he does.

Next up: who knows? The weather forecast for Auger Point is deteriorating. We will not be going on Thursday. Sunday seems to be the first feasible day. I can also join Mike Knippel and gang on the 5-day Thelwood hike, which I do want to do and then Flower Ridge right after. Whew!

I will figure it out. But it does look like a whole ton of alpine is going to crowd together all at once.

And my back is slowly improving.

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