alright. it happened. i am tiiiiiiiiired. i walk for about 4 hours a day, sometimes carrying ridiculous amounts of extra weight (but thankfully not always). last week was soooo beautyfull and sunny and ~ +22 celsius the whole time, that everyday after work i just wanted to go out. then over the weekend matt and i spent saturday hiking 11km up and down a mountain. then sunday ben and i and finnelli-dog went wandering in the woods for several hours. both the hike and the wander included stints of running. now it’s monday and i again spent the day carrying paper around and depositing it in peoples mailboxes. i was a walking zombie. you know when you are putting one foot in front of the other, but you’re not really thinking about it, it’s kind of like you are moving through a fog? or like when you are walking outside at night in a place with no lights – total darkness – you know you are walking, but you feel un-pinpoint-able in space? you are moving forward because it’s habit, but the moment you stop, you are pretty damn sure you won’t start again? that’s how i felt today. i think my mind is there too, actually. am i making sense?
i think this coming weekend is going to involve a lot of r e s t.
so matt and i settled on the wesley ridge hike. he had originally suggested a traverse of four peaks in the beaufort range (mt.cameron to mt.tsable), which i thought looked REALLY fun, but the gate to the logging road was closed, so this one it was. which ended up being for the best, because it was rainy all weekend, and there would have been no views! the wesley ridge hike was shorter, and not (in my estimation) in as picturesque a locale, so i didn’t mind as much doing it without the guarantee of good views. it is also highly accessible, so can be easily hiked again on a sunny day. it was a good hike, but i really am someone who likes to be off the beaten track. i like to go where people don’t go much, where i am unlikely to see other people, where the tracks haven’t been carved out by countless footprints. if i were to go back, i think i’d want to run it. there are two sort-of summits on the hike, and between them is a lovely somewhat flattish saddle with a wide duff path, relatively free of roots and rocks, a really lovely trail to run.
the weather for the day was supposed to be around +13 with light rain. i thought i dressed accordingly, but the previous weeks +22 made me slack off somewhat. i did bring mitts and a tuque, but refused to wear rain-pants. i also refused to wear my waterproof shoes because my new zero-rise runners are AMAZING. my feet have never felt this good people! i don’t think it is only the lack of rise though, it is also the wide toe-box, which allows for my feet to splay on the ground as they would naturally if i were barefoot. i think the refusal to wear rain-pants is partly due to my abhorrence of carrying extra weight – if i am not wearing it right then, i would really prefer not to bring it – but also at work lately, even if it’s raining, i have been only wearing my shirt and shorts. i guess i just got used to that. well, by mid-trip my shoes were puddles, my pants were puddles, my mitts were puddles – indeed i did wring them out three times over the duration of the hike.
at the summit there was absolutely no view. it was hilarious. we were up in a cloud of white. so on we continued, and decided to stop for a quick lunch at the next place with a possible view. much to our delight, the next spot overlooked a sheer cliff, had some trees for shelter, and the clouds were moving! we stood there hooting every time the clouds moved past and the view opened up, until they mainly stayed away and we could stand and marvel. it was at this point that i took off my mitts and started taking photos. despite my mitts being the aforementioned puddles, they were still keeping my hands remarkably warm. as soon as i took them off, the wind started working its magic with the wet and began to turn them into blocks of ice. i had to eventually reluctantly put away the camera and stick them in my armpits to warm up. while doing this i contemplated how easy it would be to die in the wilderness. even if i have matches, a lighter and fire starter, if my hands don’t work, how will any of that help? my hands took longer than i expected to warm up, and by the time we were ready to go, i was COLD. when i’m cold, i find it helpful to vocalize to get warm again. apparently not everyone does, as this tactic was news to matt. maybe it stems from shivering and how we say BRRRR!!! when we’re cold? whatever the reason, it is something i have been doing for a long time, and kind of comes involuntarily in such situations. the sounds are generally hoots and hollers and deep grunts that sound like dogs barking (maybe?). we were now on the descent of the ridge and running seemed like fun and a good idea for warmth, so off i went, hooting and running. not only is it warmth inducing, but it’s also fun!!! matt got in front of me at some point in the descent and then it felt like i was chasing him and hollering, and i started thinking about what it would feel like if someone was chasing ME hooting and hollering, which set me off into a fit of giggles. so there i was, running down the mountain, laughing and barking and yelping, when i look up to see matt stopped with an unknown dog beside him. whoops! over a rise in the trail emerge a couple of hikers. i imagined they heard the ruckus above them, so i started giggling again, thinking about what THEY must be thinking. all the while, matt had begun a conversation with the guy, asking him if they were having a fun hike, and the man replied saying, yes, they were in the woods, so how could life not be good? then as he was about to continue onwards, he looks over a me, still chortling away, and says, “but we’re not having as much fun as SHE is!” oh lordy. well you can imagine, i couldn’t stop after that. as soon as he and his hiking partner passed, matt says, “they totally thought we were on mushrooms”. that sent me over the edge.
we weren’t. i don’t. i get high enough on life as it it.
that night i spent sleeping in my car for the first time! which i forgot i was going to give you an update on months ago: the car is a dream. i love this little car. it is so good and reliable and cheap on gas and CUTE! one of the reasons i was excited about getting it is because the back seats fold down flat so i can sleep in it. heather and patrick welcomed me for a lovely evening of snapper and rice and asparagus and broccoli (YUM YUM YUM), and then off i went to snuggle down in the car under their towering canopy of trees. i think the space could be a little longer, but other than that, i slept so good! and the feeling of being on a road trip and camping was soooo nice. it also reminded me of emma though, so i missed her. but that happens a lot.
the weekend was a really social one, which was perfect, because i had been craving that during the week. i don’t know too many people in nanaimo, and had been wanting friends to go out into the woods with after work, but most of the people i know at work have attachments such as kids, etc, and aren’t that available. friday was lovely because one of them invited me over for an after dinner hang-out with friends of hers she’d met through her daughters guides troupe, and they were a riot. so much laughter. it was also nice to be out in nanaimo at night! this almost never happens because i go to bed (relatively) early during the week, and then weekends i tend to leave town. it was beeeeeoutyfullll out. the waxing moon dangling over the bay, twilight settling over mount benson, the glitter twinkle of city lights and the shimmer of the sea. i am really coming to love this town, but those ruminations will have to wait for another post.
sunday morning i had a date with manah to play music! we finally managed to set a time and i came over with my guitar to play with her ukulele. it was so fun! i’ve never played guitar with anyone before, but i definitely want to do it more. what a good way to improve ones skills. it also feels super to play with manah because i used to take care of her when she was a wee babe, and i am constantly astonished by the growing up of humans and who they become.
after that ben and i took to the woods to locate the zipline i spotted last time i was out there, and figure out where it started from. i saw it from below the first time, and a little ways off. it was not readily accessible from where i was, so i saved it for the next trip. i like doing that when i go into the woods. spot something interesting and file it away for the next wander. the smaller tributary feeding into the river that i found with finnell last walk is being saved until summer when i can cross the big river and hopefully walk up it. same with the little river that i’ve been on with chris, ben and emma so far, the one we’ve accessed from two ends, but haven’t yet seen the middle part of. that is being saved for summer too. so we did locate the start of the zipline, but of all things, it emerged from a squatters shack! it was lodged into the side of a pretty steep cliff bank a little ways above the river. a stellar locale, as it was hard to get to, and invisible from most places people would normally go. it looked well kept, with a nice outhouse, and terraced rock stairs. it also had a chimney, so must be a year-round abode. i hooted a bit, but if anyone was there, they didn’t want to be seen. so alas we didn’t actually get to see whether the zipline was really a zipline, as it disappeared into the structure, and we didn’t want to intrude. we did find another cool thing to climb though, check it.
i’m really getting a kick out of feats of physical prowess lately. i’m not sure exactly when it started, but if not back in february when we watched footloose, it was definitely spurred on by kevin bacons super-hero moves. after that i watched several dance movies (STEP UP!), which always get me going. so when things like this pole just show up out of nowhere – bliss! bonus bliss having people in my life who are game to try anything fun. in fact, i suppose that is a part of it, the bouncing off of each other, the egging each other on. i am ever so grateful for my friends.
*the title of this post comes from mary oliver. so we might as well end with her, shall we? (from the poem ‘from the book of time’)
*18th photo by matt