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Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day

Can't believe I haven't blogged since Monday. Obviously it's been nothing but excitement and chaos around here...or just the opposite. Let's, couldn't sleep, crabby., couldn't sleep, crabby. Hopeful 2 pints of Guinness would help...they did not. Boot camp HARD as we sprinted...yes, SPRINTED up the big-assed hill in Edworthy. Did I say SPRINTED!?!?! I was exhausted after class. Didn't even turn my computer on at home that night. Thursday...didn't do much of anything, except to get ready for today.

That comes to today...HAPPY CANADA DAY!

The group of ladies training for the 100km Lost Souls in September thought it would be a good idea to spend today in the mountains, hiking. Since I didn't make it out to the trails at all last summer, I was all over that idea. Granted, we were hiking what I've hiked before, but that's okay. Different group, different day, different direction! We met up at 8am for the car pool drive out to Barrier Lake.

We got out there and geared up, ready to hike just before 10am. The plan was to do the Jewell Pass to the Barrier Lake Lookout and then back down Prairie View trail to the cars. Anywhere from 15-20km, depending on our final route.

The day was sunny but a bit windy, which coming off the glacier-fed lake was downright COLD. Once we were in the trees, it was perfect hiking weather. Only had to stop once as the "BEAR" cry echoed through the trails, but the two youngens had moved off, more intent on a drink at the creek than on these pesky humans tromping through their backyard. Didn't even see them myself. Our group of 9 spread out pretty quickly, with the two hubbies leading the pack, followed by the core group and then myself and B. bringing up the rear.

You know...I like to think I'm in good shape. Not killer, but not a slug either. I run, I do boot camp, I do zumba, I walk to work, I walk at lunch...definitely no slouch! I thought I was going to die a few times today!!! Okay, it was in the mountains, but it was HARD. Just check out the elevation profile!! Jewell Pass is on the right, Prairie View on the left.


We reached the first summit, took some photos, and then finished the last, rather difficult section that led to the summit, where the lookout house was. Actually it's where the Warden lives, all by himself, to watch the weather, wildlife, makes sure hikers are okay, etc. Stunning views.

After a little break for lunch (carrots, celery, hummus, trail mix with M&M's and a strawberry/PB bunwich - not jam, just whole fresh try it), and to enjoy the weather (the wind up top was cold - good reminder that we were in the mountains), we had to make our way down. The top section was just as hard going down, as it's rocky, full of tree roots, steep and covered with loose shale rock. Thank goodness M's hubs lent me his hiking poles. I have never hiked with them before, and will be heading over to Mountain Equipment Coop tomorrow to get my own pair! They helped so much with both the up and down climbs. After the very technical top, we reached the Prairie View trail and easily made our way to the bottom and back to the cars. Good timing too, as suddenly the place was PACKED. Hikers, bikers, picnicers, kayaks and the likes. We were happy to high-tail it out of there.

Back in the city, and I've been doing my best to stay awake ever since. Nothing like a 4 hour hike and a ton of fresh air to make you nice and sleepy. Just have to decide if I want to run tomorrow morning and sleep in Sunday or vice versa. Tomorrow is a trail run through Nose Hill park, which I have never done. It intrigues me...

Hope you had a great day, whatever you were doing.


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