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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Spruce up my butt and tree in my face...

Told the ladies on the yesterday's hike that this would be my blog title, and I don't lie!  But more on that later.

I did it...I managed to do all 5 boot camps this week.  Five down, with only (omg) 25 to go.  Means to an end...means to an end.  We ran Douglas Fir, did a lap of the Bitchy trail, had some tabata good times (although I seriously don't know how I managed to hold my weights above my head), 1-legged squats and Trainer Josh's new favourite, lunge hop.  Lunge 10 times (either each leg or plie (??)), then hop (forward, not in one spot) 10 times, lunge 8, hop 10, lunge 6, hop 10 and basically continue till you reach zero lunges or the edge of the field, which ever comes first.  My legs were screaming at me by the end of the class.  Which ended just as the skies opened up over Calgary and did some serious damage!  I could barely see driving through downtown Calgary, the hail made it look as if a tree exploded at my house, and sadly, someone died when they were swept off their feet by the torrents of water and got trapped under a vehicle.  It was a nasty one.

But on to lighter things!  Yesterday was spent hiking the Forget-me-not Ridge in K-country.  This was a close one, just outside Calgary, south west of Bragg Creek.  That was actually the easy part of the day.  After some careful stream crossings (we built our own bridge at one point with rocks and logs that we found), we hiked along...and along...and along.  I was thinking "this is too easy", as were the others.  That's when we realized we passed the turn point, about a km behind us.  After turning back, and finding the caron (??) - a pile of stones that I joked was either a really bad inukshuk or covering up a deceased hiker - we turned up and started a climb.  A hard, pretty straight up climb.  With almost an 800m climb to the ridge, we were all puffing pretty good.  In fact, I was arguing with my heart monitor, as it seemed way too low for how I was feeling!  Had to stop for lunch in fact, as I just could not go any further without some food in me.
 Lunch for me was carrots, snap peas, hummus, a ww bagel with lite cream cheese and some trail mix.  Love J's "cougar" gaters!
 The view is well worth the climb.  This is still the foothills to the north east...
 And now to the west.
 At the top of the ridge (what a climb!) we found this.  The biggest, baddest Inukshuk in the land!!!!
 I'm 5'10", so you can figure out how tall it was.
 If you squink, you can see the white dot off in the distance...that's downtown Calgary!!!!
 Stavros, Inukshuk builder!  He says he hikes up a couple of times a year to build on it and make any repairs.

At this point, our 4-hour planned hike took a definate turn.  We didn't want to go back the way we came, as it was pretty steep and one member of our team is recovering from a stress fracture, so had to be careful with how she hiked.  And we thought there was a loop trail, as many of the hike books indicated different distances for this particular ridge.  S. had talked to a pair of ladies who had a map, before we caught up, who said "just follow the trail around the ridge, and you'll get back down to the bottom".  Our lesson today, kids???  Never, ever, ever leave the trail...ever!

We walked along the ridge, looking for this elusive other trail.  Of course, the top was so wind-swept, there really wasn't a trail to follow anyway.  Then we came upon this weird area that felt boggy to walk on, but it wasn't wet.  Very odd to hike upon.  Finally we thought we have to start making our way down, or admit defeat and turn back.  Down it was, through this very dead, dense section of forest that would challenge anything Harry Potter could come across!  Kind of creepy, and we made sure to make LOTS of noise to keep any curious critters at bay.
We started WAAAAAYYYYY up there...
And had to go WAAAAYYYYYY down there!  We continued our descent, finally following what appeared to be an old creek bed, that most likely is a very pretty waterfall during spring run off!  In August however, it was a rocky, bumby, tree-filled obstacle course.  Hence the spruce up my butt - I was walking over a small one when it "popped" out from behind me, causing S. to laugh hysterically.  And many, many tree branches in the face...sometimes it sucks to be tall!  On and on we went.  While we were pretty calm, and tried to laugh a lot, which was easy as J. would whoop or yell or call out at odd intervals, I admit to getting frustrated with how long this was taking.  At least the bears and cougars were entertained, I'm sure!  At one point, the ravine was bearing down on us from either side, and I was thinking (especially after Friday's storm) that a flash-flood would suck!  I swore to the ladies if we ever got out of here, I was kissing the ground!  BUT then we noticed the rocks started getting smaller, and the trees kind of opened up a bit and then there it was....the blessed caron we turned at, oh, so long ago!!!!  I threw my poles and backpack to the ground and planted a big wet one on it!!!  I didn't care what had been on it before (it is in the middle of nature, after all)...I have never been so happy to see a pile of rocks before in my life!
We were way up there...

So our 4-hour hike ended up as yet another adventure, taking 9 (yes, NINE) hours and 5 minutes to hike 19.88km.  Once again, Mr. Garmin died just short of 6 hours, so next time I'm trying him without the heart-rate monitor.  I think that combined with trying to pick up signals in the mountains just drains the old boy.  Just like me!  My legs were seizing up on me the last bit back to the car, so I decided then and there that I was taking Sunday off.  Twelve hours after pulling into the COP lot to meet the ladies, I pulled out to head for home.  Barely made dinner (wasn't even that hungry) of avocado, spinach and carrots tossed with sweet Thai chili sauce, and crashed at 10:23.  Slept pretty soundly too, till about 9 this morning.  Glorious!

Cut the grass, cleaned up some the storm damage, met the ladies (who did go run 35km today...they are my heroes!) for coffee, visit with Mom and a load of laundry.  I do have a rather sick little kitty cat here, so she and I are hopefully going to see Dr. Sean tomorrow (fingers crossed all is well), so I am using an unplanned emergency day.


1 comment:

MizFit said...


have a great day and good luck at Dr Sean.