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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not a great start

Don't get me wrong, October started just fine.  A good 18km run with awesome ladies, followed by a tasty lunch, and another Sunday spent in the glorious mountains, but then Monday came along.  More about that in a bit.

Sunday's hike saw us heading for Picklejar Lakes.  In honour of the occasion, I did specifically pack pickles for lunch.  That's how I roll!  I was a little worried about the weather, as it was cooler and raining on Saturday, but the sun came out on Sunday.  It was a foggy drive, and in some places, the clouds were literally draped over the mountains, like a blanket.  Way cool.  We (the running crew) decided we should all wear our Resolution Run jackets from last year, as they are a lovely bright orange.  I mean, construction pylon, hunter orange!  After all, tis the season in the mountains (lawful in provincial parks with a licence) and we did not wish to be mistaken for a deer or elk or whatever has the target on it this time of year.
It was a bit colder at the top, with a very persistent breeze wind.  Hence J. - Ninja Hiker!
It was a really nice climb...not too hard, with a couple of steeper sections, but with a very clear trail to follow.  Didn't see any wildlife on the hike, other than one crabby squirrel giving us what-for when we passed, although we did see evidence that we were still in bear country.  Just make more noise... I think the bears know when it's the weekend and droves of hikers are heading for the hills.  They don't want to get shot any more than we want to get mauled.

The lakes are accessible after a little scramble across a steep hill, but I am getting much braver with each hike out.  I even "ran" down one section...okay, I walked quicker than normal, and was almost smiling, instead of my usual look of "oh dear God, what happens if I fall here?!"  Of course...couldn't find a prettier place to meet one's maker...
Faithful Inukshuk to guide our way.
Lake #1 (I think...)
Lake #2
Lake #4 (I was not impressed by #3...or I couldn't remember which shot it was!) 
Looking up, during lunch.  Of pickles!  And salami sammie. 
Back to the cars, after another successful hike.  All present and accounted for! 
The wildlife wisely stuck to the road (no hunting within 385m of the highway!), and were about 10 minutes down the highway from where the hunters camped all night.  Ha ha!!

After a quick drink and potty breaks, we decided to head back to Calgary via Longview.  Meaning we continued to head south on the highway, rather than turning around and coming back the way we came.  I had never done this loop before, and it was a rather nice drive, through the rolling foothills and ranch land that makes up Southern Alberta.  Hence it's nickname of the Cowboy Trail.  We stopped in at the oddly named New York Bistro for a quick beer (sat outside, where it was still a tad cool), before heading for home.  A long day though.

Followed, unfortunately, by another.  Work was a gong-show this week, and as a result, I went back after boot camp yesterday (it is all about balance, people), and ended up working till midnight.  I haven't had to pull a night like that since...well, honestly, I can't remember when I last did.  Sadly, I as back at my desk at 7am, and worked straight through till 4:30.  I was still leaving for boot camp (dammit), come hell or high water!  I was seriously dragging when I got there, but felt pretty good by the end.  Lots of leg work (sprints up Weaslehead) and shoulders, pulling each other with the bungee cords, and some hardcore biceps work.  All in all, another great class. I'm really tired and fading quickly.


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