The Chief - 2nd and 3rd peaks

Saturday was the first beautiful Saturday of the season and some friends invited me for a hike up The Chief near Squamish. We had a gorgeous day of it and I've decided that this hike is one I will take all my visitors on. It's totally accessible - only a short drive from Vancouver, the views are astounding, and it actually gets easier as the hike progresses so you get the hard stuff over with early on. Plus it has very fun elements like bolted chains to help you climb up rock folds.
Here are some photos one of our group took:

Climbing up a rock fold using the bolted chain.

Reclining on the warm rocks of second peak with a beautiful view.

A gap between second and third peaks showing Squamish down at the bottom.

On top of third peak, admiring the view.


Playing ketchup

Not really. There are very few condiments involved in this post, actually. But it sounded fun and caught your attention enough to read on, right? Ha!

So lots of people came to visit and I do believe a good time was had by all. Mom flew out for a girls' visit and much, MUCH time was spent at cooking ware stores and fancy grocery stores. She and my sister also went to Mama Mia - yabba ABBA doo! It was a great visit, all told.

Next, the Duchess was in town for a family wedding. Well, one wedding but two twin sisters marrying off at the same event. Clever way to do it, plus it scored me some D time. We did a lot of eating and some MEC shopping (two more of my favourite things). A short but sweet visit that should be repeated soon.

Two days after D flew home, Dora arrived for a few unencumbered days of bliss; aka, the big guy stayed home with the little guy and left Dora to travel alone for the first time in years! She has captured much of the visit on her blog so I won't repeat it here. See Vancouver One for a hiking and Toyota FJ adventure, Vancouver Two for pics and description of our fantastic mid-week camping trip (complete with beer chiller stump), and Cameras Are Heavy for a quick recap of our run around Stanley Park and the magnificent blossoms in that area. So we played in the dirt a bit and we also got all cleaned up for a girls' night out with another friend of mine. We went to a semi chi chi club downtown called Lucy Mae Brown and tried almost every martini on their list while solving global issues and delving into our emotional baggage. Damn good. I really adore the big and little guys in their family but it sure was a treat to have Dora all to myself for a few days. Girl trips should never be underrated and should often be repeated (hint, hint)!

The other thing that has recently been keeping me occupied is that I went out and spent part of my tax return getting geared up for my running plans this summer. I bought a Garmin Forerunner 305 that has GPS and a heart monitor. It's super cool and desperately geeky gadgetry! It will map my route, tell me my pace (instantaneous and average), distance from a set point, pulse (instantaneous and average), and even act as a virtual trainer once I set it up with some workouts. It's total indulgence but it will help keep me interested in all the running I hope to do this summer. For the upcoming trail running, I also bought a mini backpack with a hydration system. It's big enough to hold 1.5L, my glasses case and wallet, keys, cellphone, and even a light jacket. I've worn it a couple times now and it's relatively comfortable. That might change when t-shirt weather turns to tank top weather but there's always Body Glide for any chaffing. Here's a photo of me all geared up:

Good thing the overall effect will make people look since I apparently prefer to run blind. The goofiness extends further too, evidenced in this next photo of me trying to figure out how to drink from a camelback. What a dork!

Thanks for reading - it was a long one! And big thanks to everyone who came to visit. I'd been feeling kinda blue and lonely in recent weeks and your visits made me feel all loved up and surrounded by fantastic friends. Come back anytime!



You've seen the Tom Cruise Scientology video, right? Bonkers, mate. Truly bonkers.

And now there are many, many rip offs, piss takes, and generally mockery of the original. This one might be my favourite. A German dude who translated the transcript of good ole Tommy using Babelfish, then reenacted the entire video to the new script. The best part is the 7th cut with "pshooo!"

Tom Cruise Scientology Deutsche original Übersetzung

The maniacal laughter is damn good too, as are his freaky popped eyes. So true!


You try some, you learn some

Wow, it's been that long since my last post? How boring! Sorry folks. Oh, I know, you are on tenter hooks waiting for my next post. You don't have to tell me! So...drum roll please... here it is! And... it's on the same topic as that now stale last post! woohoo!

Tonight I joined a training group for trail running. I'm NOT running the Knee Knacker this year, or perhaps any year, because 50km of hard trail in a maximum 10 hours sounds foolish to me. And to my knees. It is aptly named, after all. But the Knee Knackers organise training trail runs in the months preceding their July race, and people who are not registered in the race are welcome to join in. The official training runs are on Sundays and I'm not convinced that I'll make it out to many of those since weekends fill up fast around here, but the unofficial training runs are on Wednesday evenings, which works out to be a pretty good night for me. Tonight was the first unofficial training run.

Lots of people in the group were new to the training runs and new to the race, so I wasn't out of place. Everyone was really friendly, too, and I've already got a buddy to carpool with next week. The Knee Knacker runs the whole 50km along the Baden Powell trail so most of the training runs are on a section of the BP trail, a different section every run.

I learned a lot of things about trail running tonight, and thought I would share.
  1. When you go trail running in BC, you immediately go straight up.
  2. What goes up, gets cold! It seems like all the other runners had at least a little more experience than me so they dressed in long sleeve shirts and pants. My shorts and t-shirt didn't quite cut it when we hit snow about 2km up the trail! Someone even wore Yak Trax since they knew where the snowpack is these days.
  3. What goes up must come down! Coming down was great - I was keeping up with another runner since we were in a conversation and we just flew down the trail. Light as air!
  4. What goes up...doesn't cover much ground. Distances in trail running can be very deceiving if you're normally a road runner. We ran 8km tonight and, as I always time my runs, I have to just accept that spending substantial time trail running this summer is going to destroy my mileage goals. I've only got so many hours of training time in my schedule and in my legs, so spending almost double time getting a trail run done than I would running the same distance on road will impact my weekly mileage. But...
  5. Trail running is super fun and beautiful and energizing and fantastic! And my bright white shoes that I found on sale for $30 at MEC last summer are finally a little less bright and a little hard-earned muddy. Woohoo!