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Thursday, May 14, 2009

R & R in MT. Baker


Thursday afternoon, my step-dad Jim and I took off to the little town of Glacier, right near the base of MT. Baker. We have had a cabin there for years. Jim built it with his own 2 hands, an accomplishment he is very proud of. For 2-3 years he was driving down there every weekend to work on it. A commitment he was very dedicated to. My parents separated 2 years ago and the cabin has been up for sale ever since. The economy in the US has prevented it from selling (we think) and I couldn't be happier because the longer it's around the better. It's a timber frame home meaning that there are no nails or anything holding it together. Rather it is held up by pegs of wood.

When I was a teenager I didn't make much use of it. I guess back then, I just wanted to stick around and hang out with my friends and not "miss out" on anything that was going on (partied etc). Also, I didn't think there was much to do down there. This didn't make Jim very happy because he wanted us to all go down as a family and spend time together. The last few years I have gone down more than ever. I can Snowboard/ski (for way cheaper than Whistler) in the winter, run/hike in some beautiful trails in the spring/fall/summer, splash around in the pool, and play loads of tennis, basketball, horseshoes, and volleyball. I could even bring up my bike and go for some amazing road rides. I actually saw an unreal amount of road riders biking up to the mountain.

The cabin is a place I come up to now to get some real relaxation. Eat some great food, drink beer we don’t have in Canada (Pyramid Apricot Ale), go for some beautiful trail runs, and catch up on some sleep. Glacier is a pretty remote little town. Graham’s, the town’s one local bar, is the place to be on every second Thursday because ‘Bent Grass’ is playing. Lucky for me, last night happened to be the right Thursday to be in town. It was packed and Bent Grass played for a good 3 hours. They were as raw bluegrass as it get’s. This one guy was playing what my dad called a “wash basin” but after speaking to the Tom (the artist) himself, he told us it’s actually called ‘tub bucket’. You should have seen it and if my camera didn’t so timely run out of batteries I could have shown you all. The wash tub basin is the lower portion of the instrument and it sits upside down. Screw a hole in the middle and attach a Subaru speedometer cord and you’ve got yourself a string to pluck away on (just one string!). He attaches the string to a wooden broom handle (minus the broom bristles) and throws a band member’s dirty sock on top and Tom’s made himself a tub bucket. He tapes his plucking fingers because he could really do some damage otherwise. To make music like he does, he has to pluck pretty hard. He showed me his tape job after the show. He wrapped it around each finger 4 times and all but one layer was worn through…CRAZY!

My step dad and I were playing pool most of the night while watching the show. Jim plays a lot up in Powell River at a place called the Westview. He has become very well known as the ‘Powell River Pool Shark’ (but he doesn’t know that). He certainly didn’t take it easy on me, in fact, he started floofing (I just made up that word) balls just to give me a chance to play. I think I lost at least 8 games but I got better with each one and that’s what it’s all about…right? I actually used to be a pool shark myself. Jim used to take my mom, bro, and I to this place called Joe’s on Commercial Street. I must have been 8 or 9 years old and I loved it. Joe was a bullfighter and the entire place was filled with his old bullfighting pictures. I’d always get a chocolate muffin and a hot chocolate. It’s amazing how much our brains remember from our childhood.

I tried to sleep in as long as possible. Jim and I got into this conversation last night about ‘late nights’. Essentially, I was saying how I go to bed at 9pm most nights during the week and I haven’t been going out very late on the weekends because of early morning runs etc. I am an 8 hour a night kind of girl. I can function on less, but if I keep lacking sleep, it affects my energy levels and makes it that much harder to get my butt out the door and go running. Or my runs will just suck and I’ll feel like crap. He, on the other hand, wakes up at 6am every morning for work and the earliest he goes to bed is 11:30pm. He says he’s way tired before that, but he just doesn’t want to say goodbye to the day. He kept making this reference last night at Graham’s as I was falling asleep watching the band play, “Don’t give up the night”. Part of me thinks he makes a good point and I probably should go out more but I really love getting friends together over a great home cooked meal followed by some good laughs with a few drinks. Plus, in my opinion, I’d rather be out and about when the sun is coming up, rather than when it’s pitch black, though I do enjoy a good night run! He’s a horse and I’m a rat, they/we don’t always see eye to eye.

I woke up this morning and headed out for a very scenic run. I drove up Glacier Creek Road, which was supposed to take me 9 miles up to a parking lot. From there I could hike to the top of the mountain. About a mile up the road there was a “road closed” sign as there was road damage up ahead. I parked the car and started up the road. It was pretty hilly to start and eventually leveled off before getting steep again. The road switched back and forth all along Glacier Creek. It was such a blessing to be able to run next to the sounds of the flowing water and I must have passed by 6 different waterfalls. I wanted to run up for about an hour but once I hit snow around 52 minutes I didn’t hesitate to start my descent back down the hill. I got back to the cabin in time for some lunch and apricot ale in the hot tub. What a good life!

Woah! Somewhere in the day today I managed to sneek in a 2.5 hour nap.

See you in the trails.

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