Monday, August 17, 2009

Right into the next...

Well, the past 2 weeks have flown by and it seems as though Peter and I are just jumping from one awesome vacation into another.

Whitehorse was so awesome. I had such a blast and met some of the most incredible and intriguing people. The adventure and intrigue began on the flight to Whitehorse. I was looking forward to vegging out on the plane and watching a movie but low and behold, I ended up sitting next to a man who had quite the story. He is about 6'4, African American in his 50's/60's, and wore a pony tail. What started off as a friendly conversation turned quickly into an in depth conversation about his entire life. Why do I have to be so darn curious? He told me he stopped driving/using any form of motorized vehicles after witnessing the devastating effects of a 1971 oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. He created his own opinions about what had happened and began preaching those opinions on others.He soon realized that he wasn't listening to what other had to say. After that, he decided that he would not talk for one whole day and he would just listen. That day turned into a week, which eventually turned into 17 years! Excuse me? You didn't talk for 17 YEARS????

A lot happened over that 17 year period. He walked across the U.S.A, Bolivia and a few others that I can't remember. He worked in various places a long the way and eventually went to school and got a Ph.D. At first, he didn't make any sounds. Eventually he let himself laugh and because he took a few music classes, he hummed. He has since written a book about his experiences and said it was going to be turned into a movie. The Book is called Planet Walker: 17 years of silence, 22 years of walking. Now he goes around and does talks at schools where he discusses his adventures. He also does a lot of environmental work. See Video about his journey, HERE.

After that, we went to the my cousin Panya and her Fiance and 'husband to be' Seth's house. It is there that we would stay in a Coleman outdoor camper trailer for the next 5 days. Both of their parents had been there for many days and were quite settled in and had spent days seeing the sights. My aunt Monica took Peter and I to the Yukon River and we went for a dip. The trails were so beautiful and the water was turquoise. It was a hot day but that didn't become a trend as the rest of the week was quite cloudy with rainy periods. The house we stayed at was the central meeting spot and we were surrounded by new people every day. The bride and groom are outdoor adventurists and coincidentally so were their friends. To say the least, this made it simple for Peter and I to meet others. We made some great connections during our stay in Whitehorse and have a place in Alaska and Castlegar when the time comes. Our hosts very graciously lent Peter and I their mountain bikes for the week. Because of my foot, we biked everyday. The day after we got there we went for a 2.5 hour cross country ride. I had never really ridden a bike on trails quite like these. They were not like anything you would find in North Vancouver and I enjoyed the rolling nature of the hills around the lake. We would continue to ride for the rest of the week but nothing as eventful as the 1st. We also discovered the giant recreation center. They were the host to the Canada Games (I think) one year and built a brilliant center. We went to the gym and did a weights workout. The food each night was themed and incredibly delicious. One night was homemade Sushi (Japanese)and another was Mexican. Panya always had amazing home made bread for breakfast and there was always enough left overs from dinner to make lunch. Needless to say, we never went hungry.

My brother and the majority of people arrived on Friday. There must have been 8-10 people staying at the house with only one bathroom. Seth made his own beer for the wedding reception and we got to taste test that before hand...many times. The wedding was high up on a beautiful mountain with a view so would...well...take your breath away. The invitation I received months prior in the mail was a hand painted landscape of the view itself. Some people mountain biked up the grueling climb while the rest of us drove up. Peter and I went for a ride in the am, allowing us to be comfortable in regular clothes for the ceremony. Unfortunately, in the end, it rained. Wait! it didn't just rain, it pissed rain. But, everyone seemed to adjust and enjoy the ceremony none the less. My brother and one other person held up a small tarp over the Bride and Groom as they conducted the ceremony. The rest of us stood under tarps people were just holding up. The rain that pelted the tarps made it very hard to hear what was being said. Thankfully, some of the speeches got repeated at the reception. After the ceremony, everyone dashed to their vehicles and drove down the mountain (sopping wet) to the Shalet. There we had some snacks and set up the tables and chairs. All the locals made food potluck style and there was a 180lb Pig that was roasted. I had never seen anything like it. The reception was a blast and the MC was on fire she was so hilarious. One last interesting side note, both father's are jewelers (self employed) and made rings for the opposite family member. Seth's dad Kevin made Panya an amazing ring and Panya's dad Ray did as well for Seth.

The next day, some people left, and others helped clean up the reception location. Peter, I and 3 others biked to the Yukon River where they had seen a rope swing a few days before. I of course was the last one to go in but it was awesome. On the way back however, I veered off into the rocky ditch causing my bike to swing sideways. As I was about to graciously fall off the bike, Peter accidentally rammed into my back tire causing me to superman it into the rocks below harder than expected. I walked away with a few scrapes on my hands and a deeper nick just under my left calf. The bike on the other hand popped a rear tire. We had one extra tube but it turned out to already have a hole in it. We weren't sure what to do but low and behold I had my cell phone on me. We called the house and Panya's dad came and picked us up. That night we feasted on left over pork which was transformed into the most amazing pulled pork...Yum! The next day we went back to the gym and busted out a weights workout. We flew out that afternoon. We were greeted by my Grandma at the airport and she drove us home. When we got home, we re-packed, jumped in the car, and headed straight for Shuswap Lake. We spent a week there with Pete's Family.

We arrived at the Lake late Monday night and went straight to bed. The had decided that the next morning I was going to try and run. It had been about 8 days since I had last run and I had a feeling that I was good to go. There aren't really any trails by the cabin but someone had built and maintained a little Mt. Bike park amongst the forest behind their cabin. It is a 20 minute loop consisting of 5 minutes down the paved road, then steep ass switch backs for 10 minutes, followed by a 5 minute steep ass descent. The descent has some bridges and jumps off of it. As soon as I started running my heart rate shot up way more than normal. For the first time in 4 years I actually felt 'out of shape'. In the 4 years that I have been running, I have never taken more than a week off running (I don't think even that). But in the last 6 weeks I had run a mere 5 days. The uphill section of the run proved to be even more disheartening when my heart rate reached it's max. Actually, on the second day, I reached a new max of 188 (although it took me to sprint up the steepest hill to reach that). The funny thing was, I didn't feel like I was working 'that' hard. I thought there must have been a problem with my HR monitor but I am sure I am just not as fit as I once was. Anywho, after 5 solid days of running and 2 bike rides, I feel great. I am definitely not where I was but I am slowly getting there. The first few days I was very cautious with my foot. I have never ran downhill so slow in my entire life but I really didn't want to roll my foot.

On day 2 at the Lake Peter and I had a serious conversation about Transrockies and whether or not we should go ahead with it. Should I risk rolling my foot and putting myself out for another 1-2 weeks? Would I be fit enough to run 113 miles in 6 days? Would I suggest that to a client of mine? In the end we decided it would not be smart and that we would go away another time. This decision just ate at me. It's all I thought about on the rest of the week's run's. I started to feel very confident in the fact that we could just go there and have a fun time. I didn't want to regret not going and missing out on all the fun. So, after 3 more days of great running, and telling Peter that I really do want to go, we made the decision to go. YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! We leave on Wednesday afternoon and I am so damn excited. I went for a very technical run today to test out my foot and it felt so awesome. I now run with a brace on my right foot but I think I would be a fool not to. It gives me all the confidence I need to be able to run without fear. I am fine knowing that we are going there to have a great time and not worry so much about how we do or our placing (but you never know once we get out there!). I look forward to meeting so many new people as well as see some familiar faces. This will be one amazing training camp (that's what I am calling it).

Anywho, I am off to bed. Back to work for 2 days and then I am free as a bird again! I love vacation. Especially running vacations! The weather isn't looking so hot in Colorado. I am sure it will be cold. It's hard to pack for bad weather when it's just so damn nice where I live. Vancouver has been so nice this entire summer. It has been such a treat.

See you in the trails!

1 comment:

James Hatton said...

Nicola, I am enjoying your blog.

Saw the book review and it made me think of another book review of a book that might be up your alley:
Born to Run