Tuesday, September 22, 2009
To the Summit of Brunswick Mountain
Monday was a very special day for me. Why you ask? Because I had the pleasure of going on a gorgeous hike with my Dad. My dad and I (and usually my big brother) spent most of our childhood hiking and camping together. My brother lived with my dad and when I did spend time with him, we were always adventuring in the outdoors. Just to name a few, I remember camping at Spetch Creek, hiking up above the treeline in Whistler, and looking for golf balls in the ferns at Gleneagles.
Then my teen years happened and it seemed I spent most of my time playing sports. Weekends were filled with basketball or soccer tournaments and hanging out with friends. Adventuring with my dad got put to the weigh side. Because I lived with my mom and step dad, I really didn't see a lot of my dad through high school. It wasn't until I was 18 or so, I started this Sunday tradition of going to my dad's for pancakes. Although, I don't go over to his place every Sunday, our entire Gildersleeve Family get's together every few months for a big giant breakfast of Blueberry pancakes at my aunt Julie's. I cherish these mornings with my family and there is nothing I would rather be doing. I always manage to fit in my runs before hand, even if that means getting up at 4:30am! Back then I would pack in like 6-7 pancakes, now I am lucky if I can pack down 3! Although, I remember not being able to eat for like 8 hours post (6-7) pancakes.
Over a year ago, during winter, my dad and I hiked up the BCMC. That was the first hike we had done together in over 10 years. I loved it. I remember him huffing and puffing, he was working hard. I was taking it pretty easy. It was a special moment and one I wanted to continue. But, of course, life gets in the way and we haden't made it back out until Monday. I was about to exit the doors after my shift at Tommys Cafe and in walks my dad. He is building the new deck that some delinquent ran into and destroyed. We sat down and had a coffee and caught up on life. Then Peter come's along and somehow we get to talking about the epic Brunswick Hike. We all said it is something the 3 of us should do soon and then Peter says "how about tommorrow?". My dad and I being self employed, changed our schedules and it was a done deal. That's how me and my dad work, if it's going to happen, it's going to be planned last minute, with no time to back out.
My dad set a blistering pace as we started up the logging road. Peter and I were quickly falling back. I was under the impression that this was going to be more of a leisurely hike because the last time we hiked together, he was breathing heavily behind me. This was not the case, as he had a lot of pep in his step. Peter and I just looked at each other confused and let him go up ahead.
Peter said not to worry, that once the trail started to get steep, he would fall back. I was weary of that comment but to my surprise, as the trail got steeper, my dad had a tougher time keeping up. He is a carpenter and has strong hamstrings but lacks the strength in his quads and calves. Peter and I are used to the steep terrain, my dad however is not. The change of grade allowed us to catch up and maintain a normal pace going up the climb.
(The second view of the day)
The trail just got more beautiful and the view just became larger and larger. Mountains in one direction and oceanic views in the other. The higher we climbed the more unreal it became.
(My dad up top heading to the Summit of Brunswick)
This photo above captures the beauty of what we saw from up high. I could of stayed up there all day long. I never got bored of the view, it only became more spectacular. We sat up there and ate lunch and went even further, as there were a few small summits. There were some raven's flying around and my dad made a face with a banana peel to lure them in. My dad is a professional artist (can't you tell).
(Mr. Banana Peel Face)
(Peter and I at the Summit)
Over and hour and a half later we started to head back down. My dad once described his method of getting downhill as the downhill slalom. He basically jumps with both feet like a kangaroo down the hill. It's hilarious and highly efficient, although, he didn't keep it up. We had a lot of fun and he was a machine going downhill.
We went to the Lions Bay cafe for a bite to eat after the hike and reminisced about the beauty of the day. Thanks dad for the amazing experience and sharing that with me. I look forward to many more. I should mention that my dad is 60 and is a machine. I'm always impressed.