Thursday Tidbits

Posted on January 24, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Doesn’t get much better than this


Perfection.  /pərˈfekSH(ə)n/ the condition, state or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

Initially, the thought of rousting myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m., climbing into a car and driving for three hours to go snowshoeing was not totally appealing. After all, I had left Nova Scotia on Christmas Day to come out west in an attempt to avoid wintry conditions.  I learned a long time ago that when my brother has an idea to do something adventuresome, I just say yes. Rarely has he not delivered on a promise of a good time.

The trip to Mount Washington on Vancouver Island was planned for this past Monday, the day after the blood wolf moon on Sunday night. I caught the early hours of this spectacle but was asleep when sunlight passed through the earth’s atmosphere and lit up the celestial body in dramatic fashion. However, on the trip “up Island,” we watched the giant moon do a disappearing act behind the mountains as the sun was rising behind us. At one point, we stopped the car and stood by the side of the road marvelling at the sky in front of us and behind us.

Needless to say, we were among the first people to arrive at the facility. Actually, there are several facilities catering to downhill skiers, cross country skiers and gliders, fatbikers (I’m not sure if this is the right moniker),snowmobilers and snowshoers. You could even rent gear if you wanted to take a shot at biathlon.

Mt. Washington has plenty of snow. According to their website, there was a base of some 200 centimeters of the white stuff. The sky was cloudless and deep blue, there was no wind and it was -4. It truly was a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day.

Upon reflection, the most onerous part of the day was attaching the snowshoes to my footwear. My wonky back made it tricky to bend down to affix the three straps that would prevent me from becoming shoeless along the trail. Sometimes appearing old and helpless (a self- fulfilling prophecy) is advantageous as a young staff member wandered by to assist me.

We decided to start on an easy trail to get warmed up. Within minutes, we were meandering through old growth forests on paths perfectly groomed. The snow glistened and sparkled like diamonds. The air was pure and crisp and the silence was deafening, save for the scrunching of our snowshoes on the trail. We stopped a few times to stare in wonder…. and to catch our breath! Wanting to push ourselves, we climbed a reasonably steep section of the mountain. An audio track would have detected some serious huffing and puffing. There was one tricky spot on this trail where one had to cross a very narrow section with a precipitous drop into a ravine filled with alpine waters. I silently prayed that neither of us slipped into the abyss. I doubt that either of us could have done a lot to extract the other. Yelling would have been our only recourse.

The mountainous route took us to a frozen lake. We met a small party of people who were taking a break on a 5 hour hike. We asked a woman to take our picture. She mentioned that she had been in a dragon boat the previous day. I told her that back home in Nova Scotia, one could have been boating and snowshoeing a day apart on the weekend too  with the lovely combination of snow, freezing ice pellets, torrential rain (causing sever flooding) followed by a deep freeze.

As we made our way back to the lodge, we met an employee on cross country skis who worked at the facility.Her job? To ski all day and make sure that everyone was safe and having fun. Good work if you can get it.

It was a day to savour. We both remarked that we were feeling very grateful for being able to experience a day that could only be described as perfection.

We were understandably fatigued at the close of the day. That did not stop us from walking the dog for almost an hour before bedtime.

I sent a picture of the two intrepid snow warriors to my wife. Her comment? “That don’t impress me much.” (Thanks, Shania for planting that seed).

She sent me back a photo of the two lads from Canada who climbed Mt.Everest …with canoes on their back.

Have a great weekend and get outdoors, even if it’s canoeing in the flooded parking lot!





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