Goldstream? More like COLD-stream!

This weekend after dithering for literally weeks we finally did it…We pulled the trigger and CAMPED. Now, I am no camper. I am not an outdoorsy type of person, haha. But it’s been such a long year(s) during the pandemic and we were getting bored out of our skulls after 15 months of…the exact same thing every day, every weekend.

Goldstream is local to us, 20 mins from downtown, which is awesome. We can only stay locally now due to COVID-19 rules, and we respect those rules.

Deflating the damned air mattress!

Plus it was so great, we could get all of our stuff done (riding Oats for me, climbing for Ian) and then go camp. Easy-peasy right? Ha, close.

We got there and it was quite packed, but we did manage to find a spot. We unloaded, fought with the new tent (NOT an intuitive process, that one), and then hoofed it out to see the waterfall. It’s a lovely deep pool there, but quite cold as it is under a great expanse of trees and it was windy as hell on Saturday.

We actually ran into friends who were thinking about doing an impromptu camp night too and made plans to meet up later for a COVID friendly meetup around the campfire. I haven’t seen some of these folks in OVER A YEAR! How exciting!

We then waited…and waited…and waited…for the firewood person to come by and they didn’t. I was freezing! I hopped in the car and drove to the convenience store to get firewood, freaking finally. It was great wood and we had a nice fire for dinner.

We then met up with our friends and chatted around the campfire for a few hours- it was cold! I really missed seeing people and it was so nice to see them again. It felt like ‘before-times’ ya know? Before we knew it, we were cold and it was getting late so we went back to our site and went to bed. BED. Man, that sucked. It was FREEZING, and the air mattress deflated on us so we woke up (ha, like we were sleeping at all..) basically on the ground. Not fun.

Ian pumped it up a little bit more and we snuggled back down to freeze our butts off for the rest of an unrestful morning, ha.

At least the morning was gorgeous- sunny, bright and pretty warm (not in Goldstream- it is always cold there). We had some coffee, some pancakes and our friends said goodbye! We took our time and packed up, and drove to the barn so I could have a Sunday ride and medicate Oaty. It was a lovely day, not that warm (15 deg?) but so sunny! A nice end to the weekend and a great day to try something different 🙂

Oh and I tossed out the damn air mattress when we got home. I do NOT want to repeat that experience!!

The Juan de Fuca Trail- China Beach to Bear Beach

So every Sunday my husband and I do ‘Sunday Funday’ and pick a location to do a mega run/hike/trail run at. We have gone up island to Duncan to run Maple Mountain, Mt. Tzouhalem, to Courtenay/Comox to run to Cumberland, and locally, the Galloping Goose in Sooke to the Malahat run. We have been all over!

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You cross a lot of small creeks/waterfalls.

Last weekend I ran solo, a few loops of Elk Lake, which is a pleasant solo run because you can run to your car to get water (there are no water fountains open anymore because of COVID19 and I guess no hand sanitizer in the washrooms/outhouses anymore either, to my extreme displeasure).

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It got hot, but it was ok.

This weekend we went somewhere a little different- the trek out to the Juan de Fuca trail! We are very familiar with the 1 beach- China beach, but we wanted to trail run from China beach to Bear Beach. It’s not that far- about 7km- but can be quite wet, muddy and rugged. And boy, it was!

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We ran the 2km to China beach and it was PACKED with people. Every available square spot to park in was taken. People were crawling everywhere. I really didn’t like that- it’s just too busy now, the new Thetis Lake or East Sooke Park or something?

So it was a lot of stop and go.

We got to the beach and it had a ton of people on it too. A nice day (rare for us, we don’t really get nice weather anymore in the summer) and I guess literally everyone wanted in.

So we went down the beach and picked up the Bear beach trail and continued that way. It had far fewer people, but for a quite narrow and technical trail, it was very busy with camp hikers coming back. One guy even gave us licorice, haha. Of course I accepted it! 😉

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We splashed, climbed and scrambled our way to Bear beach, which was completely deserted. So that was worth it! It was a gorgeous day. I picked a bunch of Salmon berries, we enjoyed our Lara bars (protein ones, I don’t like the blueberry-lemon, ick I think it tastes like lemon Pledge, but the Apple Cobbler are good), and took some photos, and then ran back. On our way back we saw a mink!!! Just a zip of brown and he was gone, into the rocks to the ocean. Wish I could have seen him up close and for longer.

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The cliffside was really cool! 

It was WET! My legs got covered in mud, hahah. Big splashes everywhere!! I gave in and gave up and just went for it hahahahhaha.

By the end of the run, even my toenails had mud embedded in them, hahaha. A good adventure and a lovely day, to make up for how miserable and craptacular I was feeling on Saturday.

Labour Day Blues

A great weekend, followed by some intense strangeness and disquiet.

A death, crazy smoke covering the sky, blocking out the sun and raining ash on us, crimes, big and small.

It’s strange! I feel strange and smothered.

But anyways, let’s focus on the things that went right:

  • Rode this weekend (no polo though, was up-Island) and Oats was good! We even jumped the scary ‘skinny brush jump’ out in the field in a blazing hot day.
  • We canoed, probably for the first time in a hundred years for me- and took Gidget! She actually really enjoyed it. 🙂
  • I enjoyed many beers, cocktails and wine- always a good time.
  • We picked plums! Carrots! Beets! Chard!
  • Had happy hour with a good buddy on Friday AND got off work early.
  • Went swimming (floating) at Thetis Lake and hurt my neck paddling. Turns out I am older than I thought. Ha. It still hurts today though, which is not so funny…two days and counting.
  • Rode in a pretty intense dressage lesson last night, despite my sore neck. Not technical, but more like focusing on the elements of ‘lengthen’ strides. It was pretty good!
  • I ran! Lots of running and am happy with how my legs are feeling on the weekends- not so much during the week, they suck then, but hey weekends are awesome!

Here’s to more fun and adventure, despite the oppressive feelings that are threatening to crush us these days. It seriously feels like the apocalypse with this eerie red-grey sky!

There and back again

So, I’m back from my holidays. They were much-needed, not necessarily that relaxing (are holidays with family EVER relaxing?) and ended with some car drama, but I’m glad I had the time away from work.

Christmas with the family

Christmas with the family

I needed the perspective, quite frankly.

I also needed some time away from my ‘real life,’ an area that bogs me down in the details so much so that I become enveloped from what is ‘important’ and get stuck on the routine. And I can get obsessive about ‘the routine’ to an unhealthy point.

Colossal gingerbread house

Colossal gingerbread house

But, family was stressful. We did a lot of great things, and I enjoyed good company, great food, and other fun activities. However, I also felt the strain of ‘try hard’ and a bit fakey, ‘let’s cover it up with fun and ignore the festering sadness underneath’ that I can be sensitive to…

Oh well, it’s over. Holidays aren’t always Hallmark-worthy, are they?

Buster shares a moment

Buster shares a moment

And when I flew back, my car was making a weird stuttering on the highway and stalled out in a parking lot. I was like, how long has THIS been going on?

The remains of the gingerbread house

The remains of the gingerbread house

An entire week, $1,115 later and I think it’s pretty much back to being road-worthy, but jesus. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to me! (GAHHHH!!!!)

And my darling pony has been alternately good and bad my week back. Pissy and kicking out some days, relatively forward and willing others. Pissy yesterday in my lesson with 1 kick out briefly, but was nice to jump (tiny x-rails) and we did some interesting work on straightness and coursework. Felt nice to get back in the saddle, even if my old insecurities came rearing back at me!

Now I am kind of dreading my dressage lessons…If he is pissy and bucky doing my regular work, how on earth will the more-demanding work of dressage go for us?????? I am also trying to break in new boots, ouch they are not feeling super great either.

EEK!!!

To be continued next week….

And I am back at work. Not so glorious either…

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

A quote I’ve always loved, partially because I kind of hate winter, partially because it exemplifies that ‘never give up’ ethos that I try hard to live!

Frost

Frosty days

It has been FREEZING here. Yeah yeah I’m sure people who live in actually cold climates are laughing their butts off, but yeeesh, I am not used to it.

These below-seasonal temps have made riding kind of a pain, my hands and toes are freezing, my breath catches in my throat and my eyes water. My quarter sheet does not want to stay on my dear pony’s butt! It flies off him at every opportunity, and it makes me laugh so hard when that happens! Thank GOD he is pretty bombproof and couldn’t care less about a blanket sliding off his butt when we’re cantering! HAHA though I think it has happened enough now that he is used to it.

And how has dear Oaty pony been? Pretty good actually (part of me wants to say I’m surprised! ha). Good ride on him on Tuesday, and Wednesday actually. I tried some no-stirrup work at the trot (two point again, for my pathetic 2-laps of the ring) and was dying. Just dying. Canter two-point no stirrups was MUCH easier, though a bit of a slacker’s move.

I was still freezing though, despite the ‘intensive’ two point no-stirrups work.

Thursday was my lesson with Nicole and I always start off feeling very apprehensive. But you know what? It went really well! True- not perfect- but I’m getting glimmerings of what I normally ride like back…And I like it! We worked on bounce gymnastics (HATE!) but they were riding better than they normally do, so yeah!! And then we worked up to a small course- bounce gymnastics, small x-rail liverpool, x-rail one-stride combination (that we didn’t make at first, but then did!), to a x-rail on the diagonal.

I know, I know- what’s with all these x-rails? Truth is, I haven’t really felt like jumping higher lately?!

I feel like I am beginning to master something (eyes? better jumping position?) and I want to stay at a height (well, lack of height really), where I feel safer.

Though I do think Oats would sometimes like to jump higher! He gets bored sometimes, haha.

Throwback Thurs: Horse pack trip in the Chilcotins

Looking at this photo, I see it is date-stamped 2006. Man, that is ages ago!

And how I could NEVER get my husband to do something like this again. Young love…Hahahha.

We signed up for a 3-day pack trip in the Chilcotin mountains of the Interior of B.C. and woah, it was an intense trip.

The drive up is insane- it’s bumpy, dirt road way up the mountains. And you’re not even close to the trailhead…We rented a cabin the first night because it takes so long to get up there, and you leave from the camp pretty early the next morning.

Next morning we saddled up with Warren, the wrangler and rode an hour up to the trail head. The cook comes with us, and so do a bunch of pack horses. Some other families (who were fairly experienced) were on the trip too.

And then the fun begins! The trail head begins with a walk across a VERY steep slide path that slides 40 ft into Gun Creek, a raging river. I was like WTF? The horses were marching sideways! They made it fine, and I later learned that horses HAVE slid into the river- packed up- and gone home! Warren the wrangler seemed surprised they would go home after that, and I was like, well they fell 40 ft into a river?!! 

Anyways, after that harrowing experience, it was on to the real fun stuff- trail exploring and even more danger! My husband saw my horse’s hoof waving off a cliff, and then regained his balance. Frrak!

We made it to the base camp, and they had a nice cook tent, and wall tents. It was very cold- for July- snow had just melted up there. Brrrr….

Food was excellent- we had snacks and sandwiches packed in our saddlebags, and dinners were steaks and chicken, and desserts. Yum! 

The next day we did a day-trip up Open Heart Mountain, so steep that on the way home, we had to get off and walk the horses! Hahah.

We saw lots of deer, and Warren had a rifle with him because grizzlies often prowled the area…At night, the horses were let loose to run up the mountain with bells and wrangled back at night.

It was a tough, exhilarating experience and one I would definitely repeat (though now I am even more of a chicken?!)

And of course, on the way back to Vancouver we didn’t make the 9pm ferry and got stuck in Tsawassen, exhausted and grouchy haha.

C’est la vie!

New Home

Here you can go to find more info on the trips they do.