A Crabsgiving to be thankful for!

This year, we wanted to try something different–a trip to Port Angeles to take part in their annual Crab Fest on Thanksgiving weekend!

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Crab Fest weekend!

(that was why I was in such a panic to find my passport a few weeks ago)

We headed out to the ferry in the pouring rain. It was just hammering down this past Saturday and because a lot of people go to Crab Fest, we ended up in line outdoors for over an hour waiting to clear customs. We got pretty soaked, even with an umbrella…

The ferry itself (Black Ball line) was absolutely packed. People didn’t have seats! It was kind of a hassel and a long way to Port Angeles. Once we got to Port Angeles, it is very easy to get around; everything is within walking distance (ferry, town, hotel/motels, shopping, Crab Fest, the pier, the aquarium!!!).

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A ride on the ferry

We first grabbed lunch at Crab Fest and we had southwestern chili and dungeness mac’n’ cheese- it was GOOD! I could eat a vat of it! Then we headed out to the Feiro Marine Life Centre to grab at some touch pools and check out their octopus. She was really interesting, huge, white and sleepy. The volunteers assured us that the octopus was just resting, and when they opened her tank, she changed red instantly. Neat eh?

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Ian and the ‘rocktopus’

Our motel was nothing to write home about, zero-frills and too $$ for what you get, but ehhh it was clean at least? No hot water in the showers though, and it was CHILLY in Port Angeles for the whole time we were there. I did pick up some pumpkin-spiced hard ciders at their natural food market and boy those are good. Canada we are missing out!

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A huge paella- my dream!!

We then went back to Crab Fest to enjoy our crab dinners- we each got a whole crab, a cob of corn and coleslaw. I tossed the coleslaw (yuck) but the crab was great and so was the corn. Yum! It was sooooo busy- in fact my one issue with Crab Fest was how packed it was, made it hard to enjoy browsing the tent because it was just one huge mass of people, all day.

We visited a local brewpub after and grabbed a drink there, and then called it a night.

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Intense concentration while crab fishing.

The next day, we ate at a local breakfast joint and wow–sooooo good. My breakfast was carmelized bananas with cream cheese and orange – cinnamon syrup and I can 100% recommend it. I was full the whole day!

We then went back to Crab Fest and I took part in the Crab Derby- you pay $5, and fish for 10 minutes in the tanks for crabs. If you hook them, they cost $15 each if you want to keep it. I got one and they were tricky to catch actually!

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Weekend= success (even if it was coooollddd).

Then it was home on the ferry with my cooked & cleaned crab and away we go. We also had with us doughnuts from Cock-a-Doodle-Doughnuts (sooooo good) and flamin’ hot Funyuns to round out the weekend of gluttony!

As soon as we got home, we zipped off to my in-laws farm for Thanksgiving, and then on Monday to my parents on Thanksgiving. Crazy weekend eh? Barely enough time to ride ol’ Oats (with my saddle fixed up!!! yes!!) on Monday! He was great though, silly old guy.

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Thanksgiving weekend recap: The fire inside.

Peaceful fall

Peaceful fall

So, when I last left, I was practically running out the door to get away from work and was desperate for a weekend, any weekend, so long as it long!!

No sooner was I relaxing into my weekend (hard-won) on a sleepy Saturday morning when I woke up suddenly and unpleasantly with a horrible wrenched neck. It was excruciating. I couldn’t look to the right, the back of my head/neck hurt, it hurt to chew anything – my jaw ached, and my shoulder/neck area felt frozen and throbbing, alternately.

Greeeattttt….

No rest for the wicked?

Secretly, I hoping to run to the barn on Saturday, where I would ride Oats and have my husband pick me up from the barn to go straight to my in-laws farm (maybe soon to not be their farm if the sale goes through, more changes,. eek!!). Instead, I could barely walk.

Walking even jostled my neck horribly. I was in a ton of pain, on muscle relaxants and alternating hot/cold therapy to just be somewhat mobile. No running for me. I decided to ride anyways (because I’m insane??) but my husband had to help me get Oats out of his pen, groom him- it took forever – because he was so muddy, and lead Oats to and from the arena.

Yeehaw a skinny!

Yeehaw a skinny!

Once I was on, things were ok, though I couldn’t look right at all and was very uncomfortable trying to go right on Oats. He was a good sport though, and seemed very careful with me–even though we were doing a bit of jumping!

Oats taking care of me.

Oats taking care of me.

We got some photos, and I hopped off gingerly, and Ian led Oats back to the barn and helped me untack, carry my saddle back to the barn, and unbridle Oats. That was pretty funny, he tried to pull the whole bridle off Oats’ head w/o undoing the noseband, but did manage to get the throatlatch off. Oats was like WTF? But he’s a good pony now and didn’t take advantage…

We called it a ride, and headed off to the in-laws farm. There, I upped the painkillers a bit and enjoyed some pear picking in the pouring rain (hah!!) and a lot of good quality hot tub and wine time. Sure didn’t hurt my neck situation at all, but mannnnnn did I feel it the next morning…

My neck was pretty much healed by Sunday morning but my wine hangover had a ferocious hold on me. I was like, I’m hungry!! I’d eat something…”I feel sick!!”….I’m hungry!!! I feel sick!!

All morning. Gag.

I didn’t have much time to feel sorry for myself though. We were up and out of the house to cheer on my friend who was running his second marathon!!! Gidget was miserable, whiny and annoyed at waiting around to watch. I was pretty happy though, we managed to cheer him on and get a great photo too! He did awesome.

Great work!!

Great work!!

Then, I felt inspired….

And not quite so sick anymore.

So, like the crazy person I am, I decided to run to the barn, ride, and then maybe run home. Note: this is not a short distance.

My own horse-half marathon? A new challenge? A way to work out the extreme pressure and anxiety I’d been experiencing throughout the week, and was too injured too often to resolve it through exercise?

No matter the reason–I was going to DO IT!

And so, I did. And you know what? It was fine. I jogged to the barn, waved hi to my friend Sarah who saw me at an intersection- and said I was crazy, haha. And I rode and STILL had too much ‘intensity’ in my ride on Oats. Luckily he is still a forgiving pony and he was a good boy for me, even when I come to the barn ‘running high’ and with extra energy I can’t resolve normally.

We worked through some poles- they were terrible, he does better at jumps- and then a brief lateral session once way each where he was quite reasonable, and he was sooooooo sweaty! I then sponged him off, ate a coconut-chocolate Clif bar, and changed back into my clammy workout clothes and prepared to run home.

The run home wasn’t quite as smooth as the way there- my stomach started hurting a LOT, I kind of blame eating the Clif bar so soon after riding and then running again- and my knee was bugging me a bit, and the noise on my calf injury got turned up too…

But I made it fine, it just took a long time.

So, Sunday was an investment in time. Me time. Time to work out whatever anxiety I had going on through my running and riding.

The next day I felt pretty good, tired, but good. Sometimes the fire that burns inside burns too hot and too bright, and threatens to consume us. My way of dealing with it is through exercise.

Life and other stories

So, where was I? Oh yes, that lingering feeling of disillusionment with Oats, my life, my work, everything.

It all kind of came to a head this weekend (a long weekend, Thanksgiving of all things!) I wanted desperately to enjoy it- the kind of desperation that means you’re going to get screwed in the end…)

I wasn’t feeling well on Friday, so came home after work and crawled into bed for a few hours. Went out for some drinks with a buddy which was really nice, a high point of my weekend, and I also made some great salad rolls.

Saturday I rode Oats and he was really good actually. Can’t say a bad word about him right now- not yet anyways!

Sunday didn’t ride- went to the in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. Had a nice time, but was feeling kind of eaten-up by my husband’s business venture that was slowly sliding downhill…and picking up the pace as it went down. Blah.

And then I got a call from a lady I ride with, saying that Oats had rudely knocked her down when she went to get him from the field. ARGH!~ I was very upset to hear this. She was fine, nothing big there, but JEESH. When it is enough?>!!!!

I felt really down, really upset. Like….I was hoping for a nice relaxing weekend, and mine is filled with business-drama, Oats drama, and nothing fun. (except I did see two movies-Gone Girl and We Are What We Are- both excellent, recommend highly).

Went out Monday with some steely resolve to sort his shit out. He was fine, again. I didn’t even have a chance to get after him, or ‘fix’ anything. Ah…so, that was good. But the real test would be my lesson with Karen on Tuesday…

Tuesday: Work was a nightmare, this strange, lingering tired draggy sick feeling is sticking around bigtime. Nevertheless, I persevere! Rode Oats in our lesson and MANNN WE WERE ROCKING IT.

Felt a bit like cheating, as we didn’t canter right rein- but we got probably the NICEST work we’ve ever had on the canter, to the left. Nicest. Hands-down.

He was good, so good. And we worked HARD. He was coated in sweat, my legs were all trembly, but it felt really righteous, thorough even.

So- is there a rainbow on the other side here? Or more grey clouds? Not sure, but I’m actually pretty impressed with how mature Oats’ work has been getting. Hm…