city lights

Sometimes I miss the city.

The streetlights illuminating my path

on the late walks home,

and the porch lights

flickering on the moistened pavement.

I miss the momentary silence

that overtakes the rustlings of the day.

I don’t miss the traffic.

I don’t miss the people.

And how busy they make their days seem.

Everyone runs around frantic like they can’t escape the rain.

A constant loop plays out their days.

Sometimes I miss the city.

But most days I do not.

 

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juan de fuca marine trail

Well guys, I survived. I managed to hobble out of the forest with only a few scratches and a swollen ankle and maybe a bit of shame. Paije and I hiked the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail which is a 47 km hike with some various degrees of terrain that runs from just outside of Jordan River, BC to Port Renfrew, BC. The views were completely outstanding and made all the sweat and blood worth it. (Really, only some minor scrapes.)

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Paije and I left Friday morning and dropped a car off at the Botanical Beach trail head in Port Renfrew and traveled back down to China Beach, which is where we began our four day journey. I was prepared in more ways than others. My weak knee did better than I thought it would and it didn’t even begin to hurt. WOO! My ankle took a turn for the worse.

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day one:

We only hiked the 9 km to China Beach Friday afternoon. It took about two and a half hours. I honestly don’t remember much of Friday’s conditions because Saturday wiped my memory of everything else. There were some hills if I do properly recall. The campsite was along the beach and was nice and tucked away. It was an easy start to the weekend. I may be turning into a believer with the freeze dried dinners… We had beef lasagna and mashed potatoes and you know what?! Not too shabby. 10/10 would probably eat again… maybe not on a regular evening when I can make my own… But you get what I mean.


day two: 

Saturday was going to be our hardest day. I knew going in that my upper body strength was stronger than my lower. We were told we had to cross thirteen ravines. And holy shit, did the first few ever kick my ass. It was doable but if I’m being honest, I will not be climbing any mountains anytime soon. We lost track after the fourth or fifth ravine and it all kind of blended together into this steep, muddy trek. We decided to stay at Chin Beach instead of pushing through to the next camp because after the five and half hours, we were toast. I think we were in bed by seven o clock that night. We only traveled 12 km that day but it felt like we walked for days. People would pass us, scrambling down a hill slowly, and they would be prancing down like graceful deer. I couldn’t believe it. Here I am, sweat raining down my face and back and there are these people making it look effortless. Good on them… (Eye roll.)


day three:

Now day three was interesting. The night before we had realized one of us left our keys in the car at China Beach and we were finishing at Botanical… Okay, so a problem. We either had to back track and grab the keys or keep going and hitch hike our way out of Port Renfrew.

 We pushed on that day. We hiked through Sombrio Beach and had a wonderful lunch that consisted of a shit load of jerky and pepperoni. (That’s practically what we survived off of.)

There was a family doing the hike in two days and they had two children with them. Props to them. So it is possible but I would have to say at least four days to comfortably do this hike would be a good way to plan. That way you get to enjoy what nature has to offer and you can spend some time at your camp, instead of hike/sleep/hike/sleep.

First thing Sunday morning, we heard branches snapping directly above us on the top of a ravine and I started yelling “BEAR SPRAY!!! BEAR SPRRAAAAAY!!!” Paije silently grabbed it from my backpack and told me to keep walking. Five or so minutes had passed and she says, “Oh my god. It was so cute and fluffy!” I didn’t see it but I guess I scared it off with my panicked moment.

We became obnoxiously loud after that incident.

“STEEEEEEEVE!!!”

“ALLAAAAAAAN!!!”

I’m sure someone heard us echoing through the mountains. We made a pretty good team.


We got to Payzant Creek and we were both exhausted from the day. We realized we had hiked 19 km in nine and a half hours. We began day dreaming about nuggets and burgers and clean water that wasn’t tinged yellow with a chlorine taste. A shower was going to be the greatest luxury. And oh god, was it ever. This part of the trail was relatively moderate. There was a lot of mud and tree roots. The beginning of this day was most likely the culprit for my ankle sprain. However, I didn’t notice at the time and just kept going. Poor judgement on my part but what do you do when you’re in the middle of no where?

day four:

Our final day we thought would be a walk in the part; with the hardest parts behind us we just had to pack up and hike to the trail head in the hopes that some lovely souls would pick us poor women up. 7 km was the last stretch we had to complete, and the last 2 km was probably the longest length of time in my entire life. No friggin joke. It went on forever. People passed us smelling like tulips and I can only imagine what odors were clinging to us. We finished around eleven a.m. and the joy wasn’t as pronounced as it should have been. Immediately we dragged ourselves out of the parking lot and along the road leading out of the Provincial park. We were tired and sore and the last thing we wanted to do was to hike an extra 7 km, which we ended up doing. Stupid. We stopped for ice cream because I think we both felt like crying on this mission to get back to China Beach. This was our first ever experience hitch hiking and we didn’t know what to do. We walked for over two hours with car after car passing us. Thankfully a young gentleman stopped (god bless you stranger) and allowed us to accompany him for the thirty minute drive to our vehicle. After the moments of rest, I couldn’t walk and there was a lot of anxiety between the two of us since we both still had a six hour drive home. And Paije had a ferry to catch. We weren’t the happiest of campers.
 BUUUT, WE MADE IT!!! Looking hot as ever in our unwashed clothes and bodies. Jordan didn’t want to be to close to me when I walked in the door. Okay, that’s a lie… I hopped in because I couldn’t really stand. I don’t blame him.

Anyone who wants to do it, my unprofessional advice would be to be prepared, especially for rain and wild animals. Shits real. Also, remember to carry your keys if you plan on driving out after, because… we didn’t and there is no service so you’re kind of screwed unless you wait for the evening shuttle. Oops. Also, watch out for roots. They are everywhere. Like seriously, EVERYWHERE. Don’t be me. Definitely don’t be me. But I do urge you to try it if you were thinking about it. 🙂 

I would like to add as a finishing note that this trail has a bunch of suspension bridges, sketchy stairs and many mud bogs which would be horrible if you weren’t blessed with nice weather.

wandering in the woods.

 

San Josef Bay. Brent posing with his berry book for this candid shot.

 It seems that I have simpy fallen off the face of this earth. In reality, I am sitting at home with a beer while munching on a bag of sour cream & onion chips, which is kind of the same thing if you think about it. It’s super exciting… I know. It’s also my last day off before I leave for a little hiking extravaganza..

47km through the wilderness will be occupying my weekend. Living off roasted squirrel and berries like a mad man. Just kidding. I’ll be eating porridge and jerky, none of that freeze dried bullshit.  I’m starting to get nervous. Not because I think it will be difficult, I know that, but because of the wild animals. I. Fucking. Hate. Bears. I’ve never been really close to one but the fact that they exist is enough to scare the hell out of me. Cougars are pretty freaky animals too. And wolves. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY WILD ANIMALS IN BC? WHY?! I’d like to march peacefully to my own drum without having to be all sketchy and loud to ward off animals. On a lighter note, I am really looking forward to this tiny adventure with my backpacking partner.

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Mother staring off into the sunset.

Between dragonboating, which is awesome by the way, and work, I haven’t done a whole lot this summer. Visits with the family and some nice weather have been wonderful. I’m just kind of throwing random things out there now because I’m not that exciting and I don’t know what to write about. I just felt like… I should write something. Anything. So there you go. I hope to come back from backpacking with a bunch of cool, artsy photos (not) to share.

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I got stuck with all of the water, the leftover Pepsi (wtf), and the remaining rum. Savvy packers we are.

 

garden, garden, garden.

Hello! It’s been a while… (since I could hold my head up high). Does anybody else always sing that phrase?  But it has been a while. Over a month to be exact. Oops. I’m not really that sorry. The sun is out, some of my plants are dying (typical), and Leia has turned into a little Lucy… if you know what I mean. Do not let her fluffy appearance fool you. She has most definitely gone to the dark side.


School is finished for a few months and I can finally focus on some things that aren’t anthropology and history! I have started my garden and most of them are living. Right now I have: broccoli, cabbage, kale, swiss chard, tomatoes, radishes, carrots, AN AVOCADO that is just a seed and a sprout, a raspberry bush from the wonderful Autumn, and some various flowers. So far, I have everything in pots on the deck so the puppy won’t destroy the plants. I have a small garden area out front that I planted wildflowers in. I’m so excited to see things start to grow and I just hope that all the rain will help them flourish and not drown everything.

Also, completely off topic, but if you like awesome stuff, coffee and wine then you should check out Nocking Point Wines which is run by two very cool dudes (ahem, Green Arrow). It’s where I got my soy candle in a stemless wine glass. 🙂

no kitteh, this is my pot pie.

So, this whole writing thing is turning out to be a lot harder than I expected. Most of the time I find things that are more important, like homework or T.V. I’M ALMOST CAUGHT UP ON GREY’S ANATOMY and I might cry. I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when I can’t binge watch it and spend my afternoons with Meredith. Sigh…

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Leia went on her first long-ish walk today (not a three minute stroll down the road) and she did AWESOME and she’s going to be the perfect little hiking companion. She swam in the ocean and chased sticks and didn’t even try to eat the slugs (thank god). I know she’s just a puppy but she sure is a lot of work. I feel for all the mothers out there who deal with WAY more shit than I have to… Literally. Bless all your hearts.

Anyways, she looks like a little badass in her new harness. I probably sound like a crazy dog lady and you know what, maybe I am. This is really just an excuse to post cute photos of her. I won’t lie.

princess leia

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WE ARE IN LOVE! Meet Leia, the goldendoodle. I wanted to name her Obi Wan. That was the name I had picked out whether she was a girl or boy, but Jordan would have none of that shit… even though he wanted to call the dog Carly. Because that’s so much better.

“Carly… stop peeing on the floor!!!”

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Leia was the decided name. She is the most adorable ball of fur, even though she is chewing on everything, which is to be expected. Pretty soon there may very well be no table legs or railings. Right now she’s sleeping, thank god. She’s like a toddler running around eating everything she finds. ROCK? Probably not… MUSHROOM? NO. This brown stuff? Yep, that looks like poop. Earth is one humongous hazard. THERE IS POTENTIAL IN EVERYTHING. How do people bring babies into this world?

On another note. I was going to share photos of the garden I’m starting inside, but everything has been relocated to higher ground until a can find suitable shelving that she won’t destroy.

I am going to be bombarding everyone with puppy photos. BE PREPARED.