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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Discomfort Continues: Part II

So yes, the backcountry trip.  With only a five-day turnaround planned between the Vancouver trip and the backpacking trip, I was already uncomfortable and I hadn't even packed!  I had committed to the trip on a last-minute whim when I heard that my good friend Darcie would be joining in on the last half of the 'Mega-hike' - a 9-day backpacking trip planned by my other good friends Mo and Jody (affectionately called MoJo).  First of all, let me just say that to refer to them as my 'good friends' is quite an understatement.  These girls are like my sisters.  Earlier this summer we even named ourselves 'The Four Directions'.  I just couldn't bare the thought of leaving them a direction short... lest they end up walking in circles!  Haha.  I jest, but seriously, it was an opportunity that I felt I couldn't turn down.

I had agreed to the backpacking trip prior to the Vancouver trip, thinking that it would be fine and that I would 'deal with it later'.  When 'later' arrived the voice in my head shook off some of it's new-found inner yin-like peace and gave me a stern talking to.  After all, didn't I have a responsibility to my young son and my husband?  Didn't I have work to do (I did just start a business after all)?  Didn't my mom, dad, and brothers need me?  Oh no!  I would be out of cell range!  What if something happened?  How would I know?  And ON and ON and ON.  Damn voice.  I wish that sometimes it would just leave me ALONE!

I am used to this voice.  We all have it.  Another way to describe it would be to call it the ego.  I would hazard a guess and say that some people's voices are quite a bit more loud and bossy than others.  Not only does the voice in my head possess both of these qualities, but it has a special knack for giving me a million reasons not to do what is really in my heart.  And what was in my heart was that darned backpacking trip with those three beautiful ladies!

My heart is getting smarter though.  It is learning how to manage that voice.  My heart sat that voice down, gave it a sucker, and told it that we didn't have to do anything for sure.  It told that voice that as a collective, mind, body and soul, we would continue to move in the direction of the trip.  Pack the bags, buy the food, plan for childcare etc.  BUT, it we got a single reason to call it quits, and it was VALID, from both the heart and the head standpoint, we would call it.  The voice seemed satisfied, after all, it had it's mouth full with the sucker.

Again, I am jesting here, but this is kind of exactly how it happened.  I didn't know if I was going to be going on the hike for sure until my boots were on, my pack was strapped to my back and I was walking up the trail, holding the space of the 'fourth'.

Of course, you know by now that I went.  I walked.  I talked.  I packed a big old bag for about 60 kms over 4 days.   And like most trips of this nature, it was wonderful and not-so-wonderful at the same time.  I haven't been on a similar trip since back in 2007... pre-CD (Before Chephren Dax :)  and I was pleased to find that all of my 'stuff' was still in working order.  Of course I did make a few 'rookie mistakes'.  Darcie and I hauled in my awesome single-walled four-season tent and I forgot how to set it up.  I also forgot most of the tent pegs (can you say, all but two?!), and one of our four poles was busted.  Don't worry, I redeemed myself by bringing in a huge lightweight tarp for us to use in case of rainy weather.  Oh, did I mention that I forgot to check if it had any guy-wires to set it up?  It didn't.  Oh well.  It made a good sitting cushion while we cooked under Mo's tarp.

If you have never done it before, backpacking can be quite physically uncomfortable, even if you have your gear sorted out and dialled in.  I mean, think about it, you are hauling around a 50+ pound backpack while you are trekking around in the mountains.  You are going to feel it.  And if you are a pro-star and you are claiming to not feel anything, than keep it to yourself.  My ego can't handle it.

Team MoJo hiked about 80 km before they got to us and they looked absolutely shattered from an exceptionally intense Day 5.  They elected to rest up at the hostel before heading back out onto the trail.  I would have ran for the hills after the day that they had, and I was secretly already plotting to move our party to someplace with hot springs, but those girls are Mountain CHAMPS.  Darcie and I were a bit in awe of team MoJo and decided that we were the Mountain Chimps hiking along with the true Champs.

Now that I am out of the backcountry, sitting in my kitchen, cozy in my warm house, I am reminiscing about what a wonderful trip it was.  This is quite odd, because in direct contrast to this thought, I can remember a few times walking on that trail, my back aching, my bad knee flaring, my hands freezing, and I can remember thinking, 'Oh my God.  When is this trip going to be over?  Why did I sign up for this?'  Ok.  Truth.  I am sparing you many of the more 'colorful' thoughts.

And yet, I would do it again.  In a heartbeat.

You know the expression, 'hindsight is 20/20?'  I say it's bollox!  My judgement has been completely clouded over by the wonderful people I was with, the two-hour lunch in the warm sunshine, bathing in the cool, fresh mountain streams, picking and eating fresh huckleberries, the amazing mountain scenery and all of the pictures in which I am wearing a HUGE grin!

Ah life.  So freaking awesome.

Get out there!  It might be uncomfortable, but often, it's SO WORTH IT!

So much love,


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