Moose Mountain

May 2017 – Moose Mountain in Kananaskis, AB

Directions: Just off highway 66, west of Paddy’s Campground, turn off into a parking lot. From there follow the Moose Mountain road for 7 km until you reach a gate at the end where the trailhead and a sign are (Google maps works for getting to the fire road start).

Time: Approximately 6-7 hours total, ~15 km total

Elevation: 2,437 m

If you turn off highway 1 south of Calgary and start driving into the quieter area of Kananaskis, you’ll find highway 66 near Bragg Creek. From there you can turn onto a dusty, bumpy road known as Moose Mountain road that leads you up the mountains for approximately 7 km. This is our second attempt, as this is a fire road that is closed (for good reason) between December 1st and May 14th. This is a good lesson to not only check trail/avalanche/bear reports, but also to check any access road closures. When you reach the end you’ll know, as there is a gate, a sign, and likely a small cluster of cars. Kananaskis trails are often spread from person to person, or good old trailpeak.com, but the internet has a wealth of contact information to speak to the people who manage the park.

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My Hiking Bucket List

I’ve always loved making bucket lists because they keep me on track with my goals, even though they are always changing.

I decided to share my specific hiking bucket list. I narrowed it down to the best and I did literally hours of “research”😂. I’ve had good luck with trailpeak.com and with other blogs, but I do know that I need to get myself some proper guidebooks. So if you have the time, take a quick Google of some of these and you’ll see why I want to do them all so badly. I’ve also got big dreams of Mount Fuji and Mount Kilamanjaro, or even the base camp of Everest, so, we’ll see where life takes me 🙂

Banff/Canmore/Kananaskis Area:

  • Night in Abbot Hut between Mt. Lefroy and Mt. Victoria (July 2017)
  • Cory Pass, Banff
  • Rockbound Lake, Banff
  • Cirque Peak, Banff
  • Mt. Temple, Banff
  • Tower of Babel, Banff
  • Cascade Mountain, Banff
  • Bourgeau Peak, Banff
  • Rundle Mountain, Banff
  • Wenkchemna Pass / Eiffel Peak, Banff
  • Sentinal Pass / Larch Valley, Banff
  • Lady MacDonald, Canmore
  • Heart Mountain, Canmore
  • Moose Mountain, Kananaskis Area
  • Nihahi Ridge, Kananaskis Area
  • Pigeon Mountain, Kananaskis Area
  • Mt. Allen Centennial Ridge, Kananaskis Area

Waterton Triple Crown:

  • Crypt Lake, Waterton National Park
  • Carthew-Alderson Trail, Waterton National Park
  • Akamina Ridge, Waterton National Park

Jasper Area:

  • Parker / Hilda Ridge, Jasper
  • Saskatchewan Glacier, Jasper
  • Backcountry camp on Skyline Trail, Jasper

Other:

  • Backcountry camp at Berg Lake, BC
  • Avalanche Lake, Montana

To be continued… stay tuned!

Sulphur Mountain

March 2017 – Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park, AB

Directions: From the gondola entrance, follow signs to the trail up the mountain where the gondola eventually takes you.

Time: Approximately 4 hours total, ~6 km total

Elevation: 2,300 m

This hike was a plan B after a closed fire road leading to Moose Mountain’s trail head turned us away. 😦 Which was extremely disappointing. But for good views at the top, and a nice workout, Sulphur Mountain is a decent choice. It’s pretty much endless switchbacks without a good view for a couple of hours. But it’s one that families and dogs can do and the reward is pretty spectacular. Watching the gondola pass above you is a neat experience too! I’ve taken the gondola up there before, but hiking it feels better. As a bonus, hikers can take the gondola down for free, which we did. It was chilly, and the sun kept hiding. I can imagine on a nicer day this would be even more amazing at the top. The first time I gondola’d up there, it was pouring rain. But you get 360 degree views of the Banff area, including the town itself. Plus there is food, coffee, an observatory deck, and even a 5 star dining area at the top. All those things are at around 2200 m elevation, and with another 100 m elevation, and a bunch of stairs, you can go to a Cosmic Ray Station, which sits at the full 2300 m. It’s a little station complete with tiny living quarters that was built in 1956 to study cosmic rays. One of the conditions of it’s building, which was built along with 8 other sites, was that it could not be visible from the town of Banff. Why…? I’m not sure, it’s neat though, but prepare for tourists galore. Moose Mountain’s fire road opens May 14th, so we will attempt it again then! Don’t just check trail reports people, also check annual road closures. And never forget to check bear and avalanche reports for the area as well.

The Moon

When I was very little, and I mean maybe 5 or 6 years old, I saw my parents reading their own books while sitting near each other in the living room. For some reason I was in awe, to me it seemed so special that something so personal could be enjoyed with someone by your side, without the need to talk. To be immersed in another world, while still in each other’s.

I remember imagining that my future husband and I would do the same thing one day. That we would both be reading books about outer space, specifically ideas on what the moon was made of, and every now and then would turn to discuss with each other, well, what did we each believe the moon was made of? I didn’t understand science yet, or love. My parents marriage didn’t work out, but they always co-parented me with grace.

20 years later I met someone special and I asked him to read a book that I had just read, so that we could discuss it afterwards. He did, as if it was the easiest thing in the world, to just read a novel that a girl you’d been dating for a month asked you to read.

But it was still a few more months before we’d be lying in our resort room in Mexico, me, sunburnt to an absolute crisp, him sick. We still didn’t know each other extremely well and yet this was our grand idea, to travel somewhere together. We lay in the air conditioned room, me reading my book and him reading his. Despite any stress, I’ve never felt more content, losing myself in another place while knowing how much I wanted to be in this one. I remember thinking to myself, he must be the one. If he isn’t, then nothing I know makes any sense. It’s been a year since then and I still think the same…even though we don’t read books about the moon, maybe we will together, some day.

“I just want to be home in my sweatpants.”

So, you’re in a relationship with an introvert? Most people generally fall either to the introverted or extroverted side, but each individuals needs and “love language” are different in a relationship. But here are 5 things you likely would have to understand if your partner falls to the former: 

1) I hate being the centre of attention, but I love having the attention of one person. Introverts aren’t void of the desire for human connection, in fact we often crave it deeply, just in different ways than an extrovert might. After a long day at work, sometimes I’ve had next to no meaningful contact with someone else and all I want is for someone to be there to listen or to just simply be with me as I relax. Introverts still communicate their feelings with their partners thoroughly, and they need you to do the same.

2) I will go to all your family and friend functions. With the exception here and there or if I genuinely feel sick, I’ll always be there for you if you ask me to. As an introvert we are in tune with our relationships and what they need, because we are so sensitive to what it is we need. But you will often find me kneeling on the floor petting the cat, scratching the dogs belly, or hovering around the charcuterie board.

3) You’ll probably become good friends with my friends as time goes on because it will always be the same few of them. Always. So you’re going to have to find a bond with them and it’s one of the best feelings for me to know that you do. It’s hard for introverts to make quick meaningful friendships so when we have a deep connection we hang onto them with all we’ve got. This isn’t to say we’d hang onto a toxic friendship necessarily, but often we are open to seeing the good sides of people and working on the friendship because of that.

4) I do need my alone time, within reason, and you shouldn’t take offence to this. It’s because I want to give our relationship my full attention afterwards. For example, even if we are on vacation, I’ll probably want to go and read my book. If I get exasperated in large social situations such as concerts or bars it’s not because I dislike people, it’s because the stimulation is overwhelming and I am there because I want to experience the event and am willing to put up with the large mass of people. It’s not always easy despite my best efforts.

5) You’ll get the privilege of seeing who I truly am. It’s something that’s saved for certain people and it’s a sign of trust. If it’s not flattering to have someone open up to you with no inhibitions, I don’t know what is. It’s like having a permanent, cool secret.

“I am rarely bored alone; I am often bored in groups and crowds.”

– Laurie Helgoe, Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength

What’s some other things you think people dating introverts should be aware of? And if you’re an extrovert, what do people dating you need to know?

Thanks for reading 🙂

Happy New Year! 

Before I started this blog, because I’ve wanted to start a blog for a long time, I really thought hard about what I wanted it to be about. Writing is my therapy, and I wanted to write to release but I felt like I was supposed to have some kind of identity. Did I want to be the person who wrote only about hiking and adventuring? Or the person who wrote nothing but poetry? It turns out that I’m neither. I’m a smorgasbord of things and after almost 26 years I’m fine with that. Life isn’t black or white, it’s not definitive and there are no promises. It’s grey, it’s in the middle, it’s sometimes messy, but sometimes clean. It’s sometimes beautiful and sometimes horrible. There are just as many unanswered questions as there are answered ones. I’ve always needed to need to know things for sure and thats caused me great anxiety. But I sit here now wearing comfy grey sweatpants and cuddling my grey cat (she’s the reason I buy so much grey now) and it really occurred to me that my greatest journey, this year at least, has just been accepting the unknown grey area and enjoying the ride. It’s been a crazy year of ups and downs and I’m ready to not only say goodbye to it but to build on it. Life is too short for anything other than loving the people and moments you’ve been given.

This year I was in love, climbed mountains and spent time with friends. I traveled to Mexico and Vancouver, even though I dreamt of more faraway lands, but I knew I needed to focus on my career. It paid off when my boss gave me a raise at the end and told me how far I’ve come. Those extreme ups, as always, were balanced with some extreme downs. There was some challenges to tackle. Big personal challenges that I’d rather not get into but the point is that they are in past tense and I am so thankful to walk into the new year with my health and all my friends and family alive and well.

If you’re reading this or following me, thanks from the bottom of my heart and I promise to not let you down with my posts next year!