Life off the Trail

As I said in an earlier post, “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on? When in your heart, you know there is no going back. There are some adventures that have gone too deep, that have taken hold…” Life off the trail isn’t easy. I have gone from hiking 50 km a day to sitting in an office as radio dispatch for Last Frontier Heliskiing in Stewart, BC.

We do get to go heliskiing though and it's pretty awesome.

A definite perk is we get to go heli-skiing  and it’s pretty darn awesome.

Letting off Chinese lanterns at Last Frontier.

Letting off Chinese lanterns at Last Frontier.

A nearby hot spring that we reached via heli. No bushwacking need - Whaaaaaaaaat?!

A nearby hot spring that we reached via heli. No bushwacking needed – Whaaaaaaaaat?!

Enjoying a dip! Life is quite different. Funnily enough, Jake and myself work for the same company, except at different lodges. For the first time in nine month, we’re not sharing a tent or patch of ground for sleeping. I get a whole bedroom to myself.

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Not only do I have more room, but no more hairy sheets! Thank God!

No longer do I shiver in frosty sleeping bags, wearing every single piece of fabric possible to stay slightly above frozen.

No more sleeping on snow! Yay!

No more sleeping on snow! Yay!

No more eating from a char-coal blacken pot. I can shower. Even more than once a week or two (which seems silly, but we live in a bathing obsessed society so I wash more than I would like). And we have wonderful wonderful meals, 3 times a day.

A Barbeque Chicken Drumstick, with corn puree, and an apple cucumber slaw. It's no Pringles, but it'll do.

A Barbeque Chicken Drumstick, with corn puree, and an apple cucumber slaw. It’s no Pringles, but it’ll do.

Beef Wellington, with crab asparagus salad and a red wine demi glacé. It's just slightly better hamburger helper (minus the hamburger).

Beef Wellington, with crab asparagus salad and a red wine demi glacé. It’s just slightly better hamburger helper (minus the hamburger).

Strawberry cheesecake with a hazelnut crust. Who needs Twinkies!

Strawberry cheesecake with a hazelnut crust. Who needs Twinkies!

It's a far cry from poptarts fried in butter.

It’s a far cry from the poptarts fried in butter in the past.

People always ask if I miss the trail, which of course I do. I miss the adventure and simplicity. Life was a routine – walk, sleep, eat. However, everyday was different. We went from mountain to mountain, valley to valley, desert to desert, buffet to buffet. Everyday was a story. Now, everything is complicated. I have a schedule, whereas before we were in charge of ourselves. If we were late packing up camp, it didn’t matter. We only walked longer into the night. Now if I have a problem, I have to solve it. And there is always many different ways to do so. Before if we had a problem,  we would just keep walking. Walking solved everything. Lost and map-less? Just keep walking. Hungry and out of food? Just keep walking. Cold and hankering for a buffet? Just keep walking…You could always walk your way out of trouble. You cannot do that in an office.

Summit of Font Mountain. It's a bit nicer than the office. Just a smidge.

Summit of Font Mountain. It’s a bit nicer than the office. Just a smidge.

Although A DoorStep Adventure is over for myself and Jake, it’s affect on us is not.  I still have some trail mentality:

1.Distance means nothing. Having someone tell me it’s “within walking distance”, only means that there isn’t an ocean between here and there. Does that mean it’s a block away? Or should I start preparing food drops and sawing the end of my toothbrush off to save weight? In the past, I always liked buying local produce, but now when I see a red pepper from Mexico, it’s local – as it’s within walking distance.

2. I always finish everything on my plate. No matter what. I struggle not licking my dinner plate everyday as I don’t think the hoity toity heli-skiing guests would approve. What a waste!

3. Whenever given the chance, always eat bacon. If you ever find yourself walking across a country, you’ll remember all the times in your life when you didn’t and you will regret it (I still regret not eating more at my sisters wedding 15 years ago). Dearly!

4. I talk to myself. Loudly. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t just squirrels and cows listening any more. People are judging…

5. I savour talking to people. Like the quote from Into the Wild, “True happiness is meant to be shared”. 5. I struggle not being able to go to the bathroom everywhere. Toilets are just so inconvenient.

6. I miss binge eating…

Glorious Spam! There aren't many instances in life where you can walk to a gas station and buy a can of spam, bucket of ice cream, chips, chocolate bars, pineapple (to keep up the

Glorious Spam! There aren’t many instances in life where you can walk to a gas station and buy a can of spam, bucket of ice cream, chips, chocolate bars, pineapple (to keep up the “pretence” of being healthy), pop, and a bag of sour patch kids. Gobble them all down and still hike another 20 km. Ahhh those were the days…

Although this adventure is over, there will still be plenty to come. One of particular interest would be following the Divide North from Jasper to the Alaska Highway. Maybe one day… Until next time – Happy Adventuring Everyone!

This is what happens when you lose a bet on the trail.

This is what happens when you lose a bet on the trail.

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The World At Our Feet – Thank You Mr. Covey!

Bob Covey was determined. At first we were reluclant, but eventually he charmed us with drinks at a pub in Banff and the interview was only going to be half an hour.  However, time soon flew and we didn’t leave until a couple hours later in a buzzed state (it may have only been a couple drinks, but our current hiking state has put our tolerance at the pre-teen level). Nevertheless, when the recent Jasper Local came out, we had to admit – Mr.Covey had done a fine job! You can find the artical here: http://www.thejasperlocal.com/the-world-at-their-feet.html

A Short Interlude

Sometimes even grand adventures require a couple days off. Especially if it’s for a family wedding!

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Liam’s sister getting married in Peachland! She is now Mrs. Conti. I asked, but Johnny unfortunately is not related to this Conti…drat!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4BB1TZcO_o

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Not a bad location, eh?

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The new family.

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Even Liam’s dad got dressed up for the occasion.

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Heading back to the trail after a whirlwind three days in the “Northern Lands”. Saying goodbye to Aunty Bear Bears and Liam’s Dad. Liam and Jake would like to wish Rebecca and Johnny a happy marriage!

 

 

 

Cheers to All!

Cheers to the adventure thus far – the good, the bad, the hard, and the easy. To fire-starter tainted food, to rationing, to gluttony. To over-packing, bushwhacking, trail breaking, falling in tree wells, stinking socks, and lingering bad smells. To highway marching, river fording, rain and sunshine. To crevasses, avalanches, early mornings, and noon naps. To bickering, laughter, and frustration. And of course, to ski boot tromping and grass/mud skiing. And cheers to the adventures yet to come…

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