Archive for May 23rd, 2014

This is a post from almost three years ago, when I was asked if I would like to go on an overnight hike with my daughter’s Outdoor Education class. Since she left yesterday on an overnight canoe and hike trip (without me this time) I thought I would do a bit of reflecting on this memory.

Do you ever say ‘yes’ to to a request, and then say to yourself “what the … heck was I thinking?” (pretty much the theme of MY life). Well, that is where this blog post is going …

A few weeks ago, I said, “yes” to my daughter, when she asked if I could go on a hike with her Outdoor Education class. My calendar looked like it would be a possibility (if I could get one day off), and I love walking, so the challenge of hiking and camping sounded splendid!

Then, after not hearing any more about it, I discovered they NEEDED me, as there was no other ‘female’ adult available … Yikes, talk about feel a combination of important and … last straw drawn. And they needed me so badly that they were willing to get a sub for me. When they put their money where their needs are, you know it’s not really you, it’s your availability!

So, Tuesday, enroute to our destination, I learned the POA (Plan Of Action), for the next two days …

Drive to Chilliwack (a little over an hours drive, in the handy, dandy school bus).

Hike for one hour (no sweat!).

Set up camp, on platforms (sounds civilized enough).

Hike for another three to four hours (okay, I am up for the challenge).

Cook dinner (best part of the trip … with all those calories burned, I can eat anything).

Play games, have a camp fire, toast marshmallows, make s’mores (who wouldn’t want to say ‘yes’ to all this?).

Sleep in tent (okay, this is the … ‘iffy’ part for me … genetically. You see, way back, in the dark ages … when I was a kid, my family went camping … once! We borrowed all the equipment, drove to the campsite, set up tent, roasted our weenies, swam in the lake, got ready for bed, and … were packed up, drove home, and in our own beds, by midnight! (But, I digress …)

Wake up, eat breaky, pack up, hike for an hour and drive back to the school.

Easy peasy!

Okay, let me just say, after the fact, that when you get your ‘POA’ … ALWAYS take into account who it is (ie. their reference point) that is delivering your POA …YOU might see things a little differently … Mr. Outdoor Ed. loves hiking, and does so whenever possible … he’s planning on doing the West Coast Trail, in a few years … 75km!

So, the bus drive was great! I love to be the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’ and listen as fourteen year-olds discuss their lives, their friends, their parents (and yes, for a fee, I might be willing to share what I’ve learned), their teachers (same cost applies), and each other.

The first one hour hike … hum, to quote one website … the trail climbs 300m in elevation … NOT easy peasy! But I did it (with the tenacity of Rocky Balboa)!

The lake (Lindeman Lake), where we pitched our tents was like a miniature of Lake Louise … The water so clear, so aqua green, so cold (as a few teens discovered when they, or their tootsies, got a little too close … made for interesting campfire times).

And, speaking of campfire times … notice the sign to the far left … now notice the picture to the right of it … enough said 😉

Back to the campsite … it was here that I discovered, to my shock, and amazement, that a shovel was a needed tool to go potty! Yikes, and this news coming into the ears of a girl who is scared of outhouses!

Then we parted for hike number two of the day. It started pretty mellow … along the lake, beautiful mountain views, a few spots where one had to watch where one was stepping so as not to wet their tootsies … and … then … it … changed … ALOT! See the picture to the right, we hiked all along this area, and, as I look at it now … this picture does not do the rocky trail justice! It was a harrowing hike (I was so mentally and physically challenged by it, I forgot to keep looking around for snakes, cougars and bears). After this part, we ended up in the forest, via a few logs carelessly floating in the water (and thanks to the tree limbs that helped to balance us). Then … we … took … the … same … path … back ! And not one aged, out of shape, saggy momma was lost in the hiking of this trail!

The dinner part went great! The games went great! The campfire went great! And the s’mores … a m a z i n g !

The night went of forever. It rained … fast, hard, slow, intermittently … all night long (if you’ve read many of my previous posts, you’ll know that I hate rain when I am snug and cozy in my house … so, in a tent …). In the morning, it stopped 🙂

And we had breakfast 🙂

And we packed up, lickety split 🙂

And we put out our last fantastic fire 🙂

And … I used the shovel 😦

And then we began our descent to our waiting bus. And, let me tell you, if I communicated that up was challenging, down makes up look like a walk in the park! I only fell once, and the skin will re-grow over that area of my knee in no time.

In the end, I got to spend about thirty hours with fantastic, well behaved, energetic, musical (LOUD), entertaining, teens. They shared their food, their camping goods, their clothes and their toilet paper with anyone with a need. They all took part in ensuring that the bus was spic and span clean. They all said good-bye, and thanks to their teacher, and even to this mom.

And not one teacher, student, or mom was lost in this hiking and camping adventure.

I’m so glad I said, “yes.”

And, in the immortal words, sung to music (and by all thirteen teens in the bus heading back to the school), by Nellie Furtado …

“Come to an end, come to an

Why do all good things come to an end?”

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