Another long weekend has come and gone. I just love long weekends. They are the best! Even for someone who isn’t working in the traditional sense, long weekends are awesome! I know some people think that since I am laid off, I am just living the weekend all the time. But really that’s just the “joke”. The weeks are still filled with pressure to be productive, to get things off the “to do” list, look for a job, try to figure out what I am doing with my life, what is my purpose… and on and on….
But weekends, are glorious!
Wade decided we should go to Jasper, Alberta camping. I guess I passed the test well enough on our sorta camping during our little road trip adventure a few weeks ago (What we’ve been up to: Part 2 – USA Adventures), and because I am trying to embrace this mountains outdoors thing, I said, “yah let’s do it.” (Mostly because I wanted to use my new SPORK!)
Since we decided to go on this adventure last minute, there were no camp sites open to book for the whole weekend. We found one for Thursday night and decided to wing it! Turns out there are a fair amount of camp sites in Alberta that are first come first serve to book. Lucky for us! Thursday evening we arrived at our booked for one night only site at the Wabasso Campground. Their tent sites are great! We had this beautiful spot with the river near by, we basically wished we could stay there forever!
We had an enjoyable evening, where I crushed setting up the tent by myself (like a pro, or that’s debatable, but a success in the end) and Wade made a fire. The next morning we packed up camp and made the 40 minutes drive over to Snaring Campground. Snaring is a first come first serve campground and those “checking out” are to do so by 11 am. We arrived there around 10ish and there were plenty of people like us trying to claim a spot. We creeped around the campground like 5 times failing to find a spot up for grabs or where people were packing up.
There is a section of Snaring that is “walk-in” camping. Which basically means park you car in a little lot and carry all your camping gear 500 meters or so to a spot. We parked and decided to go take a look. Unfortunately, didn’t seem to find a spot. Just when we were about to give up and sadly go to the overflow spot (which is basically a large open space where you can pitch your tent for a night uncomfortably), we decided to make one last pass through the “walk-in” sites. I decided to creep more closely on people by checking their registration tags for the date they had registered to. Much to our excitement we found one! Now just to wait patiently for them to drink their coffee and pack up.
We claimed our spot got registered and then it was time to start lugging all our stuff over. This was a perfect example of Crossfit benefitting my life. If it were not for Crossfit I would have hated this task! But because of Crossfit, Wade and I simply loaded up and crushed carrying everything over, like it was “for time”. All weekend we watched people go by struggling to carry all their stuff, making a million trips!
So, I don’t know if you know but Jasper is Bear country. Like for real, there are bears. Lots of them. I am for real scared of bears. Turns out Alberta has lots of bear country (things I am learning). Camping in bear country means being very careful with anything smelly or food. I won’t bore you with all the things Wade taught me about camping in bear country, but I will say this, it’s serious business and I did everything possible to help keep bears away! 🙂
Friday was super beautiful and sunny! Once our site was all set up, we made breakfast and then headed into Jasper for our white water rafting adventure! I had never gone white water rafting before, and Wade had never done it in Canada. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared. In complete truth, I don’t think I would have even gone if Wade hadn’t signed us up and paid already. The whole bus ride out to where we launch I was just nervous. I don’t know when it happened that things like this make me nervous instead of excited. As a kid I was fearless. Ready and up for whatever all the time.
Side Story: On the bus ride for rafting, we also saw a giant black bear. It walked straight up to the highway, ignoring all the people stopped watching it (out of their cars, idiot’s) and taking pictures and then simply crossed the road, disappearing into the bushes on the other side.
Needless to say, I had a blast! (Whose surprised?!) It was so much fun! Bouncing around over rapids, getting splashed with legitimately the coldest water imaginable. I was giggling like a little boy when someone farts! It was awesome! Wade and I sat in the very front seats for the first half and just got drenched! I have never heard Wade make such a high pitched squeal, which only made me laugh harder! I wish I had some picture to share, I bet our faces were priceless!
Other than Friday the days were pretty cloudy and had on and off rain. But we didn’t care we just made food, had camp fires and enjoyed being outside. We even went to town and had a beer while it was raining at the Jasper Brewing Company. We sat on the patio under an umbrella and people watched.
On Sunday we drove up to Miette. We decided it was hiking day! The Miette Hot Springs has a couple great hikes near by. On the drive in we were going down a narrow road when the car in front of use slowed right down and a mama bear and a cub hopped out of the bushes onto the road. It was crazy. I was SO GLAD I was in a car. Stunned I fumbled around trying to grab the camera so Wade could try to take a picture. Unfortunately, that was a fail. The mamma bear and cub quickly went back into the bushes.
When we arrive at Miette Hot Springs area, and we start gearing up for our hike, all I can think about is bears. We just saw a mom and cubs, we saw a bear on Friday going rafting… I did not want to run into a bear on the hiking trail. As we putting on our boots, a lady goes jogging by, minutes later she jobs by again the other way, stating, “there’s a mamma bear and cubs like 2 minutes down that path…I’m out!” My jaw drops and I just stare at Wade. Like for real? We are going to go hike now?! Long story short we did go hike. (In a different direction than the jogger.) It was called Sulphur Ridge, 8km of basically straight up!
I did my best to keep up with Wade (long legs and power hiker). The hike chart said round trip should take 4-5 hours. Wade and I did it in like 3 hours with a little stop at the top. I was sweaty, until the top, it was VERY cold on top! Wade basically had a one way conversation the whole time trying to make noise (to warn bears we were coming), but I couldn’t talk and hike that pace at the same time. It was kinda funny. A long Wade monologue, interrupted with short breathy one word answers from me!
The top was a good scramble and the way down nice and steep. This is where I realized how much ROMWOD (if you don’t know what that is you should check it out, I would recommend it to anyone, not just Crossfitters!) is helping my life! Normally the way down on hikes for me is just brutal. My knees hate it and my hips struggle! But on this hike, I was crushing the down! My hips felt the best they probably ever have hiking! (There’s lot to say about me and hiking… you can check out some previous posts:finding hiking…)
Unfortunately, my heels are still not in agreement with the hiking thing. I have tried, liners, duck tape, mole skin, 2 pairs of socks, socks that are dual liner and sock, multiple types of hiking socks… still I get bad blisters. I guess it’s time to give up on these only a year old hiking boots, cuz I am out of ideas and they should be broken in by now!
After our hike, we ate a nice lunch and then went to the hot springs.Nothing like taking in some fresh mountain air and gorgeous views while soaking the muscles! Not to mention we hadn’t showered since Wednesday… 😉
That evening we made another amazing dinner at our camp site and enjoyed a fire.
Monday we packed up camp, crushed another “for time” carry of all the things and hit the highway home.
I had such a great time! I really did enjoy this legit camping experience. Drinking coffee in the mornings outside in the fresh mountain air, siting by a camp fire, using my spork and just being. It was wonderful…
… on to the next adventure.