Life Lessons: Living in the moment

HiiiI! How are you? I hope your weekend was awesome and you’re feeling ready to tackle a new work week.  I’ll tell ya, I felt like the luckiest (mountain) girl in the world on Monday morning driving back to Kananaskis after spending the weekend in the city. I don’t know if it’s ever going to truly sink in that I live here. Unbelievable.

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We need to talk about how ridiculous my suitcase was.  (I brought a suitcase with me. Deal with it.)

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Yes that’s my blender… and a tub of protein powder…cookbooks… and clothing for every possible situation: lounging, going out, working out, etc.  I can explain! I had plans to do a major food prep on Sunday and I needed my blender’s help. (Omg, can you imagine if I traveled like this all the time?)

Back to what I was saying. Living in the mountains is teaching me to stay present. (It’s hard not to be, when you’re constantly amazed by your physical surroundings.) When I moved out here, I had no idea what my life was going to be like, leaving me no choice but to take it one day at a time. Since then, everything has been a surprise and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process of ‘letting life reveal itself to me’ rather than trying to plan everything.

Besides, we usually end up getting something BETTER than we thought we wanted or “deserved”. 

Up until this past year, staying present had always been a major challenge for me.   I used to waste so much time over-analyzing and anticipating the future. Maybe it’s because I instinctively knew I was being re-directed to something entirely different and wanted to accelerate the process, but there was also a period  where it seriously freaked me out. I used to think:

a. There was something wrong with me: if I couldn’t be happy with my circumstances and “ideal” life (that most people would kill for, by the way) then I’d never be happy. Maybe I was chasing a non-existent, illusive dream?
b. I didn’t deserve it.

Oh my, how times have changed.   How have you struggled with ‘staying present’ in the past (or currently)? What kinds of reminders do you use to get back on track?

I want to talk about a cookie now.  A #grainfree #glutenfree #PALEO breakfast cookie that I ate at the farmers market over the weekend.  A blend of coconut and almond flour, shredded coconut, honey, nuts & seeds, it was everything you could possibly want in a Paleo treat and I need to re-create them!  As luck would have it, Chelsea JUST posted a cookie recipe that seems extremely similar. Hooray!

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Wanna see the farmers market haul? Yes you do.

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Eggs, chicken sausages, HONEYCRISP APPLES (!!!), lettuce, sprouts, herbs, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, raw honey, almond butter and coconut cashew butter. Holla.  Oh, and figs that tasted like nothing. Any time I’ve  attempted to eat imported figs, I’m thoroughly disappointed and enraged.

Lady friends! I have a ‘fashion’ piece to share with you. Have you heard of FIG Clothing? They’re a Canadian company (woo!) and their pieces are incredibly soft, warm and comfortable.  I had a credit to use at a local store and after much debate, selected the newly released ‘Chalet ALF 10 615′  hoodie in red. I kind of surprised myself with this color choice. Red is my least favorite color, but I like that it makes me look like Little Red Riding Hood, so yeah. Look at me, trying new things.

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Name three things you bought during your last farmers market visit:

Tell me about your weekend! Funnest thing you did?

What’s the last paleo thing you ate? 

Smoothie Bowls: Genius or Stupid?

The highlight of my week so far has been evening {fall} runs. I can’t get over how warm it’s been – I’ve been wearing  shorts and tank top during late September. In the mountains!

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I can’t run long distances yet (if you’re new here, I’m recovering from a pelvic stress fracture), but THRILLED to be able to incorporate short bursts.  After spending the past few months crying and walking with a limp, (my coworkers have their impressions of me down to a T)  I’m  happy to be able to move again.

To satisfy the running beast, I’ve been ‘warming up’ on a cardio machine for 30 mins, then finishing my workouts with a 15-20 minute run/walk.

And, to celebrate the official arrival of fall, here’s a classic foliage + boots shot.

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Confession: One of my favorite Canmore pastimes is going into Rocky Mountain Soap Company to wash, exfoliate and moisturize my hands. I love their products!  They’re local, chemical-free and work great. {Their tea tree oil blemish stick, salt scrub and avocado soap are my favorites.}

Sometimes I think I should get a part time job there so I can exfoliate my hands all day. 

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This piece on The Truth about “True Love”

A few highlights:

“Most people who are looking for love “out there” are actually just running away from loneliness. They constantly settle for less than what they want, and less than what they deserve, because their greatest fear is to be alone, grow old alone and die alone.

The truth is that real love requires real inner work that most people just aren’t interested in. It requires that we first be happy in our solitude; that we come to know ourselves, accept ourselves and love ourselves. We have to find our peace of mind, find our purpose, our passion, our joie de vivre.

It requires that we lay down the ego’s defenses and be naked and vulnerable; that we give up our planning and fantasizing about the future and live in the Now. Only then are we really ready to love. When you fully grasp that tomorrow is not guaranteed—that this moment is truly all that we have—there is nothing to do but give everything you’ve got, expecting nothing in return.”

Nailed it!  

Guess who went to a Brazilian BBQ and ordered the salad bar option instead of the all-you-can-eat meat fest?  Now THAT’S a snack plate.

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Another share-worthy meal I recently enjoyed…

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Eggs, fruit, Nature’s Path Chia waffle topped with honey butter, banana and crushed pecans. Good stuff. This was my pre-adventure fuel last Saturday.

Have you ever made a smoothie bowl?  I had one for dinner last night!  Sometimes my smoothies turn out so thick I gotta eat ‘em with a spoon.

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In the mix:

Tons of rainbow chard. Like a LOT.
Frozen banana & cherries
Peanut butter
Unsweetened almond milk
Ice
Scoop of North Coast Naturals fermented l-glutamine
Scoop of North Coast Naturals chocolate whey protein

Topped with coconut and Nature’s Path Qia ‘cereal’ for a little added crunch.  I can’t decide if smoothie bowls are dumb.

What’s your MUST HAVE smoothie ingredient? Okay, lets choose 3.  Leafy greens, frozen banana and PB.

Have you switched your wardrobe to fall yet?

Tell me about THE highlight of your week so far! 

So Long, Summer

I’ve mentioned this a few times during my adventure recaps, but I’ve been working my way through a {mountain} bucket list with a friend.  We’ve accomplished SO MUCH in a relatively short period of time that we’ve started compiling a new one.

Since the beginning of August, we’ve:

-Gone canoeing on Emerald Lake in BC and visited Peyto Lake
-Climbed Ha Ling
-Took a road trip along the Kananaskis Trail (Highway 40)
-Hiked Troll Falls and hung out at Barrier Lake
-Ate 543 donuts from Jelly Modern, along with several restaurants in Canmore, Banff and Calgary
-Hiked Centennial Ridge
-Cycled the Legacy Trail to Banff
-Road tripped down to Montana via the Going to the Sun Road, and stayed at a secluded cabin in the woods
-Explored Waterton Lakes National Park (Bears Hump, Red Rock Canyon, hot dogs)

…. I feel like I’m forgetting a few things, but this past weekend, we successfully conquered more bucket list items.  (I just laughed out loud remembering the time my boss exclaimed, “What the hell is an adventure bucket list?!)

One of the things I’ve been dying to do since moving to Canmore is accessing Kananaskis Country via the Smith-Dorien-Spray Lakes route from Canmore. It’s a gravel back country road that takes you away from the tourist crowds and deep into the heart of K-Country. After this weekend, my love for the Canadian Rockies has been solidified. I now understand why people become so attached to Kananaskis. It feels different – compared to Banff, or even Canmore. It’s a very unique kind of mountain magic.

Give me a wild back country experience over “Banff”, any day.  There’s SO much to see and do around here that I have very little desire to re-visit the same places until I’ve DONE IT ALL.

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‘The plan’ for this mini-road trip was to hike to Rawson Lake via Upper Kananaskis Lake, but not before stopping to take photos every five minutes or so.

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When traveling with pets and/or small children, sometimes you have to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks, or to let them burn off some energy. That’s what being friends with me is like. The urge to run crept up on me once we hit Peter Lougheed Provincial park.

“STOP! Let me out, I gotta run!”

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I couldn’t help myself. For one, I’m anxious to get back into  regular running again, and two, I’ve been reading Born To Run and want to become an ultra-runner. Haha!

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Upper Kananaskis Lake

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The trail from upper Kananaskis Lake to Rawson Lake is a fantastic trail run. After a hop, skip and a jump over a waterfall, we were on our way to the top.

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Quite possibly the worst photo ever, but here I am pretending to be a Tarahumara tribe runner.
I wanted to run the entire way, but then the elevation kicked in and my body said No.

This is what we were greeted with at the end of the trail.

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It’s alright I guess. ;) I can think of worse places to eat a Quest bar at.  Round trip, it took us a little under three hours. This is a hike I’d like to take my family on at some point, if they ever visit me.

Sunday was a little more laid back.

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I wore a ‘mountain girl’ outfit (fall boots!!) and sunned myself at Quarry Lake.

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Remember when Lauren and I used to spend our days eating fruit, jumping into the lake and swimming? Even though it was 25C out on Sunday, the water feels significantly colder than it did earlier this summer. I was too much of a wimp to jump in more than once.

That was my weekend. I’m tired and sunburned (again).

How did you say ‘so long’ to summer?

Do you like trail running? Will you join my Death Race relay team?

Tell me about the last outdoor adventure you went on.

 

Getting Back At It!

You know who I haven’t talked about in quite some time? My boyfriend and the love of my life, the Blendtec. Remember when we moved out to the Rockies together?   It was just the two of us against the world.  We’ve been through a lot – from living in a hotel to surviving our first Rocky Mountain winter…. we’re still going strong, by the way. We share a bond that can’t be broken.

There are certain things in life you can’t cheap out on: coffee, chocolate, makeup (with the exception of Maybelline Colossal mascara – THE BEST), workout gear and blenders.  Once you make the switch to a good quality blender, your entire life expands in ways you never thought possible.

One of the Blendtec’s features is ‘Juice’ and I needed some plant power nutrition earlier this week to help me battle a demon virus.

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I used to have a juicer and frequently made green concoctions so I wasn’t sure how my boyfriend would compare to the real deal.

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In the mix: half a cucumber, a carrot, a couple handfuls of Earthbound Farms Power Green mix, apple, strawberries, juice of one lemon and about a cup of water. It had a little bit of texture (think orange juice with pulp) but it could easily be eliminated by running it through an extra cycle. (I’ve always added some of the plant fiber and chia seeds back into my homemade brews, anyways.)

I took a sick day this week and spent the majority of my time off sleeping and recovering. It was awesome. The sick part, not so much, but the extra sleep was amazing.  On Wednesday, I spent 12 hours in bed napping, reading and watching Mad Men.

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I went for a short walk around my ‘neighbourhood’ too.  It was 25C out! Last week it was 0C with two feet of snow on the ground. Crazy mountain weather.

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I’ve been meaning to share this with you guys for a couple weeks now, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I mentioned I’m sloooowly easing my way back into running again. My primary care Doctor is also a sports medicine practitioner (how did I get so lucky?) and not only did they refer me to a physiotherapy clinic that specializes in rehabilitating athletes, but gave me the green light to start incorporating some slower, easy, mostly flat runs.

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I’ve been running laps around my “neighbourhood”. (if you ever come to visit me, you’ll understand why I put that in quotations. My condo is in a weird location.)

There’s a certain primal instinct and sensation within me that only running can satisfy.   Runners – can you relate? It’s difficult to put into words and at best, can describe it as something I absolutely NEED to do. It purifies and recharges my mind and body, leaving me feeling incredibly powerful and grounded.

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If you’re wondering how I took these photos – I set a self timer app. Not only do you get blog photo content, but it’s a good way to analyze your gait and how your feet are striking the ground.  (Side note – I’m SO out of shape but I’ll get back to where I used to be. Right now, I’m feeling like a clydesdale instead of an F16.)

…… Can we talk about this one? HAHAHAHA. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY LEGS.

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I HOPE that’s what I always look like when I’m running. Hey, have you ever purchased the professional photos of yourself from a race? I haven’t, but the proofs always crack me up because I look so mad in  them. I want to start an album of angry running photos.

Fall has arrived in my mountain paradise. Check out these views from yesterday’s commute to work.

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I’m going to be adventuring around Kananaskis Country all weekend and I can’t wait to take some fall snap shots. My plans include a scenic drive from Canmore to upper Kananaskis Lake, hiking to Rawson Lake, eating, sleeping, and enjoying a beach day at Barrier Lake. I’m so excited I’m about to lose bladder control.

I’ll see ya next week. I hope you have a great weekend! <3

What are some of your essential splurge-worthy items and non-negotiables? <– is that a word? The red squiggly line says no.

Has fall arrived in your area? What’s one of favorite things about fall BESIDES pumpkin? Flannel lumberjack pajamas. Carb loading for winter.

 

Life Lately. What I’ve been eating (and wearing)

New favourite work game: sending instant chats to coworkers that say “You’re welcome” and basking in the glorious confusion that follows.

 

It’s perfect, really. Try it sometime! (And let me know what happens)

Hi! How are you? Summer has returned to the Rockies and I couldn’t be happier.  I took Monday afternoon off because I had a Doctors appointment and was thrilled to be treated to blue skies and sunshine.

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Things have been kind of quiet in my life lately, but I wanted to pop in quickly to say hello and I miss you.

I spent last weekend in the city eating. That’s it. Eat, sleep, repeat.

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I went to The Coup for falafel quesadillas and was devastated to learn they no longer serve ‘em on weekends. (BUT WHY? THEY’RE THE BEST THING ON THE MENU.) I asked if I could still order them and they said no. :(

Instead, I got a “Mexican’ inspired wrap that had beans, avocado, eggs, sprouts and salsa with a side of rosemary hashbrowns. I shared a zucchini ribbon and kale salad with my friend, too.

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Another fun meal I enjoyed during my stay in the city was this spread:

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Wine, salad, tortilla chips + guacamole, bison salami, brie, olives, hummus and pitas stuffed with lebneh, zaatar and cucumber. I made the “mistake” of calling them ‘fun burritos’ and my friend said if I ever call it a burrito again, they’ll be-head me.

(1. They’re Arab and allowed to say that. 2. That sounds like a challenge and I accept.)

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Burrito, burrito, burrito. So long sweet friends. It was nice knowing you. :)   Will you come to my funeral?

Look!

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Oh yes I did. Nike sweats. There’s just something about that swoosh and vintage font that makes my heart sing. I’m about due for a new pair of Free Runs.

I’m so mad that I just had to change out of my sweats and into jeans. I hate living.

What’s the best thing you ate last weekend?  Even better, tell me about the best vegetarian meal you’ve had.

What are you known for at work? I’m known for a few things: being smiley, fun, and… the best one of all: ‘such a little shit’. I don’t mind it.

Do you hate wearing pants? Yes you do.

Life is giving you what you need practice in.

Yo!

It’s Fridaaaaay. What are you up to this weekend?

So, you may have heard that we received a bit of snow out west. It’s crazy to think that last weekend, I was wearing shorts and a tank top. A day later, a bunch of snow clouds (yes that’s a real thing… that I just made up) dumped two feet of snow on us.

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I got stuck in a three hour traffic jam on the Trans Canada. There were semis and cars losing control and ending up in ditches or blocking the lanes so no one could get through. After the storm passed, I woke up to a Christmas card scene on Thursday morning.

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I WISH you could see how magnificent the mountains look. They were pink! (Even though my iPhone says otherwise).  The snow melted later on in the day, leaving behind snow-capped Rockies. I love it. It makes them look even more spectacular.

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I live here and don’t mind it one bit.  If I didn’t live in the mountains, I’m not sure that I could handle winter.  Did I tell you I tried to persuade Glenn into a winter suicide pact? Yep.

I made him feel confused with that one. “Ummm, Joanna, I was thinking maybe moving to Mexico would be a better idea…”
Me: “I’m going to make us poisonous kombucha”
Glenn: “I’m not going to drink it, but you can.”
Me: “Will you come to my funeral? Will you make sure David does the eulogy?”

Well, it snowed and I’m still here so I think I’m going to make it. Even though I’m SUCH a summer person, I’m starting to get excited about snowshoeing and snowboarding adventures.   My new roommate (they’re moving in next month) is friends with a local snowboarding instructor and he’s going to teach us. AND LIKE IT.  I’m not sure if he knows about this plan yet, but he will soon.

Speaking of roommates, my current one (aka. Lauren) left me this sweet surprise earlier in the week.

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I think she got confused and assumed I was already dead. I put them next to my casket bedside.

Look at us. We’re mountain girls!

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OH MY GOODNESS, I haven’t told you about this adventure. Lauren and I were out walking when we noticed a canine on someone’s lawn.

Me: “Hey look at that cute dog!”
Lauren: “THAT IS NOT A DOG”
Me: “It looks kind of wild… like a mixed breed”
Lauren: “THAT IS NOT A DOG”
Me: “Oh, I know! It’s a coyote!”
LAUREN: “YEAH,  THAT IS NOT A DOG”

… and then we stood there for four hours looking at it.

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A few minutes later, we spotted a herd of elk crossing the Bow River.

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Yep, the rumours are true. Canada is disgusting.

It’s happening again. Another one of my blog posts is spiralling out of control. I actually have to get ready for work now, so I’m going to leave you with two quotes that I love.

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YES. Even though I “know” I’m on track, I still have moments where I question it. “Am I really doing it right? What could or should I be doing differently, if anything?”

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This one is perfect, and such a great measure. I think back to times where I felt confused, fearful, irrational and anxious and it’s because I wasn’t listening to my internal compass. Do you remember last winter when I lost my voice for several weeks? Oh friends, do I have a story to share about that. Not yet though. At least not on the blog.

What do you think you’re receiving practice in RIGHT NOW? 

Do you have a dog? What’s your favourite breed? I’ve always wanted a Golden Retriever!!! I want a mountain adventure companion. :(

Do you like winter? Anyone?

WIAW: Fun Food!

Hellooooo friends! How are ya? How’s your week going?  My body feels like it’s completely recovered from my latest adventure, but I still need to take it easy this week. I woke up with swollen glands in my throat this morning. No!!! I’m hoping it’s just some sort of auto-immune/gluten poisoning disorder and not a cold or anything.

My WIAW contribution is featuring hiking fuel, plus a few fun things I ate (and bought) during my trip to Montana.   I kinda feel like I should be ashamed for all of the non-healthy living things I’m about to show you.  But I’m not.


 

Lets get to it!

We found a southern BBQ restaurant in Whitefish and I became really excited when I saw Hush Puppies and fried okra on the menu.  I’m a sheltered Canadian, and it’s rare to find anything other than whale blubber and maple syrup in restaurants.

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Plus some fried chicken. Okra is so fun to eat. It’s gooey. Did you know it’s part of the marshmallow root family? Yep. That’s why it’s gooey. And fun. (OMG, did a five year old just write that?!)

Which reminds me. Did I ever tell you about the time my BFF Ryan said, “I like your blog when you don’t talk about food. Or working out.” Thanks bud. 

Canadian friends, I know you can relate to this one.  AMERICAN GROCERY STORES. I honestly think this is my favourite thing about traveling to the US. At this particular grocery store, I picked up Alive & Radiant kale chips ($5 a bag instead of $9), KERRYGOLD BUTTER (insert ALL the #Paleo hashtags), kombucha that I haven’t tried before, jalapeño hummus, probiotics…. oh, and some unpictured vanilla espresso almond butter.

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Chobani (remember my love affair with them? And how they wouldn’t come to my party? Or Canada?), Justin’s almond butter (plain and maple), all of the GT’s kombucha flavours you can’t find in Canada. New favourite is passion berry, by the way.

Moving along… 

I’m going to share some of the things I devoured this past weekend.  This was my pre-hike breakfast on Saturday morning.

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Eggs on toast, avocado, tomatoes.

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A couple hours into the climb, a cookies & cream Quest bar.  (What’s your favourite Quest bar flavour?)

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A chicken and avocado sandwich. I don’t like to sit down and eat a proper meal while climbing. I prefer to fuel as needed.

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‘Trail Mix’ – pecans, cashews and…. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Haha!

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Post hike pizza. There was a salad and wine on the side too.

The next morning…

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Apple berry breakfast crumble and a breakfast panini from Communitea. (I shared this with a friend, by the way. I’m not THAT gluttonous.)

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Uh, this would be a burger featuring PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM. From Eddie burger in Banff. I loved it! It’s a sweet & savoury combo lovers dream come true.

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A park in Banff. Just because. :)

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Cows ice cream. I can’t remember what flavour this was. It had chocolate chips and salted toffee swirls in it though.  I wasn’t even in the mood for ice cream, but we were in Banff and Cows ice cream is amazing, so I ate it anyway.

And this is why I probably have a sore throat and feel under the weather.  Hahaha. I don’t eat like this everyday. I eat pretty healthy during the week and tend to live it up a bit on weekends. I think it all balances out.

Are you a fan of sweet & savoury combos? 

What kinds of food do you pack for hiking/exploring the outdoors? 

Favorite fried food?  I’m gonna go with onion rings. Or sweet potato fries.

“Why would they do that?!” – Hiking Centennial Trail

I climbed a mountain on Saturday.   If we ever meet in real life, I should probably make you aware of the fact that I’m not to be trusted when it comes to hiking adventures. I have a tendency to make it seem like we’re going for a leisurely stroll in the forest, and before you know it, we’re summiting a mountain.

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The view from the Centennial trailhead.  

I’ll always remember the time my Dad yelled, “I should’ve known what was going to happen when you told me the “TRAIL” was called Table MOUNTAIN. I’m just going to lay here and wait for you to finish climbing to the top!” And he did.

Have I told you that I’ve been working my way through an adventure bucket list this past summer?  One of the things on the list was Centennial Trail and summiting Mt. Allen in Kananaskis Country.  Not only is it the highest maintained trail in the Canadian Rockies, but one of the most challenging hikes  in the area. During the climb, approximately 4500ft of elevation is gained, putting you close to 10,000ft once you reach the top.

I did a little bit of research beforehand and I don’t know if it’s because I can’t read or follow instructions, but when I read that it takes 10 hours return, I thought that meant the trail in it’s entirety.  I guess most people start at the Ribbon Creek trailhead, summit Mt. Allen and turn around.  We chose the longer route, starting near Dead Mans Flats and ending near Nakiska Ski Hill.

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The first 2.5 hours were in the trees. Once we ascended past the tree line, we were greeted by this view. Whoa.

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Based on my (incorrect) calculations, I thought it should take us five hours MAX to hike from my house, through alpine meadows and then just a hop skip and a jump over the mountain. Nope.

I started getting a little nervous when, at 5.5 hours in, were JUST making it to the top of Mt. Allen and realizing, uh oh, now we have to descend this F@!$*&. And it’s 4:30pm. And we’re quickly losing daylight hours. OH SHIT.   Maybe I miscalculated our time.  Sorry about that?

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Three Sisters! They looked so small.

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It looks cold, but it wasn’t. It was around 20-22C with absolutely no wind. (It snowed a few days before on the mountain peaks).

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The first thing we saw at the top of Mt. Allen was a raven. It was equally creepy and magical.

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The top! Hello, world! 

I don’t know about you, but my reaction to summiting mountains is always, “WOW I DID IT! Now get me off this rock!”  By this point I’m usually so mentally and physically fatigued that I start feeling cranky and annoyed. And hungry. Fantasizing about milkshakes, burgers, pizza, cold beer, a hot bath and my bed.

It was a painful descent. My legs were screaming, I kept randomly falling over (a ghost pushed me!)  and I needed to stop and take Advil.

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Cool rock formations along the trail. I felt like I at Stonehenge. On Mars.

Finally, after 8.5 hours of pushing our bodies and minds to the extreme, we emerged from the forest and into the Ribbon Creek parking lot. I’ve never been so happy to see concrete!  Or Glenn. He picked us up from the side of the road and drove us home because he is a nice man. And my friend.  :)

When Glenn told David (my boss/work companion/life partner/best friend/MAN WHO MADE ME THROW UP) that he was picking us up, David said:
“What? Where are they walking from?”
Glenn: “Joanna’s house”
David: “WHAT? WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?!?!” 

…. he’s right though…. Hahaha!

Before crashing into a glorious death sleep, I fell into this:

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FOOD. ALL OF IT!

I slept for 9 hours, woke up, then rode my bike to Banff on Sunday afternoon. I just don’t stop. Nor do I want to. This might sound weird, but even though I make the most of my free time, I still feel like I’m not doing enough!

I’m sore, covered in bruises, my lips are chapped, I have a sunburn on my chest and I feel like I could sleep for 100 years.   Thumbs up!

What’s the most gruelling thing you’ve ever done?

Name three things you did this past weekend:

 

Labour Day Weekend Travels

WHY HELLO THERE.

Long time no talk. What is up? How’s life? I’m not even sure where to begin with playing catch up. I went on another mini-vacation-adventure for Labour Day weekend, so lets talk about that. (I hope your weekend was lovely, by the way!)

But first, THIS VIEW. Lauren and I went for a romantic evening walk along the Bow River late last week.  Our time together is quickly coming to a close and I want to spend as much time with her as possible until then. (Our jobs are making this nearly impossible though. Boo.)

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Can you believe summer is over? Holy. Time sure flies when you’re having fun. The past few months have been a complete whirlwind of good times with good friends. I’m excited to see what the fall and winter months are going to bring in terms of new chapters. I can sense big changes coming!

Labour Day Weekend. I left the mountains to go to the mountains. A friend and I planned an impromptu last minute getaway to Montana. The original idea was to find a hotel in or near Whitefish and spend our time on the lake, hiking in Glacier National Park and dining. Nope. Instead, we rented an adorable rustic log cabin 25 miles north west of Whitefish in the middle of the woods. No cell service, no wifi, no tv and no people. For the most part, we were completely isolated and disconnected from the world. It was such a treat!

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We spent the majority of the weekend reading, eating, napping and lazing around.  Sometimes doing nothing is wonderful.

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This is what I’m currently reading. I have a hard time putting it down- it’s been a while since I’ve been completely captivated by a book. I highly recommend it!

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One of the highlights of my trip was the drive. I left Canmore on Friday morning at 6:30am, picked up my adventure buddy in Calgary, then headed south to Montana where we traveled along the Going To The Sun Road to our destination.  It’s difficult to describe the experience because  you feel like you’re in a different world. My friend compared it to the planet in Avatar. Pretty much.

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I think we rolled into Whitefish around 3:30pm. After a quick trip to the beach and bite to eat, we headed off to the cabin and basically didn’t surface again until Monday morning.

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Huckleberry waffles, eggs, Applegate chicken sausages

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The next leg of our journey took us to Waterton. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know how much this part of the Rockies means to me. It’s my home, and where a piece of my heart resides.

My adventure companion had never been and we were short on time, so I gave them a brief but action-packed tour of the park featuring all of the must-see and do Waterton experiences.

-We climbed Bears Hump

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-Cameron Lake (it was too cold and windy to walk around)
-Hot dogs and sweet potato fries from Wieners of Waterton
-Beer
-A stop at the candy and ice cream shops
-Explored Red Rock Canyon, which I was  thrilled to share with my friend.  I have fond memories of calling into work “sick” then spending the day playing in here.

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Considering we were only there four hours, we knocked out a lot of stuff, hey?  I’m so tired from yesterdays loooong travel day. But again, it was worth it. Making memories instead of dreaming is worth losing sleep over. ;)

Tell me about your weekend! What’s been going on in your life lately?

What’s the last book that made your heart sing? 

I’ve hit a new low. Or high.

August 21 2014 was a day that forever changed my life. I don’t know if I’ve achieved a new all-time low… or high… but probably both.

Um…

I laughed so hard at work that I threw up all over my office. I’m dead serious.  It was my coworkers fault! He always makes me laugh uncontrollably and this time, I literally exploded. The best part was when he called another coworker while it was occurring to tell him what was happening. I love that his first thought was, “Hey! I gotta call Cam!” instead of helping me out. You know, like holding my hair and rubbing my back like a good friend SHOULD do.

I am never going to live this one down, am I?

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WHO DOES THIS. I can’t wrap my head around it. I have puked more this summer than I have in my entire life. I am an embarrassment to mankind.

Moving along… a few things I’d like to chat about today:

-Cloudy days in the Rockies are magical. We had a few days that looked like this last week.

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-I’m in love with this new phone case by Louise Androlia. “Making Magic”. Appropriate for me, wouldn’t you say?

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-Weekly dinner date at Nourish with Glenn. We missed a couple weeks there, but we’re back at it! He melted my heart when he came into the office last week and said, “I miss our dates! Can we go to Nourish?” Don’t have to ask me twice.

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“It’s pretty cool that we just finished to work and now we’re driving to Banff to eat ‘the burrito'” I said on the way. Glenn and I feel like the luckiest people in the world.   I laughed so hard when he dropped me off at the end of the night and I said, “Thanks for being my friend!”
Glenn: “Thank YOU for being my friend!”

I love us.

-A quick overnight trip to my hometown to visit my family, my bird Oliver and to eat sushi.

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Good times. It was nice to catch up with them, even though it was brief. I did a Bodypump workout in my parents basement. I MISS IT SO MUCH. I’m thinking that I should start driving to Calgary on Saturday mornings to take a class once the weather gets cooler.

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Lets look at Oliver again, shall we?

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Awww. He’s SO CUTE! I love that thing. He’s been in the family since I was 18 (so like two weeks ago).I used to take him everywhere with me so he’s used to being manhandled by people and as a result, is incredibly friendly and sweet.  He totally looks like an Oliver, hey? :)

-Can you believe Labour Day weekend is almost here? It’s the last big hurrah before summer (and my life) is over. To celebrate, I’m heading to Montana! Yeehaw.

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I’ll be staying near Glacier National Park, and plan on spending the days exploring  trails in the area and hanging on the beach, eating huckleberry everything and dining in Whitefish and Flathead Lake.  I’m SO EXCITED! I love Montana and haven’t been for a couple years … I’m definitely overdue for a visit.   The drive to the Flathead Valley is the best part. During the summer months, Logan Pass is open and you get to take in spectacular views of glaciers, ‘garden walls’, waterfalls, lakes, unicorns, etc.

How will you be celebrating Labour Day? Are you traveling anywhere? 

Please tell me an embarrassing story about yourself. 

Have you been to Montana?