I was 50 on December 4th! I can't believe I've been on this planet for so long and initially felt a bit pissed off about it until someone pointed out that the alternative was not an option!!! I also reflected on my life & where I was and realized I am very lucky, I am probably the fittest I have been in my life & have a wonderful family & super friends. I hadn't anything planned for my birthday because I was travelling back to the UK on December 12th to celebrate with my family, but, after looking at the weather forecast whilst at home in Victoria, saw a window of superb weather so booked a hotel in Tofino for 2 wonderful nights!
We stayed at the Tofino Resort & Marina hotel which I can highly recommend. It's on the ocean looking east towards Meares Island and is part owned by Willie Mitchel the ex Vancouver Canuck, the gym is superb, it is fully equipped with state of the art equipment and has the best view of any gym I have ever worked out in.
As a treat for my birthday dinner we booked a table at the Wickanninish Inn and what a taste sensation it was! I would highly recommend it, it's a little pricey but the location & quality of dining is second to none, it's right on the ocean and the view is stunning.
Last minute plans were made to visit Hot Springs Cove, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Springs_Cove,_British_Columbia, around a 90 minute boat ride north of Tofino in the Western Clayoquot Sound, and what a perfect day it was! We went with Ocean Outfitters who were fantastic, en route we were lucky enough to see 4 grey whales, what a birthday treat!
We arrived at the dock & hiked for 50 minutes along a rugged board walk in the beautiful west coast rain forest until we arrived at the hot springs.
We stripped off into swimwear & hit the water, there were quite a few people already there but we managed to find a spot to sit & soak in the springs.The water is heated by geothermal heat from the Earth's interior, you can venture down to where they hit the ocean to get a cold shower from the ocean while sitting in the hot springs....amazing!
Our transportation back to Tofino was a float plane! Not the usual float plane I had travelled on between Victoria & Vancouver, this was a 4 seater! The pilot and 3 other seats. As I am a bit claustrophobic (I can't sit in the back of a 2 door car), so I grabbed the co pilot seat before my husband! The journey was only 20 minutes but was truly breathtaking. What a wonderful way to spend my big birthday!
"None of this 'new year new me bollocks', last year I was fabulous & next year I'll be fabulous"
I've been asked on numerous occasions to write a blog about my adventure travelling so the new year is a good time to start! 2018 brought lots of adventures and milestones, we visited Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Death Valley, Whistler, Las Vegas, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Nappa Valley, Powell River, England, Scotland, Seattle, Kingston (Ontario), Palm Springs, Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff & the Grand Canyon. My oldest son graduated from Leeds University with a Masters in Civil Engineering & I turned fifty!!! Here's some of the highlights..As many of you are aware, I rented out my bricks & mortar athletic clothing store in Victoria BC after seven years, to concentrate on my online store, in November 2017. https://www.breatheathletic.comThe same year, I became an empty nester after my youngest of two sons left home to study in Kingston Ontario. It was a very transformative time for me as I had been a very hands on Mum and struggled with the fact that that period of my life had closed.
With our new found freedom, my husband & I invested in a Big Foot truck camper! http://www.bigfootrv.com/m/ We have always enjoyed the outdoors and camping and this was the perfect vehicle to allow us to travel further afield in much more comfort as well as bumming around our own back garden, beautiful British ColumbiaWe have enjoyed five trips to the Sierra Nevada area since the the summer of 2017 including Utah, Arizona California & Nevada, there's too many adventures to mention here so I'll share some of the highlights of our trips.In November last year we hiked down into the Grand Canyon, camped overnight under the stars then hiked back out. We booked the campsite the day before we left so were lucky to get a spot at such short notice. We found out later this was due to the pack mules having a respiratory infection so lots of people had cancelled. We usually carry our food when tent camping but were delighted to find out that dinner & breakfast could be pre ordered & then served in the ranch at the bottom of the canyon, along with a jug of red wine! Tipsy in a tent at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, brilliant! https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/dine/phantom-ranch-cafe/ We were there early November 2018, it was cooler on the rim but a lovely 20 degrees in the bottom of the Canyon.
Another highlight in April was hiking from June Lake near Mammoth Lakes to camp 9200 feet above sea level! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Lake,_California We invested in a new tent, sleeping bags & mattresses as the ones we had were wedding presents so 25 years old! We packed them in our backpacks with some food & set off on our adventure. https://www.rei.com/stores/fresno.html There was a lot of snow but we had snow shoes & spikes so were prepared! Or so I thought!
The snow had banked in parts of the path so we had to kick steps in the snow & traverse across in places, facing the mountain. I found this somewhat challenging as a slip or fall would have resulted in a few broken bones!!! 😩 Onwards & upwards! At dusk we found an appropriate spot to pitch the tent & cook dinner. The view was breathtaking! It was a long night....although we had invested in high quality mattresses & sleeping bags I was very cold most of the night & didn't really sleep much, I was also aware that we were the only people up there so was conscious of any 'animal noises'. I had some ear plugs in (so I can't hear my husband snoring! 😜) and they helped distract from any outside sounds. I remember i messaging my son in the middle of the night (yes there was wifi up there!!) to say how cold I was & him telling me to stop being a wimp! The morning came & because I had been anxious in the night, needed to 'go to the bathroom' really bad! As I had waded through a shallow river on the way up, my hiking boots were frozen solid so I couldn't get them on! I was shouting at my husband in desperation so off he scuttled to 'dig the hole' in advance! I eventually got my boots half on & just made it to the pre dug 'toilet' much to mine & my husband's relief!!! 😂😂
We went snow shoeing to the summit of Mammoth Mountain at 11,000 feet (3362m) last spring. https://www.mammothmountain.com We set of from an altitude of 8,530 feet (2600m) and took around 3.5 hours to reach the summit. The path was fairly steep and meandering most of the way up until we were almost at the summit where we joined a black diamond ski run!!! Initially we started to traverse across the slope, watching out for skiers coming from above. As the slope steepened I became more aware that a slip or tumble at this point would result in a long fall to the bottom and a couple of broken bones....or worse! 😩 At this point I shouted to my husband, "stuff this" I'm going straight up the slope & set off. After around 15 minutes of steep incline dodging skiers, we arrived at the top much to the disbelief of the snow boarders there who preceded to clap & cheer in disbelief at what we had just accomplished !! A short walk on the summit and we arrived at the ski lodge where we celebrated with a beer then enjoyed the ride down on the ski lift!
Watch this space for more adventure stories, cheers! 😘