Two hikes in one week make a very rugged, tired, dirty, Ms. Raggedly. In lieu of summer hockey, which is taking a two-week break, I went on a 5-hour every-sort-of-hiking adventure on Monday, and a much more tame, moderate 4-hour hike on Thursday. Combine that with work and restocking the house after a week of the parents away, and I haven’t had much time to write. (And then I did have time to write, but I started writing creatively, and was a little worried that if I stop, the magical fountain will wilt and I will be able to write no more).
My first hike started off in a nice, not straight-up forest trail. It reached the base of the rocky part of the mountain pretty quick, after which there was a bit of not-technically-but-still-feels-like rock climbing. My cousin used a stick he’d found, but I packed away my poles so I could do it the monkey-way. There’s one part on the rocks where they’ve bolted in a chain to the cliff face, and you need to use it to leverage yourself on a thin ledge. It’s much more intimidating than it seems, and we met a trio of hikers sitting just before the chain. One of them was terrified of attempting it, and none of them had done it before, but luckily I had so I went first. After watching me happily chatter away while clutching on for dear life (I might’ve been trying to oversell the ‘easy’ part of it a bit), I coached her through her foot-work along the edge, and did a bit of light foot-guidance as she came down the vertical section. The three of them made it to the peak as we were packing up our lunch, and we were so proud to see they’d made it!
The rock climbing is followed by some scree-skiing; the scree is so thick when you come down the top that you can ski your way down it, jumping into cushions of rocks that let you ride down a ways. It’s a much faster decent than the typical tip-toe down a mountain, and one of the reasons this hike is my favourite. My cousin made it down what felt like a third of the rocky part of the climb in 25 seconds – he’s got go-go-gadget legs.
I went to a Sunday Canada Day dinner, and explained to them I had to leave early to go hiking with my cousin. After telling them which hike (“hope you have poles!”), I told them my cousin better not show up with just sweats and a bottle of water. – he brought cargo pants, and two bottles of water. He did ask me to make an extra wrap that morning, and carried all our water and food for all but the last twenty minutes! I was not at all adverse to this arrangement. The second time we went I carried 4L of water in a little day-hike bag, so that made the big bag a bit lighter.
The second hike was to a much more moderate peak, and I went with my cousin and a family friend. It took about the same amount of time because there was no skiing down scree – but the elevation gain and the technical difficulty was much less challenging. We’re going through a hot spell here, but there was a lovely cold breeze that made you feel freezing while your skin was burning from the sun. It was really, really strange.
But all’s this to say – I did not do very well this week with blogging, being active on social media, or being at all productive with my side projects. Things piled up and the time I had (namely Thursday evening and the evening today) was spent by being exhausted, and creative writing. I was in bed by 10:30pm on Thursday, and sleeping before 11. I don’t think that’s happened since I was sick, back in February. I’ve also written over 10,000 words in the past two days, which is great, just not as… balanced as I’d like it to be.
I was also featured as My Sons Father Best of Show yesterday! I’m so stoked to have been acknowledge by that blog; I enjoy reading it immensely, and you should all check it out because it’s great.
I’m looking forward to this upcoming week. The manager at my joe-job is back from vacation, which means I’m back to my typical average of 10-12 hours a week (in the last two weeks I’ve had a total of 47 hours – yay money, but yeesh!). More time for the blog, more time to write, and a tentative hike next week is in the plans.
Notable Moments of Thrifty Frugal Saves:
- Finally bought some prescription glasses (my distance prescription is the saddest thing you’ll ever see, but it bugs me) at 70% off; I saved almost $400.
- Bought a year’s worth of meds to save on the ‘processing fees’. Most insurance coverages in Canada only cover a limited time supply, so you’re kind of stuck, but since I don’t have insurance, buying it in one chunk saved me four times the processing fee – and I got them at Costco, who has a $4.50 fee. After being mortified at finding out I paid a $12 fee at a pharmacy attached to a clinic, I googled processing fees and found Chantelaine’s post about dispensing fees across Canada. The low-down: Costco’s the cheapest, and you don’t need a membership if you’re just using the pharmacy.
Notable Moments of Thrifty Frugal Fails:
- Caved after my Monday 5-hour hike and bought five-cent-candies and a medium slurpee. Going on a challenging hike doesn’t justify junk food, but it sure feels like it does…
- I caved and bought some future-gift items from the card store where I work – it was just too tempting and perfect, and I wasn’t sure if it would still be around when I inevitably needed it. That counts as a proactive-purchase and not a fail, right? Right??
- I’m posting this in the wee hours of Saturday morning… I determined not to repeat this next week!