Preparing everything at home (mainly meals) was part of day 1. Making sure from A-Z is accomplished. My husband was fine tuning the go-carts, for a go-cart and quading weekend with our children. I felt reassured all was well before heading off to the ferry. I purposely parked a half hour away from the terminal. I kicked piles of orange fallen leaves and breathed in the crisp fresh air as I walked completely alone. It was a great time to just unwind, establish my footing and to really grasp the idea that at this moment, I have no responsibilities but me. It's a strange concept when most of my time is with someone else. I started thinking about my oldest daughter. She backpacked for three months through Central America alone. What an experience and one that many never will have -traveling alone with only yourself to worry about. I had that experience for thirty minutes. lol While on the ferry I ran into people I knew. We chatted for a few minutes then I sat down looking into the water. To my surprise I thought I saw Pacific white sided Dolphins. Hundreds of them were following the ferry. I heard that these Dolphins have been in the area for a few days following the boat. It was cool. I remember catching the ferry years ago really early in the morning, the sun was coming up and the Dolphins were following behind. I'm not exactly sure how rare the sightings are but I've taking the ferry hundreds of times and I've only seen them twice. After my "rare" sighting of what I thought was white sided dolphins, I found out they're actually porpoises. Porpoises have a purpose for life. lol The difference between Dolphins and Porpoises is that Porpoises don't train as easily, therefore you don't see them in captivity. They're related to the Dolphin although smaller in size. So I learned something new. The fog started rolling in, and it definitely reminding me that it's October and being sopped in with fog while hiking it's not only cold, it's wet and blinding. Mmmm....half way through my ferry ride I met up with a great first aider, "Tammy" My partner in crime! With a big hug and a few stories later we caught up on life and we were ready to not only conquer the fog - we were ready to throw first aid scenarios at our fellow hikers that we were meeting on the other side. Although almost at the end of our ferry ride while we were feeling so confident that we can conquer the fog, both of us gazed out, just staring out into a blank blinding nothingness. It was a complete white out, like a clean white slate ready to be painted on. We looked at each other, smiled and said, "Let the experience begin"
Night of Day 1
Going through the border is always tedious and a stressful experience, but without fail, we (all six of us) made it through with minimal questions. It was late reaching our destination. Always on the first night we rearrange our packs, share the weight and prepare for a early morning start. We reacquainted, shared some stories and laughs and we went to bed.
After careful consideration with the weather conditions we hiked out into the fog at 8am. It was cold but it felt great. As we hiked our group discussed first aid scenarios. For example, one injury was a hiker suffering from a fractured ankle. He could barely walk. We sent one of us back to get help, while the rest of us made a splint for his leg. We exposed his foot, checked for swelling and circulation. We used three triangular bandages and rolled towels for support between his ankle bone and the splint. We decided to stay put, start a fire and wait for help instead of walking him out. So the first aid scenarios continued as we hiked. We kept a steady pace and with breaks we hiked close to nine hours on our first day. I wanted to kick myself as I forgot my camera at home and my phone was dying leaving me photo less. When I'm hiking I take photographs continuously of nature that catches my eye. So I was thinking every time I saw something, "I wish I had my camera" It annoyed me. Before dusk we set up camp and started a warm fire where we continued to mingle. We live in a remarkable world, its beauty never ceases to amaze me. Hiking at this time of year brings out the strength in you, and we couldn't have been more blessed with beautiful weather (lol) and just the awesome scenery making you crave more. The valleys, cliffs and surrounding waterfalls within day 2 was a trip worth taking. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity. I started thinking on how lucky I really am. I can't stress enough that everyone should take advantage of our world, after all - we're on this planet to hopefully enjoy it.
Night 2 was surprisingly not that cold. Morning of day 3 was wet, damp and frosty until the fog lifted. From then on it was blue skies and sunshine. There's nothing like feeling the warmth from the sun on your face while enjoying the perfect combination of crisp cold air bringing your body temperature down from hiking. Hiking out was and always is a count down, 1,2,3,4....1,2,3,4....because reaching that last km, knowing you've accomplished your destination in and out without injury - is another great feeling. "Seeing that same tree" - is awesome. While heading back, we stopped at Costco and headed back to the border. We were making great time until we were asked to park the vehicle at the border. We parked in one of their car stalls. We were then asked to head inside with our passports, receipts and for further questioning. From there our vehicle was emptied, all our bags were unloaded and searched. Watching from a distance I had this sick feeling as everything I had (including personal belongings) were spread out. Of course I had nothing on me except Costco items. I hoped that the five others I was with was just as honest. Weird thoughts went through my mind, feeling semi concerned that something was wrong. I instantly felt my grey hair spreading.....but after a two hour ordeal, the security guard gave our passports back and instructed us to pack up. We were on our way. A little stressed, I was still convinced this was a worth while trip. Reaching home, it was like I never left. Everyone was happy and healthy. Some missed me over the course of a few days....and some didn't. Home sweet home, is always the best place to return too. Now my reality is setting in......I'm tired, it's late and Monday is here!
"To be a shining star, you must shine your own light"