Category Archives: Traipsing Outdoors

any time I’m doing awesome activities outdoors

Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I go for long runs on weekends.

I am majorly thankful for these long runs.

I really love food, so I am majorly, majorly thankful for these long runs.

You know who I mostly thank for these long runs?

Nansen.

Nansen drives me out to the park for these long runs. Nansen is NOT a chauffeur. Nansen is just a nice dude. Don’t call him a chauffeur.  He’s not a chauffeur.

You see, you can’t pay a chauffeur in cookies, but you can sometimes pay a Nansen with cookies. If they’re good cookies.

These fit the bill.

They were particularly good as fuel when running to this fire tower.

This is Nansen at the fire tower, no doubt talking about how he wishes he had flannel lined jeans … and about how flannel has become “very advanced” these days. Hell, it’s chilly. I’d wear flannel lined jeans…

Ok, depending on the tight-fittedness of said jeans. I mean come on, tight, flannel-lined girl jeans? Sounds like constrained sweatiness.

Boop. Cookies.

Oh Right, the run.

It was many hours. Like 3 or something. Long.

But super pretty.

And very Nansen-picture-filled. But that’s not a new thing.

Also you have to be really strong to partake in this run. That’s important. (look there’s me!)

These cookies were both the fuel to make me strong and manly and the currency to get my arse into the little silver Ford that drove us out to the hills.

YUM. Make these cookies. They look advanced, like they have secrets.

“HOW DID YOU GET THE PEANUT BUTTER INTO THE CHOCOLATE!?!” many have asked.

“Ah,” I said, “You roll the peanut butter filling into a ball and wrap it in chocolate dough.”

Enough said. I used this recipe. Use it too.

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Filed under Cookies, Food, Traipsing Outdoors

Kluane to chilkat international bike relay: Rigid Dorks

To save both of us, I’m going to keep this light on the commentary and heavy on the photography.

Last weekend, a team of four nincompoops participated in an international bike relay that spans this distance between Haines Jct, Yukon and Haines, Alaska.  The nincompoop who writes this blog decided it would be a good idea to cycle only once in advance. She doesn’t like roads.

For these nincompoops, the bike relay involved the following:

– Waiting for Michael to light a fire under his arse and meet us.  Olga (Zig’s ride) can only go so fast.

– Finding good use for a bag of munchies the size of a small ten year old, or large seven year old.

– Discovering someone’s mother, who had attempted to conceal herself in the bushes – Pitifully.

– Drooling over, and contemplating the consequences of joyriding pretty green bicycles.

– Lee. Reclining comfortably.

– Somebody overfilling their sleeping pad and wondering afterward if it’s actually supposed to have the buoyancy to raise a Subaru.

– The leader of the first pack looking back. Major no-no buddy.

– Logan being a Lard… on … and off the bike.

– Logan working hard occasionally.. trying to make up for his deflated tires.

– A runner on a bike, who is also a blogger, and who is far too determined to lift her head.

– A bagpipe player. One that played from his support vehicle throughout the entire race. Emphasis on entire race. Both inspirational and painful to watch.

– Ziggy’s sore bum and my foot.  I kicked it to make it feel better.  Don’t question my methods.

– Our trusty man pack.

– A rider named Michael, being far too happy. Man up and grind Mike.

– A rider named Ziggy with something to prove.

– A rider named Ziggy with something to throw savagely at her support vehicle.  Thanks for your leftover shot bloks zig.

– A really very good teammate, who is really very excellent at water bottle hand-offs.

– A self-righteous neighbour of mine. Thinks he’s all that because he beat us.  Whatever. I’m your neighbour too.  Guess who’s installing flood lights.

– A sign.  Don’t make me explain the funny.

– Freaking Daisies.

– Bill Parry’s Patchwork Pink Pants

– Four tired nincompoops.  One of whom is using all of her remaining energy just to remain vertical.

– Brittany’s family! Yes even they were involved! I bet you’re happy to see M. I sure am.

– Nansen! Yes, he was involved too!  Everybody is always happy to see Nansen.

– A good helper. One who was not involved in the not illegal peddling of things that are not hooch.

– A man and his drink of choice.  This man is manly.  You will meet none manlier.

– FREE MEALS. That were totally paid for in advance..

– A field full of tents; the field saw more intoxication than it deserved to.

– Two super fresh individuals the next morning.  One with unbeatable hair. Lee.

– Two more super fresh individuals. One with a spoon in his mouth.

– One even fresher individual… with a vibrant career in grass blade whistling ahead of him.

– Multiple morning mother faces.

– Multiple morning Brittany faces.  You know I do this for you people. Please know how fortunate you are.

– A brand new bike, because real riders build their bikes out of hammers. You pansy.

– A pan of delicious vegan berry snack cake.  One that you should never cover with tinfoil before it’s cooled and take it on a roadtrip.  Because sealing moist baked good makes them moister. Like very moist. moist. moist. moist.  Yes, it’s a terrible word.  I just like to press your buttons.

The cake was still extra tasty. Obviously it was.  It was created by Mama Pea.   I implore you not to underbake it.

But please. Bake it.  Then bring it with you on a bike race.  You’ll make cyclist friends.

Friend Maker Berry Cake

adapted from Peas and Thank You

  • 1/2 c. soy milk
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c. hazelnut-almond butter (or whatevs)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. almond extract
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. spelt flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 cup cut strawberries
  • 3/4 frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350.  In a medium bowl combine the liquid ingredients (up to and including extracts).  In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (ie: everything else besides the berries).  Fold in the berries and pour batter into a greased 8X8 pyrex or other pan.  Bake for half an hour, give or take, make sure to check with a toothpick.  If it doesn’t come out clean… don’t you dare stop cooking that cake.  Even if you have to hurry and leave to drive to haines junction, cake takes priority. Enjoy for dinner, then again crumbled over your oatmeal in the morning, then as a post race meal between lunch and dinner. Please.

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Filed under Dessert, Food, Friends, Traipsing Outdoors

Whitehorse Sprint Triathlon

My mom doesn’t always give herself enough credit.

She works hard.

She mothers hard.

And sometimes she trains hard.

She thinks she doesn’t quite train hard enough, because her work encroaches on her ability to train.   I may have in the past fueled this feeling by saying irresponsible things like:

“Mom, you can do anything.  I know you have a five year old and you take your work home because you’re intense, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be fit like you used to be. Come running with meeee.”

I can see how those kinds of things could wear down someone’s composure.  Oops.  I just wanted a running buddy :).

Given her routinely packed schedule, she seemed concerned about being underprepared for her first training triathlon of the year.

Way to pull the wool over my eyes mom.

You looked smokin.

And you got second.

You are kind of a big liar face.

You said it was really hard.

You made it look like cake.

 

Look at you swimming.

You passed that older gentleman that I thought looked suspiciously fast.

 

You even past the girl with the toned arms.. who stopped to take a breather after each length (of twenty lengths).  In her defence, she had learned to swim just one month previous.  Don’t let that detract from your victory mom.

Notice how attentive I was?  How I cheered you on at every transition?  How I documented all of these amazing moments?

What did M do?

He watched people fish on the TV in the mezzanine.  And ate carrots with Ranch.

I won’t start a “who is the better child” discussion right now.  This post is about you.

 

And look at you getting out of the pool triumphantly. Such modesty in that fist pump.

Look at you getting on your bike like a real triathlete or something.

While I waited for you to tear up the roads I cheered on my good friend Emily who was slotted to start in the next heat.

 

Emily was bursting with enthuasiasm and anticipation. Read: shaking in her lycra.

 

Girl had nerves. Unnecessary nerves.  Her lack of swim preparation was dwarfed by her awesome dryland skills.

Sorry Emily, Mom was coming. Must sprint away. Don’t feel neglected please.

MOM! You didn’t die see?! I knew you wouldn’t.

Yes your feet are numb.

Yes you’re a little sweaty.

Mom was frustrated. This must have been her saying, I'm "Frustrated". Or something else.

Yes you are talking to me about your numb feet when you should be being intense and focusing on being more efficient at putting on your shoes.

But you aren’t dead.

You say your legs felt like lead, but they didn’t look like lead. They looked like steel.

Fast… light… flesh-coloured steel.

No…

Blue steel, because of that prime finish line face.  We can tell you don’t take finish lines lightly.

However, you did not collapse onto your knees upon crossing.  I was disappointed. It’s what I would have done.

Scratch that. Knees + pavement = No.

M was really happy for mom.

He wasn’t allowed to take a power bar from the feed station until she crossed the finish line.

Mom said it was hard.

So did my future neighbour Mr. Deuling.  His lovely wife Amanda was, in fact, disgusted by how hard it was.

While mom recited her race recap to her caring family members, M pursued other interests.

 

Her name is S.  M attacked S with kisses.

Subtle M, subtle.  S will come along.

But for real: Mom you are super. You did so awesomely. I am proud of you.

Love B.

 

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Filed under Family, Friends, Traipsing Outdoors

Friends in Alaska

I went to Skagway last weekend.

“Didn’t you just go to Skagway the other week?” you ask.

Yes I did, aren’t you observant.

You see, I had to go to Skagway again, this time with friends that weren’t related to me by blood. I wanted to give you proof that I have more.

I don’t know why I’m constantly trying to prove to you that I indeed have friends. Perhaps I’m just trying to prove it to myself? Insecurities?

Ah well, I’ll add that to the list of things to deal with in therapy.

So, I went all the way to Alaska just to prove that there are people in existence who like me enough to travel with me to another country.

Not Really. It was in honour of the birthday of this particular sexy beast.

That’s Jodi.  She’s a wild child.  She’s that girl that I talk to when I’m feeling like I have lived the safest, pansiest, Canada-based, sheltered life… and need someone to live vicariously through.  On the other hand, girl always makes me feel stable.

This globetrotter started out in the Yukon, went to school in Ottawa (like me 🙂 ), went to school in New Zealand, and is now going to get her edumacation on in Finland, before potentially heading to NZ again, and finally Vancouver.  Also at least 52 and infinity places in between.

I go to school in Ottawa.  It’s far. So what if I don’t need a passport to get there. Stop making me feel inferior Jodi. Oh wait… that was just me.. making myself feel inferior.. again. Ugh therapy approaches.

I’ll globetrot with you soon.

Starting with Skagway.

Emerald lake was en route.

I would have taken more artful photographs here.

Some that didn’t involve a guard rail.

BUT, apparently I had to be IN the photos, so I left it up to Abby’s vehicle (named Zoe) to support my camera child.  Thanks Zoe.  Especially for the flattering photo’s where I look like I’m attempting to incapacitate Coralie with my body weight.

I’m so sorry.

Living up to my previous self-applied nick name.  My eager beaverness is evident in these photos.

 

I jump the gun every. single. time.

That’s right, I did it again.

 

I blame the others, I was not early they were clearly late. Or is it relative? If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it does it make a sound? Similar situation. Kind of. Not really, but I think you know what I mean.

We got progressively more groovy as the action shots continued.

There were a few more scenic pauses.

And a bear.

The bear wasn’t photogenic, stop blaming me for my failure picture taking. It’s bear’s fault.

Maybe it was worried that I would get it’s bad side, so it subtly turned away. It happens to the best of us.

 

Don’t pretend you didn’t know I was taking a picture Emily… nobody looks that good candid. Both Coralie and bear can attest to that.

 

See, Canadian girls look good everywhere.

 

Notice also how Alaska is merely the gateway to the Klondike, and the Yukon is the Klondike.

Zing.

Then we settled into our brothel. The Alice room, to be specific.

She must have been pricey, Alice, because her room was the bee’s knee’s.

She even had a porch with which to solicit customers.

I slept there.

And a mirror with which to perfect her seducing.

Abby perfected it.

Even a chest with which to practice…

Her horseback riding, which was obviously what brothels were for.  I don’t know what you were thinking.

 

Obviously you need sultry robes after a tiring horseback ride (the one behind this was sultry.. the one in the front is… just terry cloth).

 

BOO.

That’s a window if you weren’t aware.  We are technically on the outside of the window. That makes it cool and different.

The rest of the night looked a little bit like this…

 

With banana cake. (a la Steph)

 

… and thoughtful cards..

 

and thoughtful carbs..

 

.. and faces that are happy to be on the interwebs

 

… and someone else who ISN’T ME who likes to take photos of their feet.

and a bed that someone, who may or may not have been me, permanently tilted.  Even though it was not that person, who may or may not have been me, who was forced to wake up with balloon feet. The individual in question also figured out how to fix the bed, as soon as the bed’s occupant (Steph) was awake.

The next day was just as exhilarating.

Why?

Complimentary breakfast. That’s always why. Here’s to hoping I’m not the only one who avoids the squishy fat bits of bacon.  I’m sorry if this offends you.

Some people are sensitive about their fatty bits.

 

Coralie spent one final intimate moment with our brothel before we said our goodbyes.

Very blatantly.

All that remained was a cordial chat with Governor Palin. Best Friends.

And then we ran into this total arse.

 

I knew it was time to return home.

I will make food again. I promise.  You’re looking like kind of a waif.

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Filed under Friends, Mundane Shenanigans, Traipsing Outdoors

Skagway in May


Sometimes I don’t sit at home and bake.

Sometimes I go places.

Just for a day.

Like Alaska. It’s foreign. You need a passport to get there. Impressed?

Don’t be, it’s two hours away.

By slow grey minivan.

How did we spend those two hours you ask? Why, watching Bakugan of course. What else would we do. Look at the scenery?

No, I don’t think so. I mean look at the glare from the window. Might as well just abandon looking out of them. It’s as though someone has gone and wiped their greasy hands all the way down my gorgeous view.

Oh wait.

I think I know that “someone”.

That someone may have also been the same someone who spent the second half of the drive pointing out how many zombies they could see with their borrowed binoculars.  That someone was arguably provoked by his sister who, in her defense, was merely preparing him for the impending zombie apocalypse/rapture that was said to occur the following day.

That someone also had a thing for waterfalls.

In fact, not a SINGLE waterfall went by un-announced.

Any other conversation (or train of thought) had to be put on hold if there was a waterfall.

“Daddy, you have to be careful when – WATERFALL! – you – WATERFALL! – ….. um… when – WATERFALL! – when you’re – WATERFALL! -… when – WATERFALL!- when – WATERFALL! – um…”

Eventually, after many suspected waterfall provoked Turrets attacks, his daddy was warned not to drive fast around corners.

There is no exaggeration in the above quote, in fact, there were significantly more ticks than those written.

It’s ok, we all have issues.

full laundry basket in car

I mean, another someone, not naming names, decided it would be a good idea to pack an entire laundry hamper (in addition to a large backpack) for a 24 hour trip.

That is clearly not my food.

This is my food. mwahahah.

On to more interesting things. We got two rooms at a quaint and wicked B & B for the price of one. Score.

This meant that after jogging around, climbing over fences that ought not to be climbed over, and sitting in the extra chilly ocean breeze, we were welcomed “home” to this.

Cute Bed and Breakfast

It was cute.

Cute, I’m told, is a girl word.  We use it to describe inanimate objects in ways that men will never understand. But come on. It was cute. How else do you describe it? Cute is like a smart car, or a vintage doily, or an old-timey B & B, or a floral little girl’s dress, or a tea party, or glasses. Maybe there’s a little over-use. Whatever.

However Ladies, if you do hear a man refer to something other than a puppy or a baby as cute, do not ask him on a date. He may just not be that into you. You’ve been forewarned.

skagway marina

Speaking of guys, I found something among the boats in the harbour.

TOMS shoe in skagway

No, not my foot.

This.

strange man taking picture

Creepy, this stranger was taking a picture of me. Who does that.

Bed and Breakfast

Backtracking.. did I forget to tell you that there was breakfast involved in our B & B stay? Duh. I like food.

Oh and were we talking about puppies earlier?

This is Sammy.

As a rule, I’m not a “little dog” person.  I’ve always liked my dogs to exceed football size, that way when they bark, I’m not tempted to kick them.

Sammy is the exception to the rule. I met him in Skagway.  He doesn’t bark.

He cuddles. And is soft.  And even kind of smells nice.  I didn’t want to say goodbye.

Unfortunately, I had to. Other plans were calling.

M has a friend named B. B is awesome.  Her name starts with B. that’s awesome.

B has a sister, she is also awesome.

B also likes to run.

So does M, even though he started off on a bike. For his sake we’ll pretend he didn’t have a head start.

M and B (notice I don’t refer to B first for fear of BM… ya.. nvm) took to the trails together, adults in tow.

It soon became a foot race.

Some people aren’t happy unless they are in the lead.

They use dehydration as an excuse.


They sometimes use “getting distracted by things to climb” as an excuse too.

But then they’re off again.

green leafy trees

Why wasn’t I in the lead?

I got distracted by pretty things.

cute outhouse

And outhouses. Such a cute outhouse.

Here’s where the trouble began.  B was in the lead and, when reaching a fork, took off to the right.

M was adamant on turning left.

The rest of the hikers chose B’s path.

M was distraught. Pay close attention to facial expressions.

All was eventually well.

We had the occasional pit stop.

And once in a while we would reach an impasse. This particular one was a challenge. As M said “How am I supposed to get around the quicksand?”. He eventually took the trail that went around “the quicksand” (/lake)… like everyone else.

Some people decided they would hold hands… or.. er.. bum. ew. Why did I have to catch that?

And I’m not going to try to explain this. I apologize, B, for including you in this, clearly against your will.

Onward.

As you will notice, M is a very graceful walker. Reminiscent of Ballet is it not? Or knock knees. Not sure which.

He also blends in very well with his surroundings.

Note: B did not get thirsty until an hour after M. Sorry M.

In his rage, he attempted to take down an evergreen.

Note #2: Do not look up at the needles when shaking an evergreen.  They will inevitably attack your eyeball. Your sister will be nice, and not take a picture of it.

Then she will jump off a rock into water of glacial temperatures, in good company.

Pay close attention to facial expressions, once again.

Apparently, that facial expression really sold the whole jumping into an icy lake thing. M was so going to do it.

And for a panicked millisecond, he did. And then he was back on the edge.  And then, while shivering, he fell back into the water (un-pictured).  And then he was back on the edge.

M and I both suffered injuries from the ordeal.  Mine was clearly fatal. M thought it was cool.

At least it wasn’t inflicted by one of these beauties.  Devil’s Club.  Aptly named, science. Aptly named.

Finally, we skipped on back to town… again somehow more damp than we began.   It seems to be a tradition amongst our outings.

My camera died. I did not get to show you the rest of our lovely day.  We found a Sarah Palin store. We ate freshly caught shrimp (I don’t even care for shrimp, and this was good, mysterious!) drenched in garlic butter (mystery solved.). I cuddled a fluffy canine.  We stuffed our faces with indian food.  We watched Bakugan aaaaaaaaall the way home.

Yes the same episode that we watched on the way down.  Lower your expectations please.

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Filed under Family, Mundane Shenanigans, Traipsing Outdoors

The Weekender

No, I’m not talking about the best TV show to hit family channel.

I’m just talking about an overview, a little weekend update.

Though that show admittedly had my twelve year old self wrapped around its little finger. I was livin’ for the weekend. HEY!

(I hope you’ve seen “The Weekenders”, otherwise I’m sorry for startling you with that abrupt “hey!”)

My weekend was looking dreadful.

I think everyone can agree that, upon sight of this, an outlook that was once positive, would now be buried. 5cm down.. for the sake of accuracy.

Even though it looked like christmas.

Even though I my raspy sickness had me sounding like Steven Tyler.

I refused to accept my circumstances.

I would drink cold smoothies, and life would continue as it should.

From Friday night to Saturday afternoon was dedicated to the XX chromosomes.  Tofu stirfry, stove top popcorn, vegan pancakes, enviro-fairs, trail runs and long awaited girl talk. Oh it had been a while, fellow XXs.

They’re pretty cute, my friends are. Don’t get any ideas.

My free time was quickly drawn back to the small being with the huge influence over our household’s daily affairs.

The being needed a snack. Right Now.

As if there is EVER a request that doesn’t need to be carried out RIGHT NOW.

Oh I was going to deliver.  Sister points continue to be tallied.  I’m good at this.  You see, things that lone young twenty-somethings like to eat when they’re feeling hormonal… 4.75 year old’s like to eat them too. Funny how these things work.  Maybe it’s some sort of primitive inclination that just says “Carbs. In Mouth. In 5 Minutes or LESS.”

It’s a good thing we get along, M and I. Otherwise he may have missed out on this beauty.

Yes it seems like a breakfast bake. M himself said “It looks like a breakfast bake. I asked for a snack. NOT Breakfast.”

It’s not a breakfast bake M, it’s a cupcake.

Queue silence.

It is not breakfast. It’s not that good for you. By all means though, don’t let that stop you from eating it at any time of the day.

M’s words, “It’s actually good.” I never get words.

That was huge. Probably huger than the breakfast bake.. for him. Though he probably had an aneurism waiting for his food to be photographed before he could eat it.  I’m just surprised he doesn’t question my motives.  Maybe 4.75 years is long enough to notice that someone’s a little off, and that it’s best not to ask questions.

M had his with blueberries, if you’re feeling low, please substitute chocolate chips.

I ate the leftover blueberries.

Can you tell?

Minute Cupcake

(Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie :))

3 tbs spelt flour (or any other kind, I already told you I’m a hippie)

1/4tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1 tbs melted organic butter (or oil, or applesauce if you’re even more of a hippie)

2 tsp agave (or other sweetener, can totally increase to 1tbs, I won’t judge)

1tbs + 1sp milk/milk substitute (I used organic 1%)

splash of vanilla

toppings: blueberries, nuts, chocolate, don’t let me stop you

Directions: Really? Fine. Mix all ingredients together in a ramekin or small microwaveable dish. Ramekins make me smile. Microwave for 1 minute. Eat.

In two minutes you could be eating this. why aren’t you? Well maybe I’ll let you off if you’re doing something cool like mountain biking.  After attending to the smaller being, the G-Rad (step dad) and I took to the trails.

My bum had to get back on the seat some time, might as well be on a sunny day.

On a trail called Blues Brother

With flowers.

Sometimes in order to really take in the scenery, you have to stick your tongue out awkwardly.

And then eat tacos. That’s important.

And please, whatever you do, don’t let them get away.  Shove them in your face or else they will escape.

My weekend exceeded my expectations.

It is no longer christmas outside.

I do, however, still sound eerily like Steven Tyler. Pray for my health. If you need me, I’ll be curled up in a corner surrounded by used kleenex and green monster cups.

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Food, Friends, M, Traipsing Outdoors

Penguins in the Yukon

My mother says that my brother is more inclined to outdoor athletics than I was at his age.

I resent that.

My brother is spending his early childhood in Whitehorse, a mecca for outdoor everything.

Most of my early childhood was spent in apartments in Edmonton.  I blame everything imperfect about me as a young adult, on my ever-transitional early childhood.  Who needs responsibility when you can blame your upbringing. I’m sure you’re with me.

I didn’t file my taxes.

Upbringing.

I have two unpaid parking tickets.

Upbringing.

I spend more time on food blogs than I’ve ever spent doing homework.

Well that one’s a no-brainer. Upbringing. Clearly I was force-fed food blogs in the early nineties. Back… before … DSL..

Anyway, I had no hope of being as sport-inclined at five as M.  I had a late start ok. I jumped on the bandwagon at a ripe old age of seven.  Unfair mom.  Equal opportunity? Yeah whatever.

No, you are wrong. You do not detect a hint of jealousy.  I’m a wildly outdoorsy, competitively athletic young adult, more-so than many my age… just.. not… my 4.75 year old brother apparently.

Brushing it off. He’s just spoiled right? Spoiled with natural inclination? I had to… work harder for it… it’s character building. That’s what it is. Character building.

Regardless of who was a more eager child, we both, currently, love the outdoors.

surprise.

So we went on a hike with mother. This was after I had already ran 20K with Coralie just FYI, but we aren’t comparing. No. We’re hiking.

We had a particular trail in mind and would be deterred by nothing. Not even the fact that, regardless of most other trails being dry, our chosen path began like this.

Yes, snow. Mathias did not falter. Neither did I.

Clearly basketball shoes were the recommended footwear.

Yes there were pitfalls, or maybe just regular falls. But we help eachother out. (Blurrily)

Maybe we had to help eachother out many times.

Maybe even mother needed help.

Like when she slid 5m down the trail into her not-so-sure-footed son.

Guess which child didn’t fall? Yes that’s right, the one that was never “that naturally inclined toward outdoor sports”. HA.

Now, most of the falling occured on the way down.  The way up to the viewpoint on “Easy Money” involved more flowers.

And jumping.

And demanding that your sister jump exactly where you jumped.

And noticing that your sister goes all-in when you ask her to do things. I’m sorry if I was feeling competitive M. Really, it’s not in my nature.

M also encountered a steep rock face (that required a distinct pointing-at).

And a puddle. It was large.

Can’t go over it

Can’t go under it.

M had basketball shoes, he would not be premitted by his mother to go through it.

Gotta go around it!

And then run ahead while your sister takes a picture of herself in it.

Finally the climactic accomplishment. M reached the top.

First.

He wouldn’t have it any other way. Punishable by uncontrollable yelling and a refusal  of going back down. Fortunately no one decided to challenge his win.

Was it this view he was excited about?

Was it? Huh nature boy? No.

It was penguins. A small ziploc container worth of cheddar penguins.

Of which I recieved, by decree, exactly four.

They were doled out by the penguin controller himself.

He and my mother spent a few minutes lounging on the bench.  They snacked.

They exchanged what appeared to be disgruntled faces.

I apologize for the exposed midrif in the following photo.

And the closed eyes. The whole face really.   It seemed like this photo was needed at the time.

Everything went downhill from there. Ha.. ha. Yes, as I mentioned earlier, much falling ensued.

People disappeared into the snow.

Snow appeared in Brittany’s shoes.

Somehow mud appeared on M’s bum. No one knows how.

We followed our fearless leader downward.

There were occasional distractions.

M introduced himself to some wood.

I introduced myself to some wood.

Finally, after much agony, many roots, and an encounter with mystery feces (perhaps caribou?)…

We returned to greenery…. with wetter pants than we began with.

M refused to run back up the road to get the car. He began running down the road.  It’s ok M, your big sister, the one who’s athletically inclined, will run up the road to get the car.

It was character building.

She was rewarded with all natural, vegan, raw, cashew-based, mint cacao-chip ice cream. You may not be jealous now M, but you will be one day…

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