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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mountain Time ... Lessons on the trail

So when we last left off (after folk fest fun)...I was heading to the mountains.
I was off to Canmore to meet Crystal for a bite to eat and then an early evening trek. We had no concrete plans ... just were gonna go. After chatting with some locals we decided to drive out a bit and see where Grotto Creek Trail would take us.
 It was a scenic tour through the canyons. some trail, some scramble, some walking over the rocky terrain. It was beautiful. not really a run at all, but great views and some good laughs. After a few stops and starts - going over paths that didn't lead anywhere, we finally figured out where we were at and got moving. It was nice not seeing too many people -- we ran into less than half a dozen hikers - so its a great place if you want some quiet time!
It was rocky, but the views were awesome.
 Once we finally found the waterfall - a rather small one - but it was lovely - not as grand as I first thought it might be - we realized it was getting dark quicker than we thought so we headed back.

But not before posing a bit.
 The mountains never get old - they always look different every time.
No matter what they are glorious. I am pretty certain my pics do not do em justice.
Check out Crystals pics here!
We then decided to have a beer and chill out at Crystal's campsite. She let me crash with her - she has the BEST tent - small but easy to set up and take down...makes me want to totally get one.
 We got up around 6 am and got dressed and IMMEDIATELY drove into Canmore for a coffee and  bagel! My coffee was amazing. The Prince of Darkness blend. YES!
Then we got back to the site, packed up and off we went to explore. I had had someone tell me that Heart Mountain was a great trek. Perhaps Had I asked around, or done more research, I might have realized it was not the perfect spot for ME.
Off we was easy going the first kilometer.
Lovely and Scenic
Then the next two kilometres (I think) became increasingly more difficult - due to all the gravel and rocks and steep narrow paths.
It kept getting increasingly steeper and more difficult. I was trying not to panic. I don't tell many people I have a fear of heights (haha - I know kind of funny, right?) Some of the trail stuff I do is to challenge me in this regard. I kept thinking if I take a break, if I take a deep breath I will be OK.
 But the views were insanely awesome - I mean Good Lord.
Took a pic - facing in ---> THEN facing out...
I stopped for a moment to take it all in ...
And kept going. And then we hit a treed area, full of switchbacks and super rocky.

And THEN I had a momentary panic attack. I JUST COULDN'T ANYMORE. I rarely have this sort of episode. I felt sick. I felt stupid and lame. I knew Crystal had gone ahead. And it took me 20 minutes to go a few hundred feet. Then then  people were passing me. And here I was trying to hold on to a tree while people were shimmying past. Add how was I going to hurry to catch her?
At this point some folks said I was just past halfway...and it would take another hour or so to get to the top. Ummm. I JUST CANNOT.

I had a real crisis of faith in myself there. And yes, I gave up.
At first I sat and ate something. enjoying the view. Then I tried to go up more and fell. Only scraped up my leg a bit, no biggie. But I was mad at myself for not being a brave enough soul to continue. I knew great view awaited, but the panic was there ... and I chose to descend.
Slowly, carefully going down was slick business!!
Holding onto trees (with a fake-ass smile) to support myself. Trying to tell myself it was OK
and that I'd do some running down past all the scree. I just needed to get past the rocky fragmented stuff, I then could try to run it off. All the while knowing I didn't TRY hard enough to conquer my fear. Because I essentially was just a chickenshit. The camera went away and down I went.
After I got down a ways, I did some trail runs on the lower paths, I didn't even take a photo of the waterfall area I was at. After running into a couple gals who asked if I would snap their photo, I got them to take one of me. Then off I took again to run the lower paths for a bit. repeating some of them so that I could feel like I worked out a bit. Crystals views of Heart Mountain are HERE! Lovely!

Once I got to my car, I would have waited another hour for Crystal, so I decided to head home. I showered and went to the evening show for Folk Fest. I felt awful. Dejected and lame. The music helped. But I still feel like I just didn't try hard enough. I am researching a couple trails to go check out in August to go kick some ass. My ass. Mountain Ass. #alltheasses

And so.... on Monday night was my regular training run on Douglas Fir Trail (near Edworthy Park) - a great spot for some pine-y fresh air to clear my head. My pal Sue and I are determined to do these trails and the umpteen stairs on the trail once a week until October!!  

It was a GREAT way to start a hectic week...and to re-boot, re-start and re-charge.
And to think about the time on the trail this weekend. It was had some bumps and some challenges...but getting back out there makes it all better. 

Onward. Upward. Keep Trying. Keep Smiling.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like the trails you did were beautiful! Maybe that wasn't the right trail, but it's okay because there are millions of trails out there and you'll find some good ones that work for you :)