With 9 weeks to go, its time to get out of my own neighbourhood (as amazing as it is with all the awesome local trails and hills) and hit trails that we will more like the Arran Coastal Way in Scotland.
So the next 2 months will be spent in search of Arran like hiking trails and paths to train me up! This will be a combo of boardwalk, beach, hiking trails, hiking paths, some pavement, and a small-ish mountain or two. I am also aim to walk in every manner of weather to give my gear every possible Scottish-like experience and determine exactly what pieces are worthy of this great adventure.
I kicked off this training focus yesterday at Golden Ears Provincial Park in the Maple Ridge area of Greater Vancouver, British Columbia! Wow this Park has a trail for everyone and every level of fitness. So beautiful and only about an hour from my place with a really beautiful drive once you are in the Park.
I was hiking alone yesterday. As there is largely no cell service in the Park, I was aiming for some well used trails to be safe. I hoped to get something of the undulating and shale based sort to get me warmed up. I also wanted to take advantage of the overcast day and chance of rain. The Lower Falls Trail which is just a short 5.5km that leads to a pretty amazing waterfall was a good fit!
I am glad I went early in the day as there was way too many people out and about by the time I made my way back to the parking lot – including that one person in a crowd of 50 who insists on playing their music on speaker while walking in nature. Wonder if they now that nature has its own music? You know birds, waterfalls, rushing rivers, growling bears and roaring cougars and such. Much more pleasant to the hiking ears than a Brittney Spears playlist (insert angry face here) me thinks.
But for every one out there that makes you (ok me) a little crazy, there is another that makes me out and out smile. Looks like I did not have to be afraid of creepy people or animals yesterday – but rather these very ferocious wood monsters at every turn. I love when people have a bit of fun when they see something more than a log or cloud or rock.
It also brings me joy to see any tree that reminds me of the cartoon movie Fern Gully!
I would have liked something a little longer and harder yesterday. I have my eyes set on completing the Golden Ears Canyon Loop in the coming weeks, when my hiking buddy Matty is available. I could see the orange tree markers for the Loop leading up and over the ridge and I was sorely tempted to give it a go but safety first, darn it. So I turned around like a safety bear and made my way back at long-leg speed to up the work out.
Golden Ears Provincial Park I will be seeing you again soon!