Follow Nick … in Newfoundland

If you recall, last year I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Scotland and hike the Arran Coastal Way with my sister and our two besties for my 40th birthday. Well, this year I get to hike again in celebration of a 40th – but not mine this time. You can turn 29 a bunch of times but sadly when you get to 40 the clock keeps ticking, no mulligans or do-overs or re-dos or age fibs! The next number is 41 for me but not for Cheryl, she is the big ole 4-0 and we are hiking… Gros Morne Mountain National Park in Newfoundland – where she and her family hail from. Bucket list! Pinch me.

Gros Morne is the park featured on the Royal Bank app and in the Fly Over Canada experience (these references are likely lost on anyone who has never visited Canada or been to Vancouver, BC) and every time I see this park in pictures I long to book my flight and go .. well, now I get to go! A few pics compliments of the Government of Canada, Gros Morne Mountain National Park website …

I do not have much runway on this trip.  I depart in just 20 sleeps so I am in ‘hardcore training’  and ‘fit into my technical gear/clothes after a long winter’ mode .. all made easier (or at least more entertaining) by my new training partner, Bella Bean Pup Pup – our new Jack (insert Jerk) Russell puppy.

Bella is still leash training and a little too young to be hitting any major trails in the mountains that we are so lucky to have all around us here in Vancouver, BC so we have been sticking to hill and trail walking in our neighbourhood. We have an abundance of both just out our front door and they have served me well many times for previous trips.   So with my backpack on my shoulders,  my boots on my feet –  yes the ones I keep telling myself I will get rid of after just one more trip – and my Bella at my side we hit the hills daily.

This will be great practice for me. Before I go I get to follow Bella around and it sounds like when I get to Newfoundland I will follow Nick around.

Who is Nick you ask? The hubby of one of Chery’s sisters and it sounds like I do not need to do any trip pre-planning, route selection, etc – Nick is taking care of it all and I just have to show up with boots, water and follow Nick.

If you have ever read this blog before you know that planning is my superpower and anxiety / overthinking buster so this is going to be a whole new experience for me … a new province, a new bucket list item and a new map/trail guide (aka Nick). Nothing to worry about really, in the big scheme of things I should be more worried about getting ‘screeched in’ than following some guy I have never met in a place I have never been.






9 Weeks to Isle of Arran – Trails


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!