How in the Heck can I wash my Neck...

Trip Start Jul 29, 2008
Trip End Aug 05, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Saturday, August 2, 2008

So, last night after blogging, Julie approached me. She knew I was hiking everyday and thought it might be good to pair up. Great idea! I was eager to enjoy a walk without having to make constant noise like a madman to avoid being gobbled up. We agreed to meet at 11:00am.

Another night of tossing and turning on a ridiculously unforgiving mattress later, and I was ready to face another day. Honestly, I have spent three nights now looking for a comfortable position and am yet to find one!

I slept poorly, but for a long time, so it balances out. The best sleep was four hours all in a row ending casually around 10:00am. Only an hour to make breakfast, enjoy a cup of coffee (maybe two?) and clean up enough for a day in the woods. Somehow, I managed.

We headed down to the visitor centre so they could recommend a hike. Last year they were great at this. This year they got a new guy with a new attitude. We asked for a hike which did not require going down Kananaskis Trail, on account of the terrible condition it is in. He treated me like I was dumb not to expect the incline to be that rough. I let him know it was better the last years, and this wasn't my first trip through the mountains and those were Not normal driving conditions. I'm not sure why he was so defensive. Maybe 'cause most of the trails go down that way, so we complicated things for him. I was surprised we needed to justify why we did not care to take that route.

Ultimately, I bought a book of hikes and we played off of that. The book it turns out was a little deceptive. The intro says the hikes were chosen on popularity, so there will be other hikers. The trail we took was "unmaintained", so we learned later, though we had pretty much figured it out by then. More often than not we wondered if we were even on a trail at all.

Julie chose right at the last turn we came to. I doubt we made 15 minutes down that one. It felt more like bushwhacking than hiking a trail. Really, faith is the only reason I believed there was a trail at all. Then...I couldn't even believe that. Back we went, an idea that met with absolutely no resistance from me. This time we tried left.
Now, on the first path we took, I asked Julie if we were even on a trail, and she said it was obviously a trail. I shuddered to think what sort of path system she might be used to. So...on the new path were taking, if she expressed doubt I assured her it was Clearly a trail. Most of the time I did not actually believe this. I'm sure someone or something had gone that way sometime, but not recently. Eventually, there was so much dead fall on the path that we just couldn't get by anymore. Back we went again. No worries; we still managed a 3 1/2 hr hike, so not bad, especially considering the rain.

Did I forget to mention the rain. Hmmm, maybe I can forget again. It rained all the way up. I was soaked. I thought I had picked out a pretty good rain jacket from Mountain Equipment Co-op, but not so. If I can find the receipt, I may have to see if I can trade up.

At one point, I crawled into the bush where there seemed to be at least some cover. I just needed a break from the soaking. After a short rest, we carried on our way. The next rest was under a tree, from which there was a relatively decent view, so we learned on the way down. There was little but rain and cloud for us to see in the valley on the way up. This was kinda cool actually. The rain added dimension to the expanse, and as much as we could not see the other side, it felt more connected just the same. There is a freedom from knowing you are getting soaked and that it will get worse before it gets better. You can sit anywhere. Everything was wet. Even our feet were drenched. My Gore-tex hikers sure ain't what they used to be. Another note on MEC. The kid there assured me Gore-tex was waterproof. I told him only for so long and then not so much. He said when they test stuff that people say leaks, usually it IS still water proof. To all those people...get 'em to test it again. NOBODY sweats that much. Nobody. Still, it would have breathed better.

All in all it was a fun hike. I enjoyed hearing Julie's stories. Plus, it turned out to be a great way to discover the weaknesses in my rain preparedness. For instance, my bag is not waterproof. So, either some kind of cover, or maybe a plastic bag for the contents would be a good investment. Glad I could learn by moistening my fleece and not Everything! Nothing a trip to the laundromat couldn't fix. Plus now I have plenty o' clean under britches. Hooray! That's right, I said it. I'll say it again. Hooray for underpants! The Hostel has laundry, but it was too busy, so drove my stuff down to main street. The laundromat had enough washers, almost enough dryers, and precious few places to sit. I kept waiting for the music to stop.

I picked up some fish to fry at the supermarket on the way home. Delicious. I had some leftover salad and even fancied it up with some borrowed dressing. I should make my own dinner at home. I so won't though.
The kitchen here is especially busy tonight. Perhaps the long weekend?

Tomorrow night the Folk festival begins, so my abundance of time is about to come crashing to an end, but I'm up for it. Not sure my 11:00 bedtime all week has prepared me for the late after party shifts, but nothing to do but dive in and hope for the best. Why me? Why must I have all the fun. I'm sure I'll be a soup sandwich by the time I meet Louise on Tuesday. Hey! I Meet Louise on Tuesday! That should be fun. She's nuts!
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