Sunday, September 18, 2011

Summer Bucket List: Grouse Grind

With summer drawing to a close I feel like it was here and gone so fast. Really the weather didn't start to get nice until August this year so that has alot to do with it feeling so short. I have to say though that this has been the most amazing summer, not only because I completed 9 out of 11 items of my summertime bucket list but mostly because it is the first summer EVER that I was actually excited about it being summer. Every other year I have actually dreaded summer, it meant wearing less clothes which meant showing my body and showing everything I disliked about myself. Summer used to mean feeling embarrassed to walk down the street and wishing I was able to wear the cute clothes that all my friends were wearing. Not this year!! This year I was actually excited, this year I knew I was going to fit into those cute clothes and enjoy all those activities I wanted to do which was a huge part of why I created my bucket list. For those of you who need a refresher, my bucket list involved the following items:

#1: Go to Wild Play and complete the Monkido course
#2: Go Ziplining again at Adrenaline
#3: Rent Kayaks
#4: Day trip to Vancouver to complete the Grouse Grind
#5: Day trip to Vancouver and go to Playland
#6: Go tubing up at Lake Cowichan
#7: Go hiking a few times: Mt. Work, Mt. Wells, Mt Finlayson, Mt. Doug or any other reachable places around the island
#8: Run around Thetis Lake and swim to the island as a cool off
#9: Ride my bike for some short day trips around Victoria
#10: After work BBQ`s & badminton/bocce at Willows Beach
#11: Do the indoor climbing at Crag X Climbing Gym

I successfully completed all those items except for #5 and #6. After my attempt at going on rides at the Saanich Fair I axed the idea of going back to Playland. The tubing, it just never came to fruition, but I have nothing to complain about. I really did so much this summer, it was like cramming in all the fun things I always wanted to do into 3 months. Yesterday was the last item of my bucket list that I checked off. Nicki and I headed to North Vancouver to conquore the Grouse Grind. For those of you who don't know what it is let's just say it's nickname is "Mother Nature's Stairmaster". It is a 2.9KM hike up an to an elevation of 3,700 feet involving 2,830 stairs. Here we are just about to start our hike...
The hike starts ok. Apart from the fact that it was pouring rain out, you think "bah we are strong, we can do this" as you have people running past you. As we pass the half way mark we're making good time and stop to take a photo.
Suprisingly we are still looking kind of all right at this point, wet, but all right. The second part of the hike get's harder as we get higher up in elevation. And as we get into the last 1/4 of the hike it gets increasingly wet and steep. I said it was like hiking up a shower. Literally I could feel the sweat pooring from my forehead but by the time I got to the top I was just drenched in water that all the sweat was gone. Here we are at the top, I just love Nicki's picture so much it captured exactly how we both felt at that moment.
We were both freezing cold and exhausted but made our way inside to grab a hot latte and try to get some feeling back in our hands. Luckily we didn't have to walk down the mountain, we took the gondola down. We were two drenched rats inside the gondola with the nice dry people who took the gondola up to the top. Once we got to the bottom and to the car the rain had STOPPED!! Well the only good thing about that is that we were able to get dry and changed since we had just had a shower :). We headed off to Richmond and checked out Ikea. I bought nothing but Nicki found some cute pillows for Gavin's room. We ate lunch at the River Rock Casino and were planning on getting a massage but were too tired, yes too tired for a massage. We were both just DONE and needing to get back to Victoria. It made for a lovely day, but long. A long day, and a long list of accomplishments/challenges this summer...maybe this means I need a fall bucket list?? hmmm..

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