Well, just a few days left before we set out on our big adventure, the West Coast Trail. I have done my best to prepare my 50-year-old body for this trek. Did I succeed? Well that remains to be seen. Physically, I am not sure I’m ready. I would love to have been 10 lbs lighter and a little stronger, but hey, it is what it is. If I write a follow-up blog, then you will know I survived. (hahaha, just kidding, 😉
I had mentioned in my earlier post that I was going to update you as to my training progress. Well that proved too hard. Until yesterday, I was working three jobs and going for hikes every available weekend to prepare. I simply found no time, or energy for writing. So I am going to sum it all up into this post.
I booked the trail in January 2017 and I started hiking to prepare in February. A girl I work with was my trusted hiking partner and my little dog, Wicket of course. There were some weekends that we didn’t get to hike, due to family obligations or working, but we went out when we were free. The first hike we did was a small one only ten minutes from my house, called Bear Hill. It was quick and easy to fit in when we were pressed for time, but it has a pretty good climb right at the beginning. It gets your blood pumping and we thought it would be a good one for getting started on.
We had an unusually wet winter here on Vancouver Island. Victoria, a very mild climate for the most part, had some very cold spells and lots of snow and rain for this region.
We didn’t let that stop us. We hiked through the snow and I have to say, that was kind of cool. I had hiked Strathcona Park in late July early August many times and met some snow, but only patches of it. This was the first time actually trekking through it. I liked it. It was fun and my new boots from MEC proved to be as great as their reviews had promised. My feet were comfortable, warm and dry and had great grip. We did that a hill a few more times and on occasion we were rained on pretty good. That is when I realized I needed a waterproof jacket. I was soaked straight through to my sweater underneath.
I finally started hiking some of these amazing hikes here in Victoria. I have lived here for two years and hadn’t met anyone to hike with and explore this end of the Island. I also dragged my boyfriend out on a hike, as soon as he came home from work and I had packed up some of the dehydrated dinners for us to eat on the mountain. We had to test them to make sure they were going to be tasty. They were. My grandsons even got in on the action with me. I took them to the Stairs at the Goose Spit in Comox, BC, while visiting my parents and I took them on a couple of hikes, which they both loved by the way. Maybe some new hiking buddies ?
Some of the other local hikes we did were Mt. Douglas, Little Niagara Falls in Goldstream National Park, and Mt Work and McKenzie Bight. There are still several on my list I would like to hike here. On the top of my list is Mt. Finlayson. We were saving this one for last because it is a more difficult one. Unfortunately we ran out of time and never got to do it.
Everyone keeps asking me, ” Do you feel ready?” Mentally, I am ready. Physically, I wish I was in better shape, but hey, we are out of time and this is going to have to do. Determination and desire is going to have to be enough. I am starting to feel some nerves now, with two days left to go before we set out. Those negative voices inside my head, that say horrible things to me when I am about to step out of my comfort zone, are in full swing now. “What if you can’t finish it?” ” Your are not ready” ” You are too old for this” I am pushing back with all my might against those voices. I know they are speaking from fear of the unknown. I am going to do this and give it all I’ve got! With all of my doubts and fears, I am doing this and I am going to finish this and mark it off my bucket list.
Backpack is packed and transportation is planned. Everything is ready and I am excited to start this grand adventure. I am looking forward to sharing my photos and my story with you, when I get to the other side of this hike of a lifetime, safely and in one piece.
Wish me luck