Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Great Day on the Howe Sound Crest Trail - Thomas, David, James and Harvey.

Saturday morning the plan was in place. Pick Chris up at 5:30 AM, Dave at 6:00 AM, Craig at 6:30 and on the trail by 7:00 AM. But like all good plans they are made to be broken. Dave emailed early - he was out and when we arrived to pick up Craig he was no where to be seen at the designated pick up spot. After waiting 30 minutes and sending countless messages and phone calls we decided to carry on to the trail head. Just when we started we heard that Craig was on his way - he thought his pick up time was 7:00 AM -oops!
We waited for Craig to appear before we set off with the start time now being 8AM. We were pleased that Craig caught up with us as he is the one seeking the completest list this year in the Bagger Challenge. Neil, Dave and I finished last year. Our new member of Team Dodgy who was keen to try a few bags is our Aussie relative Chris who has recently moved back to Vancouver from Maryland, USA. This was a good welcome back to Vancouver Chris outing!
We started at the Binkert Trail which starts as a fire access road and soon turns into the woods for a steady climb up. Once up and in the open we could hear music, we came upon a female who was playing a Joni Mitchell song on her guitar. What a nice greeting as we broke out of the forest. Only in BC!
Chris and I celebrating the first peak of the day, Thomas Peak - 1430 meters.  Craig's on his phone - he's got cell reception!
For a few moments clouds appeared over the Lions but thankfully they went away as quickly as they appeared.
Another Peak! James Peak, 1466 meters. Craig, myself and Chris.
Neil, Craig and myself James Peak.
Almost on top of David Peak,1496 meters. The stone is a bit red in colour.
Incredible views.
 The top of Mt. Harvey, 1650 meters. Pointing out our next bagging outing route!

Beautiful views of Howe Sound from the top of Mt. Harvey.

Chris on Mt. Harvey - taking it all in!
 Way to go Craig for getting 3 peaks closer to becoming a completest in the Bagger Challenge. Congratulations to Chris for completing his first 3 peaks in the Bagger Challenge. Great day out team...despite the unscheduled start early in the morning. Looking forward to the next bagging outing. I'm sure our quads will take the next one a little better.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cateran 110, Scotland, Norway and London Catch up!

Wow - it's been a busy fun filled couple of months! Finally, a chance to reflect on our adventures. In my last blog I mentioned we were on our way to Scotland for the Cateran 110 mile run and to celebrate with family Neil's 50th Birthday. Neil had a great run at the Cateran 110. 3 weeks after the trip to Scotland we returned to Europe to explore Norway and enjoy 4 nights in London. Between European vacations we participated in the Vancouver 100km event. I will highlight the adventures and Neil plans to do a race report of the Cateran - so stay tuned...his report hopefully will be coming soon!

At the start of the Cateran 110 The Spittal of Glenshee (which is also the finish). Neil is ready to go!
The crew (Graeme and I) stopped for some refreshments once Neil was well on his way. It's important the crew take care of themselves too!
Graeme and I stayed awake for the entire journey. We were fueled with several mugs of coffee throughout the night and day. Graeme was the official water boiler/coffee maker.
Neil at the finish of the 110 miles. He looks fresh as a daisy! Speaking with George one of the RD's.
The day after the run we met up with our niece Kendall and her husband Chris who were visiting Scotland for a week from Maryland, USA. We spent the week travelling around Scotland and celebrating Neil's 50th birthday. We are at Dunnottar Castle in this photo, a colleague of mine is having her wedding there next year - it's a spectacular place!
Once we were home we participated in the Vancouver 100 event. We did almost 50 km travelling from Cypress to Deep Cove. Our intentions were to meet up with our friend Craig who was planning on doing more than 150km on this route but he called it at 100km. I think that's plenty of km's on that course. It's one of my favourite events!
Mid June we returned to Europe where Neil was attending a conference in Norway. We seized the opportunity to explore Norway where my mother's side of the family is from.
 This photo was taken from a restaurant patio in Oslo, Norway at 11pm at night. It never got dark!

We travelled to northern Norway to the city of Tromso which is 350 kilometers north of the Artic Circle. While there we participated in the Midnight Sun Marathon (Half Marathon).

 We rented a car and explored the Northern coastline. It was spectacular with many quaint fishing villages. The weather was cool as you can tell by my beach wear!
We then travelled south to Stavanger where the conference was taking place. It was a colourful city with many waterfront restaurants. Stavanger is referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. The city is often listed as among one of the most expensive cities in the world by various indexes. I enjoyed the window shopping!

The conference arranged a ferry ride/bus journey to hike Pulpit Rock. Neil and I joined in on this evening excursion. Pulpit Rock consists of a steep cliff which rises 1,982 feet above the fiord. The hike was more strenuous than I thought it was going to be for a bus load of people to undertake. Everyone made it back - Neil and I were one of the first which allowed us time for some refreshments before the bus/ferry return to Stavanger.
After Stavanger we had 4 nights in London which we always enjoy. Hyde Park is such a great place to run which we did every morning. We enjoyed a night out at the theatre with our nephew who lives there now. 
 We have had brilliant summer weather since we returned back to Vancouver. BC. The weather is  calling us to get back into some peak bagging. Bagger Challenge...here we go!