Hi folks! I'm back from my vacation to Lethbridge, Alberta, where I spent a week hiking, lazing by the pool and visiting relatives. It was a great trip with beautiful scenery, and a much needed time to recharge the ol' batteries and spend time as a family.
We stayed on a beautiful golf resort located in a valley surrounded by coulees. The weather was fantastic all week. My Hubby's aunt and uncle live there, so we were fortunate enough to visit with them. They offered to take us on a hike through the scenic coulees, showing us their jogging route.
Now I should mention that I'm not a hiker, per se. But driving past those rolling green hills each day while we stayed there, it certainly seemed like the hike would be a mere stroll. I could handle it, no problem. Besides, if Hubby's aunt and uncle jogged this route, how bad could it be?
Of course, this would have been a good time to remember the wall of marathon tags I'd noticed in the basement of their home, and how it was plastered with a bazillion registration numbers. I guess my brain, like the rest of me, was on vacation.
I'll sum up the hike for you.
Them: How's everyone doing?
Me: I'm *wheeze gasp* fine.
Them: Great! We're coming up to Heartbreak Hill.
Me: *stops chugging water* Why is it *gasp* called *pant* Heartbreak Hill?
Them: Oh, you'll see.
Me: *gently whimpers and resolves not to cry in front of children*
This is me halfway up Heartbreak Hill, lol. Don't let the camera angle fool you--this was no gentle slope. Think Mount Everest, only grassier. My breathing sounded like a mountain goat's death rattle.
The views were worth it though! You can see a cluster of buildings in the center of the valley--this is our resort and the golf course. To give you an idea of how far we'd come at this point, the tiny houses waaaaay far away on the ridge line are close to where we started.
My kids, the Xbox generation, were troopers and made it back home with virtually no complaint, and I only harbored a tiny bit of resentment toward hubby who managed to carry a conversation throughout most of hike.
The following day I was grateful for the trek. We decided to go to Waterton Provincial Park, which lies in the mountains on the border between Alberta and Montana. There, we climbed up 'Bear's Hump'. I don't know if we could have done it without the previous day's practice.
Yep, we really did climb all the way up there. We picked this hike because it had been advertised as 'the shortest'. Something to add to my list of Things I Learned on this trip: Shortest does not always mean easiest.
Here's a view from the top, looking down on the small town of Waterton.
A nice surprise waited for us up there as well--a family of squirrels so tame they'd eat right out of your hand.
It was a wonderful experience. We all struggled to get to the summit, but reaching it and seeing the magnificent view left us with a huge sense of accomplishment. I was proud of all of us.
In town, we discovered a breathtaking waterfall:
...and deer roamed everywhere, letting people walk right up to them.
Lastly, I'll finish up with a tree. Everywhere I go, I 'collect' trees that interest me. This is a view looking up at a tree from where we picnicked one sunny afternoon.
The time away nourished my spirit and helped me with some personal struggles. I came away with closer ties to my kids and some much needed perspective. I know I have work ahead to get where I need to be, but my approach will likely be a slower one, with more balance.
How was your week?