We had planned on hiking back to Peden Lake today, but we changed our minds and decided to go hike Maple Mountain in Duncan. It was quite challenging to me and took us 3h30 to go up, have a quick snack and come back down. I was quite happy that your Dad volunteered to carry you on the way up and you’ll see why on the map below. Each contour interval on the map below is 20m of altitude change. We climbed the 400m (and came back down 400m. Here’s the route we chose to do: starting at Maple Mountain Rd on the blue trail, climb trail until you reach the pink trail. Then take pink trail until orange trail and once on the orange trail, keep climbing until you reach the parking lot. We stopped for a quick picnic in the parking lot (which is really a flat terrain and there was nobody there but us!), then I took you on my back and carried you while we made our way back down taking the pink trail heading North until we reached the blue trail back to the car.
The climb was challenging to say the least, even if I didn’t have to carry you. I needed to stop quite a few times and your Dad even commented that I had the exhausted look of an Everest climber. I kept on telling myself that I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
At one point, you Dad asked me if I was hating life. I told him that no, actually, I was enjoying this because, as difficult as it was to keep climbing, it was nothing compared to what Mamie will have to go through in the coming week. And then, I burst out into tears. I know. Quite girlie of me, but this hike was a challenge physically and emotionally to me. I wanted to keep pushing myself to see what my limits were, to prove to myself that I was stronger mentally than my negative inside voice who keeps nagging me that I can’t do things. If I just set my mind to it, I can do anything, whether physically or otherwise.
It wasn’t pretty, but I managed to get to our pit stop shortly after you and your Dad. By then, you had fallen asleep (a small victory to us as you had cried for well over 1hr on our last outing with you in your carrier).
Once we were done refuelling, I took over carrying you and we started our slow descent. It wasn’t any easier than the ascent as the trail was often littered with loose rocks and often, those rocks were covered with slippery Arbutus leaves. It made for a very precarious footing and I was careful not to fall with my precious load (you). There were quite a few steep drops to go through and although there were a few switchbacks to try and make the descent easier, it was really hard (to me, at least, it was!) and I was sweating just as much coming down as I had going up. To make things even harder, you started crying / moaning for the majority of the descent. 😦 I just kept trudging on, even though my quads, knees and big toes (from hitting the inside of my hiking boots) were all on fire. When we finally got to the car, your Dad helped me take you off my back and I burst out crying once more. It had been challenging and I was proud of myself for having done it. I think it had also been hard on me because I was thinking about Mamie and her chemotherapy a lot.
My legs are like jelly and I’m off to icing my knees!
Mom & Dad Xxo