Take from this world. There is so much that it offers you.
Learn from others. Sit at the feet of the wise. Learn their ways.
Humble yourself to God's direction and wisdom.
Be willing. Give back. Love.
These are my goals.
Join us.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Campsite 19

Last weekend Alex and I road tripped up to Squamish, BC for a Tough Mudder at Whistler Blackcomb. We planned for more friends to join but this time we just met up with one for the race. Klahanie Campground is just off the highway right before Squamish. At first glance, I was kind of thinking we would have to deal with traffic noise all night. But thank goodness for reservations and advise. The week before I emailed the campground peeps and asked for the most quiet and out of the way campsite. They suggested campsite 19. After a beautiful Sabbath drive through the curves of coastal PNW, we pull off the Hwy and up to the office. We get out and are greeted by the hosts/owners in their French-Canadian accents and silly smiles. The man crumples up the reservation, taking us at our word, and pulls out a map to show us our site. Directions and then paying for the second night, and fire wood from the lady and off. We drive down the long hill and through the other sites, around the circle and up to right onto the "goat trail". We park and hop out. Immediately we hear the waterfall others had been turned away by and check it out. Following the water downstream, we see its final destination, ocean waters.

We run down the trail, over the railroad tracks, onto the trail again and onto the boulders at the edge of the water. We made it! To our right, water meets water as cascading meets tidal and fresh meets salt.

We breathed it in; an amazing place and grateful to be a part of it.

Post race, we needed calories. So, at Tim Hortons we got a couple delicious Canadian maple donut, filled with cream. My taste buds danced with joy. Then we asked about any good restaurants in town, maybe Indian. We found the one; a very nice atmosphere, kind people, etc etc. But the food, oh my. Incredible. The BEST. We ordered four different curry bases. I can't remember the names but one had dumpling, another had chickpeas, another had lentils and the last had potato and cauliflower. They were all unique. Sweet, spices, creamy, soupy. It was all their. You would have to taste it, sorry. And it wasn't just because we were starving that they tasted so good. The extra we had for breakfast on the way back and it was still just as tasty cold. Sooo, yep!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Oh, Canada.

Our goal: get into Canada. Their goal: stop us from getting into Canada. Oh, and find drugs and weapons and pictures of child pornography. So they asked us to pull into slot four and follow instructions. We were then asked to get out of the car with our IDs. They asked us questions like, "How long have you known this man you are riding with?" I responded with, "Alex? Uhh we went to highschool together."
And, "Have you ever done any narcotic?" "Nope." "It's okay, I know it's legal in Washington, I don't care what you do on your own time." "Nope."
And, "Why are you coming into Canada?" "We're doing a Tough Mudder at Whistler tomorrow!" "Uhh-hhu... So are you meeting anyone up there?" "Yes, everyone else who is doing the Tough Mudder."

Canada is great. Their boarder patrol is tough. (They didn't say "sorry" once. Disappointing.) And we made it back to Washington with a friendly, "Oh right, yep, the Tough Mudder, how was it?!"
Also, gas prices were incredibly low.

Tough Mudder Whistler 2015 with Good Friends.

Tough and not as muddy as we thought. 18 kilometers of running and 19 obstacles for getting over/under/through/whatever. We started out in a long line to get our bibs, checked in our bag and headed toward the noise. We hopped over a wooden barrier and into the warm up area. Mr. Steroid-man was waiting for us with his colorful tattoos and bulging veins. He meant well, I'm sure. Bless his heart. So he did his job and got us alllllll pumped up. Then we moved onto the starting line with Mr. Sentiments. We grouped up and got cold as he asked us to take a knee and explored the reasons for running this race ie fathers, cancer, homeless children, each other/family/community/idk. So, we were ready to go. And off we went. Slightly inspired and more motivated to just leave. Woot! So we were off! The first few obstacles were a wooden wall style requiring a little hop and jump and over. Then "Cry Baby" was next. We were told to prepare for a gas chamber of sorts. I immediately thought mace and tear gas and police brutality and World War II, etc. It was menthol. A low to ground chamber of fog infused menthol vapor that burnt our lungs and chilled our skin. It was refreshing. And we kept running. Mud was next. Lots of it. All over the trail. And runners. We mainly stayed to the side where there was less mud cause honestly when given the option to run 10 miles with mud in my shoes or not, I generally go with not. But it was challenging! Lots of small stumps that could impale our bodies and plenty of chances to slip and brake an ankle. So good! And more running! So much running!
Our feet taking a break after 12 miles.

Then, "Hold Your Wood". A team effort to pass a 10ft log through several hole and over several walls with a "no wood on wood" policy loosely followed and never enforced. And more running. Which, by the way, offered an incredibly beautiful scene. Snow spotted peaks pulled up from a lush green costal forest of evergreen trees and thick underbrush. Creeks, streams, and hopeful rivers crossed our path as we made our way to the next challenge. A soupy mud bed with a barbed wire canopy waited for us. Oh, and culverts to crawl through that landed us in a watery light brown bath. It was refreshing. More frolicking through the forest and then we got the good stuff. The joys of a highdive! So good. And by dive, I mean no diving allowed but we got to jump 15 into water!/mud./other. It was fun! And then there was "Everest", a big slippery ramp that we had to sprint towards, throw our bodies at and hope someone at the top caught us. It worked out and I really like it. The camaraderie was awesome; everyone helping each other and encouraging each other to push themselves to the limit. A bit like the Kentucky Derby but everyone is rooting for each other and no one has horses and there are no winners and no large bets are made with a free beer at the end and no one dies.
Post race rootbear float.

So, then ice. Ice bath. "Ice Enima" was the words they liked to use. I was a little scared. But it was refreshing. We slid down into a tank of ice water with cage over head that forced us to go all in, then had to hop over a divider board and into another tank of ice water and then out. Wooh! It was cold. Luckily we had great weather. That sun was doing work yesterday! Upper 70(f) degree weather made it worth the dunk. We passed by the long ski jump course used in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Up the steep hill and onto the last few obstacles. "Funky Monkey" was a set of monkey bars that led to a bar that swung over to a suspended bar which we shimmied along, all over a light brown pool of water. It was like I was on the play ground in grade school again! Those were the days. Life was simple. No dirty water.
We were almost done! Another kilometer to the dredded dangling electric shock therapy. So much hype and mental prep for that. After 18 km though, I was over it. We bolted through and felt a slight irritation of electricity towards to the end. And we finished!! Mission accomplished. It was long. We sprayed off and got a head band. So legit. I actually wanted a medal, but that's okay. The race as a whole was so beautiful and calming and good for my soul. A little push of mental and physical in an incredibly glorious place, Beautiful Britiah Columbia.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Road Trip

The open road. Here we are! While I'm writing this we are in line for the boarder crossing in Blaine, WA heading to our first Tough Mudder at Whistler!! Oh, it's going to be... Muddy. Haha. Let's do this! Good to spend quality time with a good friend. So good.