Posts Tagged ‘Camping’

Posts Tagged ‘Camping’

To The Roof of Africa!

8.12.2010 | 3 Comments

On January 1st, 2010 I started my journey with this blog entry:

I am going to climb a mountain. Well, I’m going to walk up one, anyway.

I haven’t done anything like this before. In fact, I can probably count the number of times I’ve gone hiking, and I know I haven’t been camping more than half a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m getting into. I’ve watched videos about climbing this mountain. I’ve submitted questions about the climbing of this mountain to semi-popular websites. I have bought (although not yet read) books about this mountain. I feel about as prepared as someone who listens to a song on the radio and then starts hiring roadies to prepare for a world tour.

In August of 2010, I am going to fly to Tanzania, Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a way to raise money for the Delta Hospice. The Hospice holds a very special place in my heart, and it is my absolute honour to take on this journey to fund raise on their behalf. But this will be no simple journey. Oh no, this will be a flat-out epic.

Aside from the parent-induced membership in Brownies and Girl Guides, I have managed to avoid the outdoors quite sufficiently for about 30 years. I am the anti-camper. I do not like being cold. The sound of rain drops falling on a tent is nearly trauma-inducing. I would rather be in prison than a sleeping bag. (Some of you more astute readers may be able to pick up the subtle hints I am dropping in regards to my views on outdoor life). To climb Mount Kilimanjaro means that I will need to… oh, man… camp for 10 days.

And so, purely for your entertainment, I am going to allow you into my world as I train for this adventure. For the next seven months, I will allow parts of my life to become an open book, and permit you to laugh, cry and shake your head in total disbelief as I attempt to turn myself from Robyn the Indoor Princess, into Robyn the Sobbing Mess of Outdoorsy Semi-Competence.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

And today, on August 12th, 2010, I am boarding that flight to Tanzania, Africa knowing that $10,000 $11, 850 has been raised (so far!) for the Delta Hospice Society.

I hiked once, twice, three times and four, five times, six times, and seven

I trained

I attempted to camp

I ate, ate, ate, and ate, and ate, ate, and happily ate, and ate, and ate, shamefully ate, ate, ate and attempted to explain sarcasm, ate, and ate, and ate, and tried to avoid eating, and thought about what to eat, and ate.

I fundraised, and had help with fundraising

I was sponsored and sponsored again

I was humbled

I remembered.

This has been an incredible journey on the way to having an incredible journey. I learned a lot about myself in these past eight months, and I learned a great deal about the power of human nature and the strength of community kindness. This whole experience has left me awed. And I am grateful for it. Thank you for letting me share it all with you. This became such a personal blog, and I’ve met some very wonderful people because of it.

And so today, I leave this blog in the capable hands of Chris, who will update it as often as he hears from me. I’m not sure how or when I’ll be able to make contact, but please know that it’s a priority for me to be able to keep you posted.

I want to thank you all so very, very much for following me and for reading this blog. It means more to me than I could ever express to know that I’m carrying your support and kindness in my heart as I scale that mountain.

And guess what?

I’m crying.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!



This Title is Irrelevant to this Post

7.29.2010 | 4 Comments

Last night I went to the Delta Chamber of Commerce to have a brief interview with the panel who will be choosing the Volunteer of the Year for the Hats Off to Excellence Awards. It was a nice little sit-down, we had a chat about various things, and it was all very comfortable.

We spoke about my being on the Delta Hospice Vigil Team, and what it’s like to sit with someone as their body prepares itself to leave this current world.

We talked about my Kilimanjaro climb, and why I’m doing it.

We talked about some of the risks involved in my doing this climb.

We talked about how much I really, really enjoy camping.

All in all it was a nice interview, and I hope I got across to them what my real goals and intentions are around this most amazing of adventures. They interviewed a whole boatload of people, and will now narrow the field down to three nominees.  Those three nominees will then be invited to attend a gala dinner in November – what an EXCELLENT excuse to buy new shoes!

However, they will be contacting those nominees in three weeks’ time. Right when I’ll be standing atop the World’s Highest Free-Standing, Snow-Covered, Equatorial Mountain.

And I’ll be singing.

Good luck to all the nominees! I’m thrilled to be in such fine, fine company.  xo


Team Lug Nut – Steady as She Goes

5.24.2010 | 2 Comments

So, Ali and I left the city yesterday to enjoy some time in nature. Ali had told me about this great campsite she knew of in Brackendale that was right by the river, so I agreed to jam the car full of camping stuff, and pick her up at 9am.

Good morning! Ready to go, Ali?


And so, into the woods we go. After a wrong turn here and an “I don’t remember this” statement or two, we were finally on our way down the World’s Longest Backwoods Road which was rife with pot holes and death-wish squirrels. Ali realized that she had to make a work-related phone call, so I turned down the stereo so that she could book flights for someone and seethe in relative silence.

Given that we’re driving into the middle of Upper Cougar Crotch (as my mother likes to call any sort of wilderness-related destination), the fact that Ali lost cell reception wasn’t all that surprising. We drove on for a few minutes more until BLAM! I hit The World’s Largest Pot Hole dead-on and my front tire blew out.


That’s ok! We’ll just call BCAA… Oooooh, right. That no-cell-phone-reception thing. Well, looks like it’s up to us now. Hey tire… you, me… bring it on.  Awwwwwww, yeeeeah…

Now, for those that know me, you will recall that I have two rather large dog crates in the back of my car. Which, of course, are tied down with enough rope and bungee cord to create excitement in certain sections of the population. I’m not sure, but I believe a photo of my securely-tied dog crates was the feature picture on last month

Aaaaaaaaanyway… While Ali grabbed the “How to Change a Tire” book from the glove compartment, I set out to find a way to remove the spare tire from under the dog crates, without actually having to remove the dog crates.

Let me tell you this: changing a tire isn’t all that tough, but it does take some strength.  And a little bit of rhythm.

You kind of get a rhythm going when you’re jacking a car up, so I was really in the groove for a while there. But then Ali wanted to play, so being the generous friend that I am, I gave her a shot at it, too.

Jenn is not amused.  At all.  “Hurry up, Lady!”

And so, after completing the tire change, Ali and I were really quite proud of ourselves. After a well-deserved high-five, we posed for a photo with our conquered prey.  ALL HAIL TEAM LUG NUT!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand then we drove back into Squamish and went to the Canadian Tire, crossing our fingers that it was actually open on a Sunday morning. Don’t forget the Tire of Doom! Buckle up for safety!

Now, I will admit it: I was scared to drive on that little tire, and the fact that it is referred to as a “donut” didn’t do much for my confidence. I put on the 4-way flashers and drove about 40km/hr back up The World’s Longest Backwoods Road toward civilization. 4 hours later (kidding!)… we reached Canadian Tire safely, and as I walked in the three people at the service counter stopped their conversation and just sort of stared at me. Looking down, I realized that I was probably the dirtiest I had been since childhood. Apparently this is not a good look for me. The nice lady at the desk said they were “booked solid” that day, but that she would squeeze me in ASAP. Ali and I went to grab a coffee and by the time we got back, the car was ready! …sort of.

Turns out that the rim was shot, and so they couldn’t put a new tire on. I would have to drive home on the donut. “Ummm… is that safe?”, I ask. The lady looked at me and said, “No. Not at all”, then handed me back my keys.

And so, I now have to drive from Squamish to Ladner, down the Sea-to-Sky hwy, in the rain, on a donut.

“Well, better put the 4-ways on”, says Ali, and away we went…

I white-knuckled it home, dreading that the donut would blow at any minute, and send the car careening off a cliff. In my head I had decided that should the donut fail on me, I would try my best to swerve left, so as to ensure that Ali would have a good chance at walking away from any accident. Was I nervous? Nooooooooooooooooo…

(Yep. Those are bite marks on my hand, as I kept chewing on myself to keep from screaming.)

However, we FINALLY made it home (after a few stops where I simply had to pull over and relax for a moment), and when we made it through the Deas Tunnel, both Ali and I took our first real breath since we changed the damn tire however many hours ago. Then we started laughing. Then we realized that we suck at camping.

Or, do we?

Yep, that’s right – we went back to my place, lit a pathetic fire in the fire pit on my balcony, ate some terrible hot dogs, and chowed on the Worst S’mores Ever. We finally got to experience camping after all…




Why I don’t ‘Do’ Camping

1.17.2010 | 3 Comments

I was supposed to go camping this weekend, but unfortunately, it just didn’t happen. I did, however pull all my (unused) camping gear out of storage. Of course I’m too afraid to actually open the boxes and go through it all because I am *sure* there are at least 72 big, fat, hairy, angry, heart-stopping, fast-moving, building-jumping, super-sonic, radioactive, big-fanged, growling, snarky spiders-with-a-penchant-for-Robyn-Tasting-Flesh in there. So I will gladly keep the lids closed until I have someone here who has a lesser fear and/or bigger, heavier shoes.

However, I do have to open the boxes before Tuesday because that is when the Delta Cable camera crew will be coming by to film me going through the camping gear. My reaction to seeing a spider is something I’d really rather NOT have caught on film, thanks. I’ve just got to be brave. Or maybe drunk. Or quite possibly both.

Stupid scary British Columbia spiders! I hate them! HATE THEM! Well, at least there aren’t any spiders in Africa! *whew*

…hmmm, you know, maybe I’d better double check just to be sure…

*Googles “Africa Spider”*

Let’s see, let’s see… here we go! First article up is from National Geographic… and what does it say here…

“African Spider Craves Human Blood, Scientists Find”

What? That’s not right. That can’t be right… can it? Maybe I should just stop while I’m ahead. Maybe I should just walk away from the computer and NOT let my curiosity get the best of me. Yeah, that’s a good plan. A really good plan. Yep, just going to get up and walk away… right now… here I go… really…

*Do NOT do a Google Image Search, do NOT do a Google Image Search, do NOT do a Googl…*