Posts Tagged ‘Todd’

Posts Tagged ‘Todd’

Mt. Finlayson with the Himalaya Freaks

6.15.2010 | 0 Comments

Yesterday I had an adventure!

I took the ferry over to Victoria to visit with my brother Todd and his lovely girlfriend Becky. As regular readers of this blog will know, Todd and Becky just returned from 6 weeks of hiking through Tibet and Nepal, where they were able to take a 19-day trek to Everest Base Camp. So of course I thought that hiking up a small mountain on the island with the two of them would be a fantastic idea. Either I need to stop drinking so much, or I need to start drinking far more.

I packed a small bag, threw on my hiking boots, draped myself in all things Arcteryx and was promptly whisked off to the ferry terminal (thanks mom!). The really great thing about taking the ferry is the fact that for $13 you can take a (2-hour) cruise that doesn’t assault your sensibilities by forcing you to listen to steel drums for extended periods of time, or watch horrified as Mr. Creosote waddles up to the buffet line for his 4th helping of lard-covered fat sticks. However, I do not recommend taking this delightful mini-cruise if you have an allergy to patchouli, or if you have an allergy to being in ocean-going close confines with unruly children.


Todd and Becky thought it would be fun to go for a hike with me while telling me all about their trip. I completely agreed, and was so very excited to see them both. Although they certainly had some incredible stories to relate, it was their little pearls of travel wisdom that most intrigued me. We talked food, water, altitude, how to tie your boots for ascent vs. descent, and the effective layering of clothing. I must say this, as mature as I am, and as open as I am to learning new things, hearing about the number of times my older brother changed his underwear while trekking in Tibet was really not high on my list of ideal conversation topics*. And do NOT get me started on the Bowel-Movement Rating System…

The hike up Mt. Finlayson is really quite beautiful. Todd and Becky set a decent pace, and I didn’t feel as though I were struggling too much. At one point I started to get frustrated that I wasn’t keeping up with them very well, but I had to remind myself that the two of them had just spent a good deal of time hanging out where pro mountaineers go to challenge themselves. I had to give my ego a bit of a slap, and it helped.

So, after an hour or so of some scrambly, craggy, trail jaunting, we reached the summit of Mt. Finlayson. We were very proud.

Of course, as I was rasping for breath, wondering how internal organs could be on fire, Todd and Becky seemed somewhat less effected…

I like to call this photo, “Meh.”  I mean really, these two just hung out with lamas in Tibet last week. Climbing the mighty Mt. Finny at a whopping 1375 ft (a mere 17,965 ft shorter than Kili), I could understand that they may have been just slightly underwhelmed.

Regardless, the were both incredibly gracious hosts, sharing their stories, imparting their wisdom, giving me potato chips carrots and celery on the drive up, and treating me to  beer and nachos a healthy dinner before taking me to the ferry terminal.

It was a good hike, and a great day in fantastic company. Both Todd and Becky gave me a lot to think about, and I had my eyes opened again to the fact that I need to get out there and get active, right now. I am so not ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and as I wheezed and burned up a hill whose height is 14 times less than that of Kili, that certainly became perfectly clear.

On the upside, I was certainly well educated on the most important items to bring on my climb that will ensure a mentally successful trip: wet wipes, Snickers bars, and apparently a lot less underwear than I thought was necessary.

*note to self: buy Todd some new underwear for Christmas. Also, buy Becky Hazmat gloves for laundry day*


Laugh it up, Fuzzball

6.13.2010 | 1 Comment

I’m really glad that I’m writing a blog at this time in my life. It gives me the chance to express my strange brand of humour in a new, more mature way.

Because when I was a kid, I used to tear open tea bags and snort the contents up my nose just to make my brother Todd laugh.

I truly appreciate that I don’t have to resort to such lowbrow tactics anymore.

…Well, until I get Writer’s Block anyway.

*tears open teabag*


Oh Brother, There Art Thou.

6.09.2010 | 4 Comments

Check THIS out!!

Isn’t that freaking AWESOME?!  That’s my brother, Todd, standing in Tibet with Mt. Everest in the background. He just got back home yesterday after a 6-week trek through Tibet and Nepal.

Me? Jealous? Noooooooooooooooo…

I am SUCH a little sister!

Bratty Little Sister: Mooooooooooooooooooom! If Todd gets to go to Tibet, I want to go to Tibet!!

Mom: But you’re going to Tanzania!

Bratty Little Sister: BUT I WANNA’ GO TO TIBET!!   *stomps feet, crosses arms, sticks out bottom lip*

Mom: Oh for love of…

I’m pretty proud of my brother Todd for doing this. He totally inspires me. Before he left he wrote me an email about how he wasn’t sure what his trek was going to be like, or how he was going to do. He was a bit nervous as to how his body would react to the altitude, and wanted to be able to let me know ‘genetically’ what to expect when I climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Isn’t he nice? He went all the way to Tibet to see how I would fare in Tanzania. Awww…. he loves me! I’m so glad that we’ve grown out of the punch-each-other phase.

Anyway, in his pre-trip email, he recounted an anecdote about our old dog, Oreo. If you gave Oreo a piece of toast crust, she would happily eat it and then look to you for another. However, if you gave her an entire piece of toast (yes, we did this.  A lot.  We were kids!  You know what? Just… don’t ask…) she would stare at you wide-eyed with this big crunchy piece of bread in her mouth, then wander away slowly. You would then hear her start to whine. For the next 20 minutes or so, you could watch her as she wandered around the house, whining, drooling through the toast onto the carpet, looking for a place to ‘bury’ her treasure. By day’s end we could certainly expect to find the toast piece wedged between the couch cushions, or nosed under a blanket on someone’s bed (hopefully she had licked the peanut butter off first).  She never ate the thing, she just hid it!

Todd’s explanation of recounting this story as it related to our adventures was this:

When I look at the map of the world and note that we’re spanning most of Asia it gets more and more daunting thinking about it.  In reality, one foot in front of the other is the farthest horizon I need to think about.  Our trips are similar in this regard…  It seems impossible to do what we’re setting out to do, so stop thinking about that and just concentrate on taking one more step.  You can always take ONE more step.

I think we should keep Oreo in mind when we’re traveling or doing anything else that seems impossible:  We cannot possibly eat a whole piece of toast and we’ll look (whining) for a place to bury it.  But if someone takes it from us and (gives it to us to eat) piece by piece, well, then eating it was pretty easy in retrospect.

Remember Oreo and the Toast!

I think that has to be one of the best emails I have ever received in my life. Odd how a toast-burying dog can be motivational.

So, what I did was take a small part of Todd’s email, and made it a part of my journey. When he wrote, “You can always take ONE more step“, it really hit home for me. I took that small sentence, typed it out in big font, printed it off and had it laminated. It will be going with me on my climb. When I’m crying and snotting my way up Mt. Kilimanjaro in a few weeks, I’ll root through my backpack looking for kleenex, and I’ll come across this little laminated sentence. And maybe it’ll encourage me to just blow my nose, stand up, and take ONE more step. I can always take ONE more step.

I can do this. I just need to remember that sometimes I have to look at my feet and not at the peak.

Thanks Todd.

Thanks Oreo.