Monday, December 23, 2013


Our fall holiday this year was quite possibly the Best. Holiday. Ever.

How does one begin to describe and share the Awesomeness of being able to roam and wander and eat and hike and camp and stop and relax and drive and run through so many vast beautiful places?  

I'm going to go with one word:  Freedom.

There's just something magical about a road trip adventure with no fixed agenda, schedule or itinerary. 

Let me say it again:  FREEDOM!

This latest Keith and Leslie adventure has set a new benchmark of holiday bliss.  With our new wheels, we're entering a whole new era of freedom to roam.  With the ability to camp wherever and whenever we want, we were Happy Campers out there. 

 Mount Whitney in the distance:  magical camping in the Alabama Hills

 Glen Canyon Viewpoint:  Let's Camp Here.

 Bike race in the shadows of Gooseberry Mesa and Zion National Park?  Yes, Please.

Summit Mount Whitney?  Why, not.

 Read a dozen books?  Check.

 Hiking in the Sierras:  Mono Pass Trail

The Grand Canyon.  Heck, yeah!

 Anniversary beers at Thelma and Louise Viewpoint

 Adventures on the Burr Trail:  Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

 Monument Valley's Little Cousin:  Valley of the Gods

Best. Campsite. Ever.

The Streak Give-eth!

This December, I have run every day in my beautiful backyard.  The Streak, was used as a simple motivational tool for me to get outside every day and get some exercise.  Everyday, I went for my run and took a few photos and posted them on Facebook.  Well.

It's been so much more than that!

The Streak reminded me of the importance of a few things in my world.

Banff is Beautiful.  How lucky am I to be living and running in this place?

Nature Rules:  I saw cougar prints, an owl, herds of elk, ravens, coyote prints, moose prints and shy deer. One day, a chickadee landed on my hand.  I ran through wind, blizzards, snow, cold and sunshine.  It was Awesome.

Everyday, nature changes.  The same places look different throughout different times of the day.

Winter is incredibly beautiful.

Getting outside is even more important in winter.  Just go. Don't wait for the weather. 

I really love to run.  Consistency is crucial to your success with anything you do.  Consistency is key to my running. 

I'm stronger than I thought.

Ice is beautiful.

It's important for me to connect with Mother Nature on a daily basis.

I really like to stop and enjoy the view.  A lot.

I'm definitely solar-powered.  I never, ever want to miss getting outside on a clear, sunny day.

You can have an entire conversation with a raven.  If you're lucky, they will talk back.

I love having the Sulphur Mountain Trail out my backdoor!  This trail rocks in winter.

Getting outside makes you feel happy and healthy.

I need both solitude and sociability.  Because I tend to prefer solitude, interaction with like-minded folks is crucial and fun!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Streak: Motivation Move Your Ass

Enter the Dark Months. The reality of December in Banff is less daylight and shorter days.

Enter the Streak. I am going to move my ass every day in the month of December. In particular, I am going to Run.

Enter Strides Running Store in Calgary. For Motivation. I love the idea - commit to a Mile a Day. Everyday. In December. You can join their Facebook Group if you need a little inspiration this month!

See:  3rd Annual Strides Run Streak

Feel free to be liberal with this.  Don't run?  Get out of the house and walk.  Every. Day.  Enjoy Yoga?  Go Yoga your Ass off, honey.  Why not start now instead of the January 1st?

Run #1 in Beautiful Banff:

The Hoodoos Trail

Run #2 in Beautiful Banff:

Fenland Trail

Now, go move your Ass!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sweet September

September has always been my favorite month of the year.  This year we were blessed with 2 crazy beautiful, hot warm weeks.  Since then, in a period of days the temperature plummeted, we got frost and then it snowed.  It was super late in coming - but the abrupt change of season has arrived. 

I got up to a few great adventures including an awesome night camping on shoreline of Spray Lakes and a quick jaunt up to the Buller Circuit.  I'd never been up North Buller Passs and I did the "bonus loop" up a peak with no name.  I named it Glory Peak because it was in fact glorious, and I could see the entire frickin' world from up there!

I've been distracted the past few weeks, namely because I've been working hard all summer and it's time for a bigger adventure.  Keith and I are heading off for 7 weeks in our new camper leaving tomorrow!  Yiiipee!  We're not taking our bikes this trip, just our running shoes.  We're heading back to Arizona/Utah, but we're going to take the long way through Washington, Oregon and Northern California.  We'll let the weather decide when and where we go - but we're heading South.

All of these photos are taken from my awesome day on Buller, what a great way to end the summer season.

 Happy Trails!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Run in the Sun is Fun: the Emerald Lake Triangle

 Oh, Emerald Lake.  I love your sparkling waters, your surreal color and especially, your immediate access to stunningly beautiful places.  Heck, you even have a restaurant to reward myself with at the end of a hard, sweet day on the trails. On a summer's day, you are the bomb.  I always enjoy soaking my tired legs in your pristine water to recover from your glorious trails.  The Emerald Triangle is a classic:  from the shoreline of Emerald Lake you climb to Yoho Pass, across the Wapta Highline to Burgess Pass.  A long descent through a cedar forest takes you back to the lake to complete the loop.

 Classic Emerald Lake Shoreline

 Every year, the water changes it's course across the alluvial fan.

 I'm going there!  Mount Wapta Highline

 Heading up Yoho Pass

 Last chance to splash.  The highline is dry in August.

 Looking across at the President's Range and Emerald Basin

 High on Emerald Lake

 Pine Cones are Cool

 Nearing Mount Burgess

 Alpine Fireweed

 Burgess and the Kicking Horse Valley

 Emerald Glacier and the Vice President

 Looking back on the Highline

Happy Leslie