Happy Trails in 2022!

I think I speak for many when I say Mike and I are well past ready to see the end of 2021! And, given how late I am getting my holiday act together, 2021 is probably already in your rearview mirror as you read this. I am hopeful that 2022 holds more promise in its hands: easing (or, at least a modicum of control) of this wretched virus; the start of serious climate change adaptation plans (in BC that’s for flood, forest fire, and drought); and the possibility of more far-flung travel to see friends and family.

M&M in East Sooke Park

One positive upshot of the rollercoaster ride that was 2021 is a deep sense of gratitude that Mike and I are blessed to live in Canada. Today’s news often leads me to realize that even though we’ve got our own brand of “Canuck-Crazy”, it’s more likely than not for us to “be kind, be calm, and be safe”* in comparison to pretty much the rest of the world.

Mike and friends in the Sooke Hills – part of our regular wilderness hiking area

Another solace for us in the 2021 craziness has been the opportunity to get out and appreciate the great outdoors. Within an hour’s drive of home we have access to just under 200 sq kilometres of wilderness hiking – much of which we get out to weekly. We still ride our bikes everywhere, and local walks have become a key part of every day.

This year as travel restrictions eased Mike and I got out locally on Vancouver Island and even drove onto the ferry and travelled up to Revelstoke and then to Canmore in Alberta. In August I got out with my cherished Alpine Club of Canada for some mountaineering in the Rockies right on the BC/Alberta border just north of Golden BC.

While I was chasing ice and rock Mike was visiting friends Doug and Mary-Pat in Canmore. He hiked, biked, swam, and had a grand time in the playground that is Banff-Canmore. I joined up with him after my climbing trip, but we quickly turned tail for Vancouver Island because BC’s forest fire situation was growing more intense by the day. We made it home with just hours to spare as all the main highways in the province closed behind us.

Not content with just one visit to the Selkirks and Rockies, I travelled back to Revelstoke in late September. My sister Janice hosted and joined my friend Liz and me for a beautiful hike to Miller Lake in Mt. Revelstoke National Park. Liz and I continued on to Invermere in the east Columbia River Valley. Here we visited with friends and were treated to some of the best “larch madness” hikes I have ever experienced.

Click to view these images full sized.

M&M in the Sooke Hills. Photo by Alan MacLeod

Fall has seen us busy with house reno projects, continuing mountain studies research and engagement, and settling in for winter. In just a few short weeks I will start a new “job” – on Jan 7th I’ll turn 65 and my beloved Canada will start paying me to be old. It sounds like a great gig – I’m looking forward to it!

Happy Trails to us all in 2022!

For more photos check out Mary’s Flickr photostream

* “Be kind, be calm, be safe” is the catch phrase of Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s Provincial Health Officer – good advice at any time.

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