Adventure time… see ya Monday!

I admittedly became slightly stressed when I thought about the fact that I couldn’t write blog posts for the remainder of the week. It’s such a habit and part of my day that it felt weird that I wouldn’t be able to do that while I was on vacation, but I am deciding to welcome the break. I am packing up my car this morning, and hitting the road to the Icefields Parkway for four nights of camping. I’m staying at a “primitive” (<- Alberta Parks’ words, not mine) campground, with my tent, some good books, lots of fleece clothing, and me. On the weekend I’ll be meeting up with Jo (Living Mint Green) for a night or two, but to kick of my only holiday this summer, I’m going on my first solo camping trip.

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Am I a teensy bit nervous about tent camping by myself? Yes.

Am I excited to challenge myself and grow as an independent adventure woman? Hell yes.

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I am going to try and balance two things on my trip, adventure and relaxation. I have some potential hikes picked out to do during the day, as well as some lakes and waterfalls to visit. I have my running shoes, hiking boots, and bathing suit. However, I also hit up the library at the start of the week to grab some books to read, I have my journal packed, and I have my camera to try and take some time to work on capturing the magic of the beautiful places I’ll be traveling. I’m really excited, and don’t worry mom… I have a knife and bear spray too. 😉

Happy adventuring this weekend, I’ll catch you all up on my exploring next week!

17 “Getting to Know Me” Things.

If you recognize this post title, you should, because I’m stealing it from Jo (Living Mint Green) who wrote this exact idea a week ago! I’m sure you know quite a bit about me because I put a shocking amount of information on the internet about myself, but here are 17 things about me.

  1. What brings you the greatest joy?

Being outside, in nature, with the smell of pine. People who talk passionately about something in their life whether it’s their loved one or job or hobby. A cold beer after a long day of hiking. Traveling to a new place and taking in how beautiful the world is. Laying in soft green grass. Whale watching. Friends and family that make me smile.

2. What are your vices?

Chocolate. And now beer floats.

IMG_23373. What is on your nightstand?

A necklace that I took off before bed about a month ago. The latest book I picked up from the library called “Keep Quiet” by Lisa Scottoline. A vase with green rocks from Friendly Cove on the west coast and a fake white flower. Most likely a bobby pin or seven.

4. Do you have a secret talent?

I have a fairly common ability to memorize song lyrics after very few times hearing a song. I’m also decent at rapping Eminem’s “I’m not afraid.”

5. What is your greatest indulgence?

I think at this point in my life it’s my lack of accountability to anyone but myself. I can go places I want to travel, do things I want to do, say no when I want, and really enjoy myself without worrying about an S.O. or child or anyone else. I can workout three hours in a day and call it “me time” while some women in the world barely get 20 minutes to themselves.

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6. What should everyone try at least once in their life?

Skydiving. It’s fun! I swear.

7. What makes you laugh?

People who love to dance anywhere, any time. I laugh with them because they truly seem so carefree and happy.

8. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I used to decorate cakes. Not for a living or anything but as a teen I was super into making and decorating cakes, like icing roses and everything. When other kids were out partying and getting drunk for the first time, I was baking. HAHA.

9. What is on your bucket list?

An ironman.

10. What is one your feet right now?

Horribly chipped pink nail polish. I am barefoot most of the time (hence why my shoes smell gross AF all the time and my mom not-so-secretly puts shoe deodorizers in my shoes.

11. How did you make your first dollar?

Selling “monster” cookies (those cookies you bake on a popsicle stick) at a garage sale at my house. I was 4. Can you say entrepreneur?

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12. What superstitions do you believe in?

Not really a superstition but I believe the universe works in mysterious ways and everything happens for a reason. When a trip is cancelled or plans change I believe they were meant to be changed for some reason or another.

13. What items in your closet do you wear most?

Summer dresses from Joe Clothing and lululemon wunder under tights. Not together ha, but usually on summer work days I wear a dress and most other days when I’m at school studying or something I’ll wear tights and a long t-shirt.

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14. What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

My grandma made me a scrapbook for my high school graduation. It had photos of my and my family and friends from the time I was a baby up until high school and then she left the final page for a graduation photo. The amount of time and thought she put into it was amazing and I am still beyond grateful for that gift.

15. What is on your liquor shelf?

I just bought Original 16 Copper Ale and Original 16 Pale Ale for my upcoming camping trip.

What is on your kitchen counter?

A lot of fruit usually. At this point in time there are plums, granny smith apples, and bananas. I can’t get enough summer fruit and the grocery store trips happen way too often in our house to keep up with the berry and fruit consumption!

What would you never leave home without?

Sadly, my phone and my FitBit. Technology yo. You should see the tan line from my FitBit. I think the only good thing about it is that it shows where my tan started at the beginning of summer and how pale I used to be. I have my phone for school emails, texts, and calling my dad to help me with one thing or another.

Now you go! What is the best gift you’ve ever received? What is on your nightstand? What brings you joy?

Tour De L’Alberta 2016.

Back at it again with this Alberta cycling tour! I did the 100km distance in 2014 and rode the 160km distance last year, recaps HERE and HERE. Once again, I signed up for the 160km distance with my dad and my mom signed up for the 100km distance (but sadly had a flat that busted her entire tire and she had to be picked up off the course at 86.9km)! This Tour was literally my entire day yesterday, and I just worked on Saturday, so here we are, Monday after a very active weekend!

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The tour was actually moved from Morinville (super close to me, north west of Edmonton) to Beaumont (south east of Edmonton) this year, so it was neat to ride in a different area. As you may have noticed, we’ve been trying to get in some distance riding lately to try and prepare for this day. I think it paid off because for the most part it was an amazing day, but things like 30 degree afternoons and a strong west wind are things you can’t train for.

We started at 8am. I actually hit the wall at about 60km. I had a good breakfast and lots of fluid but I only grabbed half a banana at the first food station and the next one wasn’t until 76km and I totally ran out of fuel in my body. I just drained my water bottles and pressed on but I felt so hungry and sick at the same time for a solid half hour. I learned my lesson and kept constant fuel and electrolytes for the remainder of the tour. The rest was awesome. The wind was tough and it got VERY hot in the last few hours but we did it!

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170… yep, the course was 170km and not 160km… kilometres of Alberta canola fields, cute farm houses, and some little provincial parks I didn’t even know existed! My dad is a rockstar. He probably could have ridden a few km/h faster and would have been able to go another 50km when we finished, but he stuck with me and totally was my rock during the day. I’m super proud of him! It also kind of bums me out when I’m struggling hard up hills and he’s 52 and powering up like a champ. 😉 Our average speed was 27km/h, which is a bit slower than last year, but still awesome and we were happy with it!

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Oh god… my hair in that photo. Yikes. We had a quick meal at the finish before NEEDING to get home and shower. Best shower ever. We crashed for a bit before heading for DQ blizzards. I don’t think I’ve had a blizzard in a few years so it was incredible. I had peanut butter cookie dough… aka the best combination in the world. One of us biked 170km and one did a marathon (on Netflix).

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You see that little patch of red on my forehead? Yup, a sunburn. I even reapplied sunscreen at our lunch stop around 121km, but there are random patches on my body that I must have missed because I have a few spots that were burnt. My cycling tan lines are now in full effect and totally mock-worthy.

Until next year Tour De L’Alberta!