Lion’s Valley – The Point of No Return

I seem to have these bizarre moments of needing to show off that I can be adventurous. Don’t get me wrong; I can totally handle being outdoors. I just don’t do quite as well when the outdoors touches me. For example, if I am walking along minding my own business and a bee comes out of nowhere, you’d better believe I am running for shelter. The hard part is, when I am with the kids I babysit, I have to pretend I’m super brave and ready for anything; even if I’m not the one leading.

Take the Lead

My Day Off.

When Michaela asked me if I was willing to participate in a little adventure, she already had the boys on her side, so I couldn’t refuse. I was out numbered 3:1. This is not unusual, but I would like to think I am fairly easy going and willing to try anything. Our adventure began in Lion’s Valley Park. I have been to Lion’s Valley probably a thousand times before, and that’s not an exaggeration. My backyard backs onto it, so saying I’m fairly familiar with this park is an understatement. I thought I knew every trail like the back of my hand. But, good ol’ Michaela opened my eyes. To be honest, I kind of liked my eyes shut! I was happy in my little bubble of organized trails that were well groomed and safe for walking.

I had already promised that she could take the lead, and the boys were more than pumped. I was pretty much there to hold onto the snacks and water, call attention to things to look out for, and whatever else they needed. It was kind of nice not to be in charge for once; I must admit.

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This view is just as nice from a registered path. I’m just saying.

Don’t Trust the 14 Year Old

She Overestimates Her Brothers.

Michaela led the way behind an electrical hut, across a river, and to the bottom of a hill. This path was in the complete opposite direction of my usual route. But I wasn’t bursting their bubble just yet. So this hill, I’m not talking about a speed bump. I’m talking, a very tall and very steep hill. If I was the one leading, we would have turned back right then and there, but I promised she could lead. Big mistake.

Michaela and I had to take turns pushing and pulling the boys up the hill. Every time I complained, she told me to suck it up and that we were almost at the top. Who does she think she is? My trainer? We were so far from the top, until suddenly, we made it. Before you place your judgements on my laziness, it took 15 minutes to hoist the boys up that hill. That’s 15 minutes of holding 60ish pounds without a break. You give it a try and let me know how you feel.

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I swear the three of them think I’m oblivious sometimes. But after that hill, we all need to chill.

Point of No Return

Just Kidding, We’re Returning.

The path, if you can call it that, was overgrown and nowhere near straight. Michaela kept insisting that she had been this way so many times before with her cousins. One of the boys told me to not be a scaredy cat, and the other wouldn’t let go of my hand. I’m getting mixed signals here. I’m uncomfortable and the boys were getting to that point too.

I guess you could say I was allowing Michaela to be the fearless leader while I was the fearful adventurer. It got to the point where the grass was so over grown that I couldn’t allow us to continue. Cue the moans and grumbles. I didn’t mind walking back the way we came, I was just dreading going back down that hill. I thought going up was hard, but going down was probably more dangerous.

The boys were exhausted, I was not in the mood to deal with whining, and Michaela was pissed that I made them turn back. What can I say? Since we weren’t on a registered path, we didn’t know who could have been creeping around up there. I mean it’s Oakville, and it’s probably one of the safest places out there, but still. I was done.

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Once we hit this point, I knew we were lost. Go on Michaela, admit it.

Pro Tips

I’m More Pro than Michaela.

As nice as it was to take a break from being the lead person, it was also kind of scary not knowing what was going on. To avoid being in a situation like me, follow my pro tips.

  • Don’t trust a 14 year old. She may say that she knows where she is going, but she doesn’t.
  • If you’re not leading, get the plan ahead of time. You can thank me in advance. Had I known the plan, the situation could have been completely avoided.
  • Should you wish to go off trailing, make sure your skin is covered. Poison Ivy is no fun and no one should have to experience it. Especially not a 5 year old.

 

Have you ever been on an adventure that was supposed to be epic and ended up with a complete fail. Share it in the comments, so I don’t make the same mistakes.

Stay adventurous my friends,

The Basically Adventurous Jordanne.

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Let’s Climb Blue Mountain

Spending a weekend in Blue Mountain or in cottage country is supposed to be relaxing, right? Apparently I was wrong. Instead of lounging by the pool, all-inclusive meals, sand between your toes, and sun shining on your skin, Blue Mountain is where the adventure begins. By adventure, I mean the hiking and biking, climbing and paddling type of adventure. Not so much the luxurious massages and tanning sessions I am used to.

The Adventure Begins…

With The Right Outfit.

The my entire family set out to participate in the 25 mile Centurion bike race, I mean psshh anyone can do that. I didn’t want to be left behind, so being the go-getter-girl that I am, I decided to take myself on a little adventure of my own. Hiking up Blue Mountain. I know that people say that there are no real mountains in Ontario. But I can assure you that I was, indeed, climbing a freaking mountain.

The most important part of an adventure, in my opinion, is selecting the right outfit. Let’s talk about it. Mobility is key. I opted for Lulu Lemon Capris and a Nike T-shirt. And, I kept a sweater tied around my waist just in case. I didn’t even think about touching it once I started the incline, but you never know, I could have needed it. Be warned get the right type of shoes. This is not a ‘no worries I can do this in Flip Flops’ kind of climb. Believe me, I tried. This is a strictly a hikers or sneakers kind of climb.

The Climb

Cue Miley Cyrus’ song.

I am a competitive dancer certainly not a climber. I can kick, jump, and turn for days, but marching up a mountain with every step having my knees come up to my belly button was not what I was expecting. I will not lie to you; climbing the mountain the day following a torrential down pour was not my best idea. But I already told a few people I was embarking on this dangerous, life changing, earth shattering journey, so there was no option to turn back.

With every step, I regretted not taking the Gondola. I would even settle for the Ridge Runner (the rollercoaster ride through the forest). I mean I did try to get out of the sun and go through the tree covered mountain bike path. But that was a bad idea. I do not recommend it. It was nice getting out of the heat for five minutes, but it is a mountain bike trail after all. And mountain bikers, going who knows how fast, aren’t exactly welcoming to hikers. I found out the hard way. Don’t worry. No one was hurt.

In addition to the not so friendly mountain bikers, turns out spiders like constructing massive webs in the forest. Those webs stick to your arms and face and are nearly impossible to remove. So keep dragging your hands across your skin, you’ll never find where the web actually is, but it is oh so satisfying to keep trying to rid yourself of the creepy crawlies.

Did I mention gnats? They were everywhere! I’m sure I looked like I was having a full on fist fight with my imaginary friend, but in reality I was swatting gnats out of the air like it was nobody’s business. You can call me the gnat ninja if you want.

View from the Top

Don’t be fooled.

When I finally reached the top, an hour and however many minutes later, it was beautiful. The view of the village, the lake, golf courses, everything was awesome. But I would have seen the exact same view if I took the gondola.

I don’t believe the whole ‘it’s more satisfying when you have to work for it’ bit that people say. No. If I took the gondola, I wouldn’t be sweaty. I wouldn’t be parched. And the view would have been the exact same! I don’t seen the people that took the gondola gasping for air.

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Pro Tips

I’ve done this once, so you can trust me.

Now that I am pretty much a professional mountain climber, here is what I have learned:

  • Bring water! I don’t mean pick out a water bottle that matches your outfit and forget it in the hotel room. I mean bring water with you! I promise you will need it.
  • A hair elastic is a must for all longhaired adventurers. I mean, make sure you have your hair down and fluffy for the selfies to prove you actually went outside, but other than that you’ll want your hair up.
  • Have a hotel only steps away. You will get sweaty and want a shower. Plus, a change of clothes immediately after your excursion is a luxury that should not be forgotten.

 

Leave a comment below to share your latest adventure horror story or to suggest what I should do next!

Stay adventurous my friends,

The Basically Adventurous Jordanne.

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