Can’t say I went hungry while in Fiji. So much tasty goodness. A lot of the time at the resort was spent deciding what and where to eat next. There was an amazing Sheraton breakfast buffet, with a fresh juice bar complete with smoothies and protein drinks. Even made to order eggs. Good thing there was a gym and numerous beach activities.
Our first days in the interior jungle we lived on Backcountry meals and protein bars. Some people are not fans if rehydrated meals. I thought they were tasty, except for when they were crunchy. But that was usually due to me not adding adequate water and being impatient.
By the time the race was going, so was catering. The local catering crew had mad skills and worked long hours, but always greeted us with smiles. Seriously in a field they whipped out fresh pastries, cookies, breakfast, lunch and dinner! When it’s raining, your sliding in mud on limited sleep….a hot meal can be a game changer.
Then there were the Wavaka villagers at Camp 2. The village ladies came over for tea. Little did I know ‘tea’ meant tea/coffee and 2 trays of fresh baked breads! There is just something unexplainable about sharing food with others, there is a coming together a sense of community. I will be forever grateful to those near and far that have shared their food and allowed me to become part of their world.
What finer things to do than travel and eat well? Even if you could only afford to do it rarely, the fact that you aspire to that, and are willing to spend money. I think that speaks well of people” Anthony Bourdain
When we arrived at Camp 2, the command post was already set up, since it was late we opted to sleep inside under the giant race map! There was also the business of meeting the local village workers. Little did we know those guys would share so much with us in the coming days.
Our camp was 2 of 4. WE’RE #2!!!!! There was a command post, medical, media and food tent. I eventually got my tent up!
Camps were where teams could meet with their team assistant(TA). The camp volunteers stationed at that the camps organized a site for each team and their gear was delivered to that spot. When teams or their TA arrived we pointed them in the right direction. It was funny because prior to the race start we had a whole system of how we were gonna do everything. Then the race started, the rain started and things got real. See a large truck would arrive filled to the brim with about 5 large plastic tubs per team and other stuff. All this gear has to be carted over to the camping area. Unfortunately with all the rain and mud we were only able to get the truck so close or they’d get stuck in the mud. Thanks to a lot of rugby strong Fiji men, every tub was carried to the every site and back.
Terry- Malaysia, Tim-US, and Derek-Canada were the other Camp 2 volunteers with Lani as our Lead. It was a joy working/laughing/exploring with all of them. Speaking of Lani she is Fijian and in charge of our camp, heck there wasn’t anything she wasn’t on top of. No matter what urgent matter came up she had the answer, so when people mistook me for her I was stoked (sans answers). Her grace under pressure (especially with very little sleep) is something I aspire to. Being Fijian she made sure we got to catch some of everything and explore. There is some much to see in Fiji but exploring the villages was pure joy!
I was anxious and tired when we landed in Fiji at 5am, it’s a super long flight to paradise. Once again I had no idea what I had gotten myself into, but it was big. Other participants and event organizers were milling around the airport terminal, jet lagged from different corners of the world. Once we sorted out groupings, passports and changing money we loaded busses to go to the resort, our home and training location for the next couple of days. Some of the volunteers were experienced and had been part of past Eco Challenges they were way more confident in the goings on than us newbies.
I roomed with Cali from the UK, she was super nice and I just loved to hear talk. What, I like a nice accent. With a couple of other volunteers we explored, ate and prepped for going to our camps. There were credentials, shirts, documents and radios to be picked up. Then the repacking from your luggage to your backpack. It’s a lot like packing for a camping trip, well because that’s exactly what we were doing. Adventure camping in the jungle, as usual I could have been more prepared. Live and learn!
The adventure part of Adventure Racing (AR) is what really excites me. Like long distance biking, thru-hiking and even burning man, AR is just little out there. The energy and build up in the preparation. Knowing it’s gonna be hard, challenging, frustrating and you’ll ask yourself, many times, why am I here. But you push on through the fears and doubts with the help of like minnded people who remind you of the magic in an adventure.
The next stage of this adventure began with a 6 hour van ride to our remote Camp 2. Seeing the city melt into the remote country side is quite the experience.
It’s hard to explain how surreal this was for me. 17 years ago I watched Eco Challenge on TV and now here I was, a part of it. When I applied I doubted I would make the cut. Seriously you should have seen my application video, it was so……me. I guess that’s the key throw your hat in the ring and be yourself. But yeah that’s basically how I ended up a volunteer in the World’s Toughest Race. For those of you watching on Amazon Prime…(I know you are)…..check me out on X-Ray bonus feature!
This whole living in the now, being present idea, I get. It’s not a hard concept to wrap your mind around. Putting it into practice however is whole other ball game. Lets just take the internet. I am online, like constantly. Need info Google it, share my great day-facebook, new recipes, new books, new people…….yeah I’m still looking for the end of the net. Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah see it is so super easy for me to drift from the now moment. Even with it right here in front of me; I quickly can jump to somewhere else. A future event….look it up on the internet, a past event…the internet holds onto the memories I forget. Now the internet is not bad, well not mostly, but I need to learn to limit my time there. The TV too. My guilty pleasures, reality television. Ok everyone needs an escape. But the news, ah, that is so frustrating. For instance last night before bed no less, they did a story about K2. A smokable form of potpourri, um the key word there is potpourri! Kid smoked this stuff and hmm…died, killed himself, whatever, parents blame K2! Hold the incense! Why, why, why is your kid smoking potpourri!?? Now the parents want it banned….you know for the safety of the kids. WTF. People you can’t legislate stupidity. My potpourri satchel is for refreshing my drawers not smoking. So frustrating. No wonder our government is so messed up….they waste valuable time dealing with crap like this. Now excuse me while I return to the now moment. Where things are good and stupid do not reign.
Flashback photos from 2011….same girl…..different time
To tell you the truth I’m not sure what to say or do here anymore. Originally I started this blog to cover my hiking. I wanted family and friends that supported me to be able to follow along and know how I was doing. With people then asking ‘ what are you doing next’, I transitioned over into daily stuff then about working at the ski resort. The second season at Alpine Meadows ski resort was not planned but I was excited and intended to share the experience. To say the least things did not go as planned and the season was tiring and stressful.
Time and time again I would come up with posts and then realize I was just venting. Even I wasn’t interested in rehashing the daily trails. I toyed with the idea of just ditching the blog all together. (It wouldn’t be the first time. I’ve had three other blogs, one anonymous, one on cycling and one on cooking that I ditched. See old post here from 2011, not much has changed.) Anyway, with working 10 hour days, being tired and having other things to attend to, well the list of reasons was long.
Then the coronavirus hit.
With the loss of my job and the quarantining all of a sudden I had a whole lot of time on my hands. It was really fun to participate in the CDTC Virtual Trail Days! (It’s going on throughout April, check it out). I always find it funny when people are interested in me or what I’m doing. Nobody’s reading this blog was a reason to stop. During the Trail Days Q&A I was reminded that that doesn’t matter. I do the things I do because that is just me, living my life. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, this blog was never about followers, likes, sponsors or what people think. I live a weird crazy life, always have, long before the internets.
I like my little wandering chardonnay blog. I’m keeping it. I’ll post when I can. Thing is my life is my life, it’s not ‘content’. I’m not a brand to be promoted. This coronavirus “reset” reminded me if this all goes away I’ll still just be a girl living her crazy life.
I had to take a bit of a break. The whole internet, facebook, instagram, blogging thing can at times be a bit overwhelming, intrusive and honestly mind numbing. With other things going on in my life I had to re prioritize somethings. However, now with this whole pandemic thing I have acquired some “free time”.
First off those of you who have had to cancel or postpone your hikes (long, short, or otherwise) I feel for you. I was hoping to see y’all at CDT Trail Days. That has now been transformed into #VirtualTrailDays streamed via Facebook Live!
There’s gonna be speakers, like Will Akuna Robinson and myself, gear giveaways and a live concert. Join us starting Wednesday April 1st at 6pm PST! Hope on over to http://continentaldividetrail.org/trail-days-2020/ to see the schedule and find out about winning some gear! Hope to see you!! Now stay safe, healthy and wash yo hands!!
So recently I’ve been rolling with someone who is rolling sober. (side note: his is being sober for a year) Right now this is a thing, I guess. Every time I turn around someone is sober, getting sober or sober curious (wait are those technically all the same?). I’ve always been a you do you kinda person, because I’m gonna be in my lane doing me.
In a show of solidarity and the fact I’ll try anything I tried out some NA(non alcoholic) beer. You’ve heard of this, of course, beer flavor no booze. I have to say it wasn’t bad, even though some of them forgot to add the beer flavor part. Drinking beer(s) and not even feeling buzzed is strange. It’s like when you only put 2 cheeses in the 3 cheese macaroni dish, it’s still good but something is missing.
Long story long, I like cheese and I want all the cheese. So I am not the NA target market. Seriously I toyed with the idea of some NA wine but I just couldn’t. Yeah nope. Well that’s not totally true. Been trying to get my hands on some of that cannabis infused wine (as I understand it they have to take out the alcohol to add the THC). Hmmm, ok.
Luckily my “cip” has a mind of his own and his sobriety has nothing to do with me, whew. So I’m off to get some candy and a box a wine for tonight’s festivities. Now…..what pairs well with snickers?
While your waiting on that Fiji post……let’s talk about the ALDHA-West Gathering!!
After a long flight back (that included a sweet layover in San Diego. Thanks again Brendan and Kassy! The best layovers include friends and margaritas!) When I landed in NorCal I hit the ground running. Unload, laundry, repack and I was off to Nevada City, CA!
The annual ALDHA-West Gathering is a gathering of hikers who share a love of long distance outings. It’s a great time to see hiking friends old and new. Camping was in full effect. Car camping, tent camping or a cabin if that was your thing. There was also a hike to a waterfall, Hiker Olympics and music provided by Jacob and the Ghost Train. Want to try new tent, pick up, trade or win some gear….it was all there!
Speakers this year included Steve Queen, Ultrapedestrian, Heather Anderson and Loren Steinberg and Mary Taloff (they did the Camino by wheelchair!) All the speakers were informative, inspiring and funny.
A highlight of the weekend was the Triple Crown ceremony Saturday evening. Triple Crowners are people who’ve hiked all of the three major long distance trails (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail). They shared their stories, got their awards and we celebrated their accomplishments (well into the night)!
Mark your calendars…….next years Gathering will be in Colorado!!
After a challenge, trip, adventure or experience I get home and take a deep breath. Then I say to myself (sometimes out aloud) whew, I did it….and didn’t die!
Although I step out of my comfort zone on the regular, it’s a monumental task for my inner me every-time. I’m not big on labels but I suppose you call me an extroverted introvert. I live for going places, trying new things and meeting people. But it is seriously exhausting mentally and emotionally.
Usually the first thing I’ll do when I get somewhere is find an escape spot where I can go and reset. In Fiji it was down a little cliff then across the river to a sand bar. A couple times I had to scramble to beat the rain. No I idea how I’d get back up if that cliff turned to mud.
What can I say, it’s how I cope and keep from killing people (kidding..sorta).
Anyway, for those of you wondering I’m back in Tahoe! The welcome back was a wake up call.
from this to …………………………………to this
So I will be posting about Fiji soon….but first I have to find my coat!
Let me start by saying I’m not a big endorser of products. But I’m all about sharing with y’all something that is worth you checking out. Okay. That being said you probably know I am really thrift store kinda girl. I got both of my thru hiking skirts from thrift stores because I was looking for a particular type of skirt. You know, one that fits and was comfortable.
What am I getting at here? Ok well, long story long…..Purple Rain Adventure Skirts! I got my hands on one of these and boom game changer! Finally a hiking, biking, outdoorsy skirt that works. Um…it has pockets, need I say more. It fits those of us that have, you know hips. It’s fitted but not too snug. It’s really cute and versatile. I’ve worn mine to work and around town, it’s better than yoga pants.
Recently I tried out the action dress! It’s cute and comfy too! So go check them out (I’m talking to you Ragbrai ladies!) Oh and dudes too there’s a kilt version! Get you one….you can thank me later!