2017 was a tough year, which I knew it would be. I went into it planning to take summer courses to finish school by December and knowing that I had two teaching practicums, one of which was full time and four months long. This heavy school workload limited the adventures, but I still managed to fit in some amazing hikes, a teeny bit of travel, and a whole lot of fun!
Life was busy with school year round this year and the final classes of my education. But I have talked so much about school this past year, I want to reflect on the other things!
Ryan and I hit Waterton in February to celebrate our 4th year wedding anniversary with a romantic weekend mountain getaway. It was almost perfect, except the wind was SO BAD neither of us slept that night.
I had a few thing health-wise come up this year. I finally saw a podiatrist about my foot pain and it turns out I’ll need surgery. I was going to do it this January but had to postpone it because in September I found out I was pregnant!
Yup, after years of trying and tons of worry- I’m finally going to be a mom! It’s a little boy and I cannot wait to have a kid of my own to mould into a happy, active, and productive human being.
I also ended the year with a low point when I hit a deer and totalled my car. I owe more than it’s worth and will spend the next year making car payments on a car I can’t drive. UGH!
Again, school work and lack of funds made travel almost an impossibility this year. I had a couple of small getaways, the best being my Easter in Salt Lake City with my family!
I always have such a great time when I visit Salt Lake City, there is so much do there! We swam in a hit spring in a crater, we visited the State Capitol and hiked Ensign peak, and hiked to a frozen Donut Falls. All in three short days!
In May, Ryan and I went on a long, boring 15 hour drive to Fargo, North Dakota for my little brother Ben’s graduation. The thing I love most about my family is that we find fun wherever we are. We visited a replica Viking church, found a Seattle themed cafe, and rented bikes for a bike tour around campus. That bike tour brought us to the track where we had fun doing bike races.
We took the kids to Banff for a weekend so that I could run in the half marathon. The kids ran in the kids race but really, their highlight of the trip was the Ramada waterslide. Ha ha!
We also took the kids to Sparwood, BC for a weekend to attend a family wedding. There weren’t any hotels with pools, so we made walks by the river work instead.
And lastly, we did a crazy blitz trip to Seattle for Thanksgiving. 13 hours in the car each way for less than two full days with the family. But it was very necessary, because this where we told the kids and my family that I was pregnant. I had such a blast playing tourist with my step kids taking them on a ferry adventure, to Seattle Centre, and to see the Fremont Bridge Troll.
The highlight of my summer was attending a one week Outdoor Education camp as one of my education electives for school. Teaching our kids to be outdoors more and to find a love of activities they will do for life is a major passion of mine, but I never dreamed a university course could be so amazing!
We went to a AHEIA camp in central Alberta for a full week where we did a ton of classroom and hands on learning to become certified instructors in Hunting education, Fishing education, Archery, and boating. You can read the full recap of camp but it was one of the most relaxing experiences of my life.
This camp really reinforced to me that we as human beings are meant to live our lives as outdoors as possible. I spent every spare moment fishing on the lake and all our activities had us out no matter what the weather. It was truly an incredible experience.
I had some pretty epic days outdoors this year!
It was so unseasonably warm in January that we took the kids to Writing on Stone near Milk River, Alberta to play on the hoodoos. Because it was the middle of winter, we had the whole place to ourselves which was pretty cool.
I also kicked off 2017 with an amazing girls XC Ski day in Waterton! I huge group of us strapped on some skis and headed out for a fun day in the snow.
Thanks to the crazy cold winter, I was able to cross something off my bucket list, which was ice skate on Waterton Lake. My hiking buddy Samara and I went out in -20C and spent a good couple of hours ice skating on the lake by the townsite. Once we warmed up, it was so much fun!
But my third hike of the season was the most memorable one I’ve ever had! And not in a good way. It was our hike up Mt. Galwey where a loose boulder came down and cut a chunk out of the leg of a 12 year old girl who was in our hiking party. This incident showed me how well I work in an emergency and this girl was amazing, hiking two hours back down on her own. This was a very important learning experience for me to ensure I also hike with a full first aid kit and to have a helmet and rope when scrambling up peaks.
After this one, my hikes stayed accident free. I went on a 13 miler through Blakiston Valley with Ryan, Samara, and Kristi. And then hit East Glacier National Park with Rachelle to see the INCREDIBLE Cracker Lake! This is a must see hike!
Ryan and I took the dogs to Beauvais Lake for a little tent camping and a much needed nature getaway.
Rachelle and I hit up Glacier a second time this year, this time checking out Grinell Glacier. We laughed at how snobby we were because the Glacier didn’t impress us much after our hike to Cracker Lake.
I ended the summer with a few more trips to Waterton. Once with Cat and her kiddos for a hike up Bears Hump and playing at the playground. And then again to meet my blogger buddy Jo (Living Mint Green) to hike the Goat Haunt Trail to Montana and take the cruise ship back.
After the Kenow Fire swept through Waterton, I got back out there to check things out as soon as I could. I found that despite all the visible damage, Waterton was still just as pretty as ever.
With most of the trails closed in Waterton, Cat and Samara and I hit Wishbone/Vimy for the last fall hike of the season. We didn’t start early enough to make it to the peak, so we settled for the little side peak which I like to call Vimy’s Pimple.
My final outdoor adventure of 2017 was a winter walk on the Wishbone Trail with Ryan and the dogs.
It’s funny because though I didn’t run in many races, this was one of my best fitness years yet! This was the year that I learned to use running as a stress relief and also mastered getting up early to squeeze in workouts when need be.
I did try out aerial yoga this year and absolutely loved it! Though the rocking makes me nauseous, it is so much fun to try something new with your body.
As I said, I only ran two races, but one of them was the Banff Half Marathon. I went into this race less prepared than I was for Seawheeze and therefore had a much tougher time of it. But I’m still glad I did it, and I’m already eyeballing the Fernie Half in October as a way to motivate me to train this summer after the baby is born.
Speaking of the baby, he went on his first 5k this year in the annual Santa Shuffle. It was my first race pregnant where I had the fun task of not pushing myself and having to stop to pee halfway through. Ha ha!
Overall, I would call 2017 a success! I managed to squeeze in a lot despite my busy schedule and I’m apprehensively looking at what 2018 will have in store for me! I’ll be pregnant for the first quarter of the year and then have a new baby. Things will definitely change, but I intend to keep getting outside and squeezing in as many little adventures as I can!
What was the highlight of your 2017?
What are you looking forward to in 2018?