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Summer Mixing
By:  Karl Saidla   (2010/09/19)

For sure, this summer has involved a different rhythm from the last couple in terms of training and life in general for me. Until the end of July, I was unemployed and looking for work. I also wasn’t training in a particularly organized way because I just felt like taking a break. I was still active and getting out and doing things, ( I did have all day and you can only spend so much time visiting on-line job banks and pondering your future ), but mainly, in terms of “training”, I just did what felt like doing on any particular day.

By July I started an activity pattern that I will admit had a semblance of “cross country ski training”, but I was determined not to entirely let go of my newfound feeling of freedom. Part of that strategy included going on a couple of very fun trips that might be described as having high caloric requirements, but that you could be very well doing without any intention of racing your cross country skis through the forests of Canada this winter.

The first such trip included the wedding of our friends Chad Yurich and Amanda Hamelink in Hinton and some very good hiking, mountain biking and time spending with Steve Bursey, Alicia Berthiaume and Marc Vien. We did 3 days of very long and challenging hiking, a couple of shorter hikes, one day of mountain biking, and some running here and there. It was spectacular. It was fun. When I got home and went to work on Monday I was completely exhausted and couldn’t quite figure out how it was possible that I was sitting in an office staring blankly at a computer screen. Perfect!

Megan, Alicia and I part way up Mount Edith Cavell

" Some scrambling required"

About to topple off my bike in Jasper

A sunny day on the Athabaska glacier

Up at 4am to go for a hike.  I thought this was supposed to be a vacation.

Climbing up Mount Athabaska

Steve at the top of Mount Athabaska. He sent this to Snickers and is waiting for the contract offer. No news yet.

One step at a time....

Beauty Lakes

Heading down to Beauty Creek

The more recent trip was a 3 day canoe trip with Megan at Reserve Faunique La Verendrye. Partly thanks to all of Megan’s shoulder problems, we hadn’t managed a canoe trip in awhile, and it was kind of bothering us. After all, we like canoeing and canoe trips, we have a great canoe that our friends gave us as a wedding present, and finding great places to canoe is as easy as sin around here. The weather we encountered was what you might call “mixed” in that for a portion of the trip it would rain solidly for about 5 minutes of every 20, with periods of sun here and there and a mix of calm and heavy wind. It was, however, great overall. We’ve still got wilderness in abundance in many places nearby. I might compare going on a canoe trip to the feeling you get after having been exposed to a low level of unpleasant noise for a very long time, only to have it stop and replaced by silence. Very nice sometimes…

 Megan on the one sunny morning

I can't remember what I was doing, but it was nice standing on that rock.

Finally paddling without the raincoat! I have so many pictures like this one taken over theyears that I think it will one day be fun to put them all together as a study of aging.

If your life sometimes feels like you are banging your head against the wall....this is the "it just feels so good when it stops" part.

Today, I did my fourth consecutive day of rollerskiing, so I guess it is fair to say that I am, at least for the time being, back on the straight and narrow. That’s o.k…. for a little while.



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