Saturday, October 30, 2021

Brockton Point on Mount Seymour: Life is Life

There are two Brockton Poins in Vancouver. One in Stanley Park and the other on Mount Seymour. Today I hiked up the one on Mount Seymour. After two months of rain, we finally had a sunny weekend. The parking lot was packed. This is where the trail breaks from Mystery Peak.
A lot of hikers take different trails all over the mountain. I always head straight up towards First Peak. Brockton Point is on the way just after the Mystery Peak chairlift. As soon as I left Surrey, I could see fresh snow at higher altitudes. This is the first of the season. Then riding into Vancouver you could see a dusting of fresh snow on the Lions. If you zoom in you can see a side view of the Lions. Normally we're used to seeing them head on.
Between Mystery Peak and Brockton Point the trail was a bit rocky and a bit icy. Winter will soon be here. In winter it's all smooth sailing and you power up on snowshoes. A lot of people do that trail at night with headlamps. One of my favorite places in Vancouver is right at the bowl of First Peak all the way to the top. In the winter it's full of wind swept snow dunes.

Sometimes when you get to the top of that bowl at the foot of First Peak and look over at Second peak, visibility is zero. The fog sets in, the wind and the falling snow make it impossible to see anything. That's when you say OK that's as far as I'm going today. Other days the sun comes out and the route to Second and Third Peak is clear and you make it all the way.

Timing is everything on the coastal mountains. In the interior it's a lot more consistent. Vernon, Kelowna, Revelstoke - they all have magnificent peaks. Three months since my hip replacement and it's all good. I still limp a little but I like to use ski poles when I hike. It's more stable going up and down and I don't limp. I forget I even had the surgery.

I think this is the year I'm going to buy an electric vest. If my son's not coming back this winter, I won't bother putting the car on the road. I do want to go snowshoeing this year so the electric vest would make the long rides up and down the mountain a lot more comfortable.

I love this time of year. The fall colours are enticing. The leaves turn orange and red and begin to fall in anticipation of winter. It's not my favorite time of year but I do enjoy it. It symbolizes change and growth. Winter and summer are my favorite but I do love the transitional seasons as well and the anticipation they bring. I love experiencing the seasons.

I know someone who lives in Central America right in the tropics. They do have a rainy season but right now it's 27 degrees. That's a little bit nicer than the two months of cold rain we've had. There it's summer all year long. For many it's a dream come true. Many Canadians are snowbirds. They move to Arizona for the winter. I can see the appeal but I really like the seasons. I like snowshoeing in the winter and kayaking in the summer. The Canadian flag has a red maple leaf on it. That's what it looks like in the fall. It's kind of magical. It's a nice symbol.
As I was hiking up the mountain, two ladies were hiking down. One says to the other "It's amazing how many young people are on antidepressants." Then she says "Actually it's not that surprising." It's actually kind of sad. Last summer I was having lunch on the patio of a restaurant. Two young girls sit down at the table beside me and order lunch. One orders a cocktail, the other doesn't. The one says to the other, I keep forgetting you're not old enough to drink yet. I just about choked. Holy f*ck. That means she's like 18. Then the younger one starts to go off about her counsellor, her psychiatrist and all the antidepressants she takes and I was like OMG.

I felt really sorry for the kid but I also kinda felt like this is a little TMI. Should I move and eat my lunch somewhere else in peace and quiet? I realize that chemical depression needs medication and I'm not a doctor. I do wonder if things are sometimes over prescribed just so we don't have to deal with the issues. Here's a pill, forget about it. Well, wait a minute. What is bothering you? Perhaps we can deal with that. Sometimes meds help but sometimes meds make things worse.

I remember speaking with another young man once who was somewhat successful. He said to me, sometimes I feel like life is passing me by. It broke my heart. I really like that guy. When I was young things were different. We were different. I had the fortune of doing a lot of traveling. I got it all out of my system. Everything I wanted to do I did. I'm a broke a*s b*tch now but I have no regrets. There's always someone trying to make a buck off of someone else's problems.

When I was young, I wanted to travel so I travelled. When I got older, I wanted to have kids so I did. When I was young Chef used to look me in the eye and say having kids was the best thing I ever did in life. I totally agree. I'm really proud of my kids. They have good hearts, work hard and are following their dreams. I don't think they have any regrets. Life rarely turns out the way we had planned but we always adjust. Dust ourselves off, set new goals and dream new dreams.

People say be like water and I'm like no, I don't want to be like water. Water follows the path of least resistance. I want to climb. I always aspire to something higher. Covid has certainly changed the game. We need to rise above the bullsh*t and get on with life. No lie can live forever. I didn't see anyone hiking in the mountains with masks on. I guess the free thinkers aren't sitting at home watching the fake news on TV. They're out and about getting things done.

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