How awesome! This gorgeous family recently booked a session with me for photo's and to help support my fundraising goal. We met up in The Grove. One of my favourite places in town, but surprisingly green still for it being mid October! No Matter! With great models like these, who's looking at the background? Thank you Amanda and Mike for meeting up with me, and I hope you all enjoy your family photo's.
What better way to celebrate 6 months of being smoke-free than going for another hike? Rosa and I revisited Blueberry Mountain, this time around with a guided tour to the old grove. I was so excited. Leading up to 1pm it was raining... a lot. But I didn't care. It was my vacation, and I wanted to do something just for me. Once we turned on "Hills of Peace" the sky cleared up and the rain had stopped. Upon arriving we were greeted by a wonderful man named Howard, who proceeded in taking us on an amazing hike. His elderly canine pal kept us company until we ventured off the path.
What a beautiful piece of land. Lanark is gorgeous. The colours were saturated from the earlier rain. Howard kept us entertained and educated as we hiked along. He stopped to show us signs of bears and other animals. He was able to help identify different scat that Rosa was inquiring about. He identified plants I never knew about, like the fern called Maidenhair. After about 30 minutes we had started descending down into the Old Grove... and there he was, "The Grandfather." What a magnificent and magical sight he was. It was the largest White Cedar tree I have ever seen.
We sat with Howard at this location for quite some time. We just enjoyed and revelled in the forest. The moss and mushrooms were great photo subjects. Howard sat and told us stories of happenings on the land and how he and his family came to live here. It seriously was fascinating and inspirational. After exploring the Grove for a while, Howard guided us out, up and around amazing rock faces. Climbing in altitude we reached an open area. It opened up onto a different planet. It truly felt that way as the ground cover was this white moss. Felt like we were walking on a mattress, not solid ground.
Anyone know of any awesome trails over 5kms?
Enjoy the images!
Thanks for reading!
(I'd love to hear from you and your Blueberry Mountain experience)
That's not me in the above picture. That is my new hiking partner Rosa, 'Total Outdoorswoman'! She was the one who discovered "High Lonesome" and this hiking trail in Lanark County called "Blueberry Mountain." This hike was the most challenging to date. It was a constant 2.1 km incline, with a pretty intense finale to the lookout. Upon arriving, you are greeted with the call of free range (monstrous) chickens, and the trail entrance Welcome Board, where I was momentarily distracted when signing the waiver by the passing of some garter snakes (ew)... *shudder*... ugh... This trail, you could tell from the start; would be amazing.
Meeting a few fellow hikers along the way, we kept searching for the over 200 year old tree, and none of the other people we passed said they had seen such a thing marked along the way ahead. What I loved about this trail is that it was wide and clear, only one area was detoured with a little bridge over a creek along the path. Along the way we saw a wolf den, and the work of beavers in the lake. No sign of any wild blueberries, but black/raspberries were growing abound by one of the lakes. A few cool fungi's kicking around, one magnificent white one growing on a tree. What I noticed among the birch trees, was the care and pride that went into this hiking trail.
Finally at the top of the little road path, there was a bench, and a sign to the left pointing UP to the Summit. It looked steep. Phew... I was already a bit exhausted, with a sore throat and with the hike so far, but we had come this far, to not do the summit seemed a shame. So I tried it. Remembering to breath, grabbing trees to help me along the way, there were two times when I just wanted to stop and head back down to that wonderful bench. After what seemed like forever, but in reality maybe 5-10 minutes, I heard Rosa ahead of me give a cry of wonder. That spurred me on. And then... THAT VIEW! I made it! I'll admit, I was so proud of myself and the sight of the view, I actually shed a couple tears.
We stayed up there for a while. Hydrating, and just taking in the scenery. The way back down seemed easy after that. Revelling in what we accomplished, we still were curious about this ancient tree. Heading back we ran into a couple, who were photographing a toad just off the trail, and they told us (after we asked) that the tree is only accessible with a guided tour. The owner of the property is the one to contact. Planning to write or call when we got back home, we came across a wonderfully delightful man sitting on a lawn chair - this was the owner!!! He gave us his email and phone number - we are so excited to head back! Maybe the fall colours will be showing more.
If you get the chance - head out there! It's a little out of the way, but worth it. Thanks for reading my blog, and please feel free to leave me a comment. Especially if you have hiked this trail as well! I would love to hear about your "Blueberry Mountain" stories!
Also, if you enjoy my blogs and want to help me in my journey, please feel free to be generous and donate to my page.
It would mean the world to me and countless other Diabetics. Thank you!
The weather this week has been absolutely gorgeous! What with preparing for the farmers market and creating some wreaths to auction off, I haven't been able to go out to walk with a distance goal in mind lately. The evening of September 12th, I headed out with my 'mapmyhike' app running. From my front door I walked to Daniel Street and down into the grove. I brought my bag to collect some acorns as I had noticed some on the path last time I went - but some little critter seemed to have gotten there before me. Not much to collect. Why am I collecting acorns, you ask? Well, other than looking pretty damn cool, I'd like to make a wreath of them :)
From the Grove, I entered Robert Simpson Park. What a great park. The town has done a great job of keeping it maintained and the gardens are beautiful. The view of the river is calming. I spent a few minutes on a park bench just enjoying the scenery. Afterwards, I followed the path along the river until I reached a path leading up to the Graveyard, and out towards the Catholic Church.
Thanks for checking in! Until next time! - Colleen
On my bucket list was "have a booth at a Farmers Market". Check! Today I rented out a community table spot to fundraise for TeamD at the Arnprior Farmers Market. I met some AMAZING people who also have Diabetes affecting themselves or a loved one. Alot of people are going through what I am, but many have had to deal with much worse. Even though life hasn't been the easiest for them, they were optimistic and positive. I think I am destined to have many teachers thoughout my endeavors to work towards health, fundraising and getting my body to complete that crazy long hike in a location I have dreamt about visiting for so long. So, come out and say 'hi' on Sept 17th. Help support a cause that may very well directly affect you in the future. With funds raised from TeamD members, hopefully Diabetes research will help limit the amount of people it affects. Have a great week everyone.
On a very wet and humid (needless to say a "little" misquito'y) Labor day, myself and a friend ventured out to a new trail she had heard about. Now part of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, this trail was donated back in 2012 and was originally used for logging. It is now a wilderness protection area and the local ecology is amazing. This place is beautiful! With a small break in the rain, the colours were so saturated. Quite a number of cool looking mushrooms along the way, and we hugged an amazing old oak that left us speechless.
It took us an hour and 34 minutes and was a 3.61km hike. The trails we took (in order) started with Joel's Pond Trail, to McWatty Trail, to Beaver Pond Trail, to Wolf Trail (with a small detour up North Wind Trail to see the Old Oak Tree) back down to Wolf Trail, to Spooky Marsh Trail, to Bear Trail and then along White Pine Way back to the start. I loved every soggy minute of it. Definitely want to go back again! Bet in a couple weeks when the colours start to turn more, it will be just lovely. If you like hiking (and taking pictures) definitely head this way. You will not be disappointed. (Be prepared to get your feet a little wet if not wearing waterproof footwear.)
Hope everyone had an amazing long weekend and didn't let the rain get in the way of what you wanted to do! See you all next weekend when I will be selling some prints for Team Diabetes fundraising at the Arnprior Farmer's Market!
After a pretty stressfull day at work, all I really wanted to do was eat something smothered in gravy and binge watch Netflix... but my boyfriend agreed to eating Chicken Greek Salad! So I ate that and settled down at the computer... but I couldn't. Even though I'm tired and sore, I pushed myself. I walked a movie I had rented back up to the mall (yes - I still rent dvds). On the way, I decided to walk a different way. Why? Well.... for discovering new things. Like this pear tree in someone's yard along with a "Help yourself to fruit" sign. So I did. And I carried that pear with me, all 6.36 kms. It was my treat for when I got home. I must say... tempted to go back with a basket. So crisp. Like an apple. Thank you Pear tree owners. You made my walk tonight memorable!
What a great time! I was lucky enough to be able to photograph Catherine & Sean's wedding back in the day, and also extremely appreciative for their support to help me reach my monetary goal for Fundraising for Team D and my Wicklow Hike. Their boys are just awesome. So much fun and I seriously think I laughed hard enough that I threw out my back a bit. From freeze framing jumping faces to climbing crazy playgrounds to watching the boys set out in the boat - it was a fun hour to say the least.
I hope these pictures inspire you and your family to head outside and have some fun. (Don't forget to hire me to capture the moments - and support an awesome cause.)
Thanks for checking into my blog!
I know I must stay away from it.
It feels like it is almost impossible to do so in this society.
Chocolates at work. Tim Bits at meetings. No time for lunch except for drive through.
It's giving me major Brain Fog and it is exhausting! Sugar is screwing up my life BIG TIME! I hate this. It's so addictive and in EVERYTHING! It's everywhere.
The food industry has honestly screwed us over royally, and all to make money. I've heard that before and was always like “Ya... ya...” but, until it starts effecting your health, it's too late and the addiction is there. I quit smoking (4 months and 9 days ago), and it has honestly been easier than quitting sugar.
The cravings lead to minor satisfaction with eating those refined sugars, but then the exhaustion, sleep deprivation and thirst is just intense. I wish I had listened and learned this earlier in life. I wish I had trained my body from the get-go with 'sweet = a piece of fruit' instead. When I feel overwhelmed and stressed, I use sugar as a reward or consolation and it is wrong. I'm just throwing myself into this viscous circle again and again.
For anyone who has had this struggle with sugar and has found the will power to resist more often than not, please leave your comment below on how you did/do it. I'm going through a weak moment and would appreciate the advice.
I've had this past week off work, and in doing so was able to focus on myself and what makes me happy (GISHWHES), and thinking about what would keep me happy in the future. I had some Doctor's appointments that went well this week, and I also met up with Team Diabetes at an Info Night. It was such a positive night. The people were inspiring and optimistic. After that night, I took some time to think about it all. I reflected and spent some time hiking. The trail I walked was called Jack Pine Trail off Hunt Club. I took my camera and enjoyed every bug filled moment, all 3.9 kilometers of it.
I had come to my decision. No matter how impossible the fundraising and physical goals may seem, change won't happen unless you make the change. So I signed up! It's official. I have year to fundraise, and over a year to train. I'm focusing on fundraising first. Already feeling a little discouraged... but donations will come. I have a lot of fundraising ideas, so make sure to keep this page bookmarked. I will be updating as the events become more finalized.
Until next time! - Colleen
Colleen lives in Arnprior and is working to control her Type 2 Diabetes by training and Fundraising for the 2018 SSE Airtricity Wicklow Mountain Hike in Ireland with Team Diabetes.