5300 feet (not quite the summit)

On Sunday, I travelled down to Mount-Washington with a group from the Make-A-Wish foundation.  A hike to help in the training process as we prepare for Kilimanjaro, a chance to get to know some of the people I'll be experiencing this adventure with... on the highest mountain in the North Eastern United States (6288 feet).

The last time (and only time) I climbed Mt-Washington, I was 15 years old. I remember making it to the summit but taking the wrong way down (the long and windy road). When I went it was summer. Beautiful weather even though it was a little chilly at the summit.

As we approached the mountain... on a beautiful fall day... we could see clearly that the only clouds in the sky were around the summit... and that there was plenty of SNOW. Yes... SNOW. Kind of exciting, right?

Part of the point of this trip to was get used to the hiking "layering" system. The objective with all of the pricey breathable/quick dry/ water repellent/etc. clothing is to stay warm, but not sweat. Basically you want to be "almost cold" - but not.

So what was I wearing? Super leggings (by craft), amazing and waterproof hiking boots (by lowa), 2 pairs of sock (one nylon liner and one Merino wool), a poly/nylon tank, a polyester "jogging shirt" (by reebok), a soft-shell (by MEC and borrowed from Isabelle) and a great 2010 olympics polar hat (courtesy of my garage sale donations!).

And what's in my back pack? goretex jacket and pants (Thank you Isabelle!), hiking poles and gloves (thank you Nellie!), a couple pairs of pants, extra socks,  food (snacks anyways, I forgot my lunch) and of course my camelback full of water and great blister band aids - just in case (thank you Stephen!)

It's a really good hike... but unfortunately we only made it to 5300 feet. The wind and visibility issues beyond that just made it NOT SMART to continue.

Check this out....

The video just doesn't do it justice. The experience was... exhilarating... I LOVED IT. Though it is a little scary to imagine what might have happened if one of us had fallen in the wrong place. I have NEVER felt wind like that in my life.

Of course, we still managed to get out the Make-A-Wish banner and "mark" the moment. :-)

... and then we headed back down... and back home. A big trip for one day!


Generous spirits

I'm heading to Mt-Washington tomorrow for some "mountain hiking" training/practice and I should probably (no... definitely) be setting the laptop off to the side and closing my eyes to get in as much sleep as possible before the alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. (er....)

But I just had to share this picture with you...

A suprise breakfast "fundraiser"
These are three (of four) children of good friends of ours (more like family).  This morning they surprised their parents and older brother with breakfast for a donation.

This isn't the first time they have reached out to help Summit for Wishes. Back in April, when I was selling 2 jars of my very first batch of pancake mix to their parents, K (middle) went to her room and came back with some change - to help me reach my fundraising goal. In the summer, they came to each fundraiser, getting their face painted on Canada Day, eating hot dogs at the IGA bbq (and manning the Bake sale table too) and setting up a lemonade stand (R... on the left) when we did the garage sale.

Their parents have been incredibly supportive - they were probably the first ones I talked to this about and have been encouraging me in big and small ways ever since. But the support that comes from the kids, the little gestures... wow. What can I say? I am touched by their generous spirits, their excitement for my "summit for wishes" project... and their simple and sincere desire to help and somehow be a part of it.

Thank you just isn't enough.


Soirée for their wishes - Soirée pour leurs voeux

I am very happy to invite you to attend a very special fundraising event - "Soirée for their wishes" on Saturday November 6th at the Bifthèque Boucherville. As one of the bigger fundraising activities for my Summit for wishes project, I’m hoping to bring together 100-125 people to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Quebec.

This soirée is the perfect opportunity to get out for an evening of good food, dancing and fun – all for a very good cause!

TICKETS are $50.00 (each) and include the cocktail, a 4-course meal and midnight dessert buffet!

6:00 p.m. Cocktail
Rum punch
Mini spring rolls
Mini Florentine quiches

7:00 p.m. Supper
Blooming onion
Tender Roast Beef OR Filet Mignon served on a bed of asparagus OR Citrus-flavoured Halibut
Ducle de leche

11:00 p.m. Dessert again!
Dessert Buffet

Space is limited, so talk to you friends and reserve your ticket today!

click to enlarge
 J'ai le plaisir de vous inviter à vous joindre à moi pour une activité de financement très spéciale! L’événement « Soirée pour leurs vœux » aura lieu le samedi 6 novembre prochain au Bifthèque Boucherville. Étant une activité de financement pour mon projet Sommet pour leurs vœux , je vise à rassembler 100-125 personnes afin d’amasser des fonds pour la Fondation Fais-Un-Voeu du Québec.

Cette soirée est l’occasion parfaite pour sortir et avoir du plaisir en mangeant de la bonne bouffe et en dansant (si ça vous tente bien sûr!), et ce, pour une bonne cause!

Les billets sont en vente à 50 $ chacun. Ils incluent le cocktail, un repas de quatre services et un buffet de desserts un peu avant minuit!

18 h Cocktail
Punch au rhum
Mini rouleaux de printemps
Mini quiches florentine

19 h Souper
Oignon fleuri aux trois sauces
Côte de bœuf au jus OU filet mignon étagé aux asperges OU flétan au citron vert
Dulce de leche

23 h Encore du dessert!
Buffet de dessert

Les places sont limitées. Réservez la vôtre dès aujourd’hui… et passez le mot!


Finally! Time to break them in!

After weeks of trying pair after pair of boots (and learning that I have weird feet that are wide in some spots and narrow in others), and with two pairs left to be returned - I finally chose the ones that I'm going to keep - and took the plunge by wearing them outside for a short hike in St-Bruno this afternoon. One small blister later... I'm pretty happy with my decision.

Let me present you the LOWA VIVIONE. It's not exactly the "look" that I was expecting to end up with (and I don't know why, but I'm not thrilled with the blue), but after trying over 30 pairs of boots, these ones won for several reasons. 1) They're leather-leather which adds dramatically to the way my foot feels "enveloped" when I slide it in to the boot, 2) they're slightly wider in the ball of foot (which is a really big issue for me) and 3) they are lighter and less bulky than most models.

Backcountry.com describes the Vivione Women's Hiking Boot as being designed with a host of women's- specific features for ultimate comfort and support. These include a special last, a slightly more padded cuff and tongue, an Achilles notch, and extra ankle flex.  All of these features apparently make the Vivione ideal for long on-trail hikes carrying a moderate load.

Sounds good to me - and you'd be amazed what a relief it is to have finally DECIDED on the boots. No more shopping, no more wondering... blisters, bring it on! I'm ready to break in these babies.