Ancient Forest and Pickleball

Today was the last day for my Uncle being in town, so we wanted to take him to view one of the “things to see” near Prince George. The “thing to see” was the Ancient Forest (Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park), and despite living in Prince George my entire life I had never been there. I’ve driven by the park plenty of times; just never had the time to stop. As I said in a previous post – now that I have little children I am taking the time to explore close to home, those big trips can wait until they are older.

Not only did we (my sister and I) take our Uncle, we also brought the two youngest ones with us . . . pretty much little weighted training vests . . . I was reading up about the trail and it sounded like there was a nice boardwalk with wheel chair access; so I figured I would take the stroller. Thankfully I mentioned this out-loud and was told by two people that would be a terrible idea, and that while there are boards to walk on it is 100% not stroller accessible. This lead to a bit of a “what the hell am I going to do” moment this morning. My Dad suggested I stop in at the baby store on the way out to get a carrier, and I was quite loathe to spend that kind of money on probably his one and only hike haha. I put in a call to my sister hoping she had not left the house yet and asked if she had her baby wrap handy. She did! So we lashed Cedric to my back.

“Lashed Cedric” is the best description I can come up with because he was quite literally tied on. He is nearly at the max weight for this wrap, and I am pretty sure no one intended people to carry a toddler up and down a fairly steep hike over a few kilometers with said wrap. Needless to say I spent the entire hike with my hands hooked under his bum behind my back. My legs really got a good work out phew (didn’t help that I did legs and played pickleball yesterday); and my shoulders are feeling it too.

The mosquitos were kind enough to pretty much stay away, only my sister got a bite. I used the baby bug spray on myself and Cedric, and that worked really well. Since we had spent a good hour driving out the Ancient Forest we wanted to make it worth our while, so we took the waterfall hike. This time of year was perfect for seeing the waterfall, it still had a lot of power and was giving off a lovely cooling mist. The weather was so nice, but definitely warmer than comfort when you have a child strapped to your back. We were going to the do the “big tree” loop as well, but my sister’s little one was starting to get pretty hungry, so we just did the regular trail back. 

After getting back to the parking lot we fed the little boys . . . not that Cedric had not already drank two water bottles and eaten two fruit pouches while I was carrying him through the gorgeous trees. Cedric was very happy to be on the ground stretching his legs, and shoveling handfuls of goldfish crackers into his mouth. We met a few different travelers from various countries on our walk and in the parking lot. I would say this is definitely a place to stop if you are heading East, or have a free weekend to go. Don’t wait 37 years to see it!

Last thoughts of the night . . . Pickleball! What a delightful sport! My Uncle plays extensively down on the Island and always travels with his Pickleball gear. So my sister and I accompanied him to the Northern Sports Centre yesterday to learn how to play. If you have a tennis or badminton background you pick it up pretty quickly, and since it is drop in you make teams out of who is there. 

The first group I was with were very patient as I missed almost every ball that came my way (and smacked my teammate in the back with the wiffle type ball). By the time we had our second match I was in the swing of things, just breaking rules. After a break I joined with another group, and this time I had it figured out and we had some nice rallies (the 4th game it looked liked I had been playing for much longer than 1 hour). I have to say I was really impressed with how welcoming everyone was, they were more than happy to show a novice the ropes. So if you want something a bit different for exercise definitely try out Pickleball. It’s not just for old people, I can feel my bum muscles today!

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