Saturday, April 4, 2009

Adventure 01: Mount Washington

My second post was supposed to be about getting the right outdoor gear but I was ill this past week and didn't get a chance to go shopping before my first scheduled outdoor adventure.

Some friends invited us to Mount Washington, here in Vancouver Island, so we drove up north to the Comox Valley. 

The scenery is beautiful on the road, with pine trees, snow-covered mountains in 
the distance, and ocean views in some stretches. 

I could tell this was not Texas anymore just by the road signs, like the one that said "Elk, Next 20km." 

They seem to have a lot of elk around here but not so many gas stations. We almost ran out of gas! My gas light was blinking for 30km before I could find a place to pump. Thank God we made it.

Anyway, once we got to Mount Washington, we could see hundreds of people skiing and snowboarding. They have some affordable lessons for beginners but we got there to late in the day to sign up for them (and we had brought the kids along).

So, for my first outdoor adventure, I started at a very basic level: snow tubing

You sit on a tube and slide down a slope, turning around, feeling the roller-coaster-type knot in your stomach, and the wind on your face before hitting the hay.  It was actually quite fun, eh?

Here's how they get you to the top of the slope (very relaxing, according to my son):

I should have gotten my gear first, because without snow boots or at least waterproof boots, your sneakers can get wet really fast. Here I am, snow tubing:

The cool thing is that you can go down in groups--you just hang on to your mate's tube and scream your face off. My friend's family and mine got together, so we had eight people in one fun ride:

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