Chapter 13 – It’s Always Sunny in Squamish

Oh dearest reader you’re still here after all of this time? My my you should have just gone and read something else as nothing to interesting has happened other that a few small life changing events! so before we get endowed in the dance of you first I shall take the biscuit and jump right in!

I have been in Squamish for just over 6 months and I have to say it’s been a rollercoaster and one that I wanted to keep riding over and over again but I could never quite put my finger on what made the ride so enjoyable was it the loop de loop at the mid point or was it the climb in the beginning allowing the ride to go full force and give you the thrill of existence or was it the ending where your adrenaline is still pumping though your veins and the endorphins run like a river through the soul? the answer is that not one part is the best part, but combined it makes the whole experience a fulfilling one and leaves a taste in the mouth that keeps you coming back for more as I found out.

Now I could spend hours upon hours of both mine and your time however I think that is better in a different form that of the spoken english language so what I’ll do is explain why Squamish has made such an impact on my life in such a short period of time.

My first few weeks in Squamish where lets say hard, it was the first time I had volunteered somewhere I was surrounded by people who at the time seemed very sporty and into their fields and friendship circles but looking back they where great people I just didn’t see it at the time as I forgot that everybody in this hostel was a traveler they aren’t just living day in day out they are there on their adventure just how I’m on my adventure and by speaking to one another we would have allowed ourselves to combine our experiences and create a whole new adventure slash friendship circle as shown in Chapter 12. But yes it did take some weeks to start to come out of my own shell and speak to others I still haven’t mastered to art of speaking to others but I’m 100% confident that those skills have improved 10 fold and they just keep getting better and better!

Well god dammit Ciarán you just went and left a blog post half finished didn’t you and now you want me future Ciarán to finish it don’t you? Well I can’t and won’t I can’t pick up on  a story from over half a year ago so I hope you enjoyed chapter 13 a half arsed adventure tune in next week for chapter 14 – Edale Home away from Home.

Chapter 12 – Road Trip with the Boys

Hello dearest reader I see that you have once again stumbled upon another chapter. Lets take a brief moment to thank the universe for this momentous occasion *pause for thanks* with that done lets talk about the boys big trip in the beast of a vehicle known only as the SUB (said in  a low gruff voice). The trip started like any other adventure over a few brewskis at the hostel. With all the boys pumped and ready to go I had just completed a morning shift and a solid morning shovelling snow. We were pumped and ready to go!

Day 1 – Squamish to Victoria 

As with any good road trip it must start with something to perk you up. This trip was no different, but instead of the ol’ coffee,  it was something a little more special. Kids, ask your parents when you’re older! After that special trip we headed to the ferry at Horseshoe Bay and after enjoying a free special pick me up, the boys were flying to Victoria! Now this trip wasn’t any trip. Why you ask? Because we were high as kites! all 4 of us had Never in our lives have we been this high before… We had the funniest trip in a long time! trying to keep composure in a confined shipping vessel takes vast amounts of effort… Nevertheless, after a quick stop at the onboard shop we were fed and watered after a comment from Dennis “My mouth is like the desert” Looking back it was funny but nowhere near as funny as it was at the moment! In hindsight, it was hilarious at the time… It’s one of those “you had to be there moments.”

Now after the ferry trip the SUB pulled one on us all the check engine light was illuminated! not a good move SUB we all exclaimed but the SUB had enough and turned that pesky light off without us noticing! *SIDE NOTE* maybe the light was never on, maybe we where never in Tofino MAYBE we are still on the ferry… now back to our scheduled program. After that exciting endeavour the SUB took us to Victoria along the way we saw some of the most beautiful Christmas lights you have ever seen *well you didn’t cause your just a  reader in this situation* so we parked the SUB and strolled down the illuminated high street, lights were hung everywhere in this town along with every shopfront being Christmas themed! after this quick break we had some dinner in a local diner was delightful we had burgers and beer of course. With bellies full and thirst quenched next stop in our books was Victoria. Now this city is like every other city on this planet and by that I mean it was full to the brim with oneway streets now that isn’t fun anytime of day but at night in the rain and a bit sleepy mistakes did happen a few  quotes from this drive was “Jim wrong side of the road” and “Jim thats a one way street” as you may of gathered the SUB has a owner named Jim more to come later, Maybe? and for me after arriving at the hostel I was done so I tuckered up in bed whilst the boys went and pounded a few pints of liquid gold and Mexican spirits.

Day 2 – Victoria 

With our bodies fully refreshed and rearing to go we headed down to get out FREE breakfast and by free I mean included in the cost of the room… at the breakfast table we decided where to head to on our first day of adventuring first stop was the floating houses and restaurants downtown, and in typical BC weather is was raining and raining quite a bit at that. now after exploring the floating houses we headed to the lighthouse a mere 30 minutes drive away and we got in for FREE because Canada is only 150 years old it’s a wee baby my house in the UK is nearly the same age. anyway we arrived at the lighthouse and there was a metric fuck tonne of geese or as luke would call them assholes. so we toured around this lighthouse however it was also an old military/navel base the history was pretty interesting but I’ll not give any spoilers of whats there. What’s that your saying I said that because I can’t remember anything about the base. well dear reader you are correct thanks for calling me out here take one of my dignity cards *you now have 0 dignity cards left* fuck…

so after a few hours of walking around we headed back to Victoria but not before visiting the Vancouver Island brewing company for a tour, and like any good brewery tour this one ended like it should absolutely plastered because you started drinking at 2pm the beer that started this whole adventure was the Herminator a 9%alc strength beer and a fine beer at that. To top this tour off I got a free 6 pack of Herminator beer because the universe was on our side on this trip. After the tour we headed back to the hostel to begin a long night of beverage drinking and beverage drinking occurred it stared at with a few pints whilst playing a few games of pool we then headed towards the hostel once more this time to get our FREE dinner and FREE drink dinner was so so but our free drink was a vodka ice tea and we all came to the agreement that we wanted vodka ice tea minus the ice tea to which the barman responded “so a vodka shot” with a swift nod and a shot later the boys were ready to hit the town! But first me and Dennis decided that we needed to spice this evening up and to do that we recruited the oh so delightful dong-bong and smoked a bowl and we were flying into the evening. next stop was a bar of which the name has slipped my memory however on the way I saw the most amazing lights I have ever seen in my life I have been informed that I said the following “there are so many lights” “oh my god they are different colours” “even the boats have lights” as you may of guessed I was far too excited for these lights and I must of looked like quite the tool shouting at a building with lights anyway at the bar we had a solid 3 possibly 4 beers there and I was sufficiently drunk and high not a good combination in which I found out later in the evening.

Later on in this adventure we stopped by the place we played pool mere hours ago and I was done I couldn’t walk anymore I couldn’t remember shit, I have no idea how I got back to the hostel sheer luck I suppose but that’s where my luck ended for the evening. I was rudely awoken by the boys at an ungodly hour to which I find I have thrown-up over my rain jacket which I had placed in the bin *great job drunk me* and yes there is photo evidence of this terrible incident. find out If I ever woke up in Day 3.

Day 3 – Victoria to Tofino 

Day 3 it’s checkout day so I go and get changed and I cannot find my boot for my life so I’m there claiming “who looses one boot” and “how the fuck do you loose a boot” to which Jim responds look under your spew jacket and low and behold there she is the spew covered boot so I go and rinse that bad boy off in the shower and let’s start day 3 of the boys on tour. So we head towards the SUB and some fellow comes up to us and asks if we can take him to Port Alberni well we have to drive past there to get to Tofino so he throws his bag in the SUB and we all introduce ourselves and his name was Flo and Flo was going to have the hitchhike of his life as today was the SUBS birthday it’s 220,000km birthday and to celebrate we said we are going to smoke the dong-bong little to Flo’s knowledge so there we are on the highway towards Port Alberni and the clock ticks over to the magical 220,000km and the suspense was so thick you could of cut it with a knife but Jim’s slams the anchor and stops dead in the middle of the highway. Dennis is in the process of prepping the dong-bong and we play the birthday tune of September by Earth Wind and Fire and once more on this trip smoke a bowl alas Flo didn’t take part maybe due to shock of what the fuck was happening or maybe he was just in heaven thinking this is the greatest yet strangest experience he had been in! after that ordeal back to the road and next stop 800 year Douglas-fir tree! now I know what your thinking that doesn’t sound interesting but holy fuck these trees are massive it takes 8 people to hug this tree and it’s taller than the leaning tower of pisa in Italy! now let’s rewind before we saw this tree we decided to take a detour to the beach and whilst walking along the coast we see this piece of art made of old driftwood and huge logs and we all come up with the genius idea adding to this piece of art and so we set off to find the perfect piece of wood and my goodness we found it and it was magnificent. however this piece of wood was heavy and by heaving I mean it was a 3-4 man lift and maybe around 20ft tall and we had to get this upright and lodged into this art piece but after sheer determination and teamwork we completed this task and left a little bit of history to an already beautiful beach.

Now for the sad part of the day saying farewell to Flo we dropped him off in Port Alberni and exchanged contact details and as we leave we all knew that we would meet Flo once more on this road trip. So we finally start the final leg of our trip to Tofino but first a brief history of things I wanted to do in Canada No.1 was to see the ocean on both the East coast and West coast and after a year of traveling I was finally going to see the ocean on the West side! I was super pumped way to excited for something as simple as the ocean but it was totally worth it being with the boys watching the sunset on what had been an amazing day meeting new friends and seeing a whole new part of Canada! after watching a magical sunset we headed towards the Whalers in Hostel in Tofino and it was a beautiful and welcoming place, a really homie atmosphere and the boys felt at home.

Day 4 – Tofino 

New Years eve in Tofino what a time to be alive and what a great place to be to celebrate my first year in a whole new country and away from home for the first time! but the boys had a hike planned for the day, quite an interesting hike as it wasn’t a summit it was a hike through the bog fields of tofino to a WW2 bomber that crash landed into the side of the hill after an engine failure (you can read more by googling it) the plane was fully stripped of its electrical systems and was just a  barebones wreck the only thing that covered the plane was overgrowth and graffiti tags *this irks me more than it should, why do you feel you have to put your name on a piece of history* but the boys didn’t tag this plane the boys sat on the wings and we enjoyed the one the only Herminator! guest staring the dong-bong we reminisced on our trip and the year along with quite a few interesting stories, stories that shall be kept between the boys and will live in our memories allowing us to recreate that moment in time. After our spiritual journey (by our I mean mine) we carefully made our way back through the bog making sure not to make a wrong step or the earth would quite literally swallow you whole. On the way back to the hostel we stopped at a surfing hotspot to check the place out and in the process enjoyed the final sunset of 2017 it was beautiful the universe really put on a show that day and the universe kept on giving all the way to the new year. Heading back to the hostel for real this time we saw a hitchhiker on the road we drove past to which I said “this is the universe testing us” so Jim slams the anchor and does a u-turn and goes to pick up this fellow and after a brief chat we dropped him off in the town centre and thats when we knew the universe was balanced once more and the universe had something amazing planned for the boys.

As the night rolled in the boys rolled out of the hostel Catherine (a worker at the hostel) was the DD for the evening and she informed us of a campfire down at the beach so off we head to reel in the New Year on a beach *the dream* but before all of this happened I went to throw some cardboard away and low and behold I meet our roommate Nick he’s smoking a J and asks If I would like to join, being a gentleman I kindly accept and I was now flying into the evening. We arrived at the campfire at around 10:00pm and low and behold we meet the hitchhiker from earlier that day! and we start chatting and his friend from Yorkshire was a gem he told us his traveling stories and I’m not going to share those stories as they are his to tell and not mine to share as I wouldn’t express the passion he had alas he left shortly after leaving the boys at the campfire with a bunch of strangers but for that one night we are all one family bringing in the New Year together but for me New Year isn’t a big deal so I wasn’t drinking as I have been smoking for the past few hours and as we all know beer and weed aren’t the best of friends. as we started the countdown to the new year everybody stared to dance around the campfire I watched from a distance and enjoyed the atmosphere and then it struck 2018 was here and the boys have now been on the road for 2 years! shortly after this Dennis wanted us to share our highlights and low points of the year we all enjoyed this and I feel that we became closer friends that night but for me the night was over I was tired and ready for bed. But I know the boys had one crazy night but once more that is not my story to share.

Day 5 – Tofino to Nanaimo 

Well for me the morning was very chill and I was ready to start the day as no hangover can touch this man no sir! I headed off into town with my camera in tow and went and took some photographs of the town, in the process I took some photos of a murder of crows and some fellows car infant of them as the guy drove off he handed me his business card and asked if I could sent the photos to him. I gladly accepted and later that evening I sent him the photos and wished him a very happy new year and that’s the highlight of my morning other than some delightful shots of a peaceful harbour town. I headed back to the hostel to meet Dennis for some breakfast as the other boys still haven’t turned up yet, over breakfast we discuss the events of the evening and to me it sounded like something from one of those crazy American house parties that went waaaay out of control but I’m a pretty open person and came to accept that the evenings events did indeed occur. So there we are at the door ready to go down to the beach for a quick walk and who walks through the door its the boys! and they look rough like they had been out partying for 12 hours, Oh wait that’s exactly what happened! so we once again sit back down and get to hear the details of the night and I can tell you one thing I heard this story too many times and yes it did start to get a little bit old. Maybe its because I was sad I wasn’t there but that was my decision and deep inside I love the story and the fact that I have no idea if it’s real or not. Story time over it was time to head down to the beach me and Dennis discussed the events of the past few days and talked about whats next for us and the year ahead we enjoyed another wonderful sunset the first one of the year and an eagle flies above our heads and we both look at each other and I say “that was the most magical thing that’s happened all year” to which Dennis gives me a look of disappointment we both laugh and continue to watch the sunset and play a game of frisbee on the beach, what an excellent start to the year.

Day 6 – Tofino to Nanaimo

Our final day in Tofino had arrived and it was a sober day (well kind of sober) as we had to make our way to Nanaimo for the night so we can head back to sunny squamish but before we say farewell to the west coast of Canada we headed for Uclulet to check out the  West Coast Trail with the intention to see the Orcas and as we start the hike there is a viewpoint a mere meters from the parking lot we look out across the ocean and in disbelief we see a calf and it’s mother breaching the waves it was the most magnificent thing I have ever seen as I’m a big advocator for the freedom of killer whales and to see them in their natural habitat was an emotional time seeing the dorsal fin at full mast was just majestic and it really topped of our visit to the west coast of Canada. With emotions high and living the dream the boys headed to Nanaimo no stops this time we just listened to some chill indie music and cruised to our final destination. After arriving we had some dinner and had a stroll around the town (not much to see) and we decided that Nanaimo had some crimes that needed to be solved so once more (starting to see a re-ocurring pattern here) we smoked another bowl… afterwords he headed for the corner pub they had a open mic night and it was amazing some wonderful singers and some great instrumentals after a few pints I called it a night and gave the classic cut sign payed my tab and laid my head to rest.

Day 7 – Nanaimo to Home

As with all things in life everything must come to an end and this trip was no exception but before we say goodbye to Vancouver Island we completed one more small hike around Westwood Lake at it was a beautiful hike to end this trip the lake was fully frozen and this was the first time Jim has ever seen a frozen lake and he was fascinated by it, It made me happy as I had the exact same response when I saw a frozen lake for the first time and I could relate to the emotions that he felt. But this soon changed as we started throwing stones on the lake as they made a super cool noise (I’m unable to put the noise into words sorry) we did this for a solid 15 minutes  and I can confirm it was a lot of fun apart from a few funky looks from some bystanders but hey we’re all adults and we can do whatever our hearts desire! as the hike started to conclude there was a brief walk through a wooded area and the light rays where incredible I have never seen the light like this before it was memorising and really made me appreciate the world in which we live after seeing this sight we headed for the ferry back to our homeland.

Now as you may or may not remember we flew across the ocean to Victoria and this trip back was no acceptation so we move briskly towards the smoking deck and we light the magic J and we enjoy every last part of it and once more we where flying back to Squamish and Jim was enveloped in the sunset I have never seen a man take so many photos of the sunset (can confirm it was beautiful and I also took a metric fuck tonne of photos) we spent what felt like an eternity watching the island slowly disappear in the clouds as as we could no longer feel our faces we headed towards the lower decks and did a good 2 loops of the entire ship looking for seating there was none to be found, until that is we found a seat! and we somehow ended up with a deck of cards and attempted to play go-fish now I have played this game a lot but I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to play this godforsaken game and the women at the end of the chairs was in hysterics watching 4 full grown men trying to play  a simple card game I think we really made the trip special to this women! Also the woman sat in front of us was also in hysterics mainly due to Jim looking at his photos of the sunset and being like an excited child it was hilarious to watch and I can imagine it was spectacular to watch from an outside point of view. And how could I forget Dennis loosing his fucking mind I think we broke him, he kept going on that maybe this trip never happened and that we are still on the ferry for Victoria and that we got so high that we never got off the ferry and that the first J started this magic trip and that the second J ended the trip or something along those lines either way it was complicated, mind blowing and dumb as shit well done Dennis for loosing your mind. We then took a steady drive from Horseshoe Bay back to Squamish and shared our tales with the hostel and yes it was good to be home.

And that concludes the boys adventure to Vancouver Island, overall it was an amazing trip and a real eye opener and really made me appreciate the world and changed my metal state fort the better for reasons unknown, I now feel more in touch with my spiritual side and I feel like a more open person and I would now encourage anybody not to doubt anything and be open to the world and spiritual beliefs.

Chapter 11 – Year 1

Well there we go dear reader it’s been a year of on off writing and I can confirm I think it’s been a success, I have learnt and met a lot of people along the way who knows if they still think of me because I think of them. I have done my fair share of dumb stuff whilst being away from home and in no particular order lets start a list

  • Made piss bombs on a frozen lake
  • Drank copious amounts of alcoholic beverages
  • Climbed ice mountains without ropes or crampons
  • Climbed vertical faces in the rain with no ropes
  • Said dumb things
  • Karaoke
  • fell in love
  • one night stands

list done turns out it was significantly smaller than expected… but it’s all things I haven’t done back home so any experience is better than no experience. But really my time in Canada has been the greatest decision of my life I know that some people back home weren’t pleased with my decision but it’s my life not theirs and I shouldn’t be concerned about what others think there is nothing that can be done! but back to how it’s been the greatest decision, it’s because this is where I gained my independence and started to become who I am, now yes to those who haven’t left their home that sounds ridiculous but it’s true being around people you have never met allows you to be seen in a whole new way and it’s great there is no judgement and everybody is accepting of anything and everything. And that’s what traveling is all about, being you and accepting the world for what it is (yes I know I sound like some earth loving sensei) and on a side note physical items mean nothing and that has stuck with me in the past few months, these items don’t bring me happiness its the experiences and the tales to be told that bring back those memories for life and take you back to the best times of your life not some dumb phone you bought, it doesn’t bring happiness in the long term just in the first few weeks and then it’s a tool and you don’t tell people about the item you had years ago it’s just not a thing unless you make it a thing.

I digress, over the past year I have met a lot of people and unfortunately contact has been lost with some of these people due to being all over the country it’s hard to keep friendships going across the world, the people I do still keep in contact with are now seen as my best friends and I enjoy speaking to them regularly in other words if I FaceTime you at least once a month then we are besties…

Over the year I have been asked a lot of questions some more than others but the most common question is “do you miss home?” and in short the answer is No I don’t miss home, but as a longer answer of course your going to miss the place you grew up in but at the same time as a species its in our blood to explore and live and breath in new lands and as of writing I couldn’t see myself living back in the UK as a vacation I would enjoy that I want to travel in the UK now I have found a new love and passion for exploring my home a sense I never got whilst living there. and right now I want to live here in Canada I see this place as my new home. and yes I’m living the dream and loving every part of it.


231017 – Lovely Lake

Oh my author your writing a day log and not a chapter you must be proud, let me answer that me yes now I don’t see the importance but lets just start writing about the Lovely Lake Hike…

It all began on a early monday morning in Squamish BC and by early I mean around 8:00am so not terrible! but still early so we headed off to the start of the trail (49.807419, -123.193547) well this is the parking zone and by parking zone I mean side of the road, but to get to the actual trail you need to cross the Squamish river easy right!? ah fuck no! now a river you say how difficult can that be well let me explain, imagine a river got that? now imagine a cable car line above the river but without the cable car part… do you see where I’m going with this? now we have to harness ourselves onto this cable car and drag yes drag ourselves across this cable above the river fun! No, not fun not one bit exhausting yes a lot exhausting and we haven’t even started the climb yet! now to cross this river took a solid 45minutes and it’s only a 150m crossing but it felt like an eternity!

Now onto the initial hike this hike involved an elevation gain of 1200m now thats pretty damn tall to put that into perspective its 2.8x the height of the CN tower with that out of the way we can talk about distance which in total was 12miles round trip and along the way it’s pretty interesting to see how the elevation effects the weather at the bottom in the maple trees and leafy trees its damp and reasonably warm and then you start to climb to the pine tree level where the trees become covered in moss and everything is sopping wet and the humidity is crazy high I was stripped down just to a t-shirt and sweating constantly! this isn’t good because as the elevation increases it becomes colder and the sweat becomes cold making your whole body cold but thankfully I have been wearing Marino Wool clothing **corporate praise here** this clothing gets wet but not cold like normal fabric it stays warm and drys super quick yes I love Icebreaker clothing it’s silly expensive but it’s worth every penny! now back to a regullary scheduled program!

Waterfalls, waterfalls was the key highlight of this hike you can hear the raging torrent of water around every corner and at least every 500m there is some form of creek or mini water flow it may not be the biggest but it’s still pretty cool but this water is pretty darn cold but clean, like crazy clean because this is glacial water and has little to no contaminates and dirt! I did fill my bottle numerous times and enjoyed the freshest water in my life! Now these waterfalls are more active than normal due to the amount of rainfall we have received in the past week pretty much constant rain fun times! but because of that it really made them more special and enjoyed them a lot more.

Climbing and crazy fucking steep hills was the main part of this hike the guide says that the last 1.5hours are the hardest and yes guide this is correct and it was hard, I was exhausted and had to take a breather every 50m or so just because after already hiking for 4 hours your body is already feeling it and every part aches but I did hit a stage where I stopped feeling anything like I felt completely refreshed which is the strangest feeling but at the same time super cool also at the last 30 minutes we stopped and had a bite to eat and holy fuck my internal batteries recharged fully and I was ready to go and pumped so we charged on to the peak which included the delightfully named Lovely Lake.

Peak! the peak was worth all of the effort it’s the most beautiful place I have seen mainly because the work behind getting there is crazy hard but also because It’s what I came to BC for to see lakes and mountains and thats exactly what we saw! Now imagination time imagine a ice cold lake on the left hand side there are snow peaked mountains and if you follow these until they slowly fade into a green hill where the rocks are exposed and the pine trees are that dark green and in the background you can see more of those snow peaked caps where the grey rock slithers are coming though giving the whole scene some depth and if you move your eyes to the foreground you’ll see some driftwood from old logs you can see that they are fully soaked and have been there for some time as they have signs of rot and a slight hint of some fresh green moss. this description will not do this scene justice and if you want to see it you’ll have to go up for yourself or just google search or just ask and I’ll cave in pretty sharpish!

Back to reality now the trip down was a blast sliding down the mountain in a breeze you have the odd tumble or slip and then you realise that one wrong move and its a good 150m fall of the side of a cliff but hey its not fun without danger right!? but really the way down was great not tiring at all which is a godsend as I don’t think my body could handle anymore! but every shining armour has a kink and our kink was that cable car line mentioned at the start of this log we had to make our way back across this river and this time during the sunset which made it more interesting as you can’t see shit because there aint no man made light in the middle of nowhere thank goodness 2 people bought there flashlights otherwise it would of been a disaster! but overall this hike was amazing and had a good time with friends and now looking at the next hike to do I’m currently hoping to do the 3 peaks on the chieftain but time will tell!



Chapter 10 – East to West

Well when I moved to Canada just less than a year ago I had 2 main goals number 1 was to see the ocean on the East Coast and West Coast that has been successfully completed as I have seen the ocean from Halifax NS and Vancouver BC Wahooo! and my second goal was to look out of a window and see a mountain I have completed that as well! by moving to the delightful town of Squamish whilst volunteering in a hostel for 3.5months till the end of January and after that date I have no idea what to do! maybe move back to Nova Scotia for 10 months and have a blast with Kyle and Becca but your guess is as best as mine!

So I have been at the Adventure Inn hostel for a week as of writing and it has felt like I have been here for ages! and I have been non-stop activities for that time this is my first forced day off for myself today so I’m updating the blog (thumbs up to avid readers) but I have started climbing and more bouldering I enjoy it a lot more me and heights aren’t on the greatest terms at the moment but with bouldering its not too high and more overhangs I’m not the best but man it’s fun to finally successfully complete a run especially with them blister ridden hands that are in the process of healing! that is until you rip them back open doing dumb shit like pulling yourself along a steel cable above a river (coming in a separate blog post)

But overall and so far my move to Squamish has been a good one bar the expensive food costs but hey thats what jobs are for eh! and the life  lesson of today is short and sweet and said by Sheila Buff “JUST DO IT”

Chapter 9 – Operation Summer Part II

Stardate 040617 the first day of camp has begun and by first day of camp I mean the first day at the camp which involved in polite terms bugger all. Mostly awkward interactions with my new co-workers and trying to find something to eat (looking back I assume we found food because I’m still alive) after that and a FaceTime with my parents giving them a half arsed tour of the camp and them mocking my “facial hair” which shortly involved shaving and looking like a fresh born baby maybe I’ll send a photo if you ask looking at you Adam… So there we are a Mexican an Irishlady and an Englishman on a dock looking out over sylvan lake we talked about ourselves and discussed what the summer will bring and what bought us to this place. we played some frisbee on the beach and yes I was the super hip cool guy who purchased a frisbee and yes I do still have the frisbee I threw out clothes so I could keep travelling with it! and then all of a sudden in the late afternoon a man stood on top of the path down to the beach and said “do you guys work here” our repose was a rather sheepish “ermm yes” the man responded with “I’m Kendrah’s father” we all though who is Kendrah should we know who she is? **side note she was a counsellor** so we start talking to Kendrah and no word of a lie she scared the living shit out of us telling us stories about camp all the rules what you can and can’t do It was like a weeks worth of information in a span of 4 hours. Looking back I think it helped but I really have no idea! and lets skip forward because I can’t remember what happened!

Stardate 050617 – 010717 the first day of training and oh boy my memory is failing me so I’m going to attempt to condense around a month worth of training into a few paragraphs please wish me luck…

Low Ropes

Now this was the first time we worked as a whole team hence the term team building exercises and at the time I wasn’t  a fan of the whole team building actives and feeling like a complete tit in-front of others but now I have come to the realisation that nobody really gives a fuck as everybody is in the same boat this took an embarrassing amount of time to realise! but the actives involved some name games, learning about each other and trusting one another and hence the title Low Ropes was the main focus of this portion of training now at the times I wasn’t a fan of the Low Ropes but now I have to say it’s one of my favourite activities it really does encourage teamwork and the trust of others now as all adults its pretty easy to learn and work as a team and control everybody but when attempting to teach a bunch of grade 7s to perform these tasks it turns into a big old shit show nobody listens and this can cause major issues and somebody can get hurt (I’m turning into an old teacher) but with this under our belts we where ready teach and starting to form friendships


Sidenote **mature language** I FUCKING LOVE CANOEING  **mature language over** Now I’ve only ever been canoeing once before this “but ciaran how can you love it if you’ve only done it once before 6 years ago” first of who told you it was 6 years ago oh wait I’m the author and asked an imaginary question (did I just break a 3rd wall? yes, yes you did) but really I have just loved the idea of being on a lake paddling away talking about life and taking a nice long day chilling on the water man that is the dream right there! Now to actually take these kids on the water we need to be certified instructors and thats exactly what we where doing fancy that eh. Our instructor was Seb great guy super friendly and enthusiastic the course was only for 3 days and for 1 of those days it was white caps on the lake so canoeing was out the window on that day but we learnt all the strokes and how to recover a tipped canoe thats harder than it looks! and then on the last evening we played some form of tag with foam pieces that you had to pick up with your paddle and throw at another canoe (I do have a short film showing this) ask me to upload it on the internet… and that is canoe training complete I’m now certified by Paddle Canada and get a metric fuck tonne of emails from them **thumbs up**

Being a councillor 101 

I wasn’t a councillor so this section is completely irrelevant, instead I was mowing grass and cleaning porcelain like a god damn pro! because I was DR.JAN-ITOR

Operation Summer Part III will be coming to a screen near you soonTM but in all honesty the summer was a complete blast and part III I have no idea where to start so maybe there will be something different maybe A Midnight Summers Dream…


Chapter 8 – Operation Summer Part I

Stardate 200817 I have Operation Summer has now been completed and I can confirm it was a bloody good success! The premise of Operation Summer was to get away from routine and away from the big city to a place where I can experience nature and live a tranquil life. After working at CIBC for 6 months sat in an office looking out over city hall I had a realisation that I had become comfy with my life as explained in Chapter 7 this was not good! So I decided that I would work in a summer camp for the summer with the intention just to get out of the city explore nature and maybe make a few friends but after 3 months I can say I have made friends for life, pushed my social boundaries way beyond their limits and explored nature a lot!

Lets jump back and tell the tale of Operation Sumer (It will be written how I would write on the day, no time for past tense Bull$hit here)

Stardate 010617 I have packed up all my belongings once again living out of a 75L backpack its all fun and games (trust me) I have successfully made my way to Toronto airport, ski jacket in hand it’s too big to place into my rucksack shame… I sat down at the bar and ordered a beer (it was around 8:00pm) The guy sat next to me was a fellow brit and by the end of my beer I wanted to strangle this guy he would not stop talking to me, Look I enjoy conversation as much as the next guy but I know fuck all about the city your from and the business your in sorry… after this dilemma of leaving and coming off as rude or staying and pulling my hair out my flight was called “Flight for Calgary is boarding” finally Operation Summer is a go! After landing in Calgary it was gone midnight I had called an Uber and waited for around 15 minutes I realised I was in the wrong pickup spot whoops and my driver canceled on me (if your reading this Uber driver my apologies) after that stormshow I arrived at the hostel dumped my bags and set off to find some food as I was as hungry as the wolf! but could I find an open food establishment could I bollocks so I went to the dollar store (why was it open at an ungodly time) and bought some $1 cookies and ate around 24 in one sitting (no judgment required I’m a pig and I’m proud of it!) and then making my way back to the hostel I lay my head down and had a ruddy good sleep!

**note to past me, I hate you for writing all this up now**

Stardate 020617 after refuling my body with sleep juice I was ready to explore a new city it began with a walk downtown I went the the classist of food establishments A&W it was a mediocre breakfast slightly disappointed in myself looking back but hey what are you going to do about it… I then walked down the the river and a local park I started to message Taff about calgary we had a discussion that the time zone was a bitch as it was morning here and late afternoon there crazy going from 5 hours to 7 hours difference! after the exchange of messages and pictures of geese I headed back into the city centre and headed to the Glenbow museum it was pleasantly nice, learnt some Canadian history and seeing some delightful rocks and minerals (I enjoy any museum that has rocks and minerals) I briefly explored the history of Calgary in all honesty I can’t remember jack all that they hosted the Winter Olympics once… And then I headed off on a bicycle trip and man It ended up being on heck of a trip in total around 23km not to shabby considering I haven’t cycled in over 6 months! after having a Donair kebab in the middle of nowhere and after arriving there was one thing on my mind BEER! I cracked open the couchsurfing app and within moments I had met a group of people and we all chatted grabbed a few drinks and a bite to eat overall a pretty delightful and unexpected day of exercise and socialising!

**Is this written in past or present tense I have no clue now, great job me**

Stardate 030617 today is moving day! I finally get to leave the city once more and head off to the delightful Sylvan Lake, but that’s not until late afternoon so lets go and explore a bit more *ping* I receive and email from Nyquest (the company I work for) one of your fellow workers is in the same hostel! finally I get to meet a new person and explore calgary, Now that didn’t happen quite as easily as that it involved multiple emails and around a full day of pinging back and forth to finally make a meeting spot! **I can’t remember what we did or how long** so there we are it’s late afternoon waiting for are new boss to pick us up and my goodness I was as nervous as a turkey on thanksgiving. But finally we get picked up and after a metric fuck tonne of questions we arrive at the airport to pick up another councillor Yojan at the time I didn’t know that this man would become on of my best friends and camp husband. Now I backtrack imagine an irish girl, english man and a canadian in an airport waiting for a Mexican, the Canadian goes up to  a Mexican looking fellow and goes “YOJAN” I’m going to pause the blog what do you think happened here, A)It was Yojan, B)It wasn’t Yojan or C) It wasn’t Yojan and the guy seemed rather irritated to be racially profiled… If you picked C DING DING DING you’re a winner! Now I fell that that is a story better told in person if you ever speak to me I’ll tell you the story… now back to driving to Sylvan around 2 hours later we arrived tired and ready for bed and you know what I did I re-fueled my body with sleep juice

**Who the fuck though this was a good idea to write about**

Part II will include the first day of being at camp and a few highlights from training, It will be written soonTM