Documenting the back country with 4 young kids

 

I woke up to temperatures cold enough to freeze the melting ‘snow rivers’ underneath our tent pad. With the kids locked in a deep sleep I enjoyed a moment of silence and soaked in the cool, fresh mountain air. Bliss. How lucky we are to be here.

Just a few weeks prior my friends Nicolas and Natalie had a crazy idea and proposed a 28 km backcountry camping trip into Garibaldi Provincial Park, BC spread over three nights and four days, and one mountain pass with four boys aged 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Wooohooo! I’m in.

No need to ask the kids…they’ll love this!! Backcountry camping, big heavy backpacks, long arduous hikes, steep uphills, and sore feet…what’s not to like?

Six hours before we left my biggest concern was how to get all this gear into my 60 litre bag, and into my boys two 30 litre backpacks. Wool socks, Moon Cheese, camp fuel, bear spray, tent, sleeping bags, Thermarests, clothing, and lots of food among other gear.

This trip quickly established itself as both a mental and a physical test of strength and will for each child as they struggled on the first ascent with loaded backpacks, and a steep, rooty up hill path.  While I carried the heaviest gear theirs were busting at the seams and weighed in between 10-15 lbs. I am sure this added to the many stops and drops along the forest floor as little bodies screamed in distaste at the sheer steepness of the trail.

But with lots of coaxing, breaks, a few needed temper-tantrums, and snacks we prevailed and reached Helms Creek campground 9 hours later. Annnnd luckily my husband had already found and dug out the tent pad from under 2 feet of snow. Thanks David…love ya!!

The next day we saw Black Tusk standing stoically in front of us. We looked up with jaws open mesmerised by the sheer beauty and vastness of the landscape. No one complained. No one talked. The fatigue melted with the snow.

With blue bird skies and a hot mid-day sun we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Stopping occasionally for water breaks, and lunch we trekked on for 9 km ocassionally breaking through the snow. Progress was slow but only because of the soft snow. No more complaints. In fact, I truly believe that this day was a game changer for the boys as they realised the benefits of hard work.

Our final campsite was Garibaldi. Our feet were cold and wet, and our stomachs empty. But our spirits remained as high as the mountains surrounding us. Once more we had to pitch our tent in close to 3 feet of snow but the experience was worth it as I saw all the boys grow and accomplish tasks they never thought they could. Whereas, I always knew they could they now believed it!

 

Preserverence

@Cecile Gambin Photography

A feel-good blog today ūüôā

Check out this little guy. He’s nine years old and riding technical trails. He didn’t get there overnight. I know as I’m his mother and I’ve watched him pedal, fall, stumble and try again.

Some days I know I need to sit back from an already hectic life and reflect. And I realise I can learn from that very same lesson that my nine year old has been learning from over the past few weeks.

It might take me a wee bit longer but eventually I realise that life is good, and that through preserverence I can achieve what I want.

2013 Beagle Bash Enduro & Trail Ride

The 2013 Beagle Bash Enduro and Trail Ride¬†is only a few days away. For many it will be the first¬†ride of the season…especially after this unusually cold¬†weather where Old Man Winter has not wanted to hand over the reigns to Spring.

Cecile Gambin Photography will be there, somewhere, in the trails. I’m heading out Saturday with hopes to find a few spots for photos. Thank you to Doug Kent of the Lynn Valley Dirt Riders for hooking me up with directions. I’ve ridden the Beagle Bash several times in the past and I can tell you that it will feel great to swing a leg over the bike and ripping up the trails.

New this year is the start line which will be held at The Langton Community Centre, 28 Albert St., Langton, Ontario. For more information and to pre-register for the trail ride or the enduro please click here. Thanks to the good people at LVDR for their making the 2013 years enduro and trail ride happening!!

See you soon!

Cecile Gambin Photography ready for the 2013 Ontario Off-Road Season

Offroad Ontario Algonquin Trail Ride
Taking five at the Algonquin 2 day ride
Homage to Ice 2012
Whether at the races for fun or for competition it’s always great to be riding with buddies.

The 2013 Ontario Off-road riding season is soon upon us and personally I cannot wait! An opportunity to share good times with friends, ride a new trail and become one with the bike. I am also looking forward to riding the trails with my camera gear in tow searching for those perfect action shots. I have many plans this summer and,¬† hopefully, some good news to share in a few weeks. In the meantime, Cecile Gambin Photography¬†will be out in full force this season at most of the off road and cycling events throughout our great province. So, don’t forget to ham it up when you see my lens and say ‘hello’!