When I come on holiday I am notorious for setting up a 1 to 2km perimeter around the point of accommodation and then operating within that compound, not really straying outside the security zone unless I am chauffeur driven or guided. Given that I have used ‘Roaming’ in the topic of this blog however, its clearly an area of development for me to work on over the next few months!
So, to the rest day and it was time to take a break from the park and chill out… Not the easiest thing to do in the DH MTB Mecca, but as luck would have it, mother nature eventually helped make my rest day all the more satisfying. Its also key to give the hands and body a day off here, a case of it being quality over quantity and as we make the turn for home, its key to have the unit in top shape for the last half.
I ruined my sleep in to catch Le Tour, only to wake up to watch the replay of Dan Martin winning… Fuck, no points for calculating the finish time then, but good to know the tour is not over like everyone bemoaned yesterday, hopefully the insurgent warfare riding continues and we may see some decent drama in the Alps.
After a very leisurely start it was time to load up the Oakley combat backpack and head out to explore Whistler, out of the Bike Park and out of the Village, smashing that comfort zone like a dirty berm. First, prudent to get a briefing on BEARS in case I am pseudo attacked again:
Right, so don’t feed them garbage or cover myself with berries, should be sweet as eh?
Armed with my combat pack, flares, rescue services notified, GPS and a back up map given to me by concierge (with a little pen line showing me where to go), I put my tunes on and set out to find Rainbow Park (not the shit amusement park in Auckland), on the edge of Alta Lake. I was getting mega intrepid on it as I set forth like BEAR Grills, even having to follow this bad ass path:
Detracting slightly from my Edmond Hillary spirit, Rainbow Park was sign posted the whole way, but at 3.5km’s from the village, it was mission accomplished on some epic roaming (I promise to improve as the weeks go on, but to be fair, walking is shit). A couple of things struck me as I strolled along the Valley Trail:
- People here are really friendly and actually smile and say hello, not just a few, but consistently… Everyone is chilled and having a good time
- I am a very long way away from doing pointless PowerPoint presentations and I don’t have any to think about or do when I get back from this trip and that is worthy of a high 5 or two.
Eventually my adventurous spirit was rewarded when I came across Alta Lake and Rainbow Park:
No shit, this place was like a movie set, people were frolicking, laughing, playing all manner of sports, kids were playing games, people were having picnics, jumping in the lake and it even smelt like BBQ’s… I had wondered if I had stumbled into a movie shoot for the next Brady bunch movie. It was so idyllic it almost made me feel uncomfortable! Not a lot of Gnar to be shredded here to be honest, so I did my best to soak up the chilling.
The BEST part about this park in the middle of nowhere next to a lake? It had free Wifi! WTF? Yes, what a place! So I ignored the view and checked my twitter feed. Feel the exploring. Oh, the views weren’t too bad either:
To reinforce my pioneering spirit there was only one thing to do… Reach into my combat pack and deploy the togs! Yes, in for a swim… It was… refreshing, shall we say… Wasn’t the longest swim ever, but you don’t trek all the way outside of the comfort of the Westin and the village to just look at the view I figure.
At this point the 60% chance of rain forecasted turned to 100%… Regrettably the combat pack didn’t contain my jacket… or a jersey… or any food… I can see how adventurers get themselves in the shit now and die isolated, a solid learning here. Luckily for me on the way back, just as I was starting to get shin splints from walking and could feel mild hunger onset, I stumbled on to the Oasis of the Whistler Golf Club and managed to hole up there in their cafe, which to my luck was showing the Formula One German Grand Prix (and BOOM, free Wifi), so I waited out the rain and lightening storm.
About this time the bike park was closed as well due to the lightening, so not a bad day to pick for a rest day really!
Learning from today – If you are nice and like people as well as the outdoors, move to Whistler… Basically the place is stacked with golden stuff to do, especially riding out of the park. Slight suspicion that real estate prices may be a challenge though? Also clearly you would need to like snow, a lot of it.
Tomorrow its back into the riding for the last 4 days I have on the mountain… What to look forward to tomorrow? Its time to head to the TOP of the mountain and hit Garbonzo! Stay tuned as its about to get really, real.