Wedgemount Lake / by Kendra Archer

BEAUTY DAY.

The last few weeks have bled together into an endless stream of espressos, adventures, little shut eye and lots of sun rises. The rhythm of summer around here is my favourite of all the seasons, it caters best to my morning bird personality. Most days start between 4:00-5:00 am and my days off get my excited not for sleeping in and resting, but for waking up equally as early to venture out of the city. Afternoons are a useless lull in the middle of the day best saved for napping and evenings seem to bring the ones I care for huddled together at a beach or park. 

Yesterday morning I slept in until 5:20 am before hopping in my brother's car, picking our friends up and heading out to Wedgemount Lake. A much regretted breakfast stop in Squamish on the way up made the first hour and a half of the hike uncomfortable. A nice little ode to the trail race I ran last month wanting nothing more than my coffee and banana to exit my gut for the first 7 km - sometimes you learn your lesson, sometimes you don't. That said the only answer I've ever known to Eggs Benedict is yes, so I just had to.

This was my first hike in the area; not having a car or a driver's license I'm usually on the North Shore for its accessibility. The entire hike blew me away. Watching the landscape change with elevation was amazing. I'm used to spending most of my time in the thick of the forest. Getting  up into the open alpine spaces was such a treat for our whole crew, and especially my camera's lens. Making my way out to new places keeps fueling the fire for my creative and physical pursuits.

There is something beautifully addictive to what nature gives us. The open space, quiet time, adrenaline, endorphin rushes and self confidence boosts all mashed into one awesome package that somehow keeps your burning legs moving forward and your dry lips smiling. There is a rhythm both physical and psychological to these pursuits. In just one day you feel so many different muscles tensed, released, pulled, pushed and crashing waves of emotions from contentment, ecstasy, awe, anger, and defeat. It is like living an entire lifetime in a day.

You connect with your crew of people, share stories and thoughts as well as shut each other out when all you can focus on is getting to your destination and hoping the crunching of your knees end. I love the silences. I love an entire group of people tuning into to their space and each other's only to realize in the moment all anyone needs to do is move forward and listen to birds - only for that silence to be broken by someone tripping and laughing, or a side splitting joke out of coming from nowhere. Being is incredible when you allow yourself to do it completely. Grunt out of simultaneous joy for where you are and anger for not being at your lookout yet. Laugh at a joke - or at nothing at all. Rub pine needles in your hand and awaken to all your senses firing at once. Swear, laugh, moan, smile, sing, trip - pick yourself back up. 

Our way down the mountain proved to be harder than the way up, constantly being proven wrong each time we thought we were nearing our end. A feeling nothing but laughter can remedy - pain and frustration eased by the fact "you've only got one way home dude, and that's down". We all put in a day's work like champions, especially considering half our party is pretty new to hiking, they were nothing less than saintly the whole way considering the torture we put them through. As the day came to an end the happiness felt from the incredible view we had soaked in eased its way into fatigue. As we made our way back into the city eyelids got heavy and conversation spaced out. I was home at a decent enough hour to get a full night's sleep before my 5:30 am wake up (another sleep in!) but I couldn't rest. My heart was full to the brim and my body beaten by joy, I was ecstatic and couldn't get myself to sleep, I was buzzing off of life. I spent the night tossing and turning only to be up and at it in the office again. I joked with my friend that I have no idea how I do it, I don't know how I sustain this craziness. There's only one answer; I feed off the earth.