40+ kms with 15lb pack along a highway

This past Sunday, January 24th I decided to plan my walk to my friend Carissa’s house in Solitaire, BC (between Ladysmith & Chemainus, BC) also part of the Trans Canada Trail runs through Solitaire.  Carissa was hosting a Cozy Crafters Sunday evening gathering for crazy talented beautiful women to come together and work on their craft project and just chill and talk about everything and anything while enjoying great food and drink.

This particular venture took a lot more planning (mostly mental).  According to google maps the route I calculated was 50kms; however it ended up being just over 40 kms.

The night before I loaded up my pack with everything I would need to prepare myself for the longest walk I’ve ever done in one day 🙂

I know that I can manage 5 km/hr; the plan is to leave at 7 am and I would arrive at Carissa’s between 6 – 7 pm allowing me time to have a hour break at the 1/2 way point and then a few smaller 15 min breaks in between.

Packed a lunch; made sure all the electronics (battery pack, iPhone, headphones and headlamp) were fully charged and the many layers of clothes laid out on the bed.


Set the alarm for 5:40 am and hit the snooze button twice until I finally rolled out of my warm bed at 6 am and right into the shower.  I ♥ showers 🙂 anyways….. I got myself ready and mentally psyched up to begin my walk at 7 am.  I wasn’t hungry; so decided to add some trail mix & a “buck brand” orange so I can snack on should I get hungry before I break for lunch.


In my minds eye I figured it would be a quiet walk along the highway; everyone sleeping in and chilling; no it was 7 am and Sunday morning and to my surprise it was busy.  There was a lot of traffic; instead of listening to cars whiz by; I put on my headphones – listened to Sonia Choquette .  I first heard of her while watching the e-motion documentary via Food Matters TV and was so drawn to her and wanted to hear more about what she had to share.

I stayed in my zone and just focused on one step at a time while observing what was happening around me (some great & some awful observations).

Will share the awful observations first.  GARBAGE!!!! OMG there is so much friggin garbage along the highway and you can’t see it while driving because the concrete barriers hide it and I am the type of person that cannot unsee this stuff.  WHY?  it matters to me deeply.  As a society we waste so much – we waste food, we waste time, we waste water, we waste our consumption, we waste what matters.  I shared this on my facebook page and a friend and innovator, Buddy Boyd – founder and operator of Gibsons Recycling Depot in Gibsons, BC replied we are an AWAY society.  Sadly this is so true.

It took a lot of mental focus to recognize what was happening (the witnessing of the trash) and to stay focused and positive.

Sharing some of the amazing awesome observations – there is an eagles nest just off the highway by VIU. As I was walking along this section of highway I was blessed to see an eagle flying above me to its nest and feeding; I stopped to observe this and right away grounded me and put a “huge” smile on my face.

I continued down the Parkway (which BTW is the major highway that goes through Nanaimo, BC)  just before the end of the parkway (the parallel section to 10th street) I saw two red dresses hanging from two cedar trees and had to stop to check it out.


These dresses along with a picture were displayed in honour and remembrance of the missing and murdered aboriginal women across Canada last October and every October 4th.  Want to learn more please visit The REDress Project.

I continued along Hwy 19 south towards Ladysmith and crossed the Nanaimo River to break for lunch and rest for a hour at the rest stop. I’m grateful I had the battery charger to charge my phone as the battery was down to 27% and I still had 20+kms to go.  The charger charged my phone while I walked the remainder of the distance.  Still have yet to use the solar panel to find out how it will charge the battery pack.  I continued on towards Ladysmith and about the 30km mark I started to slow down.  I was experiencing slight pain in my calfs, hips, butt, knee and would stop and stretch a bit.  I still ventured on working through the pain.

As I was walking along the highway just before Coronation Square (the small shopping centre in south Ladysmith) I stopped to admire Holland Creek from the bridge and then reality slapped me in the face (almost literally) re: garbage.  Someone driving past at 90+km/hr plastic bags flew out of their truck and all over the highway and down into the creek.  I wanted to friggin SCREAM!!!!! I do remember shouting out “fuck what is wrong with people!”. I continued on and it took me about 10 mins to calm down from witnessing that.  Good news is I discovered another part of the Trans Canada Trail. When you turn down the old highway heading to Solitaire/Chemainus the trail starts along the road way and about 3 kms down you can venture off the main road (which is what I did) and walk the maintained trail along the railway tracks – this was perfect for my mental health as it grounded me as well as relieved some of the pain from walking on the uneven highway.

I did discover a Vancouver Island hidden gem; Stocking Creek Park.  I’ve driven past the sign for this park too many times to count and thought one day I will take the time to explore this park and I did just that and looking forward to going back as I only explored a section of this park.  The park is great for those who are new to Vancouver Island and want to learn about what is native in our forests (there are many signs along the trail that explain what this plant is or what that tree is).  The trail does connect to the Trans Canada Trail which I will be planning a day trip with my BFF/sister from another mister to bike this section and enjoy lunch in Chemainus then return back to where we parked 🙂

I made it to my friend Carissa’s place about 5:30 pm and was greeted with many many hugs & WTGs! 🙂  Spent a few hours talking, laughing, eating, drinking and working on the merino wool blanket I’m crocheting for Victor and want completed before April.  Another friend Nicole kindly drove myself and my pack home.  By this time I started to stiffen up.  My sleep was some what restless; however it was a rest day & date day Monday; so woke up did some stretches because my hip was still very tight.  After a few hours my hip relaxed and we ventured out and explored another local area in south Nanaimo.

The next day (Tuesday) I planned and accomplished a 17.6km inner city walk; will blog about that next…

My recorded time and distance on Sunday, January 4th:


Follow your dreams.  Your dreams may inspire people; your dreams may not.  The question to ask yourself; is your dream inspiring YOU!

Vida aka Life




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Milly
    Jan 29, 2016 @ 18:32:24

    Way to go Vida! I love walking I walk just about every morning before work since I have started logging I have complete 5000km. I walk along highway 19 and this is my time to connect to the land and with my thoughts. 😀


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