keyhole hotsprings, british columbia | misty mornings & adult disneyland

“8am. Sharp.” Janet pipes up over Friday night wine, stating our prompt out-of-the-door timeline for the next day’s adventure.

Fumbling into bed at 2am, I had a strong feeling 8am would not be the case.

Alarms ringing, snooze buttons blindly swatted, and a few squinty-eyed scrambled eggs later, we were out the door just shy of 9.

“You get lost?” The boys asked, digging into our tardiness. There had already been several texts questioning our whereabouts since the 8am deadline. After a few pointers about our lack of commitment to a timeline, we eventually dispersed into pembie-bound vehicles for our wilderness adventure.

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Pemberton is just about as cute a town as they come. Little bakeries where Saturday morning is a chance to catch up with neighbours and friends while you grab your coffee on the way out to a trail. It’s the place you settle down, milk some cows and call home for 50 years. Well you know, if that’s your thing.

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We ripped off down a dirt logging road for 45 minutes (location to remain nameless to honour it’s serenity,) splashing through puddles that caked the side of the truck on the (now) misty afternoon.

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Stuffing our bags with beers and snacks, Stefan warned us keep an eye out – we’re in the heart of cougar, grizzly and black bear country. Comforting words of course.

Truthfully, how rad would it have been to add into the story that we had to escape a grizzly. I’d be so okay with that plot twist.

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We hiked down for 2.5kms through a magical misty forest, alongside the rushing river. Raindrops falling heavy as we made our way around the rocks and the trees, I realized yet again how much I was made for this. My childhood has shaped me into a person who can’t get away from this nature loving tree-hugger that lives inside of me.

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When I was a little girl, somewhere between taking shelter under a canoe in a thunderstorm, building a fire, removing leeches and dehydrating food, I sometimes wondered what Disneyland was like.

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This year I went to Disneyland, and it was disappointing. (Sorry kids, this is strictly opinion based.)

While I was building tree forts making a home in the forest, my friends were in Cuba or visiting Mickey Mouse. I resented it a little then, because it was different from what I already knew, but now I get it. Mom and Dad were always right. Hear that mom? It’s the words you’ve always been waiting for…

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The forest, these magical places, the dirt that I’ve been treading my whole life, this is my theme park. This is where dreams really do come true. It’s where I see possibility, and where life expands.

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Honestly. Who needs a man-made water slide? (Ps. Heather totally ripped her pants here.)

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After rock slides, tree steps and misty magic… we turn the corner and there it was.

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Natural hot springs tucked into the side of the mountain and someone has taken precious time to build stones walls to encapsulate them for local enjoyment.

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As we’re navigating our way down in bare feet, a line of friends grasping rocks, passing beers though one at a time, I’m absolutely positive that this is where I belong.

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This is the place of possibility for me. Surrounding myself with people who actively choose to create experiences in life are exactly the kind of people I want to be around.

On those slippery rocks, between ice cold glacier water and lava fed hot springs, I discovered that this is my Disneyland.

And I want a seasons pass.

-emventurer

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