John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Five

A pee break becomes complicated when sleeping outdoors.  Camping out far away from the minimal comforts of a campground makes it even more complex.  Too much fluid made nature come calling more than once the evening prior.  Sleeping under the tarp tent in our ‘poopy camp’ with all the piles and TP under each rock in the area made for late night adventures while looking for bladder relief. … more


John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Four

The most vivid memory of the Eastern Sierra for me is not one of sight or sound, but one of smell.  The sweet butterscotch scent of the Jeffrey Pine will be forever imbedded in this sense of mine.  I smelled them before I saw them and said to Peter, ‘this has to be a forest of Jeffrey Pines…’  Soon enough, one of the mammoth trees rose in view.  … more


John Muir Trail Take Two: Part Three

The lightweight gear for our trip did not end with the tarp instead of tent, the sleeping bags or the clothing.  It continued with the food choices we made.  Deciding what the eat for the following eight days was not an easy task from the comforts of a friend’s living room.  I know first hand how good things can seem and how nauseating they can become after days … more


John Muir Trail Take Two; Part Two

It was 9:15am when we first stepped onto the trail at Coldwater Campground.  The trailhead led to Duck Pass and the emergence of the John Muir trail, some 70 miles or so from the official start in Yosemite, our destination for the day.     I remembered fourteen years prior taking that same first step.  Only it was a lot later in the day.  I think it was … more


John Muir Trail take two; part one

Why on earth I found myself on the John Muir Trail (JMT) on a multi-day hiking trip just over a month after competing in my last Olympics was a question uttered more than once last week.  My husband Peter and I decided on a whim to go to California in search of adventure.  What better a way to step into the next phase of life than a walk … more


The Sherpa-girl in me

If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I think I know what I was.  In fact, I’m sure of it.  A Sherpa.  Why?  Because each time I strap on a loaded backpack there is an unusual feeling of content.  The higher the altitude, the better I feel.  Yes, I think somewhere in the cosmos floats a past life of mine, walks a red-headed most unusual looking Sherpa-girl.  … more


You know it’s time to leave when…

You know it’s time to leave Europe when stuck in a city after three glorious weeks in the mountains.  When you get sick and all you can do is sit in the hotel room in the city and wish to be transported home.  When the hotel is so loud that you can’t keep the window open for fresh air.  Instead, you’re stuck in that uncomfortably hot hotel room … more


Fabulous hiking and face-planting in Switzerland

Watching the a bike race from Italy on TV the other night reminded me just how insanely dangerous road cycling is.  Peter and I saw David Villieux from the Europcar Team win his first big one ahead of some heavy hitters.  En route to his solo victory, our fellow Canuck almost shoulder checked a brick wall and went off course on another fast twist in the descent.  Behind … more


Slowing down

From sleeping in a five-star London hotel to a night in the front seat of a rental car, life changes pretty fast when you step out of the spotlight.  It was after Peter and I left London that we found ourselves, at 2am, on the roadside near Annecy, France, with no other choice but to camp out in the Volkswagen Touran.   Not only this.  I went from … more


Herman, the Indian, the bow and the arrow in Italia

Europe is always a trip for the female athlete.  I’m Canadian.  My upbringing in sport is that it’s quite normal that girls play and play hard.  I’ve never in 22 years had anyone tell me I can’t do something on the playing field.  At least not in Canada.  Only when in Europe have I experienced a machoism foreign to me.  I’ve been laughed at in France for racing … more

© 2018. Clara Hughes. All Rights Reserved. Site Design | SGD