How An Iceland Adventure Led To Midlife Blogging

I am honoured to be a guest on Leanne’s inspirational and informative blog, Cresting The Hill  as part of her Midlife Symphony Series 

In my post I am sharing why the second half of my life is the best half of my life.  Choices I have made in the last two years have completely changed my life.   For the better!

Click on the link below to read the story.  I look forward to meeting you there!

Via     How An Iceland Adventure Led To Midlife Blogging

 

Myvatn Nature Baths, North Iceland

We Won The Lottery! The Golden Ticket!

The Half Corked Marathon is a run so popular, all tickets are allocated by a random lottery.

South Okanagan, British Columbia

What is it?

The Half Corked Marathon is a half marathon fun run taking us through scenic vineyards and world class wineries.

This highly anticipated run recently won “The Event of the Year Canadian Tourism Award. 

We sample award-winning wines and food at approximately every kilometre. It is a weekend of fun festivities, entertainment and amazing costumes.

                                An experience of a lifetime!

Where?

The Half Corked Marathon takes place in beautiful Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country in the scenic, South Okanagan region of British Columbia. 

South Okanagan, British Columbia
Mocojo Winery, Naramata, Okanagan Valley

When?

The Half Corked Marathon is on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Fun events take place all weekend May 29-31, 2020.

Who?

This year there were 8116 entrants for the coveted 1500 tickets.

This is the third year we have tried to get in. Some hopeful runners have entered their name into the lottery the past twelve years and no luck.

The draw is open for one week at the beginning of November. One entry per person. All tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable – no exceptions!

Why?

  • Wine sampling before the race at the starting line.
  • Wine and food pairing along the course.
  • Approximately twenty-five wineries at the finish line, showcasing and celebrating the viniculture in the picturesque South Okanagan Region.
  • Fantastic awards for the best and most creative costumes.
  • Picnic party at the finish line with live entertainment, music, dancing, food trucks and you guessed it……..more wine tasting!
Waiheke Island, New Zealand

How do we train for the Half Corked Marathon?

Part 1:  How do we complete the Run/Walk?

  • The race rules specify we have 3.5 hours to complete the route with a run/walk pace to allow time for sampling the wine and food.
  • The organizers also state, we should be able to run at least five kilometres to safely participate. 
  • There will be four wave starts with cut off points to make by a certain time. If you have not reached the cut off point in time, a Sag Wagon will pick you up and bump you ahead.

                                 No Sag Wagon for us. We do have some pride. 

  • In past years we have run marathons, half marathons and a gruelling  “The Great Walk” ultra-marathon from Gold River to Tahsis. 63.5 Kilometres to receive the “Burning Boot Award.”
  • I use the term “running” loosely. We were usually back of the pack, almost crawl to the finish line, “runners.” We did complete the events.
  • A few toenails were lost and grew back. Hips dislocated and clicked back into place.  Fun!
TC 10K in Victoria, British Columbia

Part 2:  How do we sample all of the wine?

The race information states ‘you are not obligated to drink the wine.’

             The organizers clearly have a sense of humour.

We have had some practice drinking wine.

“This hot, sultry wine was picked provocatively by a number of nubile nymphs. The juices were pressed, barrelled for many years with the lights out, and then bottled. The palate has saucy dark rich undergarments, and an explosive finish.” Miro Vineyard, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Part 3:  How do we decide on a costume?

Elaborate costumes are a big part of this event.

Prizes are awarded for Best Individual or Duo costume and Best Team Costume.

 

Some of the imaginative costumes over the past years included:

Five costume planning thoughts to keep in mind: 

1.  30 degrees Celsius temperatures are not uncommon at that time of year.

2.  We want to be able to run/walk/move in the costume for the entire distance.

3.  If nature calls, we should be able to take a quick porta-loo break.

4.  We want to see what is in front of us.

5.  We want to keep at least one hand free for wine and food samples. 

 

We welcome all suggestions!

Do you have any unique and fun costume ideas?  

Do you have any training tips?

Do you want to join us?  Free admission for all family and friends to attend the party at the finish line.  

Stunning scenery!  Award-winning wines!  Food!  Entertainment! Fun!

                                           An experience of a lifetime!

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South Okanagan, British Columbia

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***All costume photos are courtesy of Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Facebook Page.

Do You Believe A Person’s Energy Can Be Attached To An Object?

A friend shows me her Grandmother’s ring on her finger.  She is emotional and very moved telling me how much this ring means to her, how much her Grandmother meant to her.

Another friend shows me the ceramic bowls she created in her first few pottery classes.  She describes preparing and centering the clay.  She explains how this challenging process requires stillness, concentration, calm perseverance and becoming one with the clay.

Our three year old granddaughter brings me artwork she has created along with an elaborate description of the shapes and colours.  Her unfiltered pride is evident in her smile when I display her painting on the refrigerator.

             Are objects simply inanimate materials? 

Is an heirloom handed down from past generations only symbolic of a special relationship? 

Does artwork merely showcase the craftsman’s talent and skills?  

Or is there an essence, an energy present that animates these physical materials?

 

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Maori Art

I had not really thought about these concepts until I began to learn more about the Maori culture.

We were surrounded by many art forms visiting New Zealand this year.  The Maori believe art is an expression of the life force, the energy within you.

They believe that a physical object, a Mauri, contains a vitality, an essence.

Maori art conveys spiritual information, ancestry and culturally important topics.

           The Maori believe that the gods create and communicate through the master craftsmen.

 

 

 

We had the opportunity to visit Te Puia in Rotorua this year. Te Puia is home to the “New Zealand Maori Arts  and Crafts Institute.”  

 

 

Today artists learn through classes and much practise.  The styles vary from region to region.

Traditional Maori art was created using the materials available at the time, such as wood, bone, pounamu (jade or greenstone), paua (abalone) shell, flax, and feathers.  Many artists continue to use these natural, organic materials today.

 

 

What do I think?  Do I believe a person’s energy can be attached to an object?

Entire fields of science and pseudoscience are dedicated to the concept of objects and energy.  I went down the “crystals” rabbit hole when reading about this subject.  Possibly a future story.

I had not given this topic much thought until we were exploring New Zealand and learning about the Maori culture.  I respect the Wisdom of the Ages. I try to keep my mind open to new ideas and possibilities.

I find I appreciate art more when I learn about the history and cultural significance of an item.

The Maori traditions have helped me recognize the spiritual connections we have with our environment and the emotional connections we have with our ancestors. 

The effort and meticulous care taken during the creative process is an expression of our inner selves, our essence.

Are materials infused with love and energy during the creative process?

                Is this life force passed on to the artifact?   

I do believe it is.  When I learn about the traditions, the history and the spiritual significance

                The artwork takes on a life of its own.

 

What do you believe?

 

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Weblinks:  Mauri      New Zealand Art     Maori Arts and Crafts

Maori Tradition    Maori Culture

 

 

 

 

Unusual activity for an erupting Geyser! How far away should I stand? (Part 1)

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I have a great respect for the incredible forces that shape our planet Earth.

Living on Vancouver Island, we are prepared (somewhat) for “the big one.” 

Most of the time, I try not to think about it.

It was difficult to not think about it when we were exploring around Rotorua in the North island of New Zealand.  The geothermal forces were evident all around us.

We were visiting two specific areas:  Te Puia is a large geothermal reserve and contains an eco-cultural centre.  Wai-O-Tapu is a scenic reserve with the largest area of surface thermal activity within the Taupo Volcanic Zone. More on Wai-O-Tapu in a future post.  

We spent the first two hours at Te Puia with a guide, learning more about the Maori culture, history, vegetation and geothermal formations in the surrounding area.

The Te Puia area contains many hot, steaming, bubbling mud pools, pools of boiling water. The depth and appearance of these pools can vary depending on the amount of rain and how often and how long the geysers erupt.

 

 

Our guide informed us that increased activity in this geothermal reserve often means that other areas on our planet are experiencing changes to the Earth’s surface.  An example he gave us is a tsunami or an earthquake.                      

Interesting and scary!

The Te Puia reserve contains inactive and active geysers. The Pohutu Geyser is the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere.  She (the brochure calls it “she”) erupts once or twice each hour and can reach heights of thirty metres.

We visited the geysers in Iceland last year.  The name “geysir” originated in Iceland.  The Te Puia area had similarities to the Iceland geothermal areas yet also appeared very different.  

 

 

Iceland 2017:  Strokkur Geysir & Hverir

The Earth’s crust is very thin in both areas.  Our friendly, knowledgeable, very large, robust guide stomped on this thin crust to allow us to hear the hollow sound.  A description would have sufficed.

 I don’t think a demonstration was necessary.  

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At approximately 3:30pm many of the visitors had left.  A few people decided to wait for the next eruption and potential photo opportunities.  After 45 minutes, some of the smaller geysers in the area showed increased activity.

A rumbling noise began.

Then the Pohutu geyser began to erupt. 

 

 

We expected to watch it erupt for about two minutes, and half an hour later it continued to erupt and increase in height.  This created waterfalls coming down from the rock area.  An hour ago there were no waterfalls in this area. 

I didn’t feel confident staying close by, especially after all of the information from our guide.  There was a hotel nearby that had been recently closed due to geothermal activity on the site. Te Puia (weblink)

The ground beneath the building was unable to support it.

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I left and walked about one kilometre back to the entrance of this geothermal reserve.

              If any significant events occurred in this area, would one kilometre make a difference? 

The staff at the entrance reassured me that length, height, and time between geyser eruptions vary a great deal. 

               I didn’t see any of the staff hanging out at the Pohutu Geyser right now.

I have a lot of respect for the natural forces on our Planet Earth.  I am very aware that geothermal effects, earthquakes, tsunamis are beyond my control.

Unusual and increased activity may occur near an erupting geyser.  The thin crust of the Earth may not be able to support my weight.

If I am nearby, I plan to distance myself at least one kilometre away.  I may be safer.

                At least in my mind.

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 “Safe and Sound” back at the entrance