Today is Intentional

This all started from signing up for and completing the 2011 Death Race in Pittsfield, Vermont. During the 48 hour race I encountered 3 mountains, 1 river 120 some odd logs to split, 5 gallon pales of water, 100lb back packs and way more mud and freezing water than any human should ever be exposed to.

Today I am preparing for the next big adventure. Come join me on this incredible journey!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Beach

Challenge: Erect 4 logs on Wreck Beach.  
1) Logs must be from wreck beach
2) Logs must be fashioned to 10 ft in length (+/- 2 inch)
3) Logs must be planted ~4 feet deep
3) Your axe and measuring tape cannot leave the top of wreck beach stairs.
4) Challenge starts at 10pm the night of your choosing
Partially Completed.

As I walked down Wreck Beach stairs, I awkwardly angled my neck to shine my headlamp on my watch.  9:55pm Saturday night.  
The last time I ventured down these stairs at night I was headed to a bonfire party with a dozen other first years new to UBC.  Someone in front of me offered, "I heard there are 'beach people' who live down here and attack students!"  A girl a few steps back corrects, "I hear they climb into the trees and jump down on you!"
Funny how THESE are the thoughts that somehow find their way to the front of my brain.  I stop, listen, glance around at the darkness.  I seem to be alone - but that's exactly what 'they' want me to think...

I get down to the beach, wander up and down the beach looking for logs I could carry.  Everything is waterlogged, massive or buried.  I'm anticipating a long night and want to pitch my tent somewhere so that when I'm finished I can just crash.  
I head up a favorite running path that parallels the beach in hopes of finding some more manageable timber.  
I step over one pice that could work - still no 'home base' though.  Another couple hundred yards down the path I find where the beach people hang out on sunny days.  There is a whole network of patio-like areas that have been framed by big logs and filled with sand.  I pitched my tent on one and set to work.

I found a number of potential candidates, but being the dead of winter everything was wet and waterlogged.  Even the smallest of the batch was like wrestling an alligator through the soft muck.  Partially due to the weight, but partially due to my paranoia about the 'Beach People' I never lugged the logs up the stairs to cut them.  On this front I failed.  I did my best to make up for it though.  

After a few hours I erected 4 logs!  I think the karma of not cutting them to length came back to bite me, though.  I decided to dig down right in front of where the tent was set up - a nice totem of my work for the sunrise.  I thrust the shovel in and immediately knew I was in for a struggle.  The ebb and flow of tides, deposits of sediment coming down the cliffs from UBC and tangle of decaying weeds, branches and who knows what else made a thatch-work that reeked!  The putrid smell only got worse the deeper I went...  
Not more than 3' down I hit bottom.  Something hard ended my dig - a rock, a pipe, the casket of a flying beach creature victim?  It was deep enough.  I balanced one log in the hole, then a second and third.  The forth was the largest and would not stand up no matter what I did. So with one hand on the unbalanced log I kicked and dragged thatched sand-wads into the stinky pit.  The wet sand acted like concrete and soon the logs were stable!

I turned in early on Sunday morning.  I forced myself not to concentrate on the random cracks and rustles in the woods behind me.  This challenge tested my mind as well as my body.  There were countless times I thought I heard someone talking, something coming through the woods or from the water.  I had to trust that I was safe until proven otherwise.
A cold night gave way to a serene morning filled with a high tide, seals, geese and ducks!

My logs shrunk another couple of feet underwater, but put a smile on my face - those are my logs!

Despite erecting the logs I failed a key piece of the challenge - the stairs.  I packed my bag, tightened it up and headed out.  Another speed bump: The high tide had flooded my path!  I meandered my way south, the long way out, going up a second set of stairs.  I walked back up SW Marine to the top of THE Wreck Beach Stairs and got to it.  With the bag on, my goal was to hike the 400+ stairs once for each log I planted.  A half hour later I emerged at the top after set #4.  For good measure I threw in one last set.

So after skiing Whistler all day, erecting 4 logs, evading flying beach creatures and 5 laps on Wreck Beach stairs with a 30lb bag, a shower, eggs and coffee were terribly satisfying.

Thank you Josh Zukewich for a GREAT challenge!

Do you have a challenge for me?  Email me at and give me your best shot!


  1. Wait - you're allowed to get creative with how you complete each challenge!?! Imma sick from flying beach creatures on you! :)

  2. I say you followed the spirit of the challenge to the letter. Good show, sir!