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Salt, summer weather and amusement rides

Friday, July 08, 2011

July 8 - Day 4?60 of Summer 60 Day Challenge


Today's challenge is about salt and how we can become more aware of how much we actually need versus how much we actually consume. Like many, I have made conscious efforts to reduce our sodium intake and am proud of our success thus far. Luckily for me, neither one of us was raised on a high-salt diet and we never have the shaker on the table.

Sounds good, right. Well, did you know that a study was published last year and I saw it on Canadian news that Canadians eat almost twice salt that their fellow Americans do. As I sat back in my chair and semi-gloated about our attempts to cut back the announcer went on to say that typically Canadian food (from fast food to things like healthy cereals) have a lot more salt added to them.

This made me stop and think. For one thing I've been relying on the nutritional value of Spark to track my sodium but since that is American it could be way off our reality. It is one of the realities of life that we all think a box of Kellogg's Bran Buds has the same nutritional value worldwide but apparently not. Wow! Who would have thought!?

Okay, enough of the "lecture" and on to my blog title. This weekend is our town's festival weekend which is called the Salmon Festival. This year Kiss is performing as Gene Simons "wife" was apparently born in Newfoundland and their kids have never been here. John and I are not going as it is $100 a ticket and we live close enough that if the wind is blowing in the right direction we can sit on our deck and listen to it. Talk about being cheap!!!! Ha!

Since the festival is on this weekend, the amusement rides have also arrived. While I'm not a big fan, my husband and I do get on a ride called the Scrambler once every year. We are planning on going tonight to do our "thing". While I was thinking about that, I guess I reflected upon a year ago when the rides were in town. It was then I first publicly realized I needed to lose weight. Imagine lining up for 30 minutes to get on a ride only to fall getting on the ride because you couldn't lift your leg up high enough. Other than a bashed knee and total embarrassment, it was a wake-up call. I needed to do something but what.

The what came several weeks later when one of our local vets came for a BBQ. Over a year, This friend had managed to transform her life and her body. At that point she had lost over 80 pounds and was flourishing! Over the meal we got talking and she told me a few websites to check out....one of which was Spark!!!! I joined a few weeks after that!

Oh, and as for the summer weather....it has reached our shores! Yeah! Our neighbours have an above ground pool AND are gone away for two weeks so part of our houseminding is to make sure the pool is used....their words..not mine!!!! Another yeah!

I hope this finds you all well! Thank you for your support along my journey!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIES537 7/11/2011 9:10AM

    emoticon about the pool!! Don't forget to get some exercise in while you're in there! Just treading water and doing the doggy paddle burns mega calories!! ENJOY! emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 7/10/2011 5:48PM

    I am so glad you were introduced to Sparks! Right from the beginning, I noticed the nutritional content for the same brands in Canada were different from the US, as I would search through rows of foods listed trying to find one that matched my label. I ended up putting most of my food in. I mean, even the calories could be different, not just the sodium!!
Enjoy the pool, and I sure hope you get to hear KISS free!
Enjoy this scrambler (I think I know what it is, but a photo would be nice) I will miss my Ex for the first time this year as that is when I am going in for my surgery :(
Have a Super Sunday!

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CALGARYNEWF 7/9/2011 10:20PM

    My sisters and nieces/nephews are all in your fair town tonight for the Salmon Festival!!!

Of course, it's Stampede time in Calgary but I am trying to avoid it this year! It's a great event but like everything else, it gets boring after a while!

Enjoy the pool! Wish my neighbors had one!


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KAMAPERRY 7/9/2011 9:00PM

    Enjoy that pool, ours is closed due to the dust storms here. emoticon

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HOPEFULANGE 7/9/2011 8:08PM

    Sweet - you get to use their pool! That's awesome - especially since the sun decided to make an appearance! The scrambler is the only ride I really like as well...I never get the bracelet - just some tickets for the scrambler. T. Amusements is fairly sketchy! emoticon

Did you rent out your yard to tenters? I've heard a lot of people in GFW are doing that for the concert goers!

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MSPLACEDAGAIN 7/9/2011 10:07AM

    Great story, very inspirational!
We lived in New Orleans for a while in close proximity to the Jazz Fest fair grounds. We heard a number of good bands from our living room with the windows opened! I hope the wind is just right for you!


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TEMPEST272002 7/8/2011 9:05PM

    You're so lucky to have the pool available to you. So nice. Have fun listening to Kiss on the wind. emoticon

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    I am glad that summer has arrived! Enjoy the pool!

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HEALTHYBARB1 7/8/2011 5:31PM

    Happy Summer! Glad your friend told you about Spark...my friend told me as well and hear we are working on getting healthy!! Seems strange that Canadian foods have more sodium and different nutrient content...did they say why?? Seems kind of RUDE to me! Enjoy the pool!! Smiles Barb

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BECCAJ98 7/8/2011 5:10PM

    Sounds like it will be a great weekend! Enjoy summer!

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PATTISPAGE 7/8/2011 4:54PM

    I hope you don't mind I put a link to the team!


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CODEMAULER 7/8/2011 4:41PM

    It sounds like you have a fun weekend ahead of you; enjoy!


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JLITT62 7/8/2011 4:35PM

    I would help you make use of that pool if I were there! Have fun on your ride.

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Day 2 & 3 of Summer 60 Day Challenge

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Well, it appears I do well when challenged. I'm still participating in the virtual Gros Morne Challenge as part of the Newfoundland SparkTeam and I've joined the Summer 60 Day Challenge Team as well.

I've all the kilometres walked for the Gros Morne challenge and am working on the uphill step portion. It is fun and I am thinking about doing the Newfoundland Trailway (again virtually). For those who don't know about the Trailway it is part of the Trans Canada Trailway and the section in Newfoundland runs along the abandoned railway. The train tracks were all removed about 20+ years ago so there are no trains to be found at all on our island. The trailway would take us to some pretty asture and remote parts of the island but I think it is doable.

As for the second challenge, I'm doing well. I'm combining two days into one as I was a day late starting. This way it will be much easier to keep up. Yesterday's challenge was to develop some goals and today was to make sure those goals are SMART ones (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely)

I'm having a bit of trouble with goal setting and even more so with "rewards". I used to say I want to be healthier so that is where I am going to start. With regards to that, my goals are:

To concentrate on losing 5 % of my body weight at a time.
I can keep track of this by weekly weigh-ins.
I believe this is an attainable goal especially with the changes I am making
I think 5% of my weight is a realistic initial goal
I need to lose 10.91 pounds to do this and Labour Day is when I would like to have it accomplished.

I've been doing well with eating, tracking and getting my body in motion. I'm walking for exercise and I'm getting my 8 cups of water in.

Have a great evening!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATTISPAGE 7/8/2011 9:40PM

    Way to break down.. SMART for sure!!!


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_LINDA 7/8/2011 3:29PM

    Those are awesome goals!! I too, never bothered with rewards -being as fit and healthy as I could be was reward enough. Every day I could get out of bed and move is a reward LOL. So glad you are getting back on track! You will rock this thing! It would be interesting to hike those trails of old railway tracks..
LOVE the artwork you have added, your friend has great talent!!!
Keep up the great work!!

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BOVEY63 7/8/2011 2:11PM

    Congrats on how well you are doing!
emoticon emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 7/8/2011 1:17PM


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CALGARYNEWF 7/8/2011 11:08AM

    Lets do the trailway!!!!How long is it? I will be finished the KM portion of the Gros Morne tonight and then the steps this weekend so I can start pretty quick. Looking forward to it! emoticon emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 7/8/2011 10:16AM

    Good for you, Susan! That trail sounds exciting.

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LESLIES537 7/8/2011 9:59AM

    You're doing AWESOME!!

Thank you for the virtual shove! I needed that! I'm BACK in the challenge!! emoticon

LET'S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 7/8/2011 9:04AM

    Great job on your Gros Morne challenge! I'm still doing the Trans Canada one & I find it oddly satisfying to pass the virtual milestones. Maybe one day we'll hike or bike the trailway together. Did you know there's a similar trail (used to be railroad) on Vancouver Island? Has a more colourful name though - the Galloping Goose. Used to be my favourite place to go when we lived on the Island.

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    Excellent, Susan!!!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 7/7/2011 11:12PM

    emoticonStay focused on your goals, determined to reach them, and positive that you will!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/7/2011 9:41PM


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Day 1 of "60 Day Summer Challenge"

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I must be the undeclared Queen of Fooling myself category! I decided to join a team last night which is basically a sefl-directed 60 Day challenge which will take me up to Labour Day.

In preparation, I had to weigh myself and have pictures taken of myself. Oh, dear lord, both were bad! I am now up to 218.2 pounds (so in essence I've regained 18 pounds) and am just 7 pounds from my original start weight!

I really feel gross about posting my pictures but that is probably why I should post them.....get them out there for all to see. Can I do it?

Drum roll please.....warning they are not pretty!

I really feel like throwing in the towel when I look at them and I see what I've let myself become. AAARRRGGGHHH

Anyway, my goals for my challenge are quite simple as that is what worked for me in the past:

1. Eat three meals a day plus snacks and stay within my calorie range
2. Track everything
3. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
4. Exercise in some form for 10 minutes a day
5. Walk 12 km over each week
6. Weigh weekly
7. Blog and be an active Sparker


P.S. I'm still working on that list of food/items I want prices checked for! Thanks for all the interest!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 7/6/2011 10:26PM

    I posted a swimsuit picture last summer and the honesty of it all was almost unbearable. My objective was a little different than yours but it was nonetheless painful. So, kudos for the courage it took to do this. I think you have lovely legs, smooth, curvy with daintily turned ankles. Remember that in an exercise like this it is important to give yourself credit for your assets as well as recognizing your faults. Good luck with the 60 day challenge.

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    You are AWESOME! You will succeed - I KNOW!

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HOPEFULANGE 7/6/2011 5:54PM

    Great going Susan!!! emoticon

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    I am so proud of you! Though I would like to see your face. emoticon

I like that you furry friend stayed in the pictures!

I know you can do this, give a shout out if you need anything at all!

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CODEMAULER 7/6/2011 1:43PM

    Love the fuzzy, four-footed friend in the photos!

Yeah, I'm not keen on posting pictures of me, either, but I have to wonder if that's where motivation and accountability are hiding.

And no throwing in the towel! You wouldn't go rob a bank just because you got a speeding ticket... so don't go off the plan simply because you strayed off the path a ways. Reach out and dig deep; you'll be back to good habits in no time!

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    WTG!!! -fellow-teammate, Michelle

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BOVEY63 7/6/2011 1:13PM

    Best of luck with the challenge - I'm going to do it too!

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KAMAPERRY 7/6/2011 12:30PM

    You did it, so proud of you! I will be posting new pics of myself on Monday.

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KANSASROSE67 7/6/2011 12:22PM

    So glad you've joined this challenge too! I've never posted (or taken) really good before pics like this. I just haven't been able to do it. I wish I were as brave as you!

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JLITT62 7/6/2011 12:15PM

    Great goals! I know how hard it was for you to post those. Let's make them motivation when you have a smaller body!

I am SO proud of you for staying with us.

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    YOU DID IT!!! emoticon

I am so proud of you for stepping up to the challenge of a better YOU!

Susan, I know you can do this, and so do you. emoticon

You follow your goals, and you're off and running! emoticon

I really am proud of you for taking this step and overcoming your reservations! emoticon

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LESLIES537 7/6/2011 11:11AM

    Simple yet doable!! I love it! And I love YOU! emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 7/6/2011 10:42AM

    Your goals are simple - but smart! These are exactly the steps that you need to take to lose weight & get healthy.

I remember the first photo I posted on my blog. I felt a wave of shame flood my body - flushed, sick stomache, teary eyes, shaking hands. Why do we feel so bad about our bodies? We're so harsh about our own body & so much more forgiving with other people's bodies.

When I look at your body, I see upper arms that I would kill for (mine have so much excess skin that won't go away with weight loss) & you have shapely, gorgeous legs. Really, you should never wear anything but skirts & shorts!

Your tummy is your problem area - just like a lot of us! It's larger than some & way smaller than others. It's where you are at right now. That's all. I'm even a bit jealous of your tummy - again, it's an excess skin issue that leaves me with a droopy belly.

This judgement you're placing on yourself, that I used to place on myself, it's just useless crap. It doesn't get you any closer to where you want to be. In fact, it's that wicked internal voice that always tries to beat you down. I know this because it doesn't make you want to push harder, it makes you want to "throw in the towel". Any time that voice tries to make your life worse & not better - ignore it. Better yet - argue back like you defending the body of your very best friend.

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PATTISPAGE 7/6/2011 10:31AM

    Susan, You are amazing!!! We can do this together!!


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MOSTMOM1 7/6/2011 10:04AM

    Good for you, Courageous Sparker!! You can rock that challenge!!
PS: Your dog is extremely cute. :)

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SHARON2014 7/6/2011 9:52AM

    Kudos to you for this post. I have measured, but, like you, a bit squeamish about the photo! I am looking forward to the 60-day challenge and have added you as a Friend. emoticon

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I need some volunteers from varying geographic spots around the world

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Yes, you are all probably wondering what I am up to. First of all, I have an idea for which I need some of you to volunteer your time. After reading an American magazine that included prices for various products I started thinking about how it would be interesting to do a little check and compare.

I'm going to come up with 10 items or so that should be universal. I want you to check the prices at your local store to see how much you pay in your area. Gas should be an interesting one. I will try to pick items and sizes that we all can relate to.

If you want to particpate just respond here, I guess. But, I would like to know where you are from...not exact street or towns but at least what state, province, or country.

Some ideas are:

Oranges - a dozen
Eggs - a dozen large
Toilet Paper
Skinless/boneless chicken breasts
Lemons (each)
Kiwis (each)

These are just some random ideas so just let me know if you are interested and I will compile a simple list and we can report the regular price you would expect to pay.

P.S. The Gros Morne Challenge is going great. I'm about 3/4 the way with my km and 1/5 of the way there with my uphill steps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIES537 7/8/2011 12:41PM

    Kiwis and lemons= $0.99 (US dollars)
Bananas= $0.79 a lb
Dozen oranges= $3.50
Dozen eggs=$0.99
Gallon of Milk= 2.99-3.99
Gas= $3.49 a gallon! CRAZY!

(Kansas City, MO. US)


Comment edited on: 7/8/2011 12:42:41 PM

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CALGARYNEWF 7/7/2011 11:34AM

    I'll get back to you with Alberta prices Susan.


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MEMARE 7/7/2011 8:07AM

    Question... there are different grades of gasoline.
From regular up to high octane...
Are you going with the lowest level?
Same with eggs, different grades, different price ranges...

Just a thought... emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/6/2011 10:04PM

    This sounds like fun. I'll get on this within the next day or so. I just went shopping today and the only thing that was on your list was eggs. I paid a dollar for a dozen at Walmart. Sounds like a bargain. I bought kiwi's last weekend @ 3/$1. Again a bargain, but I bought them because the price was right. (Utah prices)

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BOVEY63 7/6/2011 1:12PM

    Prices in Northern Minnesota

Gas - $3.59/gallon
Oranges - a dozen - $1.69/pound
Eggs - a dozen large $1.29
Milk - $3.89/gallon
Toilet Paper - $2.00/4-pack (double roll) of White Cloud
Skinless/boneless chicken breasts - $3.99/pound
bananas - 54 cents/pound
Lemons (each) - 50-60 cents
Kiwis (each) - 35 cents

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CHELLES_BELLS 7/6/2011 10:36AM

    I just went shopping last night (and bought everything on this list), so I thought I'd help you out! These were the prices using my Dominicks and Jewel/Osco discount cards.

Chicago (as in, in the city, not suburbs):

Gas- 4.54/gal
Oranges- .99/pound
Eggs- 3.99 for organic, 2.50 for generic
Milk- 3.49/64oz carton
Toilet paper- 7.99 for 16ct.
Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breasts- 9.99 for a bag of 5 (Perdue)
Bananas- .69/pound
Lemons- roughly .59/each
Kiwi- roughly .49/each

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MESEATURTLE 7/6/2011 10:17AM

    Will definitely get back to u !!! I
I've in India.. This should be interesting!!

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TEMPEST272002 7/6/2011 9:54AM

    I remember being really surprised at the price of bananas in Australia. This should be really interesting. I'll take the list tomorrow when I go shopping.

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Let me know and I'll be in on it. You would fall down to see how much bananas are costing here at the moment, you need to pension off a kidney to buy one.

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KAMAPERRY 7/6/2011 12:41AM

    I can do this, this weekend!

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AUNTIELES53 7/5/2011 11:46PM

    i will check on these things also :) get back to you soon :)

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LESLIES537 7/5/2011 10:53PM

    Oh, this sounds FUN! Great idea! I'll compile a list and will get back to you on this. Promise! emoticon

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    Northern Arizona

Gas ~ 3.32
Oranges - a dozen ~ ?
Eggs - a dozen large ~ 2.29
Milk ~ 1.79
Toilet Paper ~ About 3.00
Skinless/boneless chicken breasts ~ 1.67
bananas ~ .59
Lemons (each) ~ ?
Kiwis (each) ~ ?

Now that the garden is producing, I haven't been to the store for a couple of days. Just grabbed apples and ran, so I have no clue on the prices for the oranges, lemons or kiwi.


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GEORGIAK25 7/5/2011 3:55PM

    Gas $ 1-45 a litre
Oranges about $3-30 a kilo
eggs anything from 2-5o to 7-00
Milk a dollar a litre
Tolet paper about $4 for 8 rolls
Bananas $14 a kilo due to the crops being destroyed during our cyclone season.
Kiwis about 90 cents each

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    Good luck with your project. My husband is the shopper, and I confess to having no idea what things cost, except gas. Last time I checked it was $3.45, here in Maryland. That was last week though. I don't use a lot of gas and I only look when I fill the tank.

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Gros Morne Mountain Challenge

Saturday, July 02, 2011


One of the leaders of our Newfoundland SparkPeople team came up with the idea to start a "Climb Gros Morne Mountain Challenge". So far there are only two participants but that is fine because it a personal challenge with no official start and end date. Both of us started on June 30th.

I've included a map of sorts to let you all know where this mountain is. It is located in Gros Morne National park which has to be my favourite place in all Newfoundland! Now, while this mountain seems tame to some I've seen, it is a challenging climb. I climbed in for real back in the early 1990's with my then boyfriend, John, who I vowed I would marry if he got me down off that blessed thing. We went in October and it was so beautiful but we weren't really prepared for the thirst, nor the temperature changes, nor the desire to toss each other off the side when the going got tough. I can vaguely remember threatening to trip him up if I caught up with him which is probably why he stayed ahead of me for most of it!

Anyway, I digress! I have to find the exact number of kilometres and uphill steps (HOPEFULANGE has them recorded on the challenge page) but I'm making progress. It is such an attainable challenge that I feel like I can do it. Maybe next challenge will be to walk the Newfoundland trailway or the trans Canada highway. Who knows...at least I'm walking!

Here is a picture I found of some of the scenery around Gros Morne

I have pictures of my own trip somewhere....will have to dig those out for us all to have a laugh about! Those were the days! Anyway, the weather has improved......yeah.....if I didn't know better I would say the fireworks last night cleared the air. It is now 24 degress and sunny........

I'm still trying to catch up.....xo Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALGARYNEWF 7/5/2011 2:55PM

    I just joined your challege (a little late!!! Looking forward to it!



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_LINDA 7/3/2011 1:56AM

    Gorgeous place!! What a memory you have of it though, lol. What you should remember with fondness, is that you actually made that climb, which is fantastic! This virtual climb is a great idea! Ready, set, GO!

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BECCAJ98 7/3/2011 12:02AM

    Beautiful!!!!!! Can't wait to hear how your challenge goes!

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KAYDE53 7/2/2011 11:47PM

    Beautiful scenery!

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HOPEFULANGE 7/2/2011 9:23PM

    I'm glad you like my challenge! I agree that it's attainable - I wanted to start off small. I'm part of another team called Operation America, where we track long distances, and we actually started across NFLD. Because the distance was so huge, the organizers cut down the actual miles to "pretend" miles...and it just doesn't have the same feeling of accomplishment. The idea of the NFLD Trailway is great! emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/2/2011 4:46PM

    That is a beautiful place. Maybe doing the virtual hike will inspire you to do the real thing sometime. I do uphill steps every time I go out the door, but I never have really thought of it as training. Hmmm.?

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LESLIES537 7/2/2011 2:57PM

    Beautiful! emoticon


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BOVEY63 7/2/2011 2:33PM

    I can see why it is one of your favorite places - absolutely beautiful! Great challenge too.
Loved the story of the previous climb!

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    That looks amazing! I think that this is a great challenge!

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JLITT62 7/2/2011 1:37PM

    That looks amazing!

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TEMPEST272002 7/2/2011 12:47PM

    I'm hoping to get out to NFLD next summer. Fingers crossed! Grose Morne looks stunning - maybe we'll hike it together. Promise not to trip you and send you sprawling over the side.

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MOSTMOM1 7/2/2011 12:09PM

    You're so funny, Susan. That sounds like a GREAT challenge! I just know you can do it. What a beautiful place, too.

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