Sunday, September 29, 2013

Snapshot Story of Malibu, Lake Louise Inlet, British Columbia


top photo: The Blainiacs; self-titled, our group from bible study

There are too many words to share everything about Malibu, so I'm going to share a few pictures, and some words in this post. Malibu is a Young Life camp that is it's own little village in the middle of nowhere, British Columbia, or at least it feels that way--very isolated. It's right at the top of Lake Louise Inlet (right before Lake Louise) but really, there is nothing out there. It is what a leader called "The Thin Place"; the place right in the middle of heaven and earth. It's beautiful, welcoming, joyful, and raw, pristine.


This lodge is where "Club" happens. This is where the large group of the 220+ women who were present for Women's Weekend  would get together twice daily for skits, singing, and hearing speakers before breaking out into small group time. The Women's Weekend follows the Young Life way in how they structure the retreat. Everything we did resembled what the teen, week-long camps are like that run through the summer up here.


This is the boardwalk from the inner dock to the outer dock, and connects the entire 'village' of Malibu. From the map (behind me) to the outer dock is one half-mile. I ran four of these lengths for a morning workout with a friend right before we joined some other women on the on the dock for some strength training exercises and then yoga stretches. If it sounds incredible, doing yoga in an exotic location, just know that it felt that way, too!


This is a view from above. Here you can see about half of the Malibu village, but I wasn't leaning over any more! We took a climb straight up to get to this point. It took our group about 45-60 minutes, and a little longer to get down. It was very high up, and here you can see where the inlet (on the right) turns into a smaller inlet (on the left). If you were to take that tiny pass into the left inlet, and followed it around the mountains, you'd hit Lake Louise. The tiny island was a prime bald-eagle viewing spot.


This was just a quick snapshot of our hike climb. This was the section without ropes to hold going straight up on flat rock. My expectations of this hike were low. I had asked another woman what she thought of it and left me feeling that it was just a regular hike. Patches of walking over 'mulch', parts with some positioning over fallen logs and up a few boulders, nothing more. This was straight up for an hour. The picture above shows an easier part, where I had time to snap a photo. It was a blast. I love hiking, and this was right up my alley. I was challenged with the ropes and a little afraid, where straight off the other side of the rope was a cliff drop-off, but man was it a great and fun workout. I was soaked and had shaky legs when I was done and back at the boardwalk.


These two pictures up top are on the ropes course, which is over four stories off the ground. There are five parts to this course, and you are harnessed in in case you fall. I didn't see anyone fall off the wires they were on, but I did see plenty of women who were afraid--including myself. I had a lot of excitement while I was waiting, and I didn't look at anyone doing the course, or on the ground while I was going, because I had to focus on what I was doing.

 I've never had the opportunity to do something like this before, and I was all in. The picture where you can see me on the rope doesn't look very high up, but it is over 40 feet. That was the hardest part of the course, in my opinion, so you can see I'm looking out into the trees to focus. Once I completed that, the rest of it was much easier and I whizzed through it. At the end, there is a 4-story drop that you could choose to step off (like a small bungee jump) or try to land on a trapeze bar. I stepped off, because the bar looked so far away, and frankly, I was astounded I had gotten that far quickly. The trick is to just jump, and not think about it too much. The same trick worked well for me on the zipline with an ocean landing.


Here is a beautiful post-card shot of Malibu coming in on the boardwalk. I don't have a filter on any of these photos, it's just that beautiful. Our weekend gave us beautiful weather 3 out of the 4 days of our trip so we were able to do all of the fun activities like the ropes course, zipline, hike, and also spent some time on a 5-person water sled with a boat and then spending time in the heated pool! We laughed the whole weekend.  What a blessing.


Another beautiful shot in the sunshine. What a weekend! The volunteers, speakers, and staff were just incredible. They blare the music and greet you the second the ferry--the Malibu Princess--pulls into the outer dock. The place is full of joy. It's so welcoming, it's almost overwhelming. There is no internet connection so everyone is as present as can be. There are lots of hours of free time. The speakers and their topics were incredible, including our keynote speaker, Anne Kirkpatrick. She is the second in command to the police chief in Seattle, and has been chief in Spokane, Federal Way, etc. and she had us in stitches the whole weekend. Our Blaine group shared our last dinner meal with her in the dining hall.


So long, Malibu! I wrung my weekend out. We'll see you next year. God Bless.

If you're local (or even if you're not!) and would like more information on Women's Weekend, Malibu, or Young Life, please email me and I will be happy to give you more information or connect you to someone who can. 

4 comments:

RT said...

In-credible, Sarah. The beauty you experienced is incredible. Thanks for sharing it! This is one happy plains-state girl tonight. :)

kylee said...

This looks absolutely gorgeous, and looks like you had an amazing time!

Kerri said...

Beautiful! So glad you had such a great time. (Maybe next year I can join you!?!)

Kaitlyn said...

oh man, every time you post something I get so jealous. This is amazing! The views, the opportunities with nature and so many "non-nebraska" things you are getting to encounter. While I am happy with my life in Nebraska, reading your blog always makes me want to get my kids out out out more. Keep doing it right for your family Sarah! You are an amazing mom and I am living vicariously through you.