Rambling through a much needed mood boosting winter forest bike ride

A gorgeous winter forest scene at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

Warning: this post rambles. It’s obvious this girl needed to talk. And you are the recipients! Welcome to my otherwise silent world.

Land on my doorstep and I may talk your ear off…

Yesterday AM, I woke up squinting towards my curtain-less bedroom window. Spotting a bright blue sky, the promise of sunshine was in the air!


And the first thing I thought of was BIKE RIDE.

I hoped anyway! I’ve been out a few times testing things out since the ‘ol foot surgery, and thus far, I can do about half of what I use to. I’ll take it! Gladly!

I just knew I needed the ride. My feet have really been dragging lately in more ways than one. I haven’t felt motivated to work on a project and I wasn’t sure how to shake myself out of that.

The dragging feeling increased when I started editing all those bright and colourful Lanai photos lately. Goodness. That vibrancy vs. our grey rain / snow filled skies offered no happy comparison. I was officially sliding into a slump.

I’m mulling over a little more frequent travel as it seems to be where my heart is being pulled.

However, for today I struck myself a deal. I would actually take down the ‘Christmas turned winter tree’ today to help motivate change. AND I’d wash and line dry all the bedding, and attempt to take enough pictures to at least tell a blog story.

THEN I could go on a bike ride.

And that’s all it took. 

The tree got tucked away, all winter decor vanished, and my bedding was flapping on the outdoor line in the sunshine in no time! And of course, snapping pictures along the way so I could infuse it into a blog story. 

With quota met, I was free to play! Sun shining bike trails here I come!

A gorgeous winter forest scene at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

We don’t really have much colour outdoors yet, however riding near sunset casts a gorgeous golden hour glow on everything, which really warms up a branch-only infused area.

Sigh… gorgeous! My heart was on fire… I have missed you, great outdoors!

A gorgeous winter forest scene at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

My sense of outdoor adventure is hitting at a rampant pace. I’m already plotting out small weekend escapes to new and old local places. Introduce you to a little more beautiful BC.

I’m on a mantra to keep pushing myself into slightly uncomfortable zones so I keep growing towards bigger goals. My truck was kicking up a fuss lately so now that it’s (currently) sound, I’d love to head out on some new adventures.

A new vehicle has been on my mind, however I’m trying to get away with using the same ‘ol until I can’t any longer. I’d just rather spend the money on travel.

A gorgeous winter river scene at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

Back to today…. the added energy levels these smaller rides are adding to my life are making small dents. Kinda like ‘gas-ing up at the station’. Ya just gotta start somewhere.

Being stationary for so long had me feeling pretty laid back and lazy and left with the feeling that anything I tackled would take too much effort. I think that was affecting my motivation.

I guess I am just one that needs the outdoors and has to move.

A gorgeous clump of winter blooms at the river at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

Golden hour warms up this beautiful winter forest and creek scene at the river at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

I stopped at the local coffee shop the other day, and treated myself to a coffee and a bag of their homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Delish! But that proved to be a big mistake. I needed a nap that afternoon so I knew right then even though my mouth was finally behaving as well as my foot, I needed to keep eating right to keep the energy levels up. Carbs in general make me sleepy.

Lately, my fav lunch is a can of tuna, chopped cucumber, shredded carrots, (peppers if I have them on hand) and a good dose of my fav Rendevous (greek salad styled) dressing. Lots of energy with no zzzzzs in sight.

Golden hour warms up this beautiful winter forest and creek scene at the river at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

Golden hour warms up this beautiful winter forest and creek scene at the river at the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

Long evening shadows illuminate the trails along Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

A stump providing the only greenery through a fern along Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

A flock of birds taking flight in this river scene along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

I suggest to click on the picture above if you can on your chosen device. There’s a cluster of birds on the left that was just such an epic capture.

Golden hour casting a warm glow over this creek and forest spot along the Vedder River Rotary Trail in Chilliwack, BC during a bike trail ride.

Nature is so like that. You can be coasting along viewing the ‘same ‘ol’, but then something unexpected happens, having me grabbing the camera yet again in an effort to ‘paint that pretty picture.’

I love combining exercise with art. And in turn, sharing all this loveliness with you.

It’s my hope that these photos provide encouragement to ‘get outdoors’ and discover new-to-you moments to help elevate your own motivation!

A vibrant pink sunset against a silhouette of trees in Chilliwack, BC

All in all, it was a very good day! I ended up with line dried sheets that smell epic, a couple of spring clean rooms transpired, and I got in this beautiful ride that helped fuel my soul.

With a few empty spaces for new creations… hmmm…. you can bet there’s now room to dream.

A golden sunset along the Vedder River Rotary Trails in Chilliwack, BC

As for the photo shoot I promised myself? I had planned to write about the cleaning I did… but after this ride?

What mess?

A golden sunset along the Vedder River Rotary Trails in Chilliwack, BC

Thank-you sunshine, for a most wonderful motivating unexpected better-than-most-lately day. I owe you.

And for a foot now willing to somewhat cooperate to help make it happen!


How’s things going for you? What helps motivate you into action?

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  1. Great pics! Fresh air does help with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Just gotta make yourself get out there.

    • Yeah, I have to wonder if I have that. I just know as soon as the sun comes out, I’m over the top motivated to do everything at once! We have months of grey this time of year so it’s always a challenge.

      I think next year I’ll travel this time of year… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • If you can travel then do it. SAD is real and so very hard to deal with. My happy light helps a lot. Keep it in my kitchen primarily and move it where I am working. The moment the sunshines and it warms over 40 degrees- out the door the pup and I go to enjoy all the tough survivors that nature has to offer. I love your photography. Warmed my heart. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

    • Thanks Joy! I know YOU get our weather, dear neighbour of mine. Overcast months can be relentless this time of year.

      Hope you are finding inspiration in other ways other than waiting for that sun to shine!

  2. I’m so glad to hear that your foot and mouth woes are almost at an end Donna and are those hints of Spring peaking through the dead branches? Lovey pics BTW. There’s nothing better than nature to restore a soul’s equilibrium. Hope you have many more of those days, whether is in your cranky old truck or pushing peddles somewhere

    • Your ‘cranky old truck’ reference nearly had my spitting out my AM coffee! SO PERFECT.

      I’m so over the beast and its tantrums however the alternative is pushing me more towards patience at the moment. Egads, new vehicles cost LOTS of (travel?) money!

  3. Itโ€™s all about getting outdoors, studies show we all function better with time outside. My dogs force that, even a super short walk (with booties and sweaters on them) on a -20c day makes us all feel better!

  4. This winter has gotten me a bit down and unmotivated and I live in North Carolina in the US. I have much to do, I am an angel artist( just starting my new business). Unfortunately, this requires me to cut Wood, sand said wood then paint. I step one foot outside and say to my lazy self it’s too cold to be outside, tomorrow should be a warmer day. OOf …excuses? Yes but it’s chilly out at best!! Lol. Daylight savings time is this weekend. Ok, I’m ready…๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ
    What motivates me is people like you ! Misery loves Company and sometimes a girl needs to know she’s not alone in her thoughts.
    Bring it on spring!!! I got my acrylics, power sander and motivation all ready for ya!
    Heck, maybe I’ll get down to the she-cave today? Wait, it’s only going to be 48 as the high. Skip it, there’s always tomorrow ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜˜

    • Oh my goodness… I hear so many of my excuses through yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I say the same thing about walking into my cold workshop, yet I have a heater in there I can turn on. Figure that one out!

      Know what my current excuse is? My miter saw broke a month back and I need a new one. Did I replace it? Nope. Why? Because it’s too cold to work anyway…

      I vote that we both need to head on down to the hardware store, you plunk a few bucks on a portable heater, and me on a new saw and stop the madness. Maybe we should race…

  5. I think the winter doldrums hits almost everyone this time of year. I absolutely love that picture of the ferns growing on the stump. What a beautiful patch of green in mostly a sleepy winter scene. This is almost as good as spotting the first Robin that gives hope of whats yet to come. My creativity has been in a slump lately too. I had to endure my first time with a bout of tendonitis in my shoulder. I’ve heard of it before, but never experienced it. I don’t want to go through that again. Constant pain in the shoulder from inflamed tendons. Docs kept asking if I shoveled snow. I live in Michigan, of course we shovel snow! Anyway it took a week of being on anti-inflammatories and now no pain. I’m watching the bird feeder for that “first Robin” :)!

    • Yes, totally get the pain halting you. I’m glad something helped!

      The key for me during my healing period was to stay creative through other means, such as writing about what I was currently going through. I thought I stopped blogging but in reality, I hadn’t, I just chose a different topic for the short term.

      My downtime was a huge heads up of what’s to come. Huge.

      Here’s to all of us finding new, creative ways to express ourselves as our (aging?) bodies change over time… it’s inevitable!

  6. Love the picture with the moss on the sides of the trail. Great contrast. Glad that ole foot is getting better also.

    • Thank-you! Yes, it’s coming along really nicely! I can’t hike up the side of a mountain yet, but the moment I can, I will be!

      This girl’s been stagnant long enough…

    • Oh! Line dried sheets are THEE BEST! They have a new crispness to them that make them feel like brand new, with a fresh air fragrance unlike anything else on earth.

      While growing up in my big, rambling farmhouse, we had this long front porch where my mom use to hang laundry under cover on rainy days. I only have an outside line right now, however I vow to install a line under my patio for rainy days this year.

      If you have any little area under cover, you can do it!

  7. Donna,

    Wow, what beautiful pictures. So glad that you were able to bet in a bike ride and be rejuvenated (even if only a little). I hope your days continue to be brighter!!

    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed the bike tour, and thanks for enduring my inner ramblings. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It’s tricky waiting for the sun to shine, so here’s to all of us finding that inner happiness despite the weather… I’m certainly going to keep trying!

    • Thanks Shirley!

      There’s something about the forest that really speaks to me.

      I’ve been dreaming of running away to a cabin in the woods near a lake for years… maybe this is the year to somehow make it happen…

  8. Wow, if I had all that beauty outside my door, I would take a bike ride too!! Great pics, hope your feeling better.

  9. Donna,

    Another gallery of beautiful photos. We have to travel to mountains and do not think I have ever seen anything as pretty as yours just up the road.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and bike rides.

    • Not a ride goes by where I don’t feel so grateful, Nancy! Especially when the sun makes an appearance. Such a drastic change when it is not out.

      Sunshine – nature’s paint brush!

  10. Such wonderful photographs! I have been avoiding getting outdoors to walk lately because it reminds me of walking with my best companion dog, Tavi, who I had to euthanize two weeks ago. Very painful and it seems like so many things during the day remind me of him. We were good buddies for ten years. And one of his most favorite things to do was walk around the neighborhood with me. I know I really do have to start moving, but I know every step will make me sad, at least for a while.

    You surely do live in a beautiful part of the world. I visited BC quite a few years ago when I had some friends living there. And also Vancouver Island when my oldest daughter worked up there. That is an amazing, beautiful place. We were on the West coast right on the ocean. She worked for a B and B in Tofino.

    Glad your foot is healing well and hope you get lots more rides as Spring approaches.

    • Oh my goodness… I am so sorry for your loss Naoimi. I remember well my dog walks when I had them way back and remember how my outdoor routine changed once I no longer did. It was very hard.

      I still miss them years later at times, however new trails and a new way to take them on have greatly helped me personally. I now use a bike vs. walking which is a completely different experience altogether.

      I hope your heart mends quickly. xo

  11. Nice Pics! I read an article about a woman who instead of getting on anti-depressants her doctor recommended an hour outside for a week. She did that every day for a week but after 2 days couldn’t believe how much better she felt…..I think you were on the right track with your bike ride!!