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Tag Archives: hiking

My Best Time – So Far!

19 Aug

I have made a habit of hiking the Coquitlam Crunch one to two times a week for I dunno, a couple months or so? A friend suggested it and I got hooked.

It is described on the city website as a steep urban trail that offers a great workout, which I’d say is fairly accurate. The city website also says it takes 1.5 hours to complete, but they always overestimate for the trails.

The first time my friend and I went we were around the one hour and fifteen minute mark I think…I don’t really count the first attempt at a new trail though because you don’t always know where you are going, and there end up being pauses to figure out are you turning left or right because the trail branches off both ways, reading signs, stuff like that. Second attempt and onward though, those get tracked and turned in to times to beat!…not that I’m competitive with my stats or anything lol

This trail has three road crossings, and depending on if traffic stops or not that can really affect your time, which sucks. There have also been two times where I paused to watch deer, but only on the way down. Pretty much nothing stops me on the way up, I have a mission and am determined to keep moving! The first time we went up I paused to read all the signs, they mostly have blurbs about the area, the wildlife, things like that.

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There is one section with stairs, looks like this…

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Well, actually, I’m sorta lying. Oops! There are two sections of stairs, they are at the same section though, just one set is to the left the other set is to the right. I tend to go up the set to the left and down the set on the right. I find the set on the right easier because there are more flat spots so I save it for my way down when my legs are tired. On the way up I want as many steps crammed in together with fewer flat resting spots as I can get.

Pictures don’t do the Crunch justice. There are power lines the entire length of the trail and in pictures they dominate what you see, but when you are there it is easy to ignore them and just enjoy the view.

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My best time had been one hour and two minutes and I was determined to get it under an hour, even if all I managed was 59:59, I wanted it under an hour!

This past week I went and had no confidence in my ability to beat my best time, I was going to be happy if I managed to hit one hour and four minutes. It was mid-day, the worst time of day for me, I wasn’t as hydrated as normal, there is poor air quality thanks to fires, and my legs hurt from my previous days workout. If I hadn’t been in the area I don’t know that I would have gone to do the Crunch at all that day, but I was in the area, and if I am there I can’t pass up an opportunity to go up, so up I went!

Something about not putting pressure on myself to beat my best time seems to generate results. I only asked my body for the best it could do that day, and was going to be happy with whatever that was, and lo and behold, I got my best time, and it wasn’t 59 minutes!

IMG_2056

56:26!

Do you see that Fit Bit info? I completed the Crunch in 56 minutes and 26 seconds! wOOt! wOOt!

I don’t care if it is rude to celebrate yourself, I am happy with that! πŸ˜€

Yes I know there are people who can do the whole thing in a much shorter span of time, and yay for them, but for me, in this moment, I am excited I completed the Crunch in 56:26. And really, there will always be someone who can do what you are doing better, and that’s fine. I only compete against myself, I only look to beat my time, not the person next to me, as my coach says, race your own race.

So now the time to beat is 56:26…talk about setting myself up for a challenge!

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Leg Week?

10 Aug

Is leg week a thing? I feel it should be a thing, I can’t be the only person who has done this…granted I did it by accident, but still, I’m not the only one, right?

leg day 1

Last Friday night (it is currently the next Friday) I had leg day at the gym. I hadn’t had one in a while due to scheduling and life and laziness so it was nice to get back to routine. I pushed myself, because what is the point of working out if you don’t push yourself? By the end of the workout I could tell I was going to be feeling the results of that workout for days.

I love that feeling. πŸ™‚

Saturday there was pain, there was using my arms to push me up from a chair, and using arms to take the weight off my legs when I would go to sit, and there was the knowledge I would probably suck at running if I had to run that day. But all that is good, because it is good pain, and it means I worked the muscles hard, the pain will fade, the results will stay.Β  Saturday is my rest day due to how my work schedule is so I didn’t do anything to really work the legs beyond normal day-to-day things.

Sunday I went for a hike after work, it occurred to me that might suck since my legs still had a noticeable amount of muscle pain but I went anyways. During the hike I noticed my legs started to feel better, stronger, they were benefiting from being worked again, even though I was still feeling the Friday night workout. I think, and I could be wrong, but I think the hike helped clear out some of the built up lactic acid and helped them stretch and basically just helped the muscles in their recovery. Yay for a good hike! The trail has a lot of ups and downs and uneven surfaces so not only did the larger muscles get worked but so did the smaller ones used for stabilizing etc. Also, part way in to the hike I noticed my stride was lengthening, I have a decent stride length but started the hike with a shorter stride due to discomfort, as the pain cleared my stride got longer, and I felt better.

Monday evening I did the Coquitlam Crunch which is like a less evil version of the Grouse Grind…which means nothing to you if you don’t live in Vancouver BC or the surrounding areas lol Basically it is a steep urban trail, with an elevation of 244 meters, that gives you a great and fast workout. So far my best time is one hour and two minutes round trip. My goal is to get that under an hour.

Then Tuesday evening I did a long walk with a friend after work. Which brings us to Wednesday where I did the Coquitlam Crunch with the same friend I walked with Tuesday. I had intended to go to Lynn Valley and hike the trails but that will wait for another day.

So, I inadvertently had, what is that, 5 leg workouts in 6 days? Um, oops? Sorry for neglecting you upper body, I swear I still love ya! lol

Normally I do a much better job of working out all my muscle groups, and its not like I have some driving desire to only work on my legs, they just somehow got all my attention this week.

I think the flaw in my workouts is that it is summer, and that means hiking, and trails, and all those lovely outdoor workouts can be done at any time of day, on any day, without worry about weather cancelling your outing, so I tend to go out on a trail instead of inside to the gym. I mean c’mon, if given the choice wouldn’t you go out on a trail, get some fresh air, see some pretty sights, maybe spot a deer or bear or some other fuzzy critter, rather than be inside the gym where yes, you get a good workout but all you really look at is equipment and yourself in the mirror?

The hiking gives me a chance to either ruminate on something that is bothering me, or clear my mind and enjoy the quiet for a while, whichever I need. I can be alone, with nature, infusing myself with the peace that comes from being surrounded by trees (seriously, what is it with trees that they are so soothing?) or I can go with a friend and enjoy a lovely chat while getting in a workout.

The gym, I love the gym, but to me it is more like work, or an expectation, or I dunno, a thing I schedule. I don’t mind any of that, I really don’t, but sometimes I like the idea of being out on a trail more. I know it isn’t as good of a workout as my gym time, and my muscle definition suffers every summer because of that, but I can’t give up my trail time, I enjoy it too much.

However, my enjoying of my trail time this week has resulted in a lot of leg workouts, and no upper body workouts, until Thursday that is when I was at dragon boat practice.

I’ve really got to take care to balance things a bit better because while Leg Day is a thing, a good thing, a thing to be done often, Leg Week is a teeny bit of over kill and maybe shouldn’t be repeated anytime soon…don’t want my back and arms and shoulders to think I don’t care about them after all! πŸ˜‰

 

A Hike and A Workout

12 May

Wednesday was Day 3 of this new workout plan I am trying (you can read the deets on the plan by going back a post or two). Even though Day 3 is a body circuit day I figured that didn’t mean I couldn’t do other stuff as well, so I went for a hike. πŸ™‚

I worked Wednesday, my normal day off, 10a-4:30p and when I was done I was sooooo close to this hike called Quarry Rock I figured I shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to go. I used to climb this particular trail on an almost weekly basis two years ago, last year I didn’t climb it as much which is unfortunate. I didn’t do as many hikes in general last year, not really sure why.

So this was my first time on the trail in a while. It has changed a bit, not in a bad way or anything, just natural changes that you will find in a forest. It is definitely showing the signs of lack of rain though, which sucks. The trail is drier, there is less green, the bridges built to get over the water aren’t really needed since there is barely any water. It is kind of sad when you think about it.

But! On the plus side I took pictures, so lets focus on those! lol

New signs have been put up, I’m thinking because of the stupid people you see on the trail wearing flip flops (not even joking!). Or I suppose they could be because some people head in to the wilderness with no idea about what they might encounter, and might not be properly prepared for the possibilities. Meh, who knows!

The next pics are views from the top…

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Isn’t it so pretty? Makes the hike up completely worth it! πŸ™‚

While I was sitting up there, even with my sunglasses on, it felt like the sun was searing a hole through my eyes straight to the back of my head. Poor eyeballs. 😦 So I didn’t stay up there as long as I wanted to, but I did stay up longer than I used to. When I hiked this trail on a regular basis I used to get to the top, take a quick glance, then go right back down because I was hiking the trail primarily for exercise, not to enjoy nature. This time, it was such a harder climb than it used to be for me that I decided to enjoy being at the summit.

That climb really made me realize how lazy I have been. I used to be able to hike Quarry Rock without even thinking about it, which is why it was a great hike to do at the end of a busy work day once a week. It was exercise without being extraordinarily demanding. Now? Ha! Now it is hard apparently. There were parts where the only positive thing I can say about myself is that I was still technically going forward, felt like I was moving in slow motion through molasses, but I was still moving, so that’s something…

I have decided that I will hike Quarry Rock once a week, weather permitting, for the next couple months, get back in the groove of dealing with inclines and rocky surfaces an all that.

Here are a couple pics I snapped on the way back down to show you the shape the forest is in, see what I mean about drier than normal and a little sad looking?

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When I got home from the hike I immediately started on the exercises for Day 3. Each set included:

30 seconds jumping rope

15 squat jumps

10 bench dips

15 standing calf raises

20 shoulder presses

10 side lunges (each leg)

25 crunches

I had to make some modifications due to a variety of factors but I did my best to keep to the spirit of the exercise I was modifying so I’d still get the same, or at least a similar, benefit.

The exercises I modified are the jumping rope, the squat jumps and the shoulder presses.

The jumping rope I can’t do because my apartment has an extremely low ceiling, there isn’t enough clearance for the rope. Also, there isn’t enough open space for the rope when it is going around my body. So yeah, not happening. Instead I ran in place for 30 seconds, I didn’t half ass it or anything, I basically sprinted in place for the same amount of time I was supposed to be jumping rope.

As I learned on the Monday, squat jumps and my knees are just not friends. Instead I did normal squats. I didn’t realize until just now when I was re-reading the exercise list that the alternate for the squat jumps was a 30 second wall sit, oops. I’ll do that next time. I don’t think it was soooo bad that I did normal squats though…

The shoulder presses, ok, so this is a weird one. I have free weights, they are only 5lbs and 8lbs but whatever, it is a start! So I have the weights and I know how to do a shoulder press, but I can’t do them in my apartment because the ceiling is too low. I can’t raise my arms above my head when standing and straighten the elbows because I am hitting the ceiling. Instead I did a forward lunge, maintained the lunge position, and did 10 shoulder presses. Then I stepped back, did a forward lunge with the other leg, maintained the position, and did the other 10 shoulder presses. I figure it might even be better than just doing shoulder presses because I am utilizing my core more to maintain balance and using my leg muscles to ya know, stay in the lunge position.

So yeah, that was how the workout went on Wednesday. Haven’t quit the new program yet! lol πŸ˜›

Now Comes The Exercise

10 May

I warned you in the last post this one would be about the new exercise plan so don’t blame me if you’re all “omg all she is writing about is working out, ugh” πŸ˜‰ lol

I found the work out plan I am going to follow by complete and total fluke, such a pleasant surprise!

I can’t lay claim to any part of this plan, I found it here…

http://www.popeyescanada.com/strongtothefinish-en.html

It is the Popeye’s Supplement company website. I was on it seeing if my protein powder was on sale (sadly, it isn’t) and noticed they are having a contest. I can’t enter because it is already started but that doesn’t mean I can’t read the information they have on the site and learn from it.

You select your gender and from there check out four different workouts. I have made copies of all of them with the theory that once I have gotten good at the beginner level I will be able to move up to the more advanced workouts and well, might as well be prepared for that, right?

Here is what the beginners workout plan looks like…

Capture

For some reason the part that most appealed to me was that all the workouts can be done at home. Normally I don’t like working out at home, I like being lazy at home. Buuuuuut there are advantages, like, I don’t have to worry about making myself presentable to the world, I don’t have people in the gym watching me, I can work out at anytime of day or night, my shower is less than ten steps away so when I’m done I can get cleaned up super fast.

Oh, and the biggest perk is that I have no excuse to not work out. My gym closes at 10pm Fridays and Saturdays which means I can’t get there after work and I don’t care for working out prior to going to work so I have used those two reasons for more often than not skipping my Friday and Saturday workouts. Well, no more!

Something else I like about this plan is the alternate exercises. It is smart to not keep doing the same exercises for weeks and weeks and weeks in a row so having things to swap out to keep the body guessing is good. Also, as I get stronger I can add weights to the moves, add more reps and sets, make it more of a challenge. πŸ™‚ Plus it alternates cardio with the full body circuit and even throws in a rest day and a stretching day. It’s a good mix.

I wasn’t intending to have Day 1 be a Monday but I wanted to start the program right away and I found it last night so right away meant Monday. Whiiiich actually turns out to be a good thing because if you’ll notice on Day 2 and 4 I will be doing cardio and in the alternate exercises one of the options is “sport” and those are the days I have dragon boat practice which means my dragon boat practice can be substituted in to this work out plan and count. Yay! I figure I am probably still going to do a separate 30 minutes of cardio on those days, cause why not? But if life gets in the way and one day I can’t fit in time for a run or hike I won’t be missing out completely cause I’ll still be going to practice. Maybe my logic is flawed but it makes sense to me…

So today after work I went for a one hour hike with a friend then came home and immediately did Day 1’s workout. I had to make some minor changes, after the second set my knees were hurting quite badly so during the third set I did 20 squats instead of 15 squats and 5 squat jumps, the squat jumps were killing my knees. Also, in set 3 I did my push-ups on an angle because I felt it was better to do angled push-ups with proper form than pathetic push-ups on the floor that weren’t giving me as good of a workout as they could be. I’ll get stronger and be able to do all three sets of the push-ups soon but until then I’ll do one set angled, build those muscles!

There ya have it, my new work out plan. Easy in the sense I can follow it and have no excuses to not work out. Challenging enough that hopefully it will start me on a lovely path of getting more fit. πŸ™‚

Care to join me?

 

Hiking Pics

28 Apr

I’ve been hiking a handful of times since the weather got nice and each time there have been some definite kodak moments…some of which I actually pulled my phone out and took pics of. Look at me, remembering to take pictures of things so I can share them with you, go me go! lol πŸ˜‰

Well ok, I remembered to take pictures twice and one of those hikes I’ve already shared the pics of but if my Drop Box will ever finish uploading the newest pics from my phone then I will post some of them here…

Let’s all wait together shall we?

-Insert Jeopardy music here-

Aha! Finally! πŸ™‚

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This was taken from around the halfway point on the staircase. I hate stairs. Stairs are evil. Having said that, when I got to the top I realized they weren’t as bad as I anticipated. Lesson learned! Always try something you think is gonna be hard, it might turn out to not be that bad… πŸ™‚

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A lovely little spot where people go swimming in the summer. Despite how warm we had gotten from our hike it was definitely nowhere near warm enough in the water to dip a toe in. You can’t tell from this pic but to the right the water gets deeper and extends quite a ways up until it meets with a waterfall. There is a ledge where people jump in to the water from that currently has a tribute on it because someone jumped about 3 weeks or so ago and died.

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This is a man made lake that sorta just appears when you’re on a certain trail. It is super calm and relaxing and I could sit on the bench and enjoy the spot for hours. Well, except that just behind you is the trail so you hear people going past. A bench that is a bit off the trail and more secluded would be nice, only, how would people know about it? Oh the dilemmas! lol Apparently there are fish in the lake and people go fishing here, I didn’t see any but maybe they are deeper in the water where it is warmer.

I feel a little bad about the fish, I mean, c’mon, people make a lake and stock it with fish then let people fish there. It is kinda mean. The fish have no way to escape, they didn’t choose to be there and you are almost guaranteeing they get killed…just doesn’t seem right to me. If people want to fish I think they should fish somewhere the fish have a bit better odds of not dying, but that is just my opinion, shrug.

All in all, lovely hikes. πŸ™‚ Lisa and I go every Sunday after work and we are upping that to also going every Monday after work, so guaranteed two hikes a week, yay! They aren’t crazy intense hikes or anything but they are still nice. I’ll leave the crazy intense hikes for a day off so I have more time and energy to enjoy them and go farther in to the back country…bears here I come! πŸ˜‰

First Time This Year

3 Apr

Get your mind out of the gutter – not thaaaaat kind of “first time”! lol

I’m talking about my first hike of the year…or I guess I could word that as first hike of the season…either is accurate, shrug.

A friend and I went for a walk last Friday before I went to work and decided we enjoyed it so much that we made plans to go for a walk / hike Sunday afternoon when I was off work. I oh so responsibly packed a bag the night before (cause nooooo way would I remember at 5am to pack a bag with hiking appropriate clothes in it) and once I was at work texted her asking if she wanted to come walk the trails near my work or go to the trails near her or if we should go somewhere completely different. I had to be sneaky because we have an unfortunate habit of saying we are going to go for a walk or a hike or to a fitness class or whatever and instead we either (1) cancel completely or (2) go for tea and sit and gab.

Yup, we are enablers of each others laziness.

So I figured if I worded the text to her today as if I assumed we were still going it’d be harder for her to bail.

Turns out I was wrong. lol She wrote back saying she was way behind for the stuff she had to do today because of things happening in her townhouse complex (loooong complicated story that and not really essential to my story, which is of course the important one πŸ˜‰ ) and basically she couldn’t make it.

I, in a non-bitchy way, said no worries but since I’d brought my change of clothes with me I was still gonna go. At this point I still had some energy left so I meant it when I said it.

Well, by the end of my work day I was tired and had almost completely decided to not go for a walk or a hike and instead go home. Before I could though my friend calls, turns out by my saying I was still going to go it got her thinking that she really should find time in her day to do something active and good for her so she once again decided to join me.

I couldn’t very well tell her that I’d decided to bail *rolls eyes*…and that is how we ended up here…

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The shots of the water were all taken from the suspension bridge. If it wasn’t for other people being there I could easily stand on that bridge for hours watching and listening to the water.

As for the hollow trunk picture, I thought it’d be fun but in actually I look like I have no neck lol silly shadows. πŸ˜› And before anyone who is thinking about my eyes freaks out (which really that would only be my mom) I only took my sunglasses off for the picture, otherwise they are always on when I am outside – I am following all my eye care rules, honest! πŸ™‚

UK Trip Day 5: July 18/14 Part 2

8 Sep

After the mining expedition ended I followed the nice people who were headed in the same direction as I and managed to get to Holyhead. I warned them I drive slow on the narrow, windy roads and they assured me they did also. Lemme tell ya, their idea of slow and my idea of slow, totally different! lol

My final stop in Wales was Holyhead which is on the island of Anglesey. It’s a cute, tiny town that unfortunately is struggling a bit, at least that is how it seemed in the areas I saw. There were a lot of closed pubs and shops which is too bad cause it was a pleasant place and I swear I met the nicest people in the world there. Or at least the nicest people in Wales lol

I realized once I got in to town I had an address for the B&B I was booked in at but had no idea how to find that address, oops! Oh and yes, you read that right, a B&B, no more hostels for moi! Not that the hostels weren’t awesome but I was oh so ready to have a room to my own and not need to share a washroom lol πŸ˜›

Turns out I didn’t need to worry about finding the place, I drove in to town on the main road and was following it through town when I came upon the B&B, it was just there, like it was meant to be!

The B&B is called The Beach Hut and if you ever want to find it the address is 4 Hibernia Terrace, their website is http://www.thebeachhut.me.uk They have completely reasonable prices, a view of the ocean (admittedly the view is slightly marred by traffic going on and off of the ferries but really, how often do you stare out the window while on vacation?), breakfast is included in the price (a full Welsh of course! lol), people who go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and to help you out and while the room I was in was small, it was beautifully decorated, had everything I needed and more and the bed was super comfy! πŸ˜€

If it seems I am going on and on about this place, well, I am, but it is worth all the praise I can heap on it lol

The B&B rooms are over top of a cafe that is part of the B&B, I climbed 2 or 3 long flights of stairs to get to my room and Dave, the owner was sooooo nice, he carried my suitcase the whole way up! I am incapable of packing light, that poor man having to carry that bag, I felt bad for him. He and his wife (least, I think it’s his wife) made sure I was settled in, gave me directions to the nearest pub so I could grab dinner, answered my questions about directions for where I needed to be in the morning and then left me be.

My evening wasn’t all that exciting, but I was ok with that. I had a shower, reveled in not having to rush cause it was myyyyy bathroom lol found the pub, had an ok dinner, was a little sad the pub wasn’t like the pubs you see in movies depicting pubs in the UK, this one was quiet, pretty low key, shrug. When I got back to the room I repacked the suitcase, got everything I would need for the morning ready and had an early night. It was so glorious to be able to stretch out in a full sized bed, to enjoy a pile of pillows, cuddle under a duvet.

I had to be up early to be at my next days adventure so I watched a bit of tv, finally was able to go online cause I was somewhere that had wifi aaaaaand passed out lol

Best B&B Ever!

Best B&B Ever!

My view

My view

Remember in my last post I said I learned a lot during the mining expedition and would share some of that next post? Well here ya go! lol

– the mining town was created by the mining company, the houses were rented to the miners and a freakishly large amount of people lived in each small house

– the miners were paid in a combo of cash and credits, the credits could be used at the mining company store only

– miners were responsible for buying their own mining equipment, which they could buy from the mining company, putting themselves in debt to the mining company…seeing a trend here?

– boys as young as ten were working in the mines, they were used for a variety of jobs, they were trained so young because the average miner died by his mid 30’s leaving his sons behind to support the family…basically the entire family was like indentured servants to the mining company

– to save money the miners would use shorter than recommended fuses for the bombs, the kids were the ones who would light the short fuses then run for cover, they were faster than adults so had a better chance of not getting blown up

– the miners spent all day in the mine, didn’t even go outside for lunch, usually there was a small canteen type shop in the mine, run by one of the miners wives or daughters where they could buy a hot drink and simple meal, they ate by candlelight but the caverns are so large and candles so precious they were in mostly dark even when eating

– there is an underground lake in the mine that is freakishly deep and drowning was a legit concern

– approx 95% of the slate hauled out of that mine was thrown away once it saw the light of day, the slate had to be perfect and once it was in daylight and smaller flaws could been seen it would be deemed unusable, it was tossed on to the side of the mountain so now when you climb that mountain you see these strange formations that are nature growing over the piles of slate

– slate used to be used for only one or two things, not like today where it can be used for all sorts of stuff but a historical association deemed the slate on the outside of the mountain historically relevant so it can’t be taken and put to good use, it has to stay there

– when the mine was abandoned it was too hard to remove some of the larger pieces of equipment from the mine so it got left behind, when you go through there you walk along train tracks, come across equipment I don’t have names for lol there is even an old miners shoe in there, and when I say old I mean like 100 years old!

– oh! miners used to put nails in their shoes to make them last longer

As you may recall from last post I have no pictures of the inside of the mine because my camera battery died after I took two pictures at the beginning of the adventure sooooo I stole the following pics from the internet, I can promise you they are all images from the same expedition I did, they just aren’t pics taken by me nor do any of the pics have me in them, sigh. But at least you can see some of the stuff I did!

Ziplining

Ziplining

2

Abseiling

Abseiling

Crossing the underground lake

Crossing the underground lake

5

Climbing the waterfall - there was more water when I did it...

Climbing the waterfall – there was more water when I did it…

The Land Rovers they use

The Land Rovers they use

Abandoned equipment I can't remember the name of

Abandoned equipment I can’t remember the name of

Vertical air shaft you climb to get out

Vertical air shaft you climb to get out

Climbing - who'd have imagined such steep climbs inside a mine?

Climbing – who’d have imagined such steep climbs inside a mine?

comin doooown!

comin doooown!

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