K2inCanada's Blog

June 6, 2018

Shhh – let the world think Canada is always cold

Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer — K2 in Canada @ 11:05 PM

Well it snowed in St John’s Newfoundland on Jun 4th and now people in BC are talking about Junuary because we had a couple cloudy, cooler days and a bit of sprinkles. And we may even get a few more of those. I for once am glad to see some cooler temperatures and a bit of rain. We broke a new record in the lower mainland in May. Driest month ever recorded. And it was hot too. After a couple years of winter lasting into July we really scored big time this May. Hence I am way behind on my blog! Stay tuned. The lack of rain is concerning though – there is a reason for this area being so green. A rain forest, even a temperate one, needs its share of rain.

DriestMay (Medium)

My wild flower garden is also doing quite well after a very slow start. Jeff insisted all of the green things would be weeds but most of them turned into some really nice flowers. All different from last year. And there is more to come. Our hummers have been around a lot too. Mostly Lily(s) but Chatter(s) and Ms and Mr Sunshine also show up regularly. This early evening I saw a raccoon walk the fence while watering my plants and said hello (sorry no picture). Love it 🙂

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May 20, 2018

De-throned

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 11:15 PM

Well as expected Jeff and I are no longer the leaders at the TNR but we still keep close to them. May 1 it was Gareth from the island who really just played with us for a bit. Coming up from behind, he spent a bit of time with us riding the wash and then just took off. Nothing we could do.  Wes started off like a rocket and we had a really hard time to catch him but then he slowed down and we all past him about 3/4 of the way. It was a beautiful sunny night. Gareth deserved that win. We used to race with him a lot in the past when we were really training and were close. But I still am mad at him, kinda, for beating us at the Bowen Race in 2005 where we dragged him around the whole Island, away from the competition by playing the tides and then he passed us on a motorboat wash 100m from the end after 32km. Not fair but hey, that’s racing.

No Gareth at the start line May 8th but Wes was in form that night. He took off as usual and just stayed away. Our battle was with Shane, Linda and Alex that night – the station wagon as ball called them. Nothing we could do to shake them. It amazing how fast they are with a 3 year old in between them. We just managed to finished ahead of them but they beat Bob who had been sitting on our wash the whole race. Soon, we gonna watch their backs. That will hurt :-).

Missed the May 15th race since I was in Belgium for work.

Thanks Vivian for the picture and as usual results, write up and a ton more pictures can be found on the Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak website:

May Month – Fishing Month

Filed under: Animals, Bears, Canada, Fishing, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 11:15 PM

2018 was a more normal year and the lakes did not ice if till the first weekend of May. Hence we only got two weekends of fishing/camping in so far and we are spending the long weekend at home but that’s for a different post.

May 5/6 weekend we went to our usual spot at Little Pete. The lake was already busy but our spot was still open. The weather was really nice with lots of sunshine, a bit of a breeze and not too cold at all. In fact, I spent my time walking in T-shirt! But the area was still pretty wet. All the ponds and meadows I usually hike to were still under water and it took a lot more bushwhacking than usual. But I did get rewarded with a bear sighting at the far away point, near the lookout. A beautiful and big cinnamon bear was eating grass in the open and I was able to observe him without scaring him for about 20mins until he peacefully wandered off into the forest. Pretty awesome. We did see each other again when I continue on the trail and he came around a hill but he took off right away. Not a good time to be a bear, it is hunting season after all.  When I got back to camp I jumped into my float tube and joined Jeff on the lake. While I walked the tube to the water, I saw 3 deer up the hill which Is still consider part of camp :-). It was already late in the day but I caught a couple fish nonetheless – all small though – but it was nice as the wind finally had calmed down.

The next morning we woke up to water running underneath our tent. It had been dry when we set it up. Luckily we stayed dry inside the tent. During breakfast we got to watch a Red-Tail Hawk hunt in “our” campsite and saw him actually catch a mouse. Very cool. I went for another walk that day but didn’t really get to see anything but birds until I got back to camp. The deer were back up on the hill – 4 of them. I love it when the wildlife around you just behaves as if you were just part of the scenery. Great trip! The highlight though was seeing a Great Grey Owl on our drive out via Douglas Ranch Road.

May  12/13 weekend we ended up at Blue Lake. Although we started out trying to find Gordon Lake up near Chattaway Lake resort. Our “broken” Topo map all sudden worked again and so we headed out into the unknown trying to find the lake. I think we got close but never saw the lake. And luckily didn’t get stuck either despite trying many little dirt tracks to find in. at the end of one of those we turned the truck of and went for a short walk to see if we could see the lake. We did see another road that may lead to it but could not be reached from where we were. Okay – turn around an try again. At that point though our Topo map failed us again and without it we hardly made it out of the bush. So after wasting 2 hrs trying to find this lake we finally gave in and just headed to Blue Lake, another hr of driving…. Jeff was not happy spending half of Sat in the truck. On top of that, when we finally reached Blue our usual camp spot was busy – like really busy. But lucky for us the opposite end was still open. Jeff was on the water in 10min while I set up camp and went for a walk first. It was incredibly hot and I went for quite a long walk but did not get to see any wildlife that day. Discovered a few new water ponds though around the Little Blue area and there were lots of tracks from deer to moose to bear! Worth exploring again – maybe on a less hot and bright sunny day :-). But the worst part of this day – my beloved super zoom camera died that afternoon. Zoom got stuck and with AF stopped as well. RATS.

 

The next day I mostly spent fishing and it was great. Nice 18inch trout quite frequently. Jeff found the secret spot and we fished next to each other for over 2hrs. Off course he out-fished me 5 to 1 but that’s okay :-). Just went for a short walk before we headed back home (so I could get ready for my trip to Belgium the next day) and saw fresh bear poop and prints in a snow patch. Never got to see the bear and I was running out off time.

April 30, 2018

TNR Apr 24

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:24 PM

Back in the double for that one. It was a beautiful, sunny and warm evening! The course, Beach Criterium, isn’t the best one for doubles since its a 3 lap course with very tight buoy turns at each end. We were hanging on to Wes’s wash for 2 laps. Took us half a lap to catch him and on the last half, as we were getting ready to sprint to the finish line, he all sudden stopped paddling to let Bob catch up to him. If it would have come to a sprint, I am sure he would have beat us – I had not much left! Guess our days at the top of the leader board for the TNR is coming to an end. There were two more double surfskis in the race too. The threesome of Shane, Alex (facing backwards) and Linda who surprised everyone coming 4th overall and Ty and daughter Ruby just a few more seconds behind. Pretty cool!

Full results and Amy’s write up: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/raceresult/april-24th-beachview-criterium/

April 29, 2018

Up and down the river

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 7:59 PM

After a week of glorious sunshine and warm weather the forecast for the weekend was wet, wet, wet and cool. On top of that Jeff got sick and wasn’t able to go paddling. So we spent Saturday morning cleaning the garage and the house. In the afternoon, I went for a paddle on the Fraser. The tide had just changed and it should start to flood soon but when I got to the river the current was still going out. I stuck with the plan to go down river though. It was nice to be assisted by the current a bit, especially since I was doing a workout 2′ on 2′ off x 20.  I went past the Arthur Liang bridge before I turned after 1hour (13 sets). The way back was supposed to be helped by the tide but there was not much so it took a bit longer to get back and I was getting tired obviously. The rain for the most part wasn’t too bad, just a constant drizzle.

Sunday started out a bit drier so we walked to the store only to get drenched on the way back. But then the rain did stop in the early afternoon and I took my surfski out again. To make it just a tad bit interesting I went up river this time. It was quite a bit of work against the current, despite the tide coming in. But the way back was blistering fast – an easy 11-12km/hr. The only scary-wave-throwing tug actually slowed down for me which was pretty nice. The wave was still big mind you and I was going into it. It was far from being sunny or nice but at least it was dry and a bit warmer than the day before.

This past week Wednesday evening, I actually got my first K1 paddle in on Burnaby Lake. It was a beautiful sunny, warm and calm day. Perfect! The super lancer felt okay after the first 5min of wobbles. Since Commodore Steve and Fort Langley Ben were out as well I even made it to the end and back.

Sun should be back next week!

April 23, 2018

Share the trails – Earth Day Hike

Filed under: Bears, Canada, Hike — K2 in Canada @ 9:27 PM

Sunday afternoon “hike” in Minnekhada Regional Park in Port Coquitlam. A great way to spent a sunny, 16C day when the body is too tired to go for a paddle. It’s by no means a challenging hike, more a stroll through the woods but this park is known for its bear sightings. Last time we were here, we scared a mom and her cub off the trail. So this time I was hoping but not really expecting to see a bear. It’s a busy little park and there are quite a few people around. But we did see a bear – two actually. Mama bear and her year old cub. They were coming down the trail we were walking up. So we stepped aside to let them pass, talking to them so they knew we were there. They did not seem to care much about us. While mama bear gave us a bit of space when passing us and got about 5m off the trail, the cub, a skinny tall guy, was coming right at us. He was so close, I could have petted his head. Mama bear was not too impressed about juniors behaviour and huffed at him and us since were so close together. The cub knew the huff and bolted up a tree as if he was getting shot at. We were standing less than a few meters away from mom who could have reached us in a single leap, talking to her calmly. Mama bear just looked as us like saying “Kids these days”. We didn’t want to stick around for the family drama to unfold and walked slowly away from the bears. No more huffing from mom. Junior came down the tree and, to our utter surprise, started following us rather than going into the direction they were on before our encounter. Mama bear was shaking her head but followed him. Our guess, someone must have fed the little guy before and he was hoping for something. He showed no aggression at all. We just continued on our way at normal pace, ignoring the cub. As we rounded a corner and lost sight of them behind us, Junior must have lost interest as well. We did not see him again. Weird behaviour for a bear but overall a peaceful encounter. We hiked for another couple hours, up some knoll with a great view over the valley. Really a fun little park. We never got to see the cougar, as the signage had promised though :-).

We rewarded ourselves with BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Copper Ale at the Gillnetter Pub, watching the Fraser flow by. It felt like the perfect weekend!

April 22, 2018

Spring Cleaning

Filed under: Canada, Home — K2 in Canada @ 1:06 PM

Most people clean their house in the spring – we clean the truck. Unfortunately, I forgot a before and after picture. It took us over 2hrs and we are still not done. Took the canopy of for the first time ever since we could not see through the rear window any longer. The worst part is getting rid of the sticky bits that our tree drops in the spring. Nothing but hard scrubbing with isopropanol gets those off. So much for giving my arms a rest after the hard paddle yesterday 🙂

What goes up

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 1:00 PM

…must come down. Up as in paddling up Indian Arm around Croker Island in the double surfski. It was a bit blowy when we left, maybe 20-30km winds out of the south-southeast, blowing right down the arm, and we got a phenomenal ride to the end of theArm. We were cruising along at ~12km/hr. At some point we caught some big motorboat wash and were riding the wave for what felt like 20-30sec at close to 20km/hr.  It was a sunny day, 10C and we dressed light for a hard workout trying to beat our record around Croker. I was comfortable enough on the way out but then we rounded the island and were facing into the wind. It was strong and our speed dropped below 10km/hr. And I was getting COLD. The sun was hiding behind some puffy clouds till almost Best Point. I was ready to go to shore and put on some more clothes but then we hit sun again. Still should have put my coat on, the cold does drain your energy quite a bit. We tried hard battling into the wind for about half way back but shortly after Best Point we packed it in. It was just too windy. It took us 1hr 18min to go up the 16km, it took about 2hrs back. I was dead tired, my legs threatened to cramp up and I was shivering. Seems like lately Jeff and I are underestimating the conditions quite a few times – never used to be like this. I hate getting old. Lucky for us the Maplewood does not only serve beer and food but also hot tea :-). And our waitress turned up the fireplace for us.

This past week’s TNR was the dreaded time trial around Jug which I had to do in my single. I dreaded it because I thought I would get beat by my good friend Jodi who has not paddled for a year and I hate to loose. She is a personal trainer, owns an gym, is super fit and strong and a pretty good paddler. We used to have great battles when she first started out paddling (surfski and K1) but after a couple years she left me in her wake. She took a year of racing to fix her shoulder, something I never had the patience for. On Tuesday, she did me a great favour and started ahead of me. So far ahead, that I could not even see her at first. I had a great first half and finally had her and Cynthia in sight. I managed to catch up to Cynthia first but that’s when I died and lost my rhythm. Which was surprising because usually I like distance paddles and get stronger with time. Guess I was trying too hard at the beginning. Time to do some more intervals. I managed to hold off Cynthia but never caught up to Jodi, 100m ahead. At the end I only finished about 15sec faster than Jodi. Next time trial will be in August and she will kill me by minutes :-).

Thanks again to Vivian for the pictures. Results and write up: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/raceresult/april-17th-jug-island-time-trial/

April 15, 2018

2 Paddle Weekend

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 4:23 PM

Well, the skis are put away for the season. Mind you, Cypress got 20cm of fresh snow Thursday night but then it rained all day on Friday. There may still be the odd snowshoe in our future but this weekend we paddled twice. The weather was supposed to be miserable but somehow we got lucky both days. Saturday we took the double for a long 3hr paddle. It was supposed to be windy but there was hardly a ripple on Indian Arm and the rain held off until we drove back home. We even picked up the pace a bit for the way back and only had the current against us. Today we took the singles. Tuesday’s race is the time trial and Jeff does not want to do it in the double. We may be winning the TNRs in our double lately but that’s all due to Jeff`s power from all the double poling he did this winter and me barely being able to keep up. Tuesday will tell the truth, sigh. Anyhow, we had a nice 2hr paddle today in our singles. The sun was out and the wind only picked up near the end (headwind of course). Only waves we had to deal with was lots of motorboat wash. I tried to pick it up a bit near the end like yesterday but on my own there is just no speed in me :-).

April 14, 2018

A Pig in Sheep Clothes producing Kobe Beef

Filed under: Animals, Humor — K2 in Canada @ 9:41 AM

Saw the picture on facebook this AM which reminded me that I love pigs. When still living in good old Germany my biggest wish was to see wild boar roaming free in the forests. Unfortunately I never did. The closest I ever came to a “wild” pig was on a hiking/camping trip to Corsica many many years ago. I still have a scar on my thumb to show for the encounter. I never tried to feed wild animals ever since :-). Now I am looking for bears rather than boar when hiking – hence the below picture triggered my brain.

 

Obviously I had to find out a bit more about it. Mangalica are an Hungarian breed that almost went extinct. Now they are a prized breed for the tasty, fatty meat they produce – just like Kobe beef is a high fat, tasty beef. Apparently this is healthy meat: high in unsaturated fats, natural antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. The tasty pork now forms the backbone of Hungarian haute cuisine. In Budapest, the mangalica even gets its own culinary festival. Who new?

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