K2inCanada's Blog

July 16, 2018

Last Training Weekend and some Mountain Fun

Filed under: Animals, Bears, Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:23 PM

Last weekend was our last chance to train for the Downwind Champs. But the wind gods were not with us and the forecast for Howe Sound wasn’t great. So we ended up doing two paddles in Indian Arm. The weather was overcast, few sprinkles Saturday and rather cool for July.

Sat: Speed workout in the Double Surfski. 30min at 70%, 11 x 3′ on 2′ workout in calm conditions.

Sun: Singles Day with John. I was in my V10 Sport. The water was actually quite bumpy and it was quite breezy in the Cove (more so than Howe Sound :-)). It was good practice for me to get my comfort level in waves up even more and we put in another 2hr paddle. Good enough I hope 🙂

On Saturday afternoon we took Jeff’s parents up Grouse Mountain. Even though they pretty much spent their whole adult life in North Delta, they have never been up Grouse. Jeff’s mom has only seen the Grizzlies online via webcam. So this past Christmas, we gave them a gift certificate for a visit to Grouse Mountain including dinner at the 5* restaurant up there. We took the Gondola up. The weather wasn’t that great although the clouds did break up quite a bit in the afternoon and we did get a bit of a view. It was rather cold though! That did not stop the activities on the top. We got to see the bears Coola and Grinder, most of the lumberjack show and the end of the bird show (which I had never seen before). Having an owl swoop right over your head to land next to you on a stump was pretty cool! And seeing the bears growl at each other was a new one for me. They usually get along quite well but there might have been some food involved :-). Below just a couple pictures.

The dinner was quite spectacular and we had a table with a view over English Bay. They had a business casual dress code and Jeff had carried up a 2nd set of clothes to minimize the time dressing up :-). I never had sturgeon before – it is a nice firm white fish and a good eat. But the best were the gnocchi soaked in butter. You knew every bite reduced your lifespan by at least day but it was so good :-). We did go for another look at the bears to “offset” some of the butter afterwards but they were in hiding again. Instead we saw a couple deer and a deer fight.

After taking the gondola back down, we drove up to the Cypress Lookout. Another first for Jeff’s parents. A two new mountains day for them.

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July 2, 2018

Happy Canada Day

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:50 PM

A long weekend in town. Our 2nd weekend in town in a row actually. Almost ready to go camping again but we have to train for the Canadian Downwind Challenge in two weeks. In past years we always volunteered and followed the race in our double but never raced it. This year, we signed up to actually race. Hence last weekend was a two day paddle weekend. Saturday in singles in Indian Arm and Sunday the downwind run from Porteau to Squamish with John. The conditions in Howe Sound weren’t huge but a nice intro to waves again for me. Jeff managed to connect a couple nice sets and it was a lot of fun for the first half. The 2nd half was pretty flat.

This weekend we did a speed workout in the double on Saturday in Indian Arm. 1 x 20min at 70%, 11 x 2′ on 3′. It was overcast and drizzled a bit and with 15C a perfect day for a workout. Nevertheless, it was hard work! Sunday was the downwind run again. It was a bit sunnier day and the wind was supposed to kick up to 20-30knots. Not sure it ever did but the waves were bigger. I was tired by the end and we didn’t even race it. The water was very tricky in front of the river. Like being on a bucking horse. John went swimming, and he is no slouch in waves, but managed to get back in on his own. Great practice!

Today, we took the double out at Jericho. The wind kicked up a bit and the water was pretty big – since it has been blowing all night. We crossed over into the wind to Point Atkinson avoiding two tankers that were coming into port and than paddled up that shore to Whitecliff Park. Getting around Point Atkinson and along Lighthouse Park was a bit tricky with lots of rebounding waves and big swell. But I felt comfortable enough. We got a bit of a break paddling to Whitecliff before cutting over to Passage Island and then heading back across. The waves were even bigger it seemed and not really going into our direction either. We caught a couple but for the most part it was more a bouncy paddle back rather than a downwind. My core was seriously getting tired and I started to feel a bit uncomfortable in those huge waves. Kinda not the training paddle I had hoped for – no speed or wave riding – just getting used to waves again. We would have done a hike but the mountain tops were still in the clouds while the ocean was in the sun. I needed some sun and ice cream after the paddle hanging out on the beach:-). But it could be a couple degrees warmer. Well at least we did not get snow like Newfoundland& Labrador last week or today the Okanagan Connector near Pennask Lake. CRAZY weather!

Just a few other pictures from hanging around the house for a long weekend and walking the trails along the Fraser.

And with that, I am all caught up for 2018 but still working on 2017 stuff, sigh.

 

June Fishing

Filed under: Animals, Bears, Canada, Fishing — K2 in Canada @ 9:27 AM

After a spectacular month of May, everything cooled down a bit for June. The weather, the amount of animal encounters and the fishing.

June 8-10: We wanted to leave a bit earlier on the Friday since the drive to our lake of choice was expected to be 4+hrs. So I was planning to take a half day off since Jeff finishes at 3:45PM. What we did not properly communicate was the fact that Jeff also took a half day off which ended at 11:45AM, while I had meetings till 2:30PM (and I was so happy to get home before Jeff with my plan). OOPS. So we didn’t really get off to a good start. Because of the time we left, Jeff’s was the better plan after all, we sat in traffic forever getting out of town. A couple accidents and the usual Friday afternoon commuter traffic all added to the mess on Hwy 1. It took 5+hrs to get to the lake but we still arrived with some daylight left to set up camp AND we had the whole lake to ourselves. Awesome! Not so awesome, it was a bit breezy and cold but we had brought our fleece inserts for the sleeping bags. We sure needed them.

P1000551 (Medium)

Made it with a bit of daylight left

Jeff got up really early to go fishing the next morning to enjoy a bit of calm before the wind kicks up. I tried to get some more sleep. But something stomping around the tent and sniffing at it woke me up again. Nope, not what you think …. cows were walking by the tent and getting a bit upset about this weird thing making weird flapping noises in the wind. I felt like yelling at them all the same to prevent them from stomping onto my tent – cows are not that smart but they scare easily and I had the stampede going off in no time. Luckily away from the tent :-). I was awake now and got up. It was actually a nice enough day with a mix of sun and clouds but it was cold. Maybe around 10C would be my guess. It was too cold and windy for me to fish and I went for a long extended walk first bushwhacking along the lake than up on some old gravel roads in the footsteps of mining. This area has been dug up for centuries – copper mostly – and even though we weren’t on actual mining property one can still see remnants of the past that mining was very much present in this whole area. I found some old wooden shacks full of drill samples near the top as well as an old mine shaft. If I had flashlight, I could have explored it more. Mind you, the entrance was being held open by some sketchy looking wooden beams and the ground was very muddy. Probably for the best that I did not have a flashlight on me. Not much in regards on animals, other than cows and the marmot that seemed to like hanging out in old mine site :-). Oh and there were a couple of deer right in camp but they ran off right away when they saw me. The wind calmed down for the afternoon and the sun was out more often – nice enough to take my float tube out for a couple hours. I didn’t catch anything but I did get to see the bear poke its head through the bushes for a couple seconds – just enough time to get a quick picture. The evening was cold but dry and we huddled around the fire. We even had a visitor. A rabbit which seemed to be quite okay with us sitting there. I am sure someone feed him/her before. There were quite a few of them around. Eventually a light drizzle started and we crawled into the tent.

It rained or drizzled most of the night well into the morning hours. Jeff waited for a lull to get up – not quite as early as the day before. And all I hear is “Wow, you got to see this”. He did not want to tell me what he saw and I expected a bear or even better moose and was up and out in no time (I am sure Jeff will remember that trick…). There wasn’t much to see though, every thing was gray and wet and … the top of the hill was WHITE. Less than 100m above us was fresh snow on the ground. In June – a first for me! Jeff had started a fire for breakfast and I sat in camp till all the wood was gone. Jeff off course went out in the cold to fish. It rained a bit and what looked like hail for a bit. There was no way I’d be out in my float tube. To stay warm after the fire was out I went for a walk. That’s when the rain/hail turned into – yep – snow. Big flakes at times and it lasted for about an hour on and off. Lucky for me my fishing bag ALWAYS has a toque and gloves in it. Nothing stuck to the ground though but everything was wet – which can make for some great picture taking.  In lieu of animals, I photographed a lot of flowers :-). I am not sure how Jeff could stay out in his boat for the whole day in that weather – it was pretty darn cold!

Jun 15-16: We decided to stay closer to Merritt again, leaving Saturday morning, and to try a new lake in the Chattaway Lake area. We used to fish in this area a lot 10 years ago but since then, the area has seen very extensive logging and it had changed quite a bit. But there are lots of lakes to pick from and the one we picked was Dot. Took a bit of searching to find the lake but we eventually did. We did not have the lake to ourselves this time but still got a decent, although a bit sloped spot right on the lake. It was a beautiful sunny, warm weekend, although not too hot on the Saturday. I brought my mountain bike along this time to cycle to all those other lakes in the area – well not all of them, I am too slow for that. It was nice riding but no wildlife encounters. I found Antler Lake (I think) and Billy Lake (confirmed) and some other unnamed puddles and had some great views climbing up some of the logging roads. The benefit of clear cuts – you can see a LONG way. When I got back into camp our neighbours had a fricking generator running which was very annoying to say the least. They didn’t care since they weren’t in camp. It ran for hours and when they finally got off the lake, they still left it running. It was past 8PM and Jeff ask them, somewhat nicely, to turn it off. The answer was, they had to charge batteries. Give me a break. But after another 20min I think even they got annoyed listening to it and turned it off. Finally some peace and quiet. Jeff wasn’t impressed with our American neighbours. Fishing hadn’t been that great either and we decided to pack up in the morning and go to Gypsum Lake, an old favourite of mine.

Again it took us a while to find Gypsum Lake. But that turned out to be a good thing, for us, not for the mama deer and her two fawns we encounter driving on a logging road after a wrong turn. So cute though. They were ahead off us on the road and refused to get off. So we stopped every so often so they can rest. The little fawns were tiny! No great opportunity for pictures but nice to just observe. Eventually the doe found a spot where she decided to leave the road and we finally were able to get past them and leave them in peace.

Shortly after we found Gypsum and Jeff was on the water in minutes while I went for the hike up Gypsum Mountain. It’s an actually marked trail of which there aren’t many in the area but it had been difficult last time I tried it due to a lot of wind fall. There weren’t very many trees left right at the lake. Pine beetles had taken their toll on this area and most of it was likely logged. The trail was in nice enough shape, with only a few scrambles over or below some fallen trees. From the top – there actually are two tops – one has a great view. There were quite a few wild flowers and I was chasing butterflies for a while. It was quite hot but a breeze kept it manageable and it kept the mosquitoes in check. They had been bad in the protected shady areas. A beautiful day for the hike. But the animals were hiding, nothing but fresh moose and even fresher bear tracks. Many years ago, when walking the trail around the lake we almost ran into a bear but he took off when he heard me cursing at a stick almost ripping a hole into my neoprene waiters – only his scat was left right in the middle of the trail, still steaming, to tell the tale. Back in camp, well camp was my camping chair, I chatted with a couple other campers, outdoor lovers like me. Then sat in the sun reading a bit. Then took my bike for another spin. A great relaxing day in the beautiful outdoors despite not seeing any wildlife. Next time :-).

June 25, 2018

Big Bar Lake – it can be hot in the Cariboo in May

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Fishing, Hummer, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 10:38 PM

Spring fishing getaway at Big Bar Lake Provincial May 21 – 27. What a fantastic week. We weren’t supposed to leave till Tuesday but Jeff had enough of sitting at home with this nice weather. So we left the holiday Monday and found a free campsite, just not the one we wanted. Meant we had to move everything across the road on Tuesday morning. Not a big deal really. Jeff’s parent’s joined us on Tuesday afternoon.

For lots of pictures and no text try this link: Big Bar Lake Album. For a bit of text and a small selection read on.

It was sunny and hot the whole time. Almost too hot the first couple days. We took our double surfski as well to train for the Bowen Race and did 2hr training sessions early in the morning 3 times. It was hard work! The rest of the time I relaxed and rested. Went for long walks every day. A couple of times I took my bike up old logging road not far from camp. The lake and forests looked beautiful in all that sunshine. The last day, I finally found a way to walk along the marshy areas behind Otter Marsh. More to explore next year.

And of course there were some wildlife encounters. As every year, we brought our humming bird feeder and it was BUSY. Mostly Rufus, male and female. Lost of chasing and chattering going on. So much fun to watch. One morning we had a new one, a Calliope Hummingbird. Apparently the smallest one and not usually see this far north. very cool.

Unfortunately, the only bear I saw was already running when I spotted him, hence no picture. But I saw a lot of deer and they mostly saw me and were very curious. They came quite close and just slowly walked away. It was amazing to be able to spent a few minutes with these animals. The below pictures are from different days. I saw deer every day, except for the last one, but I think I ran into the same group up behind the cabins multiple times.

I met a guy walking his dog in behind the cabins and he told me about all the cool hiking trails in the Marble Range. Some day, I have to drive up there. His favourite was Limestone Ridge.

I didn’t only see deer. The highlight on this trip was a Great Horned Owl that I caught flying out of the corner of my eyes. So lucky! It landed in a tree just close enough still to get a decent, not great, shot with my new superzoom camera. Like the bear, not all encounters resulted in pictures. The local grouse were extremely skittish 🙂

Jeff, off course fished every day, all day long. The days we paddled, he just started a couple hours later. I joined him a couple times, once late in the afternoon in my float tube with no success while Jeff and his parents had been slaying them all morning long. The 2nd time I came out in Jeff’s boat – a bit tight but it worked – after our morning paddle till about noon. And this time I was getting all the fish :-).

For the weekend, we had friends visiting. Frances, a former colleague of mine and her husband Derek, as well as fishing buddies Bob and Tyler. Frances and I did a lot of walking while Jeff took Derek for his first fly fishing experience. And of course Bob and Tyler, like Jeff, fished all day every day :-). The Saturday evening we put on a big feast. Well, Jeff caught and barbecued the trout (4 big fish), Jeff`s mom brought chow main salad and Frances brought potato salad and banana bread. It was great! Those Big Bar fish tasted wonderful.

 

May 20, 2018

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 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?

March 27, 2018

Tough, tough race

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 10:47 PM

Well, the Mexico Spring Loppet at Nickel Plate in the South Okanagan, BC, Canada, is done and we did not win the trip to Mexico. Even if they would have called my name, I am not sure I would have been able to get up, walk to the front of the room and put a smile on my face for the picture. Don’t get me wrong, for Nickel Plate to be able to give out a price like that was fantastic. In hindsight though I wished I could have bought a ticket without having to ski first…

I secretly had been looking forward to this skiathlon loppet – something different. 14km classic technique followed by 15km skate. I am a classic skier but I put in some 10-12km skate skis over the last couple weeks at Cypress to get prepared. I actually felt like I can do 15km skating no problem, even though I knew I would be slow. Nothing to loose really. But then Jeff showed me the course. I know the area pretty well, especially the trails they used for the classic loppet (30km) they used to hold there in previous year and it used to be one of my favourite loppets. I figured they cut the loppet course in half and use the west side trails around Cannonball for classic and the east side trails up to “Eagles Nest” for the skate portion. The later is the bigger hill but I was okay with it. But when I saw the actual course it went like this – Classic up to “Eagles Nest” x 2 and for the skate they created a new course, with trails I am not at all familiar with. All I remembered from those trails was that they go down the hill quite a bit which means there must be quite a bit of an up to get back to where we started and after that, we had to climb up to Cannonball still, x 2. I was a bit more worried.

We didn’t leave home till mid afternoon Sat – see previous post. It was quite snowy in sections along HWY 3 to Princeton. Winter isn’t done yet! The special treat – we saw a big herd of elk near Princeton. Very cool!

We spent the night in Keremeos, and had dinner at the Thai Restaurant “Benya”. We just made it in time before last call at just after 8PM. Our usual go to place, The Branding Iron, was closed for what looked like a private function. Anyhow, the food was good and not too spicy for a pre-race meal. The night was a bit rough sharing the room with our sometimes a bid noisy ske/paddle buddy JG but I think I did get some decent sleep.

Sunday morning woke us up with brilliant blue skies and sunshine. Nickel Plate had gotten a dump of fresh snow during the week leading up to the event and temperatures were supposed to be between -10 and -2C. Almost ideal conditions for this late in the season. It sure looked great up at Nickel Plate and the ski exchange area was well set up. We got to watch some of the kids races before the main race was to start. Some people were dressed up in costumes as well.

WARNING – a lot of whining from here on. Read at your own risk : -): As usual I lined up in the back and that’s were I stayed the whole time. The classic leg already felt way to hard having to go up right away rather than getting a warm up on the flats. My hamstring still didn’t like the striding too much and I was timid on the hill, loosing grip more often than I should have with my skin skis. Luckily my shoulder/neck was doing okay and I spent some time double poling again but the snow was very slow and soft. Not sun soft but lots of fresh snow soft. I felt slightly better on lap 2 of the classic portion but still came in almost last to the ski exchange area. I was on my own for the whole 2nd lap. All the costume people were way ahead :-). Oh well, I was just there for a ski – only needed to finish 2 laps of 7.5km of skating. How hard cam that be? Off I went on my skates, feeling wobbly as I always do at the start of skating. Usually it goes away after a couple kilometers of easy skiing. But there we no couple kilometers of easy skiing on this course. It went up right away. I slowed down to a crawl on the first hill less than a kilometer into the race. People started passing me, them being on their second lap already. Oh boy, I thought, that’s going to be a slog. And it got worse from here. After the first climb up (I did not even remember that trail going up all that much) there was a steep downhill section, way down. At least with the soft snow I had control snowplowing down the switchbacks, obviously realizing that all this down meant a lot of up. I had to stop a few times on the way up to catch my breath. Tons of people passed me, some of them making the hill look easy but not all. I was not the only one that rested. But everyone else was a lot faster in between rests :-). I finally, finally made it up to lodge level again where the course offered a 500m flat section before it started going up again to the top of Cannonball. Another stop and go slow approach. I was convinced I am going to quite after the first lap. I was sure one was eligible for the big Mexico Trip draw prize based on registration only without the caveat of having to finish. There was one last steep climb left before the end of lap 1. Some of the volunteers were standing on top of it directing racers. Everyone was cheering for me as I stumbled up the hill, maybe you could still call it herring-boning. “Hey, you are almost done”, they called. “Well”, I said, “I actually have to do this again”. “Oh dear” was the reaction from the crowd. Not sure if they were thinking of themselves having to wait for another at least 60min until I would came by again, or because they felt sorry for me for having to be out there for another hour. But that made my decision, I would quit. So I get to the finish line/lap area where I hear the announcer call my name saying I would make the podium – well, he miscounted my laps too :-). I pulled off the course not crossing the finish line to not confuse anyone else and then there was Jeff. He must have finished some time ago, yes he also had passed me, but he still had his skis on. I told him I would DNF and he said “No way – I don’t want to have to read your blog about how sorry you felt for yourself for not finishing”. “I come with you” he said. My resolve to quit weakened, I agreed to continue on. Jeff stayed with me the whole time, trying to cheer me on. I was really struggling though even though I tried to tell myself “You can do this, it’s just a f….g ski”. And with a lot of stop and go slow again I actually did finish. My 2nd lap was 50sec faster. And to my surprise, there was one more person behind me. For people that like to look at the numbers. My time was 3:17. The fastest finisher was 1:27 (which was only 3min slower than my classic portion of the race :-)). The fastest woman was 1:53 (she is 2 years younger than me). Jeff finished in 2:01 – he skates as little as I do – and he beat two of our skiing buddies that are much better skaters than him. Awesome result! For the full results go here.

My body was tired but I think this race was just mentally very tough. I am not used to feel this much out of shape, even though I really am out of shape compared to what I used to. That little bit of weight training in the AM just does not make up for the long bike rides to the lake, the paddling in the evenings, the running I tried for a while, etc. I hate letting myself get old!

Thank you Jeff though for making me finish!!! I know I would have hated myself more for not finishing than finishing last. I did not have to worry about any volunteers out on the course either, other than the timing person at the finish line and the announcer, everyone else was already inside eating – but I liked it better that way :-). Jeff promised me that this would be the last skate race I would ever have to do but I am sure/hope I will try again. Not this year though :-). I wasn’t the only one struggling with the tough course. It was quite hilly and the snow was slow. So maybe, this will get me out of my bad habit of working late and exercising little. Mind you, the last two days I did exactly that…. My excuse, I am still too tired from the weekend.

We saw the elk again on the drive home. I was too tired to stop for more pictures even though the light would have been much better.

February 24, 2018

Howe Sound Ballet

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 6:48 AM

I have seen bait balls paddling in local waters but never were able to witness it under water. Somebody else did. Great to watch what could be going on under my boat when I paddle.

October 21, 2017

What’s the chance…

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Home — K2 in Canada @ 7:54 PM

…to run into not just one but two skunks on my ride home from work last week. And I  came out of both encounters without smelling any worse than before we met.

It was a rainy, dark night. Between 7 and 8PM. I was riding on the bike path along no longer existing East Kent, now a construction site, when I spotted something ahead of me running along the fence in the same direction I was going – a skunk. Now the path is about 1.5m wide and I figured blasting by that guy and scaring him may not work so well. There was a tailwind. So I tried my usual trick, slowed down and talked to the guy staying a couple meters behind the animal. First he sped up a bit, than the tail went straight up in the air. Oh oh, I thought but nothing happened. Tail came down again. The skunk crossed to the other side of the path, still running the same direction I was going. Tail come up again. I slowed down further but again, lucky me, it came down right away without any bad smells starting to hit me. And then the skunk ran of the trail by another meter, stopped and looked at me. I took that as a sign to slowly bike by him and say thanks. It worked.

I get home 5 or so minutes later. Jeff had already turned on the outside light. As I approach the door I see something scoot away into the bushes to my right. A cat I thought and started looking. And there he was, another skunk was looking for stuff below the truck. he didn’t even acknowledge me being there :-).

So cool!!! Too bad it was too dark for pictures. I know these guys are in the area – usually we can smell them late at night when something scarred them below our open bedroom window – but I don’t get to see them very often at all.

October 13, 2017

Hunting Season

Filed under: Animals, Canada — K2 in Canada @ 6:51 AM

Lucky for this guy, I only hunt with my camera. Three days of bush walking this past Thanksgiving weekend and I got this super lucky to spot a moose despite gun shots going off all around me. Honestly I was more afraid of getting shot at than stumbling into wildlife that weekend. But again, all ended well :-). I hope that moose will make it through unscathed as well. Mind you, moose is tasty meat and I do not fault people that hunt for food. Each his/her own. More on the trip to come soon.

P1170947 (Medium)

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