K2inCanada's Blog

September 9, 2018

Race Day

Filed under: Canada, Kayak, Racing — K2 in Canada @ 6:55 PM

So yesterday was the long awaited, relatively hard trained for Indian Arm Challenge. A 32km course up and down Indian Arm to Granite Falls. Jeff and I had put in quite a few hours in our Double Surfski to be ready for the distance. We had a race plan. Don’t get sucked into people racing off the start – there will be time to catch them when they get tired at the 20km mark. And so it pretty much went for us. It was an overcast day but the rain mostly stayed away. Temperatures with 14-16C were perfect for racing. There were 3 start times to accommodate the different speed of all the human powered water crafts participating – prones, SUPs, sea kayaks, outrigger canoes & surfskis. Unfortunately, there were only two high performance doubles in the race so we didn’t even qualify as a class but our goal was to be first! We were last of the line in the last wave leaving at 9:30AM :-).  As planned, we slowly started to catch up to the single surfskis, first passing TNR regulars like Scott and Andrew and Paul, then catching up to the TNR front pack of Bob, Daryl and Shane (who we usually compete with at TNR) within the first 10km. At that point we only had two more singles, the other double surfski and an OC2 ahead of us. We put in a couple harder pushes on the way up just to judge if we were able to reduce the distance but didn’t kill ourselves to catch anyone – well I would have but Jeff managed our race pace very well. The double was actually a slower design than ours but it took us till past the half way point to finally catch them. Those Kelowna guys are tough! :-). We finally caught them with about 12km to go – taking a bit of a rest on their wash for 5min. we passed them easily but could not completely shake them either. Not until we caught some big motorboat swell and cranked our speed up to 15km/hr for a minute. It’s not cheating! Catching that wash was very hard work! Now there was only one single surfski ahead which was within sight. We started to pass prones and SUPs and surfskis from the 1st and 2nd wave start. At Twin Island, about 5km from the finish we caught up to the last single surfski. He had been pushing the pace for a long time and had nothing left to stay with us. We stayed with him for about 5min – not drafting! – until we pushed the pace a bit and he was gone. I had felt a bit tired after passing the double and racing the boat wake, plus the wind had kicked up a bit making the water bouncy and our stroke less efficient, but after we caught up with Carl my energy came back and we pushed towards the finish thinking we FINALLY meet our goal of being first across the line. All the training having paid off! It didn’t even cross my mind that there still was an OC2 ahead of us. Then disaster struck. Our rudder cable snapped with 2kms to go. Jeff was furious since we just had fixed it a couple weeks ago. It was tough to keep the big double straight. Our stroke was totally out of sink, because we had to alternate between sweeping on one side to straighten the boat and paddle on both sides. We still averaged between 10-11km an hour, mind you, but it was not enough to keep Carl in his single surfski from passing us again. SIGH! Shane and Daryl came in a minute behind us. So we came in 3rd overall, 2nd surfski, 1st double – and the knowledge that we had 2nd place in the bag if not for the malfunctioning rudder. Carl admitted as much – he knew something was up when he saw our stroke get off sink, he didn’t even have to push that hard. The OC2 beat us fair and square to win the overall! Oh well, guess we have to try again for another year. I don’t mind, but Jeff is for sure looking for a break to kayak racing and to start the loppet season on his skis :-).

Today was a rest day. Like a real rest day. All we did is sleep, eat, drink and shop. It was a pretty wet day anyhow! We are planning to go on a kayak camping trip mid next week and had to replace some of our equipment that finally packed it in after ~20yrs of use. We needed a new VHF radio – the one essential electronic gear to take! Our old ICOM has kept us out of trouble a few times knowing what the weather will be like for the next 24hrs. Hence we bought another ICOM again. We’ll see if it will last another 20yrs. We went to MEC to get a few more dry bags and 10L water storage bladders – neither were in stock. Luckily we were able to order them and hopefully they will get here before we leave. We still ended up spending money at MEC :-). We went for lunch at Martinis across from MEC on Broadway – best calamari in town and washed them down with some beer. Now I am staring at the food stuff to get organized for 7 days on the water :-). I am very much looking forward to it, the trip not preparing for it that is. I have been drying veggies and fruit for the past week already…only 3 more sleeps! I better get back to packing/organizing/…

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Some biking, some hiking, some camping, some paddling

Filed under: Animals, Bike, Canada, Hike, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 6:54 PM

Labour Day Long weekend last weekend, Sep 1-3, and we managed to squeeze in all our favourite things to do except campfire nights. Fire ban is still on. Apparently we should have brought a propane fireplace with us as every other person camping at Coldstream in Manning Park on Saturday night had one. We had packed up “most” of our camping gear on Saturday morning for an overnight car camping trip to Manning Park. Only forgot the drinking water canister and our camping chairs :-). Obviously we survived without both. We also brought our mountain bikes along. For Saturday we had a trip up Blackwall Peak planned. It’s 16km up, 8 of them paved with an elevation gain of 650m. We ski this up in the winter every so often – there is an actual race that for some odd reason I like – and it is hard work. I am not sure why I expected to be less hard work on my bike. Well, it wasn’t! Jeff of course was flying up the mountain. We met up half way up at the Cascade lookout. Actually he turned around to keep me company for the last 2-3km. Views had improved from 3 weeks before (Windy Joe) as most of the smoke had cleared out even though you could still smell it. So this time, the views were actually worth all the hard work :-). And I was ready to keep going after a short break taking pictures of yellow pine chipmunks and Cascade Golden-mantled ground squirrels. The rest of the road, yep there were cars passing us once in a while but it wasn’t too busy,was gravel which was okay for the way up. Once at the top, it took less time than skiing up for me at least, we did a short hike around the peak – Heather trail – hoping to see some wildlife and wildflowers. Both were scarce – the flowers because it was late in the season, the wildlife, probably because there were tons of people up there. We did get to watch some yellow-bellied marmots and pika though on our way down in the rock scramble just below the upper parking lot. That was cool! The way down was almost as tough as the way up. Not so for the legs but for the bum and wrist and shoulders. Flying down the washboard gravel road was torture for those parts of the body. I guess that only evened out things.

We rode our bike right into the pub at Manning Lodge for food and beer which was desperately need since I finished my drinking water bottle on the way up. The friendly server even filled our water bottles up for free :-). The only problem, we had to ride the bikes back to Coldstream on a full tummy. It’s not much of a hill but it felt like one. Anyhow, it’s only 2 km and I managed. We sat around a bit and played dice by the light of our headlamps. Gets dark so early now 😦 and it was actually COLD! I think we managed to make it till 9pm before crawling into our warm sleeping bags.

Woke up to another nice, sunny and cold morning. We loaded everything back into the truck  and drove to Hope where we were to meet John and his buddy Miles for breakfast at Rolly’s. Today’s adventure was to ride up the old train trestles from Portia – exit #202 along Hwy 5 – towards the summit at Coquihalla Lakes, which is part of the Trans Canada Trail. John had done it before and always talk very highly of it – but he also is an avid cyclist and does a lot of touring on a bike as well as some mountain biking. So whatever easy meant to John could be torture for me. But it was a great sunny day and despite my bum being a bit sore, I was ready for another bike ride. At least, there shouldn’t be any cars! This section of the TCT – Trans Canada Trail – was a designated hike, bike and equestrian trail only. But apparently ATV’s don’t adhere to those rules and find a way through the bush around the gate. Oh well. Despite a few ATVs the trail was awesome. Easy grade, mostly on gravel surface, a bit of single track through the forest at the beginning, a bit of BC history (old snow sheds and train bridges) and most of all awesome views of the valley and surrounding mountains! It was a bit longer than I expected, 25km one way but it was well worth it. Jeff and John were always ahead pushing the pace while Miles and I traded places on the uphills. Miles is a crazy downhill mountain biker but does not like hills, even less so than I do :-). Not much in regards of wildlife but the scenery more than made up for it.

We finished off the trip with a beer and early supper at a Pub in Hope, the south side of the Hwy. Jeff and I had never been there since a bit off the beaten track but the food was good and the beer very affordable. Plus we could sit outside and enjoy the sun for a bit more. For more pictures go here.

On Monday, we did our last training paddle for the “Indian Arm Challenge” on Sep 8. Finally Jeff’s wrist was feeling better again and we put in an exhausting 3hrs in bumpy conditions (2 x 25′ on 5′, 6 x 18′ on 2′). It did not feel like a great performance but that’s how it should feel like in the last big session before the race … a week of “rest” ahead. Except I still raced my single at the TNR and went running with a colleague of mine on Wednesday night.

August 27, 2018

Meant to take it easy

Filed under: Bike, Canada — K2 in Canada @ 6:52 AM

But I wasn’t really thinking Saturday night after our 3hrs very tiring paddle in Indian Arm (6 x 25′ on 5′) when I proposed to ride up the access road on Cypress – called BLT on the mountain bike maps. Even though Cypress isn’t really a mountain but a high bowl surrounded by peaks, the base is still 910m above sea level. Okay we did not start at sea level but we started at the bottom of the surfaced road. The surfaced road is 12kM long! Our trail was supposed to be 5+km long but at the end both cover the same elevation. I never ever wanted to ride up Cypress Rd thinking that’s way too much up. Now here I am talking about riding up Cypress on a mountain bike trail that has a 9.9% average grade while the surfaced road averages 5.6%. I really must have been tired but didn’t change my mind Sunday AM either. It finally had cooled down this weekend and we actually had rain. Saturday it rain all morning long (our paddle started in the rain but there was no wind and the water was calm with some current) and this morning it drizzled till about 10AM. Clouds were hanging around in the mountains all day. My original plan was to do Elfin Lakes but for that one I want nice weather since the views are spectacular up there. Hence a cloudy, 14C day was the perfect day for a grunt up Cypress. And a grunt it was. It starts out on Eagle Lake Access Rd with it’s many signs telling you to stay out. Well we didn’t and not just us. The road was already steep but surfaced and relatively easy to ride up. Than you hit a really steep gravel road which was torture until you finally get to the old access road, more like a trail, which wound its way up the powerlines. Again, there were plenty of times I pushed my bike and cursed Jeff who rode out of sight immediately. I don’t know how he can just ride up all this steep stuff. But I didn’t quit and the trail actually leveled out a bit near the top which was nice. So by the time we reached the ski lift area we were still able to continue on for a bit on the Cypress Creek Trail, a part of the Trans Canada Trail. Unfortunately we did not know that this trail would actually connect with the Eagle Lake Rd again. Hence we turned around when it started to seriously loose elevation. The way back down, well there were some ups, was in parts very steep and fast. Twice I got off my bike rather than sliding down the gravel sideways. Maybe some day I build up enough courage to ride downhill :-). 2hrs up, 1hr down. No animal encounters other than a flicker. Not much of a view anywhere.  Once we saw the sun break through the clouds on the Cypress Creek Trail. Glad though we made it outside and no injuries other than some minor scratches from attacking bushes :-).

 

August 21, 2018

Smoke is back

Filed under: Bike, Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 9:55 PM

As promised the smoke was back this weekend. And on Monday BC was rated at the worst for air quality in the WORLD.

Anyhow, that does not stop us from doing the things we love – live is to short to wait for stuff you can’t control to go away. Saturday was a long training paddle again but unfortunately Jeff injured his wrist on the last interval which made it for a slow, frustratingly inefficient paddle back (5′ Wup, 2 x 25′ @ 70%, 5R, 12 x 4′ on 1′,5R, 70min “steady”). The smoke wasn’t too bad that day. It was way worse Sunday when we were going for the views in the mountains. Actually, we ended up picking a route with less views but listed as a mountain bike route, vs just picking a logging road up the mountain. We did 9 Mile Hill right out of Squamish, which essentially is a logging road and there were quite a few cars going by us – no other bikes mind you. It should have been an easier climb than Windy Joe but again my stamina for hills is not good to say the least. I was determined for the first half but after we got the taste of a short downhill midway up, my body refused to go up again any steeper grades. And there was no excuse to stop for the view or any animal sightings – rats! Anyhow, we made it to Nine Mile bridge over the upper Mamquam at which point we could have taken the same way back or try to find the Ring Creek Rip route. We decided on the later and found a road called “Ring Creek Main”, figured that must be it. It was steep and full of loose boulders – not rocks, boulders – and it went UP. Later on I learned it’s call “Lava Flow Hill” and is part of the “Test of Metal” mountain bike race (not to myself – never sign up for that!). Somehow Jeff managed to ride most of it but I didn’t even make an attempt. I was actually afraid that this type of road might even be hell to go down on and down we had to go at some point. The downhill was slightly less scary, no boulder but a mix of loose rocks and gravel and sand. Tricky like hell for me and I was working as hard down as I was going up – what the … Again no real views to distract me – very smokey and eerie looking. There were narrower trails going off into the trees here and there but they all said “more difficult” which at that point sounded like impossible to me since we were on the “easy” trail. Then we came to a big intersection with no signs. Looking at our maps we decided to go left still down a logging road. At some point there was another trail to our right going into the trees and we got onto a nice level pine-needle soft trail called “Ring Creek Rip”. Yeah, I thought, almost home. I could not have been more wrong but I didn’t know that at that time. We were just glad to be able to just ride and not slide and buck and curse. We even got to a large trail map which told us to just stay left, go over a bridge and you are home. We turned left onto a narrow still nice even and soft trail but then got to another junction (which had not been on the large map). One way was marked “Powerhouse Plunge”, accompanied by a black diamond for advanced skilled riders only and the other way went – nowhere, dead end. Now we had the choice to go back up to the road or commit to the “Plunge”. Well you probably guessed it, we took the “plunge” and it was actually a decent hike. No way I would ride it on a bike but hiking it was nice, through the forest. I was only a bit worry about where this trail would spit us out. Hard to tell direction without a sun or view of any of the surrounding mountains in that haze. But at least down was the right direction in general. And we eventually did make it onto a bigger road again and came to the bridge over the lower Mamquam River that had been marked on the big map but to date I still am not quite sure where we went wrong. The way back took longer than the way up this time. We sure deserved the big plate of nachos and beer at the pub in Squamish afterwards. The drive home along Howe Sound was spooky – visibility was so low and the sun, at 5PM, was a glowing red ball in the sky. And since traffic was bad and we were going very slow I managed to take a few pictures during the drive (with full zoom!).

August 17, 2018

Fire Season

Filed under: Bike, Canada, thoughtful — K2 in Canada @ 11:16 PM

Well I guess we no longer have summers but fire seasons. Even though we are not anywhere near the record fires from last year (one starts to think how much is actually left to burn) Vancouver had been under a blanket of smoke for 5 days. But of course that did not stop Jeff and I to do stuff outdoors. Last Sunday we went for our 2nd mountain bike ride in Manning Park (see previous post). This time we went up Windy Joe. More elevation than Poland Lake but a bit less steep. The most challenging part for me, it was up the whole time for the 8km on a fire access road. My legs are just not used to this and I walked most of the last 2kM. On the top we saw and smelled nothing but smoke. It was pretty sad. The descent was fast though, fats enough that we added on the Similkameen Trail at the bottom. That trail is almost flat but very narrow with lots of roots and logs and water hazards. I would call that quite technical. Earned a few bruises when the bike hits unexpected obstacles, stops dead and the body keeps going. Good fun though but I was tired at the end. Good thing we could have a beer and food at the Lodge.

 

 

Today was the first sunny day but they say the smoke will be back soon. There are more than 550 fires burning all across the province by now, many of them started a week ago. Interactive Wildfire Map – snapshot from last Sunday.

WildfireMap_2018-08-12 (Medium)

Being able to look straight at the sun high in the sky during the day and the red glow may look cool but sure is not. It is very scary.

 

 

On Wednesday, the Province declared a State of Emergency to get federal assistance. https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/bc-wildfire-provincial-state-of-emergency-poor-air-quality-evacuations-fire-bans/108223/.

The most scary part, most of those fires were caused by humans. Well to be honest, in my mind all of the fires are caused by humans. Maybe not the start of a fire, lightning is a common cause, but the way they spread. A profit driven logging industry replanting dense mono cultures of evergreens rather than natural forests. Winters getting warmer allowing more pine beetle larvae to survive and spread killing off trees over large areas in new growth forests. Summers getting hotter and drier. Lots of dead trees in those dense forest making it easier for fires to start be it due to lightning or carelessness. Less rain means weaker trees more susceptible to beetle attack or fire or wind. How long until “Super Natural Evergreen BC” will look like the Baja Peninsula? My lifetime? I hope not. I love our trees and mountains and coastlines and all the animals that call this their home like I do.

Thanks to those >3000 fire fighters out there that are trying to stop or at least control the blaze. And a shout to all of us to be conscious about our actions in these very dry conditions!

There is a great article in BC Magazine about “Controlling BC’s Wildfires

Tricked

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

Jeff tricked me two weeks ago. On Friday afternoon, Aug 3, he asked me about a hike we did a few years ago: “How steep do you think Mt Outram was to below the peak?”. If I had know what would be coming I would have said very steep but I remembered the first 2/3rds as a relatively easy grade, even though it was long and probably 1200m elevation gain (1700m to the top) so I said: “Wasn’t that steep” thinking that would be a nice hike to do on the BC Day long weekend beginning. “Good” came the response “I want to buy a new mountain bike like yours and need a reason for it – riding up Mt Outram is the right reason”. I was stunned! We did see mountain bikes below the peak when we hiked it a few years ago. I only use my mountain bike for winter commuting and to get around on logging roads during spring fishing. I never “mountain-biked” ever. I was even more stunned when I heard myself say “That sounds cool”.

Luckily I did a bit more research on the Saturday after our training paddle in Indian Arm (10′ Wup, 20′ @ 70%, 5R, 12 x 3′ on 2′,5R, 20′ @ 70%). I found some other more mountain bike designated trail options around the lodge in Manning. And buddy John always talked about Poland Lake as a great bike trail up a fire access road rather than a narrow hiking trail. So we did the sensible thing and picked Poland Lake as our very first mountain bike adventure.

It was a hot sunny day. The trail started out level for a kilometer or so through trees starting from Strawberry Flats. But soon enough it started climbing and I started sweating, huffing and swearing but Jeff was too far ahead to hear me. Lucky for him he spotted a bear when we reached the first opening with a great view over the valley bottom already way below us. That made me forget about all the pain getting here and I had renewed energy to continue on. Well, it only got steeper from there and I had to walk quite a few sections. But once we made it up to the top of the chair lift (I should have known it would be a steep ride) the trail level out for the last 4km to Poland Lake and we were in the shade on and off. At Poland Lake, we hiked around the lake leaving the bikes behind – no bikes allowed around Poland. Nice spot. It is a designated wilderness campsite and people were camping up there. Tons of wild flowers in the meadows around the lake too. The way down started going up again for a bit. My legs were complaining but once we got past the ski lift it was a nice fast down, not too scary either. I was tired though after the trip which took us about 3hrs. We cooled our legs off in lightning lake, watching the ground squirrels and then had a big plate of nachos and beer at the lodge watching the humming birds. A great day and a first for me! I climbed a “mountain” on my bike!

July 18, 2018

Sore for 3 days

Filed under: Canada, Hike — K2 in Canada @ 12:42 PM

Last Sunday we went for our first hike of the season. I had been doing a lot of easy hiking/walking on our fishing trips in May/June but the last 4 weeks have been all about paddling. So I picked an easy one – Mount Strachnan out of Cypress Bowl. Short (2-2.5hrs) and not much elevation gain but the bit you do goes straight up. I usually do this hike in the fall quite a bit (see here). The weather was still hot with blue skies and good visibility. It was quite a sweat fest to get up the gully at the backside of Mount Strachnan and I was surprised how much snow there still was. The trail was partially covered still which made the going even slower. The view from the top was nice though – 360 – but my knee did not like the way down. My legs were sore for 3 days – I can’t believe it 🙂

July 16, 2018

Race Day

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

What a day Saturday. After weeks of coolish temperatures, it was a hot day, 30C, with endless sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. Usually hot weather means a nice inflow wind in Howe Sound which would have been great for the 5th Canadian “Downwind” Championship which goes from Porteau Cove to Squamish. Actually it’s the 1st “Downwind” version since it was open to SUPs, OCs, prones and Kayaks for the first time. It used to be the Canadian Surfski Championship before 2018. Maybe they jinks-ed it by naming it a Downwind race since the wind never came. Mind you, there was a bit of a following breeze at least and a few rides to be found. It could have been blowing into our faces since there was a big gale warning out for the outer coast. And calmer condition actually suits Jeff and I quite well since most of our training is done in calmer water (see earlier posts).

As almost every other year, we volunteered in the morning at the staging area at Porteau. They used to get 125 boats and it was a tight squeeze, now the number increased to 200!!! 115 surfskis, 63 SUPs, 22 OCs. Luckily we had another lot opened up just for the race and head staging guru Merv had it all planned out. It was an easy job this year compared to previous years. Just a long time being on your feet from 8AM till the race start at 2:15PM.

The race: It was an exceptional low tide and the starting areas was extremely crowded. There are 30 seated paddlers (the ones that are expected to finish in the top 30) that get the first line and than 170 or so Joes like us in behind. The problem, there wasn’t much water left in behind :-). So everyone push the line and Bob did a great job managing a half decent, somewhat still moving start. We had lined up to the very left to not get pinched at the hot spot buoy a kilometer or so into the sound at which point there is a hard right turn to go down towards Squamish. Our double does not turn as well as singles. Our start wasn’t blistering because we had no way of winning the hot spot ($350) – not only because it’s only for top male and female single but also because we don’t have the speed the top guys, which actually come from all over the world (South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Tahiti, France, Denmark). But staying wide on the left at the start paid off – we had a clean line to the buoy. After the hot spot we took quite a easterly line compared to most others and we seemed to be catching quite a few boats that were to our left. Currents can be tricky in Howe Sound with the river current coming out of Squamish against an incoming tide. I am not sure if we just found the better currents or if we were actually paddling fast but we kept a good speed average, even catching the odd waves. It was hard work but it was fun. After Watts Point, about 2/3rds in the current get stronger and the waves uglier. Although both seemed quite tame this time. We even got close to Gareth near the end but he managed the confused water at the Mamquam Channel a bit better than us. Nevertheless, we have him in site now (see previous post De-Throned). We finished ahead of a few people that usually beat us at the TNR or other local races. And we finished in the top 20!!! Which means we beat 10 of the seated paddlers :-). Mind you the really top guys, such as Sean Rice (1st overall, SA), his younger brother Kenny (2nd, SA), Cory Hill (3rd, AUS, Molokai Champ) were still 12min ahead of us. But the top women, Teneale Hatton (1st, NZ) and Rachel Clarke (2nd, NZ) were only 2 min ahead. We definitely did as well as we could! I was tired but happy!

Full Results: www.canadiandownwindchamps.com/results/2018-results/

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.

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.

 

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