K2inCanada's Blog

September 30, 2018

It’s Fall alright

Filed under: Canada, Hike, Hummer, Kayak, Paddle — K2 in Canada @ 8:40 PM

Well, it’s been 1.5 weeks since we are back from our kayaking trip and we had a beautiful week of sunshine – Monday through to Friday – of which I saw nothing but the lovely sunsets on my ride home from work and two more or less rainy weekends. Today is the worst of the rainy days, hence I am killing time blogging rather than going outside. Mind you I dragged my butt out for a short paddle up the Fraser during a less hard rain period. It was only a small outgoing tide but the current made me work hard up to the train bridge. Coming back was quick but not quick enough and the rain caught up with me 🙂

Last weekend, Jeff did his training roller ski up Cypress Mountain and I used the opportunity to hike up Mt Strachan. It was a wet day and the mountain top was in the clouds with the odd shower. The trail up the front side of Mt Strachan after going up the skin run (I usual use this as the down when I do the loop) was one big creek. There was sooo much water coming down. But my good hiking boots kept my feet dry and my new Helly Hanson coat kept me and my camera dry. There were lots of blueberries in the meadows but no bear. I was very tired by the time I made it to the top – more than I thought I should be after an hour of hiking up with only 550m elevation gains. Jeff’s ski also was slow. Maybe a 7 day kayak trip takes more out of me than I want to admit. :-). Sunday I went for a short paddle on the Fraser – my shoulders were still tired!

As mentioned last week was sunny and warm and beautiful and stuffed with too much work. Only got to see the sun for the two 10min basketball games. As every year I put in a team for the Alpha Madness 3 on 3  basketball team. This year there were very few teams and I missed the first game. But my team won! So we had two more games this week since we made it into the semi finals, which we lost, and the bronze medal game, which we lost. Maybe I should not have played :-). Below a couple sunset shots – I missed the best one which happened on Monday.


Yesterday, I went back hiking Mt Strachan. The right direction this time, coming up the back side from the Cypress Bowl trails. I felt much better and made good time. It also didn’t rain and the trail was much drier. Unfortunately though the sun we had all week long was hiding behind the clouds and the pictures below don’t do the fall colours any justice. Again no bears. A lot of people were on the trail, usually I only see a couple. That may explain why the bears are hiding during the day. There are still lots of berries and I am sure those belong to the bears early in the morning and the late evening :-). Since the forecast for Sunday was a wet one, I even got in an hour paddle on the Fraser in the afternoon.


Last but not least – hummer update. There seemed to be a different one coming by our feeder these days. I wasn’t able yet to get any good pictures since he is a very shy one. Maybe some of my readers recognize him? The frequency is much less than over the summer as I noticed my feeders don’t empty any more.



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.


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.

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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 🙂

April 12, 2018

Liquid Sunshine

Filed under: Canada, Hummer, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 10:37 PM

Well it is early April and the weather is behaving as it should. A bit of sun, a bit more rain and some wind. We made the best of it I think.

Spent Saturday morning bird watching at our balcony door. Besides quite a few hummers, there numbers seem to get bigger and bigger every year and they are sucking the small feeder empty in almost a day, there were a bunch of woodpeckers around picking at our tree.

In the afternoon we went for most likely our last cross country ski in Manning. It was a +2C day, overcast and light drizzle on and off which once in a while tried to be snow. Conditions were soft and slow but overall good to ski on – just everything took a bit longer and Jeff was almost ready to put his skis back on to look for me by the time I made it back to the car. Ooops. It was “The Stache” weekend at Manning as their long time GM Mike Baker retired. So everyone who put on a mustache was supposed to get $10 off. Well, that offer actually only counted for the downhill area. Oh well. Jeff and I still dressed up since we have to be thankful to Mike Baker for keeping the snow on the road at every Cascade Cup loppet! My mustache worked so well, it stayed on for my full 3+hr ski 🙂


Sunday was a paddling day in the Cove. Started out nice and easy up the Arm at a quite leisurely pace but for the way back Jeff had us do 1′ on 4′ rest intervals. Doesn’t sound as hard as it felt! Especially as we always seem to have a headwind on the way back. We were supposed to have current help us but that sure did not feel like it. And yes it rained a bit but also some almost sun.


Anyhow, the training did pay off. This Tuesday and we won the TNR AGAIN! Ex sprint national team member Wes Hammer was out and I was sure he would show us back into our place. But he has spent the winter at school becoming a teacher and we were able to hold him off. I am sure it won’t tale long for him to crush us all again as he used to do last year and the year before and the year before that :-). The weather was actually much better than expected – no rain and a bit of sun even. Still kinda cold standing around for the prizes at the end.


For Amy’s race report and full results go here: http://www.deepcovekayak.com/raceresult/april-10th-lone-rock-return/  Thanks to Viv from DCO for taking the pictures.

And a race video if you liked the last one: https://youtu.be/hlv5pYjN988

December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice

Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer — K2 in Canada @ 10:33 PM

Yeah, from now on the days are getting longer again! It sure fooled our resident Hummingbird Chatter. He usually shows up 15min or so before sunrise which makes it about 7:45AM when we hear him chirping outside on the weekends. Never see him during the week anymore since I leave by 7:15AM and don’t come home long after he has gone to bed which he does around 5:00PM. But today I hear him at 6:45AM. Pitch dark still. But I think he realized his mistake. The chirping stopped and he looked like he fell asleep again sitting on the small feeder. He was still there when I left. The picture is quite grainy – it was darker than it looks. I did not want to open the door – a) to not scare him away and b) it was only 2C outside.

P1180085 (Medium)

By the way, it snowed on Tuesday this week – beautiful big flakes most of the day. Some, not much, stuck as it got sunny and cold the next day. Still bikeable mind you. We may be looking at a white Christmas 🙂


September 17, 2017

Last week at 48

Filed under: Canada, Hummer, Kayak, Other sports — K2 in Canada @ 9:04 AM

Well, it was a bit of an up and down week. It started quite fun. We had the third annual 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament going on at work – a truncated version with all the games in one week rather than over 3 weeks. And we had 12 teams signed up even though the announcement came out only a week before. I put in my team from last year, team members Alex, David and Michael as sub. We won the first game against the HR girls on the first day :-). Not a 100% fair match up but we made it a fun game nonetheless. And the crowd loved it too. Our 2nd match, on Tuesday, was against Jeff’s team. Not only did I have to play against my Jeff, but his team outranked us by skill and weight and height. Nevertheless, we didn’t make total fools of ourselves and gave them a decent match. In the last 30 sec of the game, I tried to push the ball away from Jeff so that he could not score on us again. I succeeded but awkwardly hit my finger on my left hand and I felt this sharp pain. The middle finger was bend backwards at the centre joint. I tried to pull it back myself but didn’t make it. Off to the hospital we went after filling out the first aid paperwork at work. Darn, this was also the day of the last TNR kayak race followed by the season end party. I figured we’ll have to spent all night at the hospital before I even get to see a doctor and would miss out on all the fun. I almost didn’t want to go but Jeff was quite insistent. We took a taxi to Burnaby General Hospital in rush hour which took forever. The ice pack I got at work by now was piss warm. The check in at the hospital though was quick – no line up. Even the initial triage was done in less than 5min and they sent me for x-ray. Now I thought that will take some time, but nope. I was through again in less than 5min. Cool. Waiting for the doctor took the longest. Maybe 20-30min which, given previous experiences at this very same hospital, was still quick. They call it “Super Fast Track” now, I guess they mean it. The doc showed me the x-ray and yes, the middle finger was properly dislocated. He froze the finger, the needle was the most painful part, and pop the joint back in. Put on a small splint and said I should be good to go in a couple of days again. Just no basketball for a few days.

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Just like that and in less than an hour we were on our way back home. Plenty of time to get to at least the TNR season end party and drink plenty of beer. The funny thing, even though the finger was puffed up like crazy, it never really hurt much even when the freezing came off. Or maybe the beer help :-).

I was back in the gym the Wednesday morning. I notice then, that the left index finger also took a bit of a hit – just bruised though. Since I could not bend two fingers I did only go for a core and legs workout. Good thing I never learnt to type with all fingers – so my work day wasn’t impacted at all. Except for all the people coming by wanting to see above picture of the dislocated joint. The splint came off Thursday evening and I was back to the regular weight circuit routine on Friday morning – took it easy on the weights mind you. Too make up for that, we did 10 stations instead of the usual 8.

The basketball tournament continued without me. Unfortunately my team lost the next game too which meant we were out. I would have made NO difference to the outcome whatsoever but it was tough to be watching it from the sideline :-(. Jeff’s team mind you made it all the way to last day. 4 team’s were left to compete for the trophy. Jeff’s team eliminated one. But then got beat in the next game by 1 point – I did see no foul :-). Both games were super exciting.

IMG_0761_crop (Medium)

Today, Jeff and I went paddling in Indian Arm. Nice sunny, calm day. We only had to fight the current but my finger was fine. Both fingers are still swollen and have a bit of an ugly colour to them but I could bend them enough to hold the paddle. YEAH!!! How is that for recovery from an injury at almost 50! Now I just need to get some strength back in those two fingers. Few pictures from today:

And that’s a wrap for 48!

April 23, 2017


Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer, work — K2 in Canada @ 2:04 PM

Well, my back is in even worse shape then yesterday. So I’ll continue blogging rather than enjoying the sun that just started to shine into the window. Rats, at least it could be pouring rain as they promised!!!

I have been blogging about my hummingbirds for a while now but there are a lot of other birds around as well. Mainly around our neighbours feeder. It is great to wake up to their chatter in the morning :-). Our strata tried to ban bird feeders, other than hummingbird feeders, as apparently they attract rats. Well, they may but I have never seen one in our complex. I have seen squirrels, which love the seeds as well, raccoons and smelled skunk but never seen a rat. Jeff and I love hearing birds where w live and we voted against the ban. Apparently we weren’t the only ones and bird feeders are still allowed. Yeah!!! So here a few more pictures of our local birds. It’s not easy to get good shots as they never sit still, even less so than our hummers.

Our hummingbird feeder is busier than ever. We even had a few new ones join. Mrs and Mr Sunshine – a female and male Rufous. Rufous hummingbirds spent the winter in Mexico. Those two came a long way.

And not all hummers use the feeder – caught one sipping on our sappy tree. Now that I see hummingbirds feed on our tree I am less incline to get rid of it. It is a pain when it comes to our cars as it drops these sticky bits onto the truck all the time and they are hard to get off.

P1130277 (Medium)


At work, we also now have a local bird. A Sandhill Crane moved in about 3 weeks ago and has been hanging out ever since. He or maybe it is a she, who knows, isn’t shy of people at all. Someone must have feed it before. I hope nobody at work does. Some people are afraid of the bird because of his big beak. Some think he poops too much in front of the main entrance. Some think he is lost. I think he just found a good place with lots of bugs around and feels safe around people. He doesn’t like to be chased by their dogs mind you. It’s great to have a mascot around. Our CEO thinks like me. Still, facilities is trying to get Wildlife Services to relocate them. But apparently they are too busy. I hope it stays that way. Below pictures are taken with the phone, so sorry for the even worse quality. I also took a video since the best way to locate him is by his pretty loud call.


Last but not least a couple river walk pictures:

April 22, 2017

Why can’t I hurt my back during the week…

Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer — K2 in Canada @ 1:13 PM

Darn! Haven’t had a bad back in some time but I knew for weeks it would be coming. Why, though, did it have to happen on a Friday evening to ruin my Saturday, I have no idea. Mind you I did my first 2017 K1 paddle at Burnaby Lake last night. FINALLY a beautiful 16C and sunny evening! It was gorgeous and my balance was pretty good to. Wasn’t quite brave enough to take my boat but tool the yellow Vanquish with a low seat. All was fine until I lifted the boat up out of the water after my 30min paddle. Zing! F….!

This AM, I managed to do a short walk along the river, very slow, to visit our 6 local humming birds in their favourite trees. I am always wondering if any of those guys visit our feeder or not. Mind you most of our feeder birds are female and all birds I see along the river are male. The walk did seem to help a bit, or maybe it’s the ultra strength Motrin :-).

Oh well, maybe I’ll get to catch up on my blog while Jeff is out paddling, sigh.

March 12, 2017

First and Last

Filed under: Canada, Hummer, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 6:21 PM

The only way I can ever win my category in a loppet, I am the only one in it :-). Sun Peaks 30km Loppet on Mar 4th. It’s a combined skate and classic loppet but they give separate awards. I was the only female 30km classic skier in the event. I finished last by quite a long ways but still got my name on the trophy. And they had a large Lindt chocolate for the top three finishers. Awesome! Jeff also won the men’s classic 30km. He double poled it all, there is quite a bit of up involved, and he beat the other two competitors, despite getting lost on lap 1 for a bit. He is the real champ.


It was a beautiful day with a mix of sun and puffy white clouds and -8 to -4C. 15cm of fresh snow made for soft tracks though. I used my grip tape skies because they are nice and light. They may ice up in the fresh snow but they worked well at the start. The skaters chopped up the soft classic tracks pretty bad. But what was even more annoying was the horde of kids that skated the 15km loppet. They were out for a fun time and not racing and they stopped several times to have a drink. And of course they stopped right on the classic tracks. Not once, not twice, but three fucking times. There was a coach with them who could have taught them proper race etiquette … argh. Needless to say, I was quite annoyed on the way up having to call “track please” three times, and I was quite scared on the way down being surrounded by those kids going much faster than I would have ever wanted to on my own. Luckily they stop after my lap 1. I though, now I can have a great ski on my own but it was much sunnier ad warmer on lap two, which in theory was nice, but my grip tape finally decided to ice up near the top. Not to worry though since my wax tech hero Jeff had given me some VR 30 hard wax to carry along that I could rub on top of the grip tape and it worked like a charm. But I lost at least another 5min getting the skis into shape again. And my back started to get really sore/tired. Hence, the going was slow as I didn’t rush it but enjoyed the sunshine. Figured that with this beautiful weather the volunteers wouldn’t mind either to wait a bit longer for stragglers. Mind you, they had already packed in the half way aid station when I skied by and were starting to take down signs. Just managed to get ahead of the guy removing the signs. Oh well, I think I would have remembered the route well enough even without them. I made it to the finish. Lots of cheers. Almost 30min slower than last year :-).

Wanting to enjoy the sun for as long as possible we walked into the town of Sun Peaks after the rewards. A typical ski resort town with way less people around than Whistler and affordable prices. We spent the night in Kamloops in our usual motel. Soaked in the hot tub for an hour and then walked to a pub 20min away – McCracken Station Pub. Food was awesome and the staff friendly despite them being really busy!

The next day we woke up to overcast and light snow. Oh no, I thought, please not a repeat of Friday evening commute when we drove up to Kamloops from the coast. Took quite a while to get out of town that Friday – New West was clogged up as usual. Then past Abbortsford, the torrential downpour started. I have no idea how Jeff was able to see the road in the dark. And the rain did not let up all the way past Hope. I checked the “DriveBC” website constantly to see if they would close the Coquihalla. Nothing was posted. But shortly after we passed the turn off to Hwy 3, traffic stopped dead. Road was blocked off by Highway Patrol. The downpour turned into snow but nothing was sticking yet. We sat there for an hour waiting for the hwy to reopen. No info was posted on the website to when that would happen and I really had to pee. Good thing it was dark. But eventually they let us go. The snow started to stick and shortly after the road was covered with heavy wet snow and that lasted all the way to Merritt. It was slow going since there was a long line of cars but at least we were moving. We stopped in Merritt for dinner since it was already 9PM. We left home at 4PM. Usually it’s a 3hrs drive. There was more snow between Merritt and Kamloops but the Hwy was empty so it was an easier drive. We got to Kamloops by 10:30PM. Dead tired and sore from sitting in the car for 6hrs.

Sunday though, the drive wasn’t nearly as bad. We stopped at Stake Lake for another almost 3hr ski. It was lightly snowing and I tried my new skin skis. NICE! I was tired from the day before and part of the tracks were covered in fresh snow but Jeff and I had a great, slow ski together. The fresh snow made for great grip up Gironimo and a much less scary decent on Ricochet.

Back on the road the snow stopped in Merritt. As we climbed out of Merritt towards the Coquihalla summit the sun came out and lit up the mountain covered in fresh snow beautifully. The road was fine. As we dropped down into Hope, it started raining again. Driving through Langley we saw snow along the road but not on it. It wasn’t until about 5km from home when the roads all sudden were covered in slushy snow again and it hailed on us. Really!? More snow in town? On the bright side, Lily was at the feeder when we got home. We had to wait until she finished to unload the car 🙂

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Sigh – will this winter ever end?! Last week I was back to commuting to work on my mountain bike until Thursday. It was cold and partially icy in the morning. The sun finally made an appearance on Friday but I was holed up at work all day.


February 14, 2017

A Perfect Winter Day at Home

Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 6:55 AM

Family Day Holiday and it was a perfect, blue sky, sunny, warm (10C) day in Vancouver. Woke up rested after 9.5hrs of sleep. Called my parents to wish my Dad “Happy Birthday”. Jeff made an awesome breakfast skillet – not that I haven’t eaten enough over the last two days already.

We got the car washed – it was sooo dirty from driving the Coquihalla, it was crusted in sand and salt. Most of it came off but not all. We went flower shopping at the gardening store. We only stopped there to buy potting soil for our indoors plants but in the show room we met a most convincing sales “person”. A female Anna’s Hummingbird was cruising the flowering plants and we ended up buying the ones she spent the most time with. Maybe our hummer’s like those too? 🙂 Back home, while unloading the car, I played with our neighbour’s Sheppard and their 2.5 year old son Nick for a bit in the drive way.

We went for a 90min easy paddle out of Deep Cove – lots of boats were out, power and paddle crafts, but for the most part the ocean was nice and calm. Back home, I did some planting in the afternoon while Jeff washed the windows – first time ever I think, that those were cleaned from the outside. We watched Chatter and Lily, actually there are two Lilies now, as they came by lots of time in the late afternoon. I took a video of Chatter doing the evening clean – so cute – while Lily was resting. Jeff made dinner, I cut up the store bought apple pie for desert. Does it get any better than this? 🙂

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