K2inCanada's Blog

March 5, 2019


Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer — K2 in Canada @ 7:09 AM

This is starting to annoy me. This year has been quite a line up of minor injuries/illnesses so far and I am missing out on a lot of my exercising! First I hurt my knee in early Jan, then a sore back in early Feb, then a pulled thigh muscle in late Feb and now a minor cold hit me last Thursday. We still went skiing Saturday. Had to pick up our new Manning Nordic Club uniforms. It was a beautiful day out even though a bit on the cold side with -7C at Strawberry Flats. I layered up quite well but still wasn’t sure if it will be warm enough. Well it was. It was a slow ski for me obviously, not only because I had no energy but also because I had to switch skis. One of the skins on my Rosignole skis came off. Jeff just had put them on a couple of weeks ago, just before Ottawa. I tried switching to my waxables but whatever wax was on there didn’t work – no grip whatsoever. And my wax tech Jeff was skiing! And my fingers were starting to freeze. No way I would try to put a different grip wax on. So I borrow Jeff’s Atomic skin skis. There are even longer than mine and a bit stiffer but it worked surprisingly well and whatever started off as “Gosh I rather be bed sleeping” turned it a “Great to be out here” kinda day. And the suits really look nice. Love the bear paws obviously 🙂 Never mind the hot tub and beer and flatbread afterwards. Manning is always worth the 2+hr drive (one way).

Sunday was supposed to be a paddling day but I felt even worse. We did a paddle last Sunday and it was great! Sunny and 6C. If Jeff would have wanted to go I probably would have followed and it would have been like Saturday a great day outdoors but he gave me an out by saying “it only feels like 3C (5C is our cutoff these days) and it is windy and you will get wet”. He made it very easy for me to say, let’s stay home. Instead we pruned the tree in front bit/lot more – well cut branches randomly is probably the better description :-). Hope my heather survived. At least we had nothing land on cars or smash through windows. Chatter wasn’t too impressed with us being on the balcony for that long. Lilly couldn’t care less and visited us a few times :-). In the afternoon we went for a nice almost 2hr walk along the Fraser. It really was a gorgeous day – barely a breeze and felt warm enough but still too cold for March :-). At least I had a look at water and we said Hi to all the hummers along the river.

We finally finished the puzzle I started Christmas Friday night. Took a lot longer. I thought this one would be easier than the hummingbirds but it was not. All those fall trees took a long time! And Jeff wasn’t helping all that much…. until Friday night when we finally finished it 🙂

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February 12, 2019

Everything just got worse

Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer — K2 in Canada @ 8:54 PM

Weather got worse –  it snowed most of Sunday night. Probably accumulated close to 10cm. It stopped for most of Monday but it stayed cold so nothing melted away and then it snowed again Monday night. Another 5-10cm. That`s the most snow we have seen in a while and apparently it is not done yet. Another 5cm predicted for tonight. It actually does look very beautiful and I would probably like it if I could enjoy it but…

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My back also got worse – I was in a lot of pain today. Took me 15min to get out of bed into the bathroom this morning. Work was done mostly standing. Not because it didn’t hurt but it hurt less than getting up from a sitting position. My legs feel like I did a marathon today (not that I know how running a marathon would feel, never will). Hopefully this gets better for the weekend so that I can ski!

Chatter is also confused by all this snow. He could not sleep Sunday night. We saw him at the feeder at 10PM at night! And again before 6:30AM the next morning. Usually he goes to bed by 5:30PM and up again around 7:30AM these days.

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Should have been in Edmonton

Filed under: Canada, Home, Hummer, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 8:26 PM

Well, I was not supposed to have all this time last weekend to blog. We were supposed to be in Edmonton. Saturday would have been the Canadian Birkebiner Loppet, 50km for Jeff, 31 for me. We had planned to go to Edmonton this Friday, race Saturday, check out the mall Sunday/Monday and then continue on to Ottawa for the Gatineau Loppet. But even in Vancouver we hardly saw positive temperatures all of last week. It was sunny but pretty cold, as low as -10C. Edmonton obviously was even colder and race day long term forecast was just on the edge of being raceable, above -25C, or not. Jeff and I stocked up on cold protective gear at MEC the previous weekend. Finally, the forecast for race settled on -31C and and the organizers sent out the cancellation last Wednesday. Now we had to cancel/change all our flights, rental cars and hotels. A bit of a mess and we lost a whole whack of money! Oh well, better that than suffering frostbite.

Hence we had an unexpected weekend in town. Saturday we went skiing at Callaghan. There was a strong arctic outflow going on, some areas of southern BC saw as much as 90km/hr winds. Howe Sound was white capping as far as you could see. It wasn’t that windy at WOP, maybe 40km/hr but that wind was freezing cold! The forecast for temperature with windchill was -19C but I don’t think it was quite as bad. Our car thermometer showed -9.5C when we started skiing in the morning and it was sunny. The wind was only gusting to ~40km/hr so for the most part it was bearable. Actually I was overdressed quite a bit and was too hot most of the time. What the wind did cause though was a whole lot of debris being blown onto the trails, such as pine cones, moss, needles and whatever else can blow of a tree and fill in the tracks. It was awesome for grip but really sucked for glide, especially in the tracks. So I had to ski a lot outside the tracks which is quite a bit more tiring for me. I did make it up to Madeley Lake but it wasn’t fun. And the wind was coldest up there as well. I skied for over 3hrs but hardly covered much more than 2okm. It was more walking and slipping than skiing. But hey, I got to try out my new face mask, which was too hot, the foot warmers and neoprene overboots which worked like a charm, and a double layer of gloves which also worked well to keep my hands warm but resulted in my hands slipping out of the ski pole grips. Oh well. I am ready for the cold!!! The best part of the day was sitting in the pub in Squamish while the wind howled around us drinking beer and eating Lasagne :-).

Talk about a change in weather. Sunday started out sunny and cold (-3 with windchill of -9). Again, this wasn’t a temperature that allowed us to paddle. We went for a walk instead. My back was a bit sore from Saturdays ski – hope this doesn’t get worse. Half way through the walk it started snowing and it didn’t stop all day and was still snowing when we went to bed. Snow accumulated quickly and we must have some 5-10cm on the ground. Looks pretty :-). Chatter was hiding underneath the roof out of the wind and snow. I even had to turn the feeder lamps on during the day as the sugar solution started to freeze.

December 23, 2018

Rain Day

Filed under: Canada, Hummer, Paddle — K2 in Canada @ 5:16 PM

The typical December is back – wet, cold and grey. Chatter didn’t mind. He was happy to have his 2nd feeder back today that got blown off in the windstorm last Thursday.

In the afternoon, the rain stopped and there was a sliver of bright along the horizon. So I took my surfski out for a quick run of the Fraser River. If dressed for the occasion, the cold doesn’t matter much.

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.

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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.

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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!

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