Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Wrap-Up

Well, once again summer has gotten away from me and I haven't posted since early July. Oh well. Here goes:

We enjoyed a ghost walk through our community, highlighting some historic sites and events. It started in the old Catholic church by the lake. An interesting fact I learned: see that window above the alter? It was originally clear, but it has magnesium in it and over time, the sun has changed it to be purple and orange!

 We had our annual Big Pig Mountain Bike race in Burns lake.

 Kesten tried his first cross-country mountain bike race and enjoyed his first cookie medal at the end.
 I did a 45km ride and had lots of fun. I pushed myself further than I knew I could go and was very proud. David did 100km!
 The garden was off to a great start, but soon, it was drenched by rain and eaten by the resulting slugs.
We did, however, manage to eat from our garden nearly every meal, including the day we ate rainbows for lunch.
 If the conditions were not good for the rest of the garden, the sour cherries thrived for the first time!

 We made sour cherry crumb cake, sour cherry pie, sour cherry jam, and sour cherry chutney!

 I added another year to my age, and just a few more grey hairs.
 I got a kayak for my birthday and was able to enjoy a few evening paddles on the lake.

 The salmon began spawning almost 2 weeks early and we were able to watch them leap up Tsilcoh falls.
 A couple of times we got to paddle out in our canoe to a hidden lagoon.
 Each time, there was a bald eagle there, waiting to greet us at the entrance. We got to see a bittern, deer, beaver signs, and tiny tiny deer tracks. It is so much fun to slip silently through the maze of wetlands.

 The berries were plentiful this year, and I spent time picking and preserving strawberries, huckleberries, and raspberries.

 And Kesten was curious about how to make yogurt, so we made some with fruity-jam bottoms. Mmmm.
 We finally got some storage in our living room and it has been AWESOME! It still looks like this, even though it has been several weeks since we got it. All the toys get tucked away into the baskets at bedtime and the room feels so much freer from clutter.

 In just two weekends, Alissa Allen is coming up to Fort St. James to teach a course on mushroom dyeing. I have been arranging the workshop and I am so excited, and will be very happy when it is over and I can breathe again! It's such a great opportunity to learn some new skills!

We ended the summer with a family visit down in Kelowna and I had such a nice time with my sisters, parents, and old friends. I got to see a movie in the theatres for the first time in 4 years (Ghostbusters- it was hilarious!). I had so much fun, I didn't remember to take many pictures, and when I got home, the only photos on my camera were of bugs, like this beauty black widow spider!
When we got home on Sunday night we had to turn on the heat! Summer disappeared in a hurry and we have had nothing but rain and chilly temperatures since! I was not ready for it to be done yet!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bella Coola

We headed to Bella Coola for our summer holidays this year. Bella Coola is a small community on BC's central coast. There is only one road that accesses the central coast, and you must drive down a very scary hill to get to the ocean. It is so notorious, you only need to say "The Hill," and everyone knows exactly which hill you are referring to. 
The switchbacks were terrifying, and the steep drop-offs forced me to close my eyes (fortunately, I was not the one driving).
We stayed in a very cute cabin at the Rip Rap campground. It was a beautiful place, right on the river. There was fresh bear poo not far from our door, so we were happy to have the protection of the cabin at nights (toddlers are not very "bear aware"!).
We had some rainy days, which did not damper our fun. You can hike just as well in the rain, if you have the right clothes.

There are many spots with old growth forests and Cedar made sure to give the giant cedars a hug.
Some very, very ancient trees!

We also did a boat tour with Discovery Coast and it was a fun experience! We caught prawns:
Saw pictographs:

Saw seals:
Hiked to a giant, GIANT cedar tree:

Posed in front of beautiful waterfalls:

And soaked in some hotsprings:

It was a wonderful time spent with family.
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