Where to Live

I did try to get a better shot of our mummy hummingbird – but all she does is sit there and gorge herself – so for now it’s the best I could do. In other news, the butterflies appreciate our little watering spot – a lot. They perch on the marbles and dip into the water – just the perfect spot for them.

Simon has been attacking the dandelions, mowing and seeding in gargantuan efforts to create a lawn. So far the results are actually quite impressive. Meanwhile, I am pleased and not pleased with the veggie garden. Lots of things are up and thriving: lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, pac choy, swiss chard, collards and more. Other things – meh! The peas are not thriving – something keeps eating them. The spinach is all right but not great. The beans are taking too long to sprout – as are the carrots. I will re-seed some things. To a certain extent it’s a learning process – what works and doesn’t work in this garden and in this climate.

At least I’ve had enough experience with gardens at this point to not go into fits of despair when things turn out less wonderful than expected. It’s all about learning and adapting.

In still other news. Simon located a rather lovely little house in Kaslo yesterday – really lovely. It’s not perfect. What is? But it’s in the mix. And so – we keep looking. Like the garden – it’s all about adapting.

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Davis Creek with the KMC

Totally awesome day!

There – that’s really all I need to say about that. But, being a writer, I feel the necessity to add a few more words.

I led the hike today up Davis Creek to the lookout and beyond to the old cedar grove. We had a dozen lovely people who made it up over 700 metres of elevation and who, with pretty darn good cheer, trudged through snow, over wet logs, through a swamp and on to the trees. No one complained. At least – not so I could hear it.

Simon came along too and kept everyone laughing. I’m sure that helped.

The weather cooperated too. It was one of those perfect early summer days: blue skies, warm temps, and a few fluffy clouds to really show off the blue sky.

With a nice lunch back at the lookout, the round trip took 4.5 hours.

And the trees – well, they were as sacred, holy, and magnificent as always.

A day of joy.

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Silver Bump again

Another walk up Silver Bump today – this time with Simon and the dogs – and yes, everyone enjoyed it a ton. Those who enjoyed it the most were the mosquitoes who feasted on our blood. Oh yeah, they got a good meal.

Lots of talk today about houses – we are at least beginning to see some possibilities and narrowing things down just a touch about where we want to be and how we want to be there.

That said, we have not sold and I don’t want to dive in until that has occurred.

But there are possibilities – and that’s good.

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Silver Bump

If you don’t count the mosquitoes, it was a really fine morning walk/amble/little hike to the top of Silver Bump. This is quite a sweet little place – a short road walk followed by a short skidder road to the trailhead – and then a fine, well-maintained and booted trail to the top of the bump/hill with a ridge: one side offering a view of Silverton and the other a view of New Denver.

It’s a round trip of about 2 – 2.5 hours and makes for a terrific shoulder season hike.

So that worked out well. When I came home, Simon was just beginning to unload the new washer and dryer from the back of the truck. I helped (I think I did!?) – at the very least I pushed while he pulled on the dolly. Among Simon’s many virtues – he also happens to be incredibly strong. This is quite a blessing in this place where we live.

At any rate, I have already used the new equipment and it works beautifully. So – quite, quite pleased. And while I was at it, I cleaned the house and then watered the garden – more seedlings are popping up daily. Terribly pleased with it.

Watching Idaho Peak daily now – we’ll be ready to head up next week.

The season of alpine hiking is about to kick off!

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Morning Mountain

The more KMC hikes I do, the more I believe that the members are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Take Abby Wilson, our trip leader today. Sheesh! She’s the finest, kindest, most patient, caring and just plain lovely woman – as a trip leader, I don’t compare. Quite frankly, I suck in comparison. But I don’t care one bit. I just like to admire her.

So we hit the trail, went up to a truly fine viewpoint overlooking Nelson, and came back by a different route. Loop trail! The best. It was an easy hike and it surprises me that something so gentle can actually give you 600 metres elevation gain.

The viewpoint was our lunch spot – as fine a one as you could ask for during shoulder season.

Another hike/walk tomorrow. And, at the end of the day – a new washer and dryer. Hurrah!

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Garden Critters

First things first: it’s my sweetie’s birthday! Happy Birthday! He’s strange, weird, odd – but oddly loveable, quirky, loving, kind, caring, goofy – and best of all, he’s mine.

So I’m happy that he was born 52 years ago.

Tonight – a few drinks in celebration, some drunken Scrabble – and then I’m going to attempt to hike Morning Mountain tomorrow. Uh-oh.

As for the photos – these are all about garden critters. It’s a watering spot for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The hummingbirds have been especially busy. I’m getting buzzed every time I open the door. I thought they might appreciate a bath now and then. I found a Raku dish and even managed to find some marbles so the bees and butterflies would have a safe place to perch.

My plan after yesterday was a day of rest. I almost succeeded. I started by taking the dogs for a wee walk along the lakeshore in Slocan. Unfortunately, there was climbers on the cliff and they’d left shoes and bits of gear on the ground. Abby purloined them and ran off with a shoe and climbing clips. I chased her – got them back (whew). Then, a bit farther along, a 5-month old Golden Retriever puppy and Shanara was determined to assert her alpha dog status. I didn’t catch her in time. No one was hurt but the poor pup cried and cried – scared out of his tree.

Then (as if that wasn’t enough) Shanara ran into a guy who was camping under a tarp and ran up to him with a wagging tail – he fended her off and pushed her away. This freaked her out and she took off at full speed for the car. I took off after her yelling and yelling. And then Abby, in sheer puzzlement, decided not to follow. And so I figured – hey! How much trouble can Abby get into on her own? (don’t answer that!) I kept running at full speed, enjoying my restful day – and finally caught up with Shanara who had decided to stop . Panting and gasping (me mainly) I got a leash on Shanara. At that point, Abby came ambling along wondering what the heck was going on.

Okay – back to the car – shopping and back home.

Then there was the incident with the tree. I made a discovery. After a certain size, trees don’t succumb to a hand saw. ‘Nuff said.

Very restful day (irony font).

I shall now get myself into the kitchen to bake a birthday cake – a healthy one – a cauliflower cake. Hey! Who am I to choose what kind of cake someone wants? This was my husband’s request. And cauliflower cake is what he will get.

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Ymir Peak – Attempt #2

Last year in April, a group of us attempted Ymir Peak – we turned around, mostly because it was getting late but also because of massive cornices and the steep section before the high ridge.

This year, Ben and I waited until May – most of the cornices had slid but the snow was soft and we ran into exposed rock. Ben crossed a small snow bridge, which collapsed. I felt crazy uncomfortable trying to bridge it and decided to work my way around the rock and trees. The going got stupid steep. I was using my ice axe plus my other hand, scrambling style. I finally told Ben that I couldn’t go on – what concerned me most was going back down. I felt so badly for Ben, knowing how much he wanted to go to the top. And we weren’t even all that far away. It looked to me like that approach was the steepest section of our trek.

I’m not as agile as Ben on snowshoes and if I’d taken them off – well – I know how little traction my boots have. In retrospect, I wish I had had my crampons with me. I think I would have been good with them on, being able to dig in and hold. As it was, thank goodness for the ice axe – it gave me a much needed anchor at least three times on that climb – and served as an even better anchor when we finally had to make a descent – which turned out to be steeper than last year because of snow conditions.

But – before that – we turned the day around to something quite fabulous. We came back down from the ascent to Ymir and climbed up the opposite ridge, following it all the way to the descent down the ski hill. It was a magnificent ridge with brilliant views. For me, at least, it made up for the failed attempt at the peak.

On the steep inital down, Ben crashed into a rock and tree – got himself a wee bit cut up. I noticed (ha!) and decided to try a slightly different route and crashed into a tree. This was good because it stopped me from sliding down another million metres.

It was that kind of snow – crazy slippery.

Note the last photo on this post. Ben is still upright – the trail to his left shows my bum track down the second last pitch in our descent. Thank goddess that North Face makes really tough shorts!

Was it a good day? Hey! It was a day in the alpine! Of course it was good. And I challenged myself. And while I wish I had challenged myself even more, I’m glad I turned around when I did. Without crampons, it was the smart thing to do. Imagine – me doing something smart!

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