Flowers and skeeters and beans (at last!)

Thunder on our walk today – and because of that, I had to leave Shanara at home and just take Abby. But it was odd that way – the storms just seemed to circle without ever lighting down. And the bit of rain we had did nothing to wet the garden – so, when I got home from walking with Abby, and washing off the swamp she dragged back with her, I also watered the garden. And that, of course, is the great excitement of the day. Beans!

Finally! After three sowings and buying a new packet of beans, we have beans. It seems that it helps to get fresh seeds. Still – this is the first time I have ever purchased expired seeds from a nursery. Lesson learned: check the dates on the packets.

Lovely flowers on the Awesome Trail.

And mosquitoes. Okay – so I have experienced mosquitoes in my life in years past but this year? Holy heck!

I have bites on top of bites. And they’re sneaky – they don’t even buzz. They just come at you  in swarms.

Grrrr.

Lovely day anyway.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

The state of the world

I’m beginning to think that I should stop reading news or listening to the radio – the news is so damn depressing. The latest I heard today – 150 billion (yes billion) annually in illegal wild animal and stolen forestry trade. Thirty percent of the paper we buy is from illegal sources – and sushi and goddess knows what else. And what is this doing? – killing the environment. Apparently forty percent of the carbon dioxide in the air comes from burning forests illegally.

So depressing. And then there’s the animals killed for tusks or trophies or for eating – all illegally.

There are too many people on this planet. And we are killing it.

So depressing.

The only way to keep my sanity is to get into the alpine.

And then, of course, I can read about politics and Trump and – well, I don’t think I have to enumerate.

It’s getting harder and harder to keep my chin up.

I will and I do. But sometimes it ain’t easy.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

Mount Brennan

I should really start this post off by saying how amazing today’s hike was and how wonderful it was to hike with my mountain bestie, Nicky again – what a brilliant day it was etc.

But I can’t – I have to first explain that Nicky, for some reason I can’t quite fathom, decided that it would be a great idea to drive to the trailhead along a long logging road in the middle of nowhere with about 1/8 tank of gas – and a gas light that was completely unreliable.

She also didn’t bring a wallet in case we needed gas.

Great!

Jolly good thing she didn’t mention any of this until we got back from the hike.

At any rate, we were on the trail at about 8 a.m. and hiking and it was glorious – until we hit the deadfall. Holy freaking cows! And I thought Idaho Peak was bad! We worked our way over, around, through and did Nicky “favourite” thing – bushwhacking! (serves her right for the gas thingy!)

And so we got up to Lyle Lakes – way more snow than expected – and then sidehilled through the snow up and up following KMC tracks left by guys who made it to the top and back in 8 hours two days before.

Huh!

We decided they had much longer legs and didn’t stop to take a million photos along the way.

As we got higher the going got to be way more fun and we made it (after 4.5 hours) to a fabulous high bench about 300 vertical metres shy of the top. Who cares, we said. This is heaven!

And so we had our lunch and then boot skied down. 1.5 hours up – 10 minutes down!

And then renegotiated the deadfall. Akkk!

And back to the car after 7.5 hours total. And then Nicky started the engine with the gas gauge sitting at empty. We made it to New Denver on fumes.

From now on and forever for the rest of her hiking life, she knows that the first thing I will say whenever I get in the car with her is, “How much is in the tank?”

It should be noted that without my ten bucks, she would likely not have made it home.

In other words, I am a hero! Ha!

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

Some semi-political thoughts

I’m glad I’m heading into the alpine again tomorrow. I don’t think I can bear another day of “politics.”

I know that I “should” not engage in FB conversations that are political or religious. And yet there are times when it feels like we have to stand up and be counted. Not remain silent.

Two issues: Children being separated from their parents and the dwindling caribou herds. One issue on each side of the border.

I am aghast that city councils like Revelstoke have no intention of curbing sledders, ATVers and other back country activities. Nope – money first. Shoot the predators. That is not the issue. The problem is loss of habitat.

That’s rant number one. The other is much bigger and more frightening. Today I am seeing where the mindset if of people in America who say yes, keep children in cages. It’s the law. And besides, it’s the parent’s fault.

Right wing governments are proliferating.

We have learned nothing from the lessons of WW2 and the rise of Fascism. Here it comes again.

The last defence of the “righteous” is still the same: I was only following orders.

It breaks my heart.

And I need the alpine.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

Mount Grohman

Today – another new hike I’ve never done before: Mount Grohman. And what a hike it was: ridge after ridge, and all in the alpine right from the outset. (long drive on a logging road!)

We had a super group – all my favourite people.

We had super weather. We had super everything including views in air so clear the mountains were etched into the sky.

And yes, there was at least one spot where I was not comfortable but thanks to Rick on the way up and Abby on the way down, just being in front, I did it without issue. Yay!

A really good day.

The photos are all I need to say.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

Another In Between

Yes – another day in between hikes – and this week is shaping up to be pretty epic.

But before I get into that – see those photos? Yep – my garden. Well, “our” garden really because Simon does most of the weeding, especially the heavy-duty horsetail weeds. He’s far more meticulous about it than I am. I tend to wait until weeds are big enough to grasp and yank. He picks them when they’re tiny and a pain in the butt.

At any rate, we have enough lettuce to dine on salads every night. And hey – that’s pretty much what I’m doing. Fresh baked bread and salad – I can’t imagine anything better or more delicious.

And we have spinach and collards and chard and pak choy and onions and radishes and tons of other stuff.

Yes – I am still waiting for the third and final sowing of beans to come up.

(Please!?)

So, when I finish writing this, more playing in the garden.

And I love the flowers, especially the first iris to open up, thanks to Sheila’s generous gifts last fall.

Tomorrow the epic-osity begins (if that’s not a word it should be). Grohman and perhaps also Kubin tomorrow. Then, on Tuesday we shall make an attempt on summiting Brennan. We should be able to do it. We have hardpacked snow instead of scree and rock and we’ll have a trail to follow, thanks to KMC members going up tomorrow.

Then, on Thursday, the entire 7 Summits trail end to end. Snow? maybe. But to hell with it. Bring it on! A little bit of slush and stuff never hurt anyone, right? Right!?

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

Butter again

It was another perfect day of hiking up Butter – this time with Sheila and both dogs. The best news is that Sheila hiked 6.5 hours and more than 800 metres elevation – and she was fine!!!

Yay!

Bigger hikes to come.

The other awesome news is pure serendipity. We had nice weather – sunshine and warmth for lunch – T-shirt weather – so much so that we were extremely grateful for a cool breeze on the flat, sunny section coming down. Five minutes after I got home it started to rain. Perfect!

Another piece of serendipity: In the photo below you can see the beautiful honey bee that landed on the flower at the exact moment I took the picture.

Love it!

And after agonizing for a full day, I have finally settled my choices about where to hike on Sunday. The option was Brennan or Grohman. And, although there are good reasons to do Brennan, mainly that going up in snow will likely be easier than later – and coming down will be fast, the group going is likely to be very fast – fast enough that I won’t have a chance to take photos. For me, that takes away a good deal of the fun.

I trust Chris and I think I’ll really enjoy Grohman. Snow? Sure – but I think it will be a great day. I’ll save Brennan for just a wee bit later – maybe three weeks from now. I do want snow near the top – on Whitewater as well. It makes it so much easier to get up and down.

Hiking season is in full swing.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment