Approaching Solstice

Dark – holy heck it’s dark. On the other hand, only one week and the days get longer – only seconds a day at first, mind you. But still…. I’ll grab all the good news I can get.

Good news is that Abby and I took a good small hike on the Awesome Trail. Tomorrow we are off to do our Christmas shopping with a hike along the way.

And on Monday, we are off with Ben (and perhaps more) to do Evening Ridge. Thank goddess!

I was getting more than a little stir crazy. Evening Ridge should cure that nicely.

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I think the one word that pretty much sums up the day is “slush.” For want of anything better, it will do.

We walked in slush today on the Galena Trail with the dogs – they didn’t appear to mind one bit – or perhaps they did because when we were all dressed and ready to head out the door, neither pup was willing to leave the comfort of a soft bed by a cozy fire.

At any rate, we did that. The fire is warm, it’s dark out (as of 4 p.m.) and I am watching the avi warnings for the weekend. I will probably not be doing Evening Ridge on Saturday – if I could drive up there, I would likely go on my own – but I don’t think I’ll get any takers.

I suppose I’m a bit like Sheila’s Al – when your time comes it comes – meanwhile, live your life! There are far bigger risks than walking through Hummingbird Pass – like driving up to Whitewater for instance.

At any rate, I’m already suffering from cabin fever so I’ll have to cook something up and sadly, it may have to be Red Mountain lookout. Oh well – as long as it’s not more often than once a year.

The best news I can latch onto today are the political missives from the States. Nancy Pelosi is already reining in Trump – it looks like his days are numbered. At last.

There are more and more glimmers of hope, otherwise known as a return to sanity – or at least something resembling sanity.

It’s getting to be more and more interesting to watch.

Blessings? A cozy home and a loving man and two goofy pups. More than that, of course – but those are pretty darn good for starters.

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Cameras, Bread and Politics

It was a snow day, a frustrating day, a giggly day and, ultimately, a fine day.

It started as expected: no driving south to Whitewater. The roads were icky and, as I understood, littered with cars in the ditch.

And so I started the day by taking photos through my windows and a photo of my beautiful, just-opened Amaryllis – and Abby hugging her teddy. This is her favourite activity: lying on her bed near the fire with her teddy.

Then baking bread and then a small hike to Bannock Point with Simon and both dogs. This was the giggly part of the day. We went out on the awesome trail and then higher and then some bushwhacking – for some reason Simon doesn’t quite trust me when I say the slope is gentle and easy. I can’t understand why not.

At any rate, it was fun and warm and just enough slippery snow to make me fall a couple of times.

As for the politics part of the day – I called the Tennessee Governor – apparently his phone was overwhelmed and I could only leave a message on his voicemail – but I was at least able to express in no uncertain terms that sentencing Cyntoia Brown for 51 years was insane and unjust. Here was a woman, sex trafficked while still a child – killing a man in self-defence – and she gets 51 years! Meanwhile, a rich man with expensive lawyers gets three years of house arrest (pretty much house arrest as he only has to go to prison to sleep) for sexually molesting and raping a string of underage girls. One law for the rich and one for the poor.

If we don’t speak out, nothing changes.

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Snow – wet, heavy, slippery snow and lots of it.

The kind of snow that has cars sliding into the ditch and vehicles crashing into each other.

So all I did today was a bit of shovelling, taking the dogs on the back 40 and brushing them for a very long time. This last bit was important: I think I took several Pekingese out of their fur.

Things to be grateful for: a warm house, a cozy fire, a clean house (yes – I did that too) and possibly some food for dinner although the latter is iffy. I haven’t peeked into the fridge yet.

Things to feel frustrated about: can’t do Evening Ridge tomorrow. Driving in this? Not a chance!

I would love to hit walls right now. Really! Hitting walls would feel good. I would also like to rant.

I will not do either. This too shall pass.


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Pine Cone Inn and Beyond

Who knew that it was more than 1,000 metres up to Pine Cone Inn? Well, technically, at least 20 minutes past and up from Pine Cone but still – those were some serious metres to log, especially because they were on a f***ing road!

Yes, this was my fourth time up that way and every time I do it I swear that nothing, but NOTHING will make me do it again.

But it was the first time that Nicky, Shiela, Ann and I have all been together for a while and Sheila is leaving tomorrow for a month and soooooo…

So we slogged it up that horrible road and I hardly complained at all. Well, maybe just a little. Maybe more than a tiny bit. Hmmmm – I think there was actually one small part near the end where I said something positive – and then there was the fast downhill and I think I said something nice on the way down. I think what I said was “Are we there yet?”

That counts as nice, right? Right?

It was foggy. We were in a cloud. We had no views. We giggled nevertheless. It was nice – “nice” being the word of the day.

Make sure you never hear any of us calling you “nice” and you’ll be okay.

The company was wonderful. The bubble bath afterwards pure bliss.

And Simon is excited about a new idea that I really like too.

How can that not all add up to a good day?

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Fighting Winter Gloom

Well – there you are – the best way to fight the very short days, the deep, grey skies and the dark and cold – get up into the alpine. Thanks to Sheila Sinkie for the photo.

But that was yesterday – today it was about baking and then taking Abby up our local version of Pulpit Rock – namely, Payne Bluffs.

And now – going to make a huge curry stew. That should help.

It’s either that or drink half a bottle of wine every night and somehow, I don’t think that’s a great idea.

I was thinking today about social media and the conversations (!) we have on them. Specifically, a member of Rebel Media posted a piece saying that the new global accord on refugees and migrants would mean that Canada would lose its autonomy and we would be overrun with migrants and bad foreign people. This is, of course, utter nonsense and blatant hateful lies – and I reported the post.

What was interesting, was when I pointed out, pretty darn politely I may add, that this was not accurate and suggested to the people ranting about how awful the Liberals were to do this to our country, that they actually read the document, they came at me with pretty nasty name-calling. I then suggested that if all you had was name calling, you had already lost the argument.

My thoughts then turned to a friend on Vancouver Island – a friend who lived most of his life on the prairies, worked in the oil patch – all that stuff. Since coming to BC, he has discovered nature like never before and has had a total change of consciousness. He is now an advocate for the Green Party, drives an electric car and wants desperately to effect change. He is also a kind and diplomatic man and works hard to convince his prairie friends that change is smart and can work – he presents data and excellent information. He works hard at understanding their point of view, listening, presenting his case politely.

And you know what he gets from those people in return? Vitriol and unfriending.

This is pretty much what happens: progressives (liberals) tend to want to make things work for everyone – to create a better and kinder world – conservatives (Republicans etc) want power and to keep things the way they are. They tend to hate change. I look at what the Republicans are doing in the States – at the hate and fear of Andre Scheer right here in Canada and I have come to the conclusion that progressives must stop compromising – must stop trying to make nice with these people.

It’s time to stand our ground. As I said to my friend, if you are being unfriended for trying to save the planet, then you don’t need friends like that.

And I’ll take that sentiment all the way to government, politics, Ottawa and back. It’s way past time for progressives to stop bringing knives to gun fights.

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White Queen again

I had no intention of going back to White Queen so soon. Scott even mentioned to me on Wednesday: “Now that we have a track, you can lead a KMC hike.”

I said, “No – too soon. And besides, P’nina is leading one in February.”

And then P’nina asked about doing something on Saturday. And then Helen asked about Saturday. And Sheila wanted to go out on Saturday. And dammit, Helen mentioned White Queen because rumor had it there was now a track to the top.

So we went up White Queen. It was a totally different day. Instead of clear blue skies and sunshine, we were pretty much inside a cloud. But, as Sheila said, it was every bit as beautiful. Every snowshoe at Whitewater is a wonderment no matter the weather. It’s just a stunningly beautiful place.

So we had a fabulous day.

Next: Evening Ridge.

But before that, something closer to home: Pine Cone Inn and perhaps the ridge beyond.

How I love the feeling of a tired, well-worked body after being outside in such beauty all day.

Bonus: we also had fun.

Double bonus: look at my surprise “new camera” – love the results!

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