Monday, September 18, 2017

Monthly blog post

Blanket Creek and Eva Lake

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Wrong Way

We went for a hike. We almost didn't go for a hike because we went the wrong way. I blame maps where most of the roads are just labelled "road". Still, we did go for a hike and it looked like this:

Twin Lakes Hike

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The curse of the August long weekend

August long weekend. It's a tricky one. If you haven't booked a camp site prior to the invention of the August long weekend, you're basically out of luck. And now we live in a holiday destination (of sorts) you can't even stay at home without being over-run by tourists. So what do you do? You find the most obscure camping spot you can, at the end of a closed road, and paddle there in your canoe hoping for the best.

In this case we did alright - particularly with our companion band of Vancouverite and New-Westy friends. Our flotilla set sail from the western shores of Arrow Lake, bound for the unknown. Luckily the unknown was hospitable, though we did find ourselves in the company of some typical forest-service campground clientele (who were from Vernon, so they were literally my homies). They thoughtfully passed out from over-consumption of Hey Y'alls and Bud Light by 9pm, so were actually pretty considerate neighbors. And they were from Vernon. During our adventures we discovered a pretty excellent sandy beach that can only be paddled to, which will be worth revisiting another time.

Tav enjoyed most of the experience, in particular the parts that involved throwing rocks into the water...

Arrow Lake Long Weekend

In other news Tav has his name in wood - somewhere in the temperate recesses of Hampshire. It's like having your name in lights, but more environmentally responsible.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Canada 150 and Jungle Hill

Here's a picture from a Rail Trail excursion with Tav a few weeks ago.
It has nothing to do with Canada Day, or jungles.
Post-cruise we are back in Vernon and enjoyed a week with Mum and Peter - who were with us to celebrate Canada reaching 150 years old. Cue matching red T-shirts.

Alternative behavior for Canada Day

Appropriate behavior for Canada Day
Next on the agenda was a trip to the throbbing metropolis of Ione Washington, where Chris is currently living in a tent. Tav enjoyed doing impressions of farm animals and there was a winning combination of bike riding and jumping in lakes. You really can't go far wrong with those two things (three things if you include the animal impressions). 

Although I didn't make any photo evidence of it, the ride on Kettle Crest down Jungle Hill (actual real name) was an exceptional thing. I think we'll need to head back there some day for more.

Tav likes standing on things, and bike pumps.
In Ione, this is how one rolls

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


We went to Alaska on a big boat. Here's what that looked like (in random order, for reasons I can't figure out):


Friday, June 2, 2017

Business time

I got a new job. "Yes, you told me that months ago" would be a reasonable response - but I have an even newer job than that. In short, I was looking for a job and then I found a job (and heaven knows I'm... etc.) and then a different one found me. So I'm back in the small world of trying to stop cancer, working with some folks I know and some I'm getting to know. To celebrate this change we moved my office to the basement into the "amazing wallpaper" room. I did get rid of the haggard carpet and painted some of the brown parts green. 

Speaking of brown, if it wasn't for the upstairs bathroom we would currently be celebrating the end of the War on Beige we have been fighting in our house. The hallway is now green. We had to find a colour that would collide pleasingly with purple (living room) and blue (kitchen). It's a fine line between colorful and living in a circus big-top.

I also was able to live out one of my greatest ambitions - owning a really big paper lampshade. Even since I found this amazing bamboo-stuff importers in our old neighborhood I knew the dream of owning a lampshade that was last fashionable around the time of my birth could be made real. There was a healthy layer of dust on the packaging when I went to buy the Holy Grail, so perhaps it actually dates from the 1970s. Tav greeted our new addition by saying "Ball!" at it every time he passed for three days.

The Dream - realized
And now onto outdoor news. We finally made it to the Kal Park waterfall. This thing is hidden out of sight, which is a shame seeing as it's pretty nice. Tav wasn't terribly keen on the noise, as you might be able to detect in this picture.

"This wonder of nature is too loud"
Then last weekend we did some brief camping at Sugar Lake which is conveniently located about an hour away. We loaded up our truck with the canoe and a large tent from Walmart - then realized our cultural assimilation to the Okanagan is complete. We're going to buy a better tent so we can at least pretend to still be outdoor snobs.

"What if I just lean a little bit further..."

"Mine now"
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Back at home, the massive snowpack is finally melting and has stolen our local beach. On the positive side, the lake is now about 15 meters less far to walk from our house.

As if pictures of our new lampshade weren't thrilling enough, here are some of a pile of dirt and some grass. Those are among the new things that arrived in our back yard the past month. Don't fear though - the pumptrack survives, but has become somewhat gentrified.

Yes, it's a pile of dirt

I should have taken the opportunity to have a go at driving this - but didn't.

A few week later, we have this.

Blueberries and raspberries - one day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


We went to Vancouver for Easter. There was SUP fun, mountain bike fun, puddle and stick fun, and greatest of all... Ikea fun. Perhaps even greater than the greatest fun was getting the Ikea couch in and out of the truck twice. 

The actual greatest fun of all was of course meeting up with all the coast-dwelling folks we don't see enough any more (and riding bikes with them).


Tav striding forth in East Vancouver

Poking water with a stick - good times

Lina and the SUP gang at the end of the Monster and Sea 24 hour paddle for cancer 

Kala's washing machine needed some close inspection...

...and so did Johnny's bike.

Tav poaching media attention at the end of the Monster and Sea paddle

Tav's first ride up and down Mt Fromme (on the road), during which he was mostly asleep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

We apologize for the delay

Approximately 300 years ago there was a long weekend and we went to Kaslo to explore around there bit.

Tav  has discovered that running is like walking, but even more fun.

Tav life

We explored a very off-season Sandon, as if ghost-towns even need an off-season.
It appears a load of buses (among other things) got lost there, which provided great material for my habit of taking pictures of decaying machinery.

Back in Vernon, winter has finally released its grasp - at least in the valley. It was a bit of a dank start, but biking on bikes with conventionally-sized tires. Anyone with an interest in bicycle tire size conventions will find this a confusing idea.

We may not have puddles often, but when we do, they're real puddles.

And meanwhile up at Silver Star, it's still snowing. Tav is showing early signs of preference for fresh lines in the powder...

Imminent excitement around here will hopefully include the rehabilitation of our back garden, and it getting warm enough at night for me to stain the fence I made. Wild times.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The things

I have been blog-absent lately. Here is a selection of stuff that probably happened in the meantime.
Duncan and Emma came to visit, and Tav enjoys running towards any camera that get pointed anywhere near him.
We introduced our visitors to what passes for fun around here. Duncan got to enjoy one of the best weeks of fatbiking conditions we've had all season - and we made good use of it.
We went skiing, not only at Silver Star, but also at Revelstoke.  I haven't done much skiing in an actual ski resort in years, and Duncan hadn't done any skiing at all in even longer. It turns out to be fun - and to allow the striking of poses such as this.

And this.

And later....

We went to Mazama for Family Day and Tav held the whole world in his hand.

I got to go skiing on "Driveway Bute" with Chris, Kala, Paul and Angie. It was great to be back in the mountains for a day - and the conditions rewarded us.

And finally - I'll just leave this here...

P.S. I managed another slightly sub-winning performance at the Frosty Fox Fatbike Festival this weekend, which featured the truly excellent "dual catastrophe" format in one of the races. Here's Ricardo and Jacob in the final showing how it's done.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017


After a bit more Wales, a misty journey back to the south coast (with a stop to revisit St Catherine's hill - sight of some of my early adventures), and a curry, it was time for two things. Tav's first birthday, and our flight home. Here are some pictures of those things: 

Tav's Frist Birthday (and a few Christmas leftovers)

Now we're back in Vernon, where the air temperature is decidedly fresh. this has meant skiing, riding fat bikes, and just last night Lina spotted that you could do this on Kal Lake...