Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Category: The Natural World

  • A thoroughly empty nest

    A thoroughly empty nest

    As mid-2022 approaches and we are facing the likelihood of not having any of our four kids “home” for the first summer ever, it seems we really are empty nesters now. We still have an unbelievably ancient dog though, if that counts. Limpet is almost 17 and a large breed mix whose life expectancy was […]

  • COVID-19: the first six months

    COVID-19: the first six months

    I had a haircut scheduled. Fiona was supposed to be doing her driving road test in a few days. It was March 17th, 2020. A week later my hair was longer than ever, and it would continue to grow for another 12 weeks, and Fiona was still a student driver. And then, with gloves for […]

  • Mountain Goat Hike

    Mountain Goat Hike

    We continued our end-of-summer alpine hiking tradition as best we could this year. Instead of four or three of us female members of the family, we only had two of us. Sophie spent the summer train-hopping, road-tripping to the States, launching rockets and doing military training, so she hasn’t been home. Erin spent the summer on […]

  • Atop Idaho Peak

    Atop Idaho Peak

    Idaho Peak is the mountain that overlooks our property. It’s unique in the area in that despite being one of the highest peaks around, it has well-serviced forestry roads that allow the trail to the peak to be accessible to anyone without major mobility challenges, requiring minimal levels of fitness and stamina. It’s also the […]

  • 2015 Loop

    Last year I carved some time out of July to do a self-powered trip along the Silvery Slocan Circle Route. I did it counter-clockwise over three days, combining kayaking, running and road-biking. This year, with a new-to-me road bike recently acquired, I decided to do the same route all on two wheels. I rode clockwise for […]

  • Drinnon Pass Hike

    It’s becoming an annual tradition: a big alpine day-hike by the female members of this family to cap off the summer. Last year we hiked the Alps Alturas and Lyle Creek Basin areas. This year we decided to trek into the southwest corner of the big wilderness park that has formed the backdrop to our […]

  • Almost a circle

    So here’s how I felt on the third morning: revolting. Jittery, feverish and nauseated. The first day was amazing. I had rented a kayak from Smiling Otter in Slocan (my paddling destination) and brought it home the night before, depositing it on the lakeshore. I was on the trail before six for the short run […]

  • Owl encounter

    We heard that an injured owl had been found semi-conscious being mobbed by crows in the parking lot of our local grocery store. It had been whisked away and left with Rob, who, along with his wife Linda, is a bit of a birder. So we dropped by the café Rob runs to see if […]

  • Frozen lakes

    Frozen lakes

    It happened in 2007 and again in 2011. The lakes at the summits froze solid and thick before the snow started really flying. For a precious couple of days we had the world’s most beautiful ice rinks at our disposal. And this year it happened again, to both nearby lakes. The lake to the east […]

  • Trail-building


    Armed with three hand-tools — a mattock, a rake and a saw — I have been gradually building a trail from our yard to the Galena Trail. For years I’ve been frustrated by the can’t-get-there-from-here dilemma that separates me from my favourite running trail. We planted a geocache down on the trail more than ten […]

  • Mushrooming


    Yesterday we went to the Nakusp Hot Springs, and I had Chuck drop me off in town to run the trail out to the springs. It ended up being about 11 km because the access road was closed due to logging and I had to do that part on foot. It ended up taking me […]

  • Sufferfest Weekend

    It’s Kootenay Sufferfest weekend. Chuck is away but the girls and I got involved in volunteering the first day. Fiona and Sophie volunteered as marshalling assistants. Fiona was marshalling up-mountain at the halfway First Aid and Marshalling station. She and I sat right at the snow line with slush falling for 7 hours. Plus it […]

  • Hamill Creek Backpacking

    As part of her learning about backcountry survival skills, Fiona wanted to plan a self-supported backpacking trip. Ten days later than we had originally hoped, having missed the glorious summery early September weather, we headed out. Fully laden, we wanted to avoid many of the wonderful heading-into-the-alpine trails in our area: e needed to be […]

  • Alpine hikes

    Alpine hikes

    Since Erin goes back to the city soon, we’ve been making an effort to get out into the wilderness for some big hikes. View down towards Valley of the ghosts. We met a lot of pikas on yesterday’s Alps Alturas Trail. Fiona is amazing. All 70 pounds of her. Five hundred metres elevation gain? A […]

  • The winter outdoors

    The last few weeks have been perfect outdoor recreation weather, and we’re taking full advantage of it, especially on skis. Fiona has discovered XC skiing this year, and she’s quite a natural at it. She and I have been going out at least a couple of times a week together, exploring various trails in the […]

Verified by MonsterInsights