rain or shine

events of the past week have involved a lot of rain, but also a lot of shine. we had a day of solid rain for biking at whistler and a day of solid sun for camping on harrison lake.

first the biking. chris, chad, justin and i all woke up bright and early to get out to whistler for a day of screaming downhill. unfortunately it poured rain the whole day. fortunately we had a fantastic time anyway. we were soaked to the bone on the first run and didnt dry off until we showered after sitting in the hottub. we only ventured to the very top of the hill once and it was so cold we couldnt feel if we were braking or not.
we didnt take any pictures on the hill b/c the camera wouldnt have survived. i dont know how these guys all look so clean... they must have washed their faces or something before i took this picture. look at me with my coffee:
the waitress couldnt talk to me without laughing. we all got filthy muddy and bruised up and tired, then took a long lunch break to drink hot coffee and eat brocolli soup and burgers, and then went out and got even more muddy and bruised. after washing off our bikes and ourselves with the provided pressure hoses we retired to chris' girlfriend's condo hottub where we recovered and chatted pleasantly with older couples about bear tourism and the upcoming olympics. poor chad was too polite to go in the semipublic hottub in his boxers and bleached his brand new biking shorts instead. sorry chad! the new colour looks good at least.

now on to the sunshine! kylie, niko and i spent the weekend camping at an abandoned logging camp on harrison lake.

on the way there i gave the 4runner a solid 4x4 workout, navigating some extracurricular loops entirely extraneous to where we were going. there were multiple occasions where kylie was screaming and clutching the oh shit handles while i was bouncing, laughing and gunning it.

when we first hit gravel though, we were stopped at a police checkpoint. when they found out we were planning on camping on crown land, they made us pour out all our alcohol on the side of the road. there were 2 teenagers pouring out their 24 packs of kokanee and budweiser already. i added my 4 st. ambroise apricot ales to the thirsty soil, but declined to mention my fin du monde. extremely lame but i did appreciate the police presence to cut down on the yahoos in the bush a bit.

5 minutes down the road we were given a ticket by 2 cops on quads for going 50 on a forest service road where the speed limit was 40. that was just lame. we also got to watch the cop pull his gun on a possibly imaginary bear.

20 minutes later we saw a bear crossing the road. when we arrived it ran up the hillside as fast as a deer. we ran into him again while backtracking a road and followed him down a side trail for a while.

after exploring the northwest side of harrison lake we settled on this spot to camp. we had it entirely to ourselves and the views were magnificent.

i did a bit of swimming, but we didnt hike or bike anywhere or do much of anything aside from sit and read, make food and take pictures; we must have spent about 2 hours just watching niko engaged in one of his favourite pastimes of digging buried sticks out of the shallows and bringing them to shore... scan, dig, dunk head underwater and pull stick out of the mud, bring to shore, drop stick, return to water, scan, dig, dunk...

this is me reading about the original commissioning, translating, compiling, editing and printing of the king james bible... maybe if i would have shown the cops this book they wouldnt have made me pour out my beer.
this is kylie reading about household robots that ingest insects to power their fuel cells (i suggest clicking on this picture for the full effect).

i reoriented the fly on our tent and made a great shaded breezy gazebo with a view. go tarn3!

we forgot sunscreen, so in the afternoon of the second day i wore this getup a lot to keep the sun off my head and neck. kylie thought it quite fashionable and requested to take my picture. in the interest of fashion i assented.
the ridge immediately behind our spot.

we had plenty of dry firewood and unlimited smore supplies. anyone familiar with le chatelier's principle and my stomach knows this is not wise.
our spot.

our temporary veranda's natural floral arrangement.

our perpetually wetfaced dog.


canoe day

today was the annual canoe day with the chilliwack residents. fun people and great food. we even went canoeing. the weather started out a bit cool, but then the sun came out.

i had fun with the kids, who had declared themselves a band of sasquatchs that were hunting us in our canoe. kylie stayed back and took pictures from the safe dry bank, assuring the parents that if i was out in the canoe i probably wanted to get wet.

kylie made this fantastic pizza a few days ago. fried bacon, sausage, peppers and onions, with spices from our deck garden and waterbuffalo mozzarella. i may have also slathered half the pizza with a 4 cheese mix after taking this picture. the crust was thick and juicy. kylie has tried many crust recipes lately but i think she will stick to this one for a while.

this is kylie making the crust while skyping with my mom on my mom's new bday laptop. skype has really enabled my family to keep in touch over the last year or so.

we skyped with carlynne and dan tonight in their first week in ottawa and got a tour of their new place. on the drive across the country they stopped to explore and do some camping and fishing. dan caught the good eatin fish pictured above and when he gutted it he found this partially digested fish inside! that must have been a fight.

i have been working a lot (for me) over the first half of june, but i have left the last half much more open, so even though we need rain i am hoping for sunny weather during the day. it can rain all night if it wants to. plans are in the works for a bike trip to whistler and some camping on harrison lake in addition to the requisite mtn biking and hiking around here.

ending with a cute picture of niko was popular last post, so i'll add my cute wife to this one.


endless summer addendum

kylie can surf!!!!

(thanks for the pictures nolene!!)


endless summer

turns out the timing on our trip and more importantly our arrival home was perfect. we have been home exactly one month and it has been stunningly beautiful almost every day. perhaps in some sort of subconcious rebellious pique i have consistently forgotten to bring a camera on any hikes or walks by the river. i have taken too many pictures in the last 4 months! i did take these pictures of kylie with niko in a field a few blocks from our house last week.

we also remembered to bring our camera to nick and yukiko's wedding at minter gardens in chilliwack. it was great to meet yukiko and the gardens were a wonderful place to show off canada to her family visiting from japan. the best part was seeing the couple so happy (oh, and to see all the respectable medical guests dancing like maniacs (myself included)).

since we have been home we have seen a lot of our friends, and their kids. kylie has been doing a bit of babysitting. this is maddie, who has taken to asking, "where's my kylie?" several times a day.
our neighbours expanded their back deck area, and while i cant blame them for wanting to use the yard, they now sit staring straight at our balcony, so kylie and i went out to a local greenhouse to purchase an organic screen, which is growing in quite nicely... i love it. i love relaxing out there and casually trimming or watering, and we have enjoyed the fresh herbs (oregano and mint in the bottom left corner - as well as the thyme and basil and cilantro and peppers previously posted).

kylie has gone all domestic again and recently completed a huge batch of tiny jars of strawberry jam. it set really well and is currently filling up our fridge. tiny jar of homemade jam anyone?
we finally went to our friend chad and ang's barn and took out the rest of our junk that had been in storage since we left for kenya! thanks guys. now its time to catalogue everything and put it on craigslist. anyone want a 20G fishtank + stand and acc?

we strapped kylie's parents' old mattress to the 4runner and drove it to the dump. again i forgot the camera! goodbye mattress of memories.

poor niko... do we not feed you enough?


10 Random Thoughts in the aftermath of two beautiful weeks

1. I did a post like this before when we didn't have a camera and it was very popular and since I have random thoughts running around in my head . . . Why not?

2. It is actually still beautiful here today, just a bit cloudy but still warm. Definitely not like Alberta weather this weekend. Marc and I were talking about the possibility about snow here in June and we just laughed. Oh B.C.!

3. Listerine really hurts your tongue if you leave it in your mouth for too long.

4. We have gone a bit gardening crazy this week. We went to to a local greenhouse and have totally outfitted (is that a word one can apply to gardening?) our patio for summer. It is so convenient to have pre-arranged flower boxes and baskets. I am just getting into this gardening thing so I like having a ready-made garden. I am not sure if I will ever be a flower garden aficionado but I am definitely getting into planting herbs and vegetables. Oh the joys of getting older and more mature!

5. We can't find the charger for our new camera. It was in New Zealand and we haven't seen it since we got back. Granted we haven't looked that hard for it, hmmmmm.

6. This weekend my task to complete was our NZ photo album. I am happy to report I am almost done and Marc gave me a grade of A+. Next task: Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and then Europe, Israel, Jordan, Zanzibar, Turkey and the mother of them all - Kenya. Not a bad task to have but a daunting one nonetheless.

7. I realized when typing this post that I am really bad at sounding words out that I don't know how to spell. I visualize most words from memorization and when I can't see them in my head all I see is jumble of letters I know are supposed to be there but not in the correct order. I was trying to sound out convenient but was horrible at it. I may have googled it to find the correct spelling.

8. We have Olympic tickets! We tried to get tickets in the first round, but were unsuccessful. Yesterday tickets opened up again and the only one we could find with available tickets was the bronze medal Women's hockey game. (Even though there was quite an extensive list of events with "available" tickets, this was the only one we could actually get.) We are pretty happy to have tickets to a medal game and mainly just want to have an Olympic experience!
9. These are the 2010 mascots. Oh they are amusing. My dad and I spent a good part of a morning last year reading their bios and laughing at them talk.

10. The other night I was babysitting some friends children and we took our picture in photo booth. After I e-mailed them the pictures it made me think of this picture of myself that Marc took in photo booth in Kenya. Marc sent the picture as an attachment to our family with no text and we got some very worried e-mails from family members thinking this way our way of telling them I had some weird tropical Kenyan disease. hee hee I did forget how ugly it is!!!

And that my friends is what I will leave you with today. ;)