courtenay and climbing

we spent last week in courtenay, BC, househunting, working, mtn biking and hanging out with our friends matt, monique, liam and torr. we havent found our dream house yet, but we love the community. our friends' place backs directly onto a river, offering hiking, biking, exploring and tubing right out their door.

liam had fun walking niko, and only fell over once. torr is already running as fast as he can, even though he hasnt really learned how yet... he fell a lot. we loved playing with these boys, they are so well behaved and absorb so much. liam asked me about a mary poppins silouhette on my shirt and really latched on to the idea of a magical babysitter. i sang supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for him and he was hooked.

courtenay seems like a young, vibrant community. we were there for market days and the downtown was packed. quite a change from chilliwack downtown.

as mentioned, matt and monique have a dream backyard that looks onto the river. the last night there we had friends over for thai food. mmm... spicy coconut soup...

i went for a bike ride every full day we were in town. the first 2 days i did some crosscountry/downhill with matt, and the 3rd day i checked out what mt. washington had to offer. the 4th day i drove out to a property we were looking at purchasing and rode the trail network accessible directly across the street! the comox valley has every type of riding in abundance; rooty xc and gnarly downhill northeast of cumberland, downhill and NS stunts in forbidden plateau, and sweet smooth freeriding and technical downhill on mt washington... i was in heaven.
this is from the top of mt. washington. not too many ski hills look out over the ocean. they had just opened up a new run called back in black, off the classic wizard, and it was smooth and fast, with big hits and fat ladder drops. after scoping the run out a few times i was hitting 10 foot gap jumps and 8 foot drops like butter. i was getting a lot of respect on the hill for riding a hard tail, but the trannies were so smooth it hardly mattered! i took kylie's advice and pulled out a bit early (my legs were shakin and my forearms were achin) and although i crashed hard a few times, i avoided getting hurt.

on the way home from courtenay we picked up our friend heidi, who we stayed with in thailand.
we wanted her to have a good alpine hike before she returned to bangkok, so we took her up cheam.
it was a hot clear day, which made for perfect hiking weather at altitude.

it was great to hang out with heidi again, and to return her hospitality. her bubbly energy is infectious and our politico-religious discussions revealed that after all these years we still have a lot in common.

niko loved her as well. there's something about a girl who knows just where to scratch. he even gently woke her up at 4am to get a little extra attention; something he has never done to any of our guests before.
we reached the summit with no falls and no bear sightings.

the views of the surrounding peaks were incredible, although the smoke from the kelowna fires really started to fill the fraser valley in the afternoon. we did some glissading and kylie froze her bum.
an excellent hike with a great friend. next scheduled visitor is josh for mid august (not counting mom and dad and shareen and craig who are with us right now in seattle) so we will have to up the ante for him.


drama on our porch


the beheading

i love our camera!


energetic july

we are crazy busy through july and are sorely behind in our blogging. first up is our friend shawn's stag party/camping weekend in the fraser canyon near lytton. we packed a weekend full of mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hottubbing, eating and drinking.

rafting on the thompson river is a a thoroughly fun experience on any day, and this day was 35 degrees and sunny. the last time shawn and i (and ashley) went rafting, we flipped on the first major rapid, and i lost kylie for a while. this time we certainly got wet, but the boat stayed right side down and shawn remained safe.
however he did take a major spill on his mtn bike and required the tlc of dr. ashley.

the campground we stayed at was pretty deluxe, featuring a pool and hottub, as well as bike trails and stunts. the views of the canyon were stunning.

on the way home from lytton, duncan (the guy biking the skinny above) told me about alexandra bridge, so the next day i took kylie there for our 8th anniversary. it sure doesnt feel like we are in the 9th year of our marriage!
we had a great day together, going out for a full diner breakfast in the morning, then heading out to explore the abandoned bridge.

alexandra bridge was built in 1926 as part of the old highway. after being decomissioned the area was made into a little provincial park that is worth exploring.nice picture kylie, but open your eyes please:

in the evening we ventured out to abbotsford and had a fantastic meal at restaurant 62. they made the best mojito i have ever had, and a pretty mean apple, fennel and saffron soup.

after 4 action packed days, kylie and i loaded up the 4runner and trundled out to vancouver island to visit our friends matt, monique, liam and torr, and to look at properties. actually i mostly went there to mtn bike, and got in 4 big days of riding in our 5 days away. the breakdown of the biking will have to wait though... but just like the thompson river, shawn's stag and alexandra bridge, it was spectacular!


Happy Fourth on the Fourteenth!

I just got back from spending a lovely fourth of July in Idaho with my grandparents, father and brother and sister in law. We had a great time visiting, floating down the Boise River and setting off fireworks!
Here is my brother purchasing fireworks about 20 feet from a gas station. So safe!
Brad had never purchased or set off fireworks before (nor had I) so was a bit unsure of what his purchases would bring. We were all very happy with the spectacle they set off, as I'm sure were the neighbours with all our screams.
In preparation for the big event, Brad purchased an American hat and won this shirt in the sometimes annual run down the lane at my dad's cousins.

Earlier in the day . . .
We headed to my great Aunt Annette's house for the annual fourth of July BBQ. Here we are getting a tour of her garden.

Playing squeak with the relatives. Last year I just wanted to win one round and was unsuccessful. This year I managed to do so (I may have only been playing against Brad, Raquel and my dad) and we quit as soon as I did. I am the champion!!!
Thankfully the volleyball net was forgotten (I was the cause of the loss of 4 games last year) and croquet was brought out instead. I was very happy to be a spectator for this lively game!

These are my dad's cousins daughters kids (yes that is complicated) playing in the dirt. hee hee
In previous years there has apparently been a mile run down the lane. Due to the newly instituted volleyball game and the majority of my Aunt Annette's lane being bought up by Idahoan millionaires the lane was no longer a mile. This year we ran up and down multiple times to make a mile with prizes for the winner. Brad won the race and chose his new American flag shirt, I came in fourth and chose some coloured smoking balls to set off later that night.

We did spend more than just the fourth of July in Idaho, Brad turned OLD while we were there. Here he is BBQing his birthday steaks.

I realized I took very few pictures of my dad while we were there, so here is one of the few that I have.
Brad stocked up on shirts while in the land of potatoes, this is his birthday gift from Marc and I.
While visiting Idaho as a teenager I ran into my grandparents hedge with their lawnmower. Here I am showing my old age prowess as a lawnmower driver.
A family picture - here we all are on Brad's birthday. Thanks for the great visit everyone!!


lethbridge biking

a sweet bike video shot in my hometown. lethbridgians will recognize the catelli building, the university, the coulees, downtown and the skate park and factory by ICS. good tune at 2 minutes. you can make it fullscreen by clicking the button in the top right corner of the video.

these are the places i started riding, but i didnt do any 360s.

thanks chris!