elk falls baby!

on the flank of elk mountain, south of chilliwack and visible from highway one is a ribbon of waterfall high above the forest.  it is particularly prominent when it's pouring rain.  i've always wanted to go and check it out up close, but there is no trail and the easiest access is all through private land.

luckily i was recently connected with one of the landowners immediately beneath the falls through a new friend.  he is a very friendly guy and was happy to give us topographical advice and allow us to use his driveway as an access point.  you can see a piece of the falls peaking out of the forest in the far right of this picture.

the flank of elk is rough terrain, steep and rife with deadfall and devils club.  at several points chris and i found ourselves climbing rotten shale and moss, or sliding down overflow drainages.  solid boots and gators definitely came in handy.

eventually by following the roar of the falls and (as we approached) the thrum in our chests, we arrived at our destination.  with the power of the falls resonating through my body i celebrated our triumph with a primal scream.
chris celebrated in more reserved style with a sincere smile.

up close elk falls is actually two separate waterfalls.  only the upper one is visible from the valley, but the lower one (pictured above) is still spectacular.
the upper falls is pretty incredible.  it is easy to see why this has long been a powerful location to the local people.  you can feel the thunder through your boots and up into your chest.  standing on slippery off camber rock high above the crashing water adds to the adrenaline.

despite being selectively logged in 2004, the forest around the falls still contains some pretty tall timber.  if the access was officialized and a well drained trail was cut this would be a gorgeous spot for hiking and biking trails.  looking forward to exploring the area further in 2015.


star creek hill - winter ascent

 fraser, dave and i braved the snowy roads to attempt a winter summit of the indomitable star creek hill, also known as "the saddle", just south of coleman.  it's nice to get up some mountains when we're home in AB.
we found a quad trail that led to a lookout over starcreek falls, then began bushwhacking up to attain the ride.

 from the ridge we hit each prominence and the descended to the saddle.  here is dave riding the bucking mountain.

from the saddle it was up up, down and then up to the various windswept peaks.

 the ridge was lovely.  even in the biting cold wind there were small sheltered areas to enjoy.  it was about -20 but we stayed nice and warm as long as we were moving.

 i sent this picture to kylie and she replied that she liked my moustache.  i have this in writing and will keep it for all time.  i may post it on the fridge (kylie's testament, not my moustache).

after a swig of scotch on the peak we descended through an old burn with warm bellies.

 reaching the valley floor we found a tributary to star creek and after some more bushwhacking found some quad trails to lead us back to the starting point.  6 hours round trip.  nice loop.  gorgeous day.  good company.


Fall oh Fall oh where have you gone ???

Well I have to say that this is probably the longest we have gone without updating our blog. Can I blame having three children on this? Speaking of 3 children, this little one just turned 6 months.  He is so lovely - smiling, happy all the time, and so happy to watch his brothers play and kiss him and say hello.  (And occasionally is the recipient of their "aggressive" love) ;)

Levi has been in the jolly jumper a couple of times.  It is not as easy to put him in with two older brothers as they often end up running by him and knocking him off kilter.  Doesn't make for as fun of a jumping time.

Zee with our neighbour Zoltan.  I think here he is looking at one of the special rocks that Zoltan saved him from his garden.
The fall was quite nice and some of our favourite river spots have opened up again.

As usual we have gone for many walks in the forest.  And picnics too!!

We use our window seat so much.  I can't believe how much the boys use it for playing, reading, looking at baby "yaya" etc..

My mom headed for a visit for Thanksgiving.  It was beautiful and sunny!

Rolling down the hill with Grandma.  

At the pumpkin patch with preschool:

Marc and I got out for a kayak . . . 
Baking with Ty:

One day we headed over to the school gym where our church meets. Boys had so much fun.

Thanksgiving dinner . . .
Enjoying the view from our deck before dinner:

It was also Grandma's birthday while she was here.  Giving Grandma birthday ice cream. 

And presents that Ty picked out.  He LOVES buying presents for people.  He picked out these tea towels and some earrings.

Oh Zekey!!
And lastly Halloween.  We visited cousins Gerry and Ann to show them the boys pirate costumes.  

Carving pumpkins . .  . 
Trick or treating.  The boys were transfixed with this talking electronic man. 

Making monster cupcakes with Ty. 
And lastly our family Halloween photo.  

And on to November (hopefully soon!)