Sunday, 30 September 2007

Harvest Days

I love harvest time and Canadian Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. This past week I pretty much harvested all of my garden excpet carrots and potatoes. I have TONS of tomatoes and the difference between this harvest and the prairie harvest is that I got to pick off the tomatoes at a pleasant temperature! I still have mostly green ones but they are ripening in my newly created cold room. I can't say that I had a better harvest than in my Saskatchewan garden but I sure learned a lot this year. Lack of water will probably always be my bugbear. I transplanted a bunch of daylilies and lilies into new areas this week and the really joyful thing was to NOT dig a hole that was 18 inches deep for lilies. I don't think we get that kind of frost around here. It's a good thing because it's pretty much impossible to dig a deep hole out here - there's always one more rock to discover. Don't those harvest preserves look scrumptious?

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Hikin' in the Rain

A couple of weeks ago we learned about a group of people going into the Alsulkan Hut near Rogers Pass and made the decision to accompany the group. We'd never hiked much in this area and I've always found the really high peaks of the Selkirks at the summit of Rogers Pass pretty appealing. The forecast was not good but I lightly said to Dave that I'd be happy to go (it's been a really dry summer after all) until the snow got to be a foot deep. I did have to eat those words. The hike along the Alsulkan Creek (?) is delightful and this picture is of one of the waterfalls pouring off the side of some mountain. I loved this part of the hike. After crossing the creek, the climb up the lateral moraine is pretty steep and fairly narrow, but not really scary. We'd heard about the storm "at the top" from about 40 kids who were on the descent. We hit the snow about 30 minutes from the cabin and at that point we were ready to keep going just to get high, dry and warm.
The blizzard continued the rest of the day and overnight. It was relatively warm - a couple of degrees below zero but the wind totally made me think of Wyoming! The next morning before 8:00 we could see the view - the front entrance of the hut looks right down on the Rogers Pass Centre. By 8:30 we were back into snow and wind. Dave and I decided to descend so I did get to go through my foot of wet snow and the lateral moraine could have been very scary if it had been icy. I was really glad to have two hiking poles with me. By the time we reached the forest it was steady rain. I think this is the first hike in which our descent was slower than the ascent. Dry clothing was a first priority when we arrived at the car, followed by beers and burgers in Revelstoke.

When It's Been 65

I had my family out here for a visit and one reason to be together was to celebrate the 65th wedding anniversary of our parents. These balloons were decoratively displayed at a picnic table at Fletcher Falls. I got there to discover my memory card was full and no one seems to have taken a picture of the table with the balloons hanging from a ski pole. I took this pic with the balloons hanging in my south window and reversed the picture so you can tell that it's an anniversary balloon.
We had a cloudy but relatively warm day for the picnic. Teresa's sandwiches were great and everyone enjoyed the Kettle oven-baked chips, marinated vegetables and smoked gouda and butternut squash dip with our crackers. Of course, matromonial cake was served for dessert. I was relieved to discover that everyone could travel the descent/ascent without difficulty, including my legally blind brother-in-law. It was great to see Dad take the steep route back UP the hill and Mum needed about a 10 second rest on the ascent. It was a satisfying day and celebration. When Dad came down with a cold the next day and decided to hightail it home in one day I was pleased to hear he'd done it and had his usual luck as the second last car on the ferry crossing to the Island.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

THWTB Tour '07

I just finished a holiday at home, touring around our area with my newly retired teacher friend, Marilyn, from Regina. We called this our To Hell With The Bell Tour '07. I particularly like this shot taken on the Eastern Shore of Kootenay Lake on a very windy day at the best beach I've found on this lake so far. We found Kokanne spawning, had a picnic at a newly found beach near Shutty Bench, had a grand time in Hills (see previous post), tried out lots of new restaurants and bakeries and explored a wee bit of Castlegar and the south end of Arrow Lake. As usual, Fletcher Falls was another show stopper and Wings Night at the Beachcomber Pub was a celebration with a divine cake to celebrate two birthdays that week. The weather was pretty much perfect all week, although I do need rain for my plants and rain barrel. It's been a great week to be two retirees!!!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Headin' for the Hills (Garlic Festival, that is)!

It was another fine, totally blue sky day in the Koots for the Hills Garlic Festival. Ironically enough, the festival is no longer held in Hills where this picture was taken. It takes place in New Denver, about 12 km from Hills. There was a huge crowd out for the event once again this year and we enjoyed sampling lots of garlic goodies. Marilyn and I each managed to spend a little less than $100.00 and came home with jewelry, honey, candles and food, of course. We also visited the Nikkei Memorial Centre in New Denver and took a quick trip to Hills (to take the picture) and enjoyed a quiet sit by Wilson Creek at Rosebery Provincial Park. Then we tried out the Mexican food at the Wild Rose Restaurant in Rosebery - a bit too crowded today to really test the kitchen.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

100-Mile Diet

I just finished reading The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon. I really liked the book because to me it was much more than a book about eco-friendly eating. It was all about being eco-friendly generally. It has made me think more about the food around me and I know that I've made the commitment to eat much less red meat. That has been a part of my life for at least two years now. Thanks to Andrea for the introduction to veggie protein as a ground beef substitute. I tend to have time to make soups from scratch more than I did while working so it is something I do now, at least in the winter. I won't be going to the extremes that the authors went to and I know that I'm not prepared to give up eating chicken and meat entirely. I want to grow more of my own food and there seems to be lots of local produce available here that people are willing to share. Which reminds me, it's time to get the handpicked plums out of the canner.