Friday, 31 October 2008

Middle of Somewhere

I'm thinking today about Hallowe'en and how nice it is to NOT be working! We're probably about half-way to the winter solstice and it's definitely that "between things" time of year. Here's a picture from just north of Yellowstone National Park when we were definitelyin the middle of a snowstorm and the middle of the northern hemisphere. I'll be sorry to have the time change on Sunday because that means preparing dinner in the dark. On the plus side, it'll be light enough to encourage me to get up earlier once again and I know that I'm a morning person. Feeling just sort of in the middle of things today.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Highway 31 Revisited

Yesterday was another blue sky day in the Koots so we travelled up Highway 31 to explore some new areas. One place we discovered was the community of Howser that probably has the best campsite in B.C. in it - and its free! It is located on Duncan Lake and has lovely sites along the lakeshore and TWO sandy beaches. I've never liked Duncan Lake but did learn that it is partly au natural - the Duncan Dam made it grow by 40 km in length. Actually, the Duncan Dam didn't look all that bad either, for a dam!
We saw 13 bald eagles fishing along the Lardeau River and pictured here is the Gerrad Bridge as it crosses the Lardeau - B.C.'s remote Highway 31. Not visible in this picture, but about 50 m off the road, was a grizzly feeding on the carcass of an animal we couldn't identify. The ravens were in on it too.


This post has nothing to do with ego or anything related to it. I planned to write about Idaho because I enjoyed our travels through it last week. I was referring to Lewis and Clark as "the boys" before we left - I loved visiting the Salmon River which Clark decided was not a viable route to the west. We didn't get to see it in its fury, but I'd like to explore this area - it's absolute wilderness - south of the Salmon is an area called the River of No Return. Sagajewa was supposed to be born in Idaho - here's a picture of her supposed birthplace. She's another example of the old adage about women being the sucess behind a man - or men, in this case.

One thing that I've been curious about with Idaho is that Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Last Picture Show) refuses to go there because it is the headquarters of the Aryan Nation. Today I decided to google that information - yes, the headquarters are in Hayden, ID. Looking at the 2 sites that I chose to click on I was met with these slogans: "Stop the Hate - Segregate" and "The Whitest Website on Earth". I refuse to provide any links to these sites and I'd have to say that Larry is on to something.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Thoughts on Yellowstone

I haven't been to Yellowstone since 1991 and it was interesting to revisit with a new perspective as a "mountain dweller". I found the landscape strangely unappealing, although the geysers are always amazing and where else can one see something like that? The fact that this blue sky was the only bit we did see during our 3 days of visiting probably plays a role in my feelings about it. I LOVE the rivers, but I'm crazy about water. The forest was so blah - all pine and there were no fall colours to enjoy. The heights of land were mere hills. I did find the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone as amazing as my first visit. I wonder if my feelings for this place of unusual beauty have changed because I now live in one of the most amazing places on the planet if you like mountains, rivers and lakes. Dave's got some great pictures from our trip to the States and they can be viewed at this link:

Wood Splitting II

I previously wrote about how much I've enjoyed wood splitting here in the Koots. Well, this week we had a chance to experience a mechanised version of this same event. Neighbours of ours couldn't get their wood splitter to work so they told Dave if he could get it going he could make use of it. Of course Dave had it working almost immediately. We had to try it out to make sure it actually did work - pictured here is the splitter and the wood pile we created in less than an hour. It really works very well. I think I'm going to suggest that Dave and I buyone as our solstice gift to each other. The only drawback I've noticed so far is that it isn't the calorie burner of the older method but it's sure good on the Carpel Tunnel syndrome.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

The Five Cent Solution

Don't know what to do with a nickel any more? Send it to Trail, B.C. where the cost of an hour's parking is 5 cents. Andrea is collecting nickels to have in her office on Trail's "Bay Street" (that really is the name!) so that clients can use them in the meters outside on the street. How often do you actually have a nickel in your purse/pocket? Alas, I didn't have the camera out so didn't get a picture of these truly amazing parking meters - they look like all the others in every place I've ever visited - but there you go - 5 cents to park! And we say that everything's gone up in price!