Monday, July 23, 2007

Meadow Lake

Went to the lake for our annual pilgrimage. We shared a campsite with our good friends Rene, Devin and Abbie Cannon. We saw a host of wild beasties and taught the girls how to paddle the canoe. Other than that it was your average wilderness bliss. I missed the northern forest and kept needling Wendy to let us move back there.

I'm in a rush so you will have to suffer with a short post and a link to my pics.

Meadow Lake Camping

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Saskatoon

The berries, that is. Wen and the girls and I went to the Strawberry Ranch today and spent an hour picking before I went to work. We came away with 12 litres of berries for a total of $22 (plus gas and a little manual labour), which you will know as a fantastic deal if you have ever paid $4-6 for a pint (about 1/2 litre) of them at the supermarket.

Off to work I went... Oh, did I mention that I'm working at the Cliff Wright library? I can't remember if I've told you or not. Anyway, I am. I'm hoping for a casual position for the fall, but in the meantime, I'm working in the back as a page. It is great fun. Handling books all day really lifts my spirits and I feel like I am part of an enormous and beneficial machine for human betterment. Enough of that...

Home I came and the twelve litres of berries washed and gazing dumbly at me. Their seedy little stares daring me to do something. Before they could muster a defense, the four of us rushed to make a base of flour and fat (crust for those following in the text-book) and in short order, we had manufactured 7 Saskatoon pies with formidable lattice crusts to keep the pesky buggers at bay. We baked 4 and set the other 3 straight to the freezer. Damn! I neglected to take pictures. What kind of blogger am I, anyway? Just as well, I suppose. My treatment of those poor berries would make the Afghanistan detainee scandal look like a trip to Club Med. Oh, well. Onward.

After putting the girls to bed, Wen and I launched a surprise attack on the second battalion of our foes. Using cleverly disguised lemon zest as bait, Litre 2 fell to my vicious machinations and they were summarily turned into jam. No sooner had I sealed the last jar, when I discovered my clever wife had managed to coerce the last of the stragglers, spirits quite broken, into freezer bags, thus sealing their fate. Feeling quite smug by this point, we celebrated with a piece of still warm pie a la mode.

City Quest 2007

I had a lot of trouble sleeping the night before I was to embark on this years circumnavigation attempt. At 4am it was storming fiercely with high winds, lightning, rain, and hail. In a fit of depression, I phoned Jim K and called the walk on account of the weather and went back to bed. By 5am it was obvious that the storm had passed and I had failed. Failed the test of the weather. By 7:30am I was sulking something fierce and Ms. Orange told me to just get off my duff and go -- late or not.

(Sadly, to no avail) I left a message on Jim's cell and headed out the door around 8:30am. And to everyone who wished that we could start at a more reasonable hour... IT WAS TOO LATE! Too Late to finish (for me, anyhow), but not too late to have a fantastic day.

I walked a little over 12 1/2 hrs. I haven't mapped it yet, but I'll go on a limb and estimate about 40 km. I had a lapse in my mental game when I realized that it would certainly be after midnight before I could finish and called it quits over a cup of coffee in the Silver Springs vicinity.

I've been quite sore for a couple of days now. On reflection, it is hard to call such an event a failure. I think any time I can get out the door and make such a serious attempt, get some great air and take such cool photos. It is a win. I'll add on top that Kyro was a fantastic walking apprentice and a real asset to the trip. My heartiest congratulations on a job well done, sir.

Here are many of the photos from the trip. My favorite moments were trekking through the swampy washed out road and eating the best food I've ever tasted when Ms. Orange and Trouble2 brought a fantastic feast to the river park.

City Quest

Check out the new "map view". It's pretty cool, except it doesn't seem to integrate with the other maps I've done in googlemaps. Grrr.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Saturday looking good

The weather for the next few days looks crazy hot, but Saturday still looks reasonable. You should consider only light activity for the next few days. You will want to feel as fresh and strong as you can. Get such sleep as you can given your twisted and painful lives.

On the evening before, you will want to pack a bag. Make it a smallish backpack. Here is what I will have on me and in mine...

I will wear comfortable, snug, broken-in shoes with two pairs of socks. Put Vaseline on your feet before you don said socks. Just get some on your fingers and smear it around. It is a trick I learned when prepping for my marathon. It will help prevent blisters which are likely to be your greatest enemy!

I will begin the day in light long pants, long-sleeve shirt over wife-beater followed by a windbreaker, shedding layers and putting on shorts as it gets hot. A wide brimmed hat and sunglasses would be wise.

In my pack will be a camera (you are welcome to all my photos, but may be expected to shoot a few for me), energy/granola bars (I'll bring a dozen for myself), two litres of water and/or Powerade (in refillable containers. You can freeze them 1/2 full and then fill the rest of the way for extra cool goodness), gum, a pack of Kleenex, chapstick, a local map, a small book and pen, bug repellent and sun screen (we can share), my cell phone, and a few multi-tool/pocket knife type items.

We will have at least one great picnic lunch and some cold drinks brought to us during the day and if you bring some extra socks or a fresh shirt, she can drop those off mid-way. If you think that is cheating, you can just sit by yourself and nibble some pemmican. I find the morale boost is really nice. If you friends/significant others want to be involved, they can contact Wendy to team up, or just call on someone's cell to find us.

I won't bring music, but feel free.

Right now the plan is still to meet at my house at 4-4:10am and depart by 4:30am. Call or post if you have questions.

Liquid Metal

There is an inevitable conflict between finding the time to do really cool things in your spare time and then managing to tell everyone who might be interested about it. When you take the time to make a fire in excess of 660.32 °C (1220.58 °F)(wikipedia) and tell me about it the same day, you can berate me soundly. Below is a link to the best of the pictures with a few comments.
Liquid Metal (linky link linkerton)

Here is a short video of some of the second pour that we did.
--edit January 13, 2013. Sorry. Discovered video is gone. Google! I didn't migrate it to youtube. I may add it later after I re-upload it. Mike--