Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June ~ one for the record books!

As the sunsets on the month of June...
let me share a few snapshots of 'the month that was'.

Despite having a very dry spring...
the fields looked green earlier this month.

We were praying for rain...
for more than the wee drizzle that we encountered on a Sunday afternoon walk at Cheam Wetlands Park.

On the night that I caught this blue heron at the end of the rainbow...
we actually had a downpour over the farm.
Short and sweet but it helped the crops.

Before school ended for the year, I picked Ranen up after school on a very hot day.
A DQ 'chocolate cherry love blizzard' hit the spot...
and a walk along the beach at Cultus Lake was a good way to spend our time together.
Ranen found a cottage that she loved...
and thought maybe it was actually meant to be hers since it had her initials.

Emme arrived back home from her missions trip to Uganda...
but not without a lot of drama. 
She could not board her original flight home as she tested positive for Covid.
Her and three teammates were left behind...
to fend for themselves in a strange place that never felt real safe.
A few days later, the Ugandan president announced a 42 day lockdown for the nation. 
Unless they had a negative Covid test within days, they would be in Uganda until the end of July.
A lot of prayers went up on her behalf...
and it was nothing short of a miracle that they passed the Covid test last minute and left Uganda just before all travel halted.
Emme, along with two YWAM friends, isolated at home for 14 days...
as required by Canadian regulations.
They had permission to get fresh air and exercise in the back yard of the farmhouse.
The backyard soon expanded to include the entire acreage...
and exercise involved an ATV.
Spencer joined their trio, 
since she had just recovered from Covid herself...
and the foursome came across 'the backyard' for a patio visit.
Their isolation is now over...
the friends have travelled on to their homes in Alberta...
and life continues closer to home for Emme.
The experiences of the past six months will not soon be forgotten!

Once the travel restrictions eased in B.C., we booked a campsite in Midway...
on the recommendation of friends.
We packed up the RV and left mid-morning for a trip to 'Boundary Country'...
with plans to be there by dinnertime. 

We had a leisurely drive...
stopping for groceries along the way, 
passing by a new wildfire just east of Hope, 
lunch in Manning Park, 
cherries in Keremeos,

Just east of Osoyoos we discovered that the highway east was closed until further notice due to an accident.
We were advised to find shade and wait.
Once it became clear that the highway wouldn't likely be opening before midnight...
I turned to Google to see what the options might be.  
I learned there was route north to Oliver...
then east over the mountains which would eventually get us to our destination.
It all looked very simple on Google maps.

And for the first while...
we were thrilled with our scenic detour.

But before long the road turned to bumpy and dusty gravel...
and we yielded frequently to cattle.
This was not the type of road we would have chosen to travel with our motorhome!
We passed by Mt. Baldy ski resort...
one of BC's highest elevation ski resorts. 
With no cell service and no 'old fashioned maps'...
we certainly hoped that we were on the right trail!
How thankful we were to reach paved roads once again...
and arrived at our destination well before dark.

We set up camp along the Kettle River in Midway.
The closed highway never re-opened until the following day...
which made us thankful for our bumpy detour of the previous day.

Midway was once a bustling rail hub in the West Kootenay region of our province.
It is now a sleepy little village...
but a beautiful one!

Midway is Mile 0 of the Kettle River Railway and to the east lies another rail trail...
the Columbia and Western Rail trail.

We cycled east to Greenwood one day...
and west to Rock Creek the next. 

We opened and closed gates...

...lifted our bikes over fallen logs 
...cycled through a logging operation and past farmer's fields
...swerved to miss marmots and rabbits
...while deer grazed peacefully beside the trail.

Of all the paths you take in life,
make sure a few of them are dirt.
~John Muir

I couldn't agree more.

We explored abandoned cabins and outhouses.
And we got very hot!
It was extremely warm to be cycling last week.

I found a way to cool off.

Once again we enjoyed cycling a few pieces of the rail trails of British Columbia.
There are many more waiting for us to explore.

Another time...
when it is a little cooler!

We circled around to Kelowna on our way home...
spending a night camped on the shores of Okanagan Lake.

It was nice to visit with family there that we hadn't seen in a long time due to travel restrictions.

We made it home before the extreme heat event of 2021.
I guess it would qualify as the extreme heat event of the last century.
For several days running we broke all-time high temperature records here in British Columbia.
We are not used to temperatures of 43C (110 F)! 

We are thankful for a cool house when being outdoors is unbearable.

Tomorrow is Canada Day.
And yes, we are flying our flag!

I am thankful to live in this great country...
even if there is much in our history that I am not proud of.

God bless this nation evermore
And help that it may stay
A land of right for all mankind...
This may we ever pray!

Those were the last few lines of a poem I wrote for Canada Day 1967.
Canada's Centennial year.

I will say 'amen' to that prayer again this year...
54 years years later.

Happy Canada Day...
and thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

May ~ memories of the month that was

For everything there is a season.  
The month of May is definitely ‘the time to sow’ in our corner.

It’s always a busy time on the farm...
...with grass to harvest and fields to prepare for seeding.

We don’t make too many plans in May...
since everything revolves around farm work.

We definitely don’t plan to self-isolate for two weeks of the month!
But there are times when our agendas are put on hold...
and we have no choice but to follow public health orders.

Despite all our best efforts to stay clear of Covid 19 this past year...
Elmer got sick and tested positive.

Once he was feeling better...
he decided he might as well isolate in the cab of the tractor and make himself useful.
No one else used that tractor and he stayed inside his own little bubble.

As we all know by now...
all household contacts of someone with Covid also need to isolate.
I never strayed from the yard for a few weeks.  
As you can imagine...that was not what I would have chosen.  

But there are worse places to isolate!
I walked in the fields
some of which I hadn't set foot on in twenty years.
The first crop of grass came in off the fields...
and is stored in bunkers to be fed to the cattle next winter.

Watching our son packing grass in the bunker was not something I wanted to see!

The heifers always came out to greet me as I made my laps around the farmyard.

I don't think that I have ever made pickles and salsa in May.
But since I had lots of time on my hands...
and friends and family who delivered my necessities...
why not?

When all was said and done...
I still knew how to drive the car.  

Let me share a few other happenings of the month.

Mother's Day happened during my time of  'incarceration'...
so needless to say there were no celebrations this year.

But our eldest son stopped by to check up on us...
and dropped off a beautiful bouquet of anemones.

I'm not sure where I have been...
but how is it that these flowers are new to me?
So pretty! 

Birthday celebrations have been very low-key this past year.
I picked Ranen up after school on her 15th birthday and we had a lovely time together. 
Hopefully next year we can celebrate with the whole family!

Micah's summer is not shaping up quite as he had envisioned.
An accident while jumping into the swimming pool resulted in a broken wrist...
and now he will be watching his friends from the sidelines.
There weren't many smiles at first...
but DQ treats seemed to help.
Keeping him off his scooter for six weeks will not be an easy task.

The grands next door have found a new mode of transportation...
and they came over to demo last week.

Who knew there with electric skateboards with one wheel?

Maggie and Lucy were over and decided to give it a try.
It didn't take them long to catch on.
I'll stick to two wheels or more!

We have been away on our first camping trip of the season...
and just came home tonight.

I actually attempted to do this blog post while we were camping...but discovered that I was not capable of doing that with an iPhone and poor internet service.

We were in the Whistler area...
where we have camped many times over the years.

We saw three bears within hours of arriving...
and were glad we were not tenting!

We spent the last four days hiking, biking, reading,
and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.

So that was how the month of May played out over here.

And just like that it is gone...
and summer is just around the corner.

The snow is rapidly disappearing from Mt. Cheam...
with much less now than on this photo from two weeks ago. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Whistler ~ First Camping Trip of the Year


One of our province's most scenic places to camp.
And also one that happens to be in our health region...
allowing us to travel there without any guilt!

Our trip to Whistler took us a little longer than we had expected.

We found ourselves part of a convoy of  trucks going through Squamish...
and crowds of people lined the roadway and the overpasses. 

Horns were honking and people were waving while logging trucks, cement trucks and gravel trucks passed by.

We discovered later that it was a funeral procession (a two hour convoy of trucks) to honour a local couple involved in the trucking industry who passed away within hours of each other.

Since funerals are not possible here right now,
this was how the community chose to honour them.

Within hours of our arrival in Whistler...

...we met up with several bears.

We never tire of the scenery!

Green Lake...near our campsite.

I'm sure I have taken a photo of this same scene before.
So peaceful!

Our campsite was several miles from the village...
but the Valley Trail is great for biking back and forth along the river.

We cycled everywhere.

One trail took us high above Green Lake...

...and though we never found the ghost town we were looking for,
it was an interesting adventure.

The trail through the forest was great for the most part...

...but when we found ourselves on steep slopes with switchbacks and loose rocks, 
we knew we were riding beyond our skill level...
and decided to turn back.

We may not have found the end of the trail
but we sure enjoyed the journey.

M2...the same site we have stayed in before at the Riverside Campground.
Maybe we will stay there again one day!

Before we left for home yesterday...
we did a short hike along the Cheakumus River to 'the train wreck', just south of Whistler.
The suspension bridge is a great viewpoint for the canyon below.

The boxcars scattered in the woods are the result of an historic train wreck in 1956.
Over the years, hikers and local artists have turned them into an art gallery in the forest.

And that was our first camping trip of the year.

until next time!