Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Tour with the Dogs

We got a very special treat today - our first dog sled ride.

One of the ladies who competes at the Caledonia Classic every year invited us over to try the sport.  So we headed down to Fort Fraser and got our first taste of what it is like on the sled.

The colourful dog yard.  The dogs barked to greet us when we arrived, but other than that, they were remarkably quiet.  
We got to spend some time with them.  It is interesting how different in personality they all are. Ann know everyone so well.  What a bunch of happy dogs. 

 The dogs love their little houses.  Many of them spent the afternoon on the roof basking in the warm sun.  The doors and windows were painted on after an inspiring trip to Newfoundland.

 Lindsay getting her 'lesson' from Ann.

 Wanda (white) and Cappy (black) are ready to go.  Running behind them are Cisco (tan) and Lacey (black).

All ready to go.

Vesna (the dog out front) ran along side us.

Running along.

I only fell off once. 

Coming across the field after a series of turns.

Run through the woods into the 'finish line'.

 What an amazing experience!

Our spectators - two eagles.

Mark's turn. 

All ready to go!

In front we have Sugar (black) and Ronny (tan).  Behind is Raj (black) and Strider (white and gray).

The dogs and Mark coming up the hill.  Going up the hill is a great place to start because the dogs are moving slower, therefore you can figure out the balance better.  Going flat and down, those dogs really move. 

 Vesna leading the way.

Mark coming through the  series of turns. 

Coming down a little hill.

Coming across the fields.

Vesna 'leading' the team to the 'finish line'.

Thank you Ann and John for a fabulous adventure.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Our annual early spring camping trip

This weekend we headed out to Kloch Lake for our annual early spring camping trip.  It is a great time of year, when the snow is still on the ground, but the daytime temperatures are above zero.  It was precipitating slightly when we left town, but we had hopes that it would only be snow further north.  It was clear when we arrived at the entrance to the Kloch Lake rec site.  Luckily the snow plow had pushed into the entrance throughout the winter, so there was somewhere safe to park the car. We unloaded the gear and strapped on our skis and headed over the snowbank and down the laneway.  And then realized how deep the snow was and how soft the 'crust' was.  Not 50 m down the lane, we stopped so I could switch from skis to snowshoes.  I broke trail, but it was a tight fit for the sled.  The narrow path kept causing the sled to slip sideways and I'd have to head back behind Mark to right it.  Another ~200 m down the trail and we were exhausted.  With the end in sight, but still only half way there, we decided to change plans.  We dropped the sled and just snowshoed/skied the rest of the way.  After dumping the packs, we went back for the sled, widening the trail.  The sled slid smoothly on the widened trail and the last part of the trip was easy going.    Ah! Time to enjoy the beauty of the frozen lake.

Time to relax....  well, and set up camp.

Home away from Home.

The fire is going.  Life is good.

Round one of dinner - stuffed portobello mushrooms cooked in tinfoil.  (Check out the awesome coals oven we have - coals below and above the packages)

Dinner round two - Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.   Delicious.

Mark building a qunicey.  We didn't quite have enough time to get it to set safely for sleeping.

Craft time - making shamrock knots out of paracord.  (Thanks Peter for the instructions)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!