Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Appily Ever After

I'm gonna have to say that apples are probably my favorite fruit. Granny Smiths, to be specific. This summer Brent and I have been involved in apple harvest/processing on several occasions. In early August, we were at my parents' house one weekend when we realized that the apples were ready earlier than normal. So...we got all the necessary supplies to make 19 (approximately) pies and a wholllllllllllle lot of applesauce.

Then, last weekend when Brent was away at a class, Jorgen and I went to the farmer's market and picked up a big bag of apples. Then that night, thanks to the handy apple peeler/corer/slicer I got for Christmas, I was able to easily and quickly dehydrate the majority of them, and Brent made apple crisp with the rest.


Monday, August 21, 2006

To Rachel My Friend

I got this idea from Trevor. Trev, I'm not trying to outdo you, just copying. And imitation is the greatest form of flattery, they say. :) A flower for Rachel: Thanks for the birthday call my friend! I shall call you back soon!

At last, lastly, our last day of hiking

On the Monday of our trip, we got up early because we knew we had 19km ahead of us.

It froze overnight, which I, usually the cold one, didn't even realize, I was sleeping so soundly! We had oatmeal for breakfast, as usual, and shared a cup of hot chocolate before leaving.

By ten oclock we'd already hiked 8km and reached the bridge crossing the Maligne River.

This was our first crossing of the river, after having hiked along side it for many many km. Our only other crossing of it was as it exited Maligne Lake over a paved and cement bridge with interpretive signs along the way...a far cry from this bridge which was replacing a preceding washed-out suspension bridge!

After the bridge, we hiked for a llllllllong time until we decided to finally stop for lunch in the trees. After hiking for another long time, we reached another campground. Then we knew only 5 more km until the lake. In the 2 to last km we met a man on his way in. He had a HUGE pack with stuff hanging from it, and looked incredibly weathered--like he'd done a lot of hiking in the past! Reaching the lake was anti-climactic--we had to walk down a paved road, across a parking lot and down another paved path to reach it. I was looking forward to a wild natural lake but that is not what is there. However, it was beautiful nonetheless!

We walked around the lake to where we expected to meet Brent's parents, who were picking us up. We pulled out the GPS to check the time and discovered that it was only 2!! We hiked very very quickly, obviously. So we pulled out our little stove and made a cup of tea right there on the side of the lake, a bit of a daydream that I'd had earlier in the trip.

We chatted with a couple from Boston who bestowed on us "the prize for being the best outfitted hikers". :) Brent's parents came around five and we headed (drove!) back into Jasper for pizza! (yay!) (Thanks Dad and Mom!) Jasper has a fabulous pizza place, and we were not disappointed. Then they took us back to our truck and we drove the five hours back home, arriving at twelve that night. Trip over, back to the reality of civilization. Two things Brent missed when we were in the wilderness: 1) music 2) Reading books Two things Brent appreciated about the wilderness: 1)No cars 2)No people Two things Kirstin missed when we were in the wilderness: 1)Toilet paper 2) Originally didn't have a second but when Brent said music, I heartily agreed! Two things Kirstin appreciated about the wilderness: 1)Far from financial worries 2) No computers or writing to be done. Female 1/2 out.

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my 22nd birthday!...and my dad's 51st! Also, the 16th was Karl's 20th. So it was a week full of birthdays! We went home Friday night and had a birthday supper with my family in a little fancy Italian restaurant in downtown Red Deer. Saturday we went canoeing with Steve and Cindy on the Red Deer River. It was a hot beautiful day and a really fun time hanging out with them! Saturday night (after a massive thunderstorm/downpour) we went and practiced the music for Steve and Cindy's wedding. Sunday we went to Meadowbrook church--which was really neat to go back--and then spent a little more time with my family before coming back, spending a relaxing afternoon reading and then went out for supper with Brent's family. After supper Brent and I went for a walk with his brother and sister-in-law and their endearing little puppy! I am so blessed with my two families! This morning Brent took me out for coffee to our favorite coffee place, "Coffee & S'cream". So it was a lovely birthday!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

An evening in camp at Mary Schaffer

Sunday night in camp was lovely with the sun shining.

We had Pad Thai for supper courtesy of "Backpacker's Pantry" a freeze-dried meal we picked up at MEC. It was quite tasty and fatty...something we appreciated!

We had tea afterwards and enjoyed the warm evening--which was good because it froze overnight!

It was a lovely evening for our last night spent away from civilization.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

part b

The Mary Schaffer campsite was close to the edge of the Maligne River and there was a lovely beach area on one side of it. We dropped our packs on a picnic table and headed down the water.

Brent built a divergent path for the water for a while. However, we quickly discovered that because of the force of the water, there were literally tonnes of little round rocks perfect for skipping so we spent some time skipping rocks...breaking all of our previous records in numbers of skips and distance. We got somewhat washed up in the water too.

It was sunny out and so we dried quickly. The water was a lovely blue color. It was just a perfect afternoon.

Day Three part one

On the third day of our trip, we slept in and dawdled packing up. We even had TWO cups of coffee. I experimented this trip bringing powdered milk to put in tea and coffee. It was a success! It was lovely to have hot coffee on the cold mornings. There was a chair carved out of a stump at the site and we took a picture of it before we left. We hiked nine km this day (Sunday). Most of this was in beautiful tall forest broken up from time to time by small streams, often with crude bridges across.

On our way we met a guy who was coming up--on his way to Avalanche campground which was a whole day behind us. He obviously hikes a lot faster than us! We didn't care, we were there for the experience, not to travel quickly.

3rd Post (too many pictures to fit into less posts)

Because it was such a short day, we dawdled along the way: we took our packs off and posed at the top of the pass, and later left our packs on the trail and explored a little side ridge and took pictures of a sun-anticipating marmot laying on a rock awaiting the clouds passing.

Having only ever backpacked in provincial areas, I was really surprised to find that each of our campsites along the way had a toilet, picnic tables, firepits and a pole with cables and winches to hike your food up away from the bears. We were spoiled! Because the sun was shining, we decided to make hay. No, wait, cancel the hay. We decided to dry out our soaking wet EVERYTHING. Boots, socks, gaiters, pants, shirts, coats, mitts and toques, tent, fly, footprint. Everything was wet but praise God we got almost everything dry--except Brent's heavy cotton t-shirt (no surprise there).

2nd Backpacking post

On our second day we only traveled eight km but it was a great day.

The weather cooperated--the sun even came out in the afternoon! Also the scenery was magnificent.

We climbed the Maligne Pass and then down again to the Mary Vaux campground.

First post on Backpacking trip '06

Last weekend Brent and I went on our much-anticipated backpacking trip of the summer. We hiked 48 Km over the course of four days, over two passes and through some beautiful beautiful scenery. I'm going to blog about each day individually rather than trying to fit it all in one blog. We drove out Thursday night and slept in the back of the truck at the Jonas Creek campground.

It rained all night and was raining Friday morning when we got up. We packed up all of our stuff in the cookshack at the campground and drove down the road to the trailhead.

The bridge was washed out so we had to park and walk across the hwy bridge to the warden station and start the hike from there. It rained ALL DAY.

We got to our first campsite, Avalanche is what it's called, around three and quickly set up our tent and crawled inside.

We took a nap to warm up--both of us were very very wet--including our feet through our freshly waterproofed (or so we thought) boots. When we woke up the rain had slowed considerably so we went out and made supper. When we were just finished eating and packing everything back up, three guys arrived. They had hiked up behind us but it hadn't rained while they were hiking and they were in much better spirits than we had been when we arrived. We headed to bed early because I was still absolutely freezing.