Canmore in Omicron Lockdown - 51° 05' 03" N 115° 22' 07" W
Are you a bit surprised that you haven't read about us out adventuring for the past few months?
Life, for us, isn’t always climbing mountains, repelling down vertical cliffs or watching 3 metre waves break over the bow of a sailboat. Sometimes we are doing our best to avoid catching/transmitting COVID or experiencing the little pleasures of our gilded cage in Canmore. As ordinary as it might seem to us, I thought I’d share (and thus, make a record) of what we are doing these days.
Kayaking on the Bow River – Friends of ours in town had bought kayaks and had yet to use them. At the start of the summer, they had offered the kayaks to us to use whenever we wanted. So, when we asked Gord and Jenny to take us on an easy, flat paddle, a stretch of the Bow River just south and east of Calgary was suggested on a late day in September.
The day started cloudy, but brightened up as morning meandered down the river into afternoon. Floating with the current is the best way to go … well worth ferrying a start and finish vehicle!
|Letting Gord lead the way is best - we are new at this.
|Beautiful vistas and calm water - perfect!
|In the afternoon, the sun came out. What a lovely day!
|Warm, mostly dry and jazzed to try this again. Thanks Gord and Jenny!
Community Cruisers – Kate’s volunteering spirit has landed her a role as volunteer coordinator for Community Cruisers, a Bow Valley non-profit organization that promotes travel by bike in, around and between towns. One of the more popular promotions is a free bicycle parking-and-minding service at the weekly Canmore Farmer’s Market. Many of our friends helped out with this Thursday commitment. Bike parking got us out every Thursday until September 30th.
|Megan and Ali help staff the bike parking booth
Visiting Diane – Sean’s old friend, Gord, was heading for Vancouver Island and wanted to share the driving on the twelve-hour, one day run from the prairies. Sean put up his hand as that meant he could visit his Mom. Once Sean and Gord made it off the ferry at Naniamo they parted ways and Sean spent four days visiting his mom, Aunt Jan and Uncle Mark. By good coincidence, Eyvan had just finished at a successful protest at Fairy Creek and called to see if they could drop in at Parksville. It was a happy mini-reunion as a thin slice of the family (but three generations deep) was able to gather at Jan and Mark’s place. We had a great visit, complete with card and scrabble games, a great dinner (thanks Mark!) and lots of family love.
|Eyvan, Diane and my slippers at Jan and Mark's place
|Eyvan and their continent explorer
Trail Running – Kate and Sean have fallen in love with striding along winding, pine-needle-covered pathways during their time in this little town. A bit of grumbling is heard when running buddies invite us out to run and there is pavement underfoot.
Canmore has so many lovely, tree-lined trails that lead up and down the sides of Mt. Rundle and Grassi Peak.
|At a trail run event offered by Tsuu T'ina runners on the beautiful reserve they caretake
|Out on the trails by the Bow River with Andy and Grace
Enjoying a Warm Autumn – The end of September usually is the finish of hiking season. This year, the warmth of summer stretched almost to the last days of October. We didn’t let the beautiful chance pass by and hit the trails whenever we could. Here’s some of the evidence.
|Morning hikes are often worth it. Sunrise.
|Kate, on our way up Little Arethusa
|Carrot Creek Pond - a locals-only skating pond
|The far end of Johnston Lake with Cascade Mountain in the background
|A blurry picture (due to a zoom lens to ensure a safe distance)
of a momma and three -of-year grizzly cubs
|When it was cold or overcast, we didn’t let that stop us.
Jura Creek is a great local hike you can do
when it is overcast or even a bit rainy.
Turning Canmore into Jackson Hole – The main street of Canmore was turned into a movie set for almost the whole month of October as an HBO special called The Last of Us was filmed here. We had fun wandering the main street between filming days and watching the assembly and disassembly of the facades. They even built a twenty-foot-tall, log fort gate at one end of Main Street. Impressive.
|Facades being created
|Log fort gate at the end of main street
|Our local shops disguised as post-apocalyptic Jackson Hole
|A better look at the gate they made - real logs!
|Setting up for filming
|Actors on the set
Christmas Tree Harvesting – For the second year, we have gone to a forestry area where it is allowed to pick and cut down a Christmas tree. For the second year, we have invited Sean’s niece and her family, along with our friends, the Pettigrews, and turned the outing into an event. We meet at the determined place, hike in a firepit, chairs and a fold-up picnic table, have fire-roasted treats and hot chocolate and have a good visit. Getting the tree happens but it certainly isn’t the main event of the day.
|Looking for a good tree
|Pre-harvesting festivities - roasted dogs and faux-dogs ... and s'mores!
|Alison, Julia, Kate and Megan
|Now, to find the perfect tree ...
|The Pettigrews have chosen their victim.
|Pip taught us a new way to roast - Spider Dogs!
(Fergus is hoping for a handout)
|Pip, Sean and Kristin (warming her feet)
|We couldn't have picked anything bigger.
Baking – gifts for our friends and family this year was something that everyone appreciates. Baking! Dozens and dozens and DOZENS of different kinds of cookies were produced, along with more than a few loaves of Sean’s sourdough bread.
|First batch looks like the picture. I must be doing this right.
Snow Hosting – We have started our second year of working as Snowhosts at Sunshine Village. The one-day-a-week commitment happens in a COVID-safe environment (outdoors) and yields a new group of friends; access to all kinds of old-timer knowledge of the ski hill (many of the other snowhosts have been skiing at Sunshine for over twenty years); a volunteers’ locker room at the gondola base for us to store our gear (skis, boots, poles, etc.); snazzy blue Smurf suits and a season’s pass so we can ski on the nice powder days when we aren’t volunteering there.
The Snowhosts are an army of question-answerers, direction-pointers, appropriate-run-recommenders and chipper cheerleaders for our amazing ski resort. We spend the first few hours at the parking lot/lower base of the gondola as people leave their cars and get organized to to go up to the slopes. After that, we hop on the gondola and spread out on the hill, skiing and being the friendly face of Sunshine Village. We let people know about a free half-day tour that they can join (led by a pair of Snowhosts - there is usually six or eight of us on the hill each day).
It is a sweet gig.
|... neither rain nor snow nor frost on our toques
shall keep us from our appointed duties.
|Talk about beautiful working conditions!
|The Snowhosts Locker Room
|There's our locker!
|This is where you'll find us at the top of the gondola
|Our Wednesday co-workers