Archive for March, 2013

Snowshoeing, our latest hobby

 

We love snowshoeing. Thanks to a wonderful surprise gift (and thanks to living up north), we’ve been able to really get into snowshoeing this year. We also got more snow this week, so we’ll probably be going at least once or twice more this year. Our three snowshoeing trips were all spectacular in their own way, so we wanted to show them side-by-side here. We also have received a special request from a good friend in China for more Canadian winter photos. Although I could take a few pictures outside of our house right now, but we thought that it’s probably a better idea to show off this country’s best side of the cold. In case anyone’s curious about the geographical locations of these treks, I stuck a Google map at the end of the post for reference.

Speaking of winter, this past week gave us a great example of why Calgary’s weather might be the strangest we’ve ever experienced. It seems everywhere we have lived people tell us, “If you don’t like the weather in [Utah, New England, Seattle, Idaho, etc.) just wait ten minutes!” Here that statement actually appears to be true. On Wednesday–the day I’m in class until 9pm of course–it was sunny and the temperature got up to +13 degrees celsius (55F). The very next morning it was snowing and -13 (8F). That’s a Chinook. Warm winds blow in temporarily from the coast to build you up and then break your heart.

 

Snowshoeing Trip One: Nickel Plate

This was a fun trip with my parents (this is MG) about 30 minutes west of my home town of Penticton, BC. We made a fun trip home for spring break a few weeks ago.

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Snowshoeing Trip Two: Canyon Hot Springs

On our way home from Penticton, we stopped at Canyon Hot Springs (just east of Revelstoke, BC) and did a quick hike into the cedar forest there. This is a pretty wet part of the Rockies, so the snow was deep and heavy. We got tired out pretty fast, plus our rental car didn’t do extremely well in the snow, so we thought we better hit the road again quickly to make it home before dark.

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Snowshoeing Part Three: Fish Creek Park

We got about a foot of snow about two weeks ago, so we wanted to take advantage of it quickly before it melted. We felt a little weird, but we got onto the C-train with our snowshoes and rode down to the south part of Calgary to take a hike before the snow melted. There were some paved trails in the park, and it was a pretty warm day by Calgarian winter standards (while we strapped on our snowshoes a jogger ran past us in short shorts and a tank top). The snow was sparse in some spots, but we still found plenty in the shaded creek bed. Another perk to living in Calgary: taking public transit to go snowshoeing within city limits.

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And the map (my color coding didn’t work out, but the locations are posted in order from west to east):

Snowshoeing Locations - Google Maps

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Catching Up: Regina and the Rockies

Before we start talking about the new adventures we’ve had and will have this year, I just needed to share a couple from last fall that I’ve been meaning to write about.

Part One:

The first (or maybe second) weekend after T arrived, we decided that we needed to go hiking. We still had a car, my semester was still relatively young, and the weather was good, so we made a last-minute trip to Banff. We’re very glad we did. The fall colours and the views were incredible. We had a nice hike up to Morraine Lake and then a steep climb to a pass overlooking Mt. Assiniboine (behind us in the 1st shot). We saw some more of the Rockies during a trip to BC last week, but that’s for another post. For now, here are the Canadian Rockies while they’re still fairly warm.

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Part Two:

In October I got to take a road trip out to Regina, Saskatchewan. It’s a 7-8 hour drive east through some of the flattest land I know of (see the first photo below). But Regina wasn’t a bad place. I attended the wedding of one of my best friends, who I grew up with in Penticton. While I was there hanging out with his family and friends, I also got to see a few of Regina’s sights. I didn’t expect much from the city (it’s not exactly a top tourist stop and gets a bad rap from the rest of Canada), but I shouldn’t have been too surprised that I actually did find some cool places.

1. Flat, flat land. A few kilometers past the point where Regina’s skyline came into view we passed a sign that indicated the city limits were still something like 50 km away. I didn’t take a picture of that, sadly, but here’s a random shot of my view during the trip home.

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2. Also on the way out, we passed this. We watched this helicopter picking up these towers, flying them to the right place, and sticking them right onto the foundation. If you were looking for a cool job, this would be it.

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3. I went on a morning run past the capital building, which sits in a park beside this lake. The fog was a nice touch.

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4. The wedding took place at the LDS Temple in south Regina. Luckily, the fog burned off before the wedding photos started.

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5. After family photos at the temple, they took took some more shots outside an old government building, which happened to hold a small museum dedicated to Regina’s history of royal visits. The city has received a handful of visits from various members of the royal family (including the queen herself, who was welcomed by a pair of haystack tiki towers similar to the ones at the museum entrance below), which is probably fairly impressive for a small, cold city in the Canadian prairies.

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