Sunday, September 08, 2019

Wanted to make something sweet fast using what I already had on hand so I tried this. Ok, but verging on what the GBBS judges might call claggy (stick-to-the-plate moist). Of course, I reduced the sugar as well to just over 2/3 C (and added 1 tsp of mixed spice*). Did the job and tastes good tho. *Yes, I have already made my first batch of PUMPKIN SPICE.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Spanish Banks

Bike ride to Spanish Banks. And past the contentious "cube house". Nothing says hygge like coming home to a place that looks exactly like the office you just left.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Mount Strachan Part II – into the mist

So... worst hiking navigation to date. We intended to do Eagle Bluff/Black Mountain, which we did 3 years ago without a hitch, and ended up doing Mount Strachan again. Why, God, why?? Instead of taking a left closer to the kiosk at the main lodge, we went further up to the pump station, at which point we could have looped back around at Old Growth Loop to the desired trail, but again failed at basic map-reading and continued up to Bowen Lookout at which point we knew we were Strachin' it. And again no views. At least we had the chance to find the mystery turn-off we missed last time tho, right? Almost. Luckily we ran into a group of gung-ho older ladies (love to see senior hikers) who pointed us in the right direction (hard left at Emily Lake (which is really a small pond)–don't continue over the mud across it.) Even then we eventually ended up back on the Cullen ski trail (at which point I mime breaking my poles over my knee) (update: the trail does veer onto Cullen then off again to Old Strachan.) Then a few hikers emerged from the mist and pointed us back onto Old Strachan Trail, but advised us not to go there (unmarked, close brush). Of course, this didn't deter us, but by now it was drizzling, the bushes were wet, and we had about another hour and a half on rough and muddy terrain. Also, we weren't 100% sure we were on the right trail (tiny old-timey tin sign way up a tree (which only my friend noticed, and my eyes were not good enough to read) pointing to Hollyburn was not encouraging). Plus the fact that no one knew where we were. So after 10 minutes, we made the prudent choice and turned back to the ski hill. Pictured above, Mount Strachan's south summit.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Montréal bagel drop

Today's lunch. My pal Jeannette got me this tote at the beginning of her trip in MontrĂ©al and found matching bagels in London before returning to Vancouver. I just happened to have smoked salmon and cream cheese...

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mount Strachan at Cypress

First time Mount Strachan hike. I'd rate it advanced-intermediate rather than intermediate. And F for signage. Or maybe my navigational skills are an F because we didn't complete the last leg of the hike. Arg! We almost made it onto Old Strachan/Baden Powel Trails but no dice. We doubled back to look for right turnoff but gave up. Super frustrating.

It starts out as a tourist groomed trail, then some pleasant switchbacks. The trail then becomes narrow so we got wet on the bushes. Lots of mud. Trail along creekbed gets steep and tricky (there is hoisting involved), then onto the creekbed which gets trickier and steeper the higher you go (boulders to looser scree, not for anyone with height issues). The summit views must be amazing (it was foggy and drizzly so we barely saw the view, but it was still beautiful). 

There was a lot of variety in the trails which required high concentration, and hand-scrabbling in some places. We have never got this wet and dirty on a hike. Plantlife is stunning and varied in the meadow areas. Mushrooms the size of dessert plates. Would do again but only in cool (clear/dry) weather as the creekbed climb would be miserable in the hot sun.

For future reference:
Step one – take map from kiosk!*
Start on Yew Lake trail, and go right at signpost that quickly appears.
Go left onto the gravel road, and left again towards the green water tower.
Take trail left of water tower (Howe Sound Crest Trail West).
Bunch of switchbacks and pass Bowen Lookout junction on left.
At wooden map board (which seemed useless), turn left.
Between 2 small bridges, barely visible trail to the right along creekbed (tricky climb).
Trail veers onto creekbed (the not-fun part).
Area between north and south peaks at top.
Trail to left goes to north peak (optional lookout). Trail straight ahead is a dead end.
Take barely visible right trail (across the rocky bit) straight up to the south peak.
Face lower ski lift pilon and dead tree (no branches, just a trunk) and look for blazes at left.
Trail goes down to left of that pilon (steep and technical).
T-33 plane crash site.
Here's where we got lost.Continue downhill as it veers left then passes a large rock.
(Didn't see it. Where?!)**
We hit the Collins ski run instead and took it back to the parking lot.  :(

* We had the map and still got lost
** I forgot to look out for it.

Time: 3hrs 45 mins