Friday, August 31, 2012

Westward ho(e)!

Have a listen to Sarah Hepola's interview with CBC on traveling alone.

With too many waxing on about how travel has reordered lives and given them new found direction, travel has, in too many ways, unshaped me.

I was willingly and quickly pulled out of the "go to university, spend money you don't have studying something vague very few give a rat's arse about, meet a partner, get married, spend way too much money again, buy a house, make lots of body wrecking babies that will drain your time, income and energy for the next 18 years while eking out a career from an expensive liberal arts university that no one's heard of and you're still paying for."

Blah.  Twenty-seven, debt free and recently re-unemployed, I couldn't be more pleased.  A mild uncertainty accompanies me like a case of lice as I pour over provincial and world maps while anxiously glancing at my bank account.

While I don't have sponsors like similarly named Sherri I take great pleasure that we're doing it simply because we can.

Where ever we can.  Tonight I'm leaving for a 10-ish day tour with the fella westward along Highway 16.  Fishing, hiking, hanging out, grizz bear spotting and cheap American beer await!

Hepola's full essay here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Booners and berry creations

Thomas, Chris, Dan and I and bulging suitcases enroute to G.P. 
Just as I'm getting used to surprise weekend day(s) off, my exit is coming up. Usually the first one out, summer gems Thomas and Angie have already (and grudgingly, I think) left the north for school in southern locales.  Final night celebrations and ultimately tear-filled goodbyes around the fire, dessert table, sushi bar, and orgasmic Alberta pub served as a tiny tribute to true friends.  Their genuine East Coast hearts, smiles and kindness will be sorely missed.

Keen to show Dan a smattering of what I do, I packed him into my pickup for a journey down to one of my favourite areas, the Murray.  A Chetwynd resident for three years, Dan had yet to make the trip into Monkman Provincial Park to see Kineuso Falls.  Blown away by their late season volume, jealous of the river boaters at the base of the falls and curious about the fishing downstream assured me there'll be further visits.  

Dan's blueberry haul
While I zipped around the blocks checking for lammas growth, Dan grabbed an empty water bottle and collected as many blueberries as he could on the sandy pine flats.  Cleaned and sorted the following morning, he whipped up knock-out blueberry pancakes - nearly as good as my Saskatoon berry muffins.  

Saskatoon muffins turned out fabulous!
Rounding up another boat and another angler, The Mink made another appearance in a northern lake.  

Shaun captains while Colin fishes
A bit of running around on puzzle-like hydro roads eventually delivered us to Pete Lake, 38 kilometers up the Moberly.  Constrained my another engagement in town, it was a fast fish, but a good one!  Dan hooked up with a Rainbow but the wiley fella jumped the hook.  

Stern man Dan with the catch
I hooked into another, larger cousin of the escapee and was able to maneuver it into the waiting net.  My first trout as far as I know!

My Ragin Rainbow! 
Summer score: Sheri 8, Dan :0

Monday, August 13, 2012

Baldy's berries

Finally a bumper berry crop after two consecutive years of disappointing yields pulled Dan, Angie, her Mom and I onto Baldy's slopes to fill any available vessel with my personal favourite, Saskatoon berries.  

A mere hour of picking yielded 4.5 liters destined for the freezer for future baking and breakfast projects.    

I've spotted an orange oat Saskatoon berry muffins recipe that I'm keen to to try these days off.   

Dan's parents popped up for the August Long weekend for a northern visit.  BBQs lasted long into the night as friends new, and newly old dropped by for a beer, burger or a twilight giggle.  Popping in to Bulter Ridge Provincial Park hopping to cruise up to its namesake ridge for views of Williston Reservoir and surrounding Rocky Mountains, we spent the entire time in the trees along ATV trails catching up and marveling at nature's wonders.

My own mother will be visiting the north next month as I wave farewell to a summer job I've been keen to see in the rearview mirror since July.   

                                     At the lookout                                           Cleaning our bumper berries!

Purple mouth


Clearly accustomed to the Ruiters' new Edge, Wednesday was at ease in the trunk after an afternoon jaunt into the woods.  We were easily able to persuade her out in to the car.  

Mystery schrooms dotting the path