Today we will be starting an epic drive across British Columbia to the Columbia Valley, headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, and meeting up with my Mother’s side of the family for a mini-Family Reunion. It’s become a biennial tradition and gives us an opportunity to catch up, eat, fish, explore and have the general sort of fun that one does when camping with family.
During our recent two-week vacation in Southern California and Nevada we managed to get out to do a couple of hikes. It was hot and dry, but they were definitely the highlights for me. Probably Jayne too. While in Vegas, we managed to slip out for an exploration in Red Rock Canyon and when we were in LA, a close friend took us for a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains.
The day we hiked the Santa Monica Mountains is one for the record books: a hike, a swim and two brewpubs. Epic!
We’re off to California (and Nevada, to be fair) for a couple of weeks. My wife’s sister, brother-in-law and their two boys are coming over from New Zealand and we’re going to meet up with them in LA to spend some time exploring the area. We’ll be doing a lot of things that wouldn’t necessarily be my top choice (I’m looking at you Las Vegas), but the kids are going to have a riot and it will be great to hang out with family. I also hope to slip away now and again to do my sort of thing (yes you, Red Rocks).
I was looking through some old photos recently and found these shots of a winter camping trip my wife, a friend and I did to Taylor Meadows in Garibaldi Provincial Park. We snowshoed up near the Barrier, made our way past the summer campground and set up camp further in the meadows. We spent our days exploring the area, feeding the birds and enjoying a bit of sun. We haven’t been winter camping since we’ve had kids, and who knows when we’ll get out again.
I’ve grown various herbs and cherry tomatoes in the past, but this is my first year of branching out and really trying to learn something about gardening. I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but it’s satisfying work and I love watching the various things grow and change as time marches on.
The kids began camping when they were only a few months old and have been countless times since, so it’s in their blood. They’ve both been asking to go lately, but our schedule has been getting in the way, so we’ve set one of our tents up on the patio off of their room. It’s not the same, but they’re loving it.
Just added the Snake River to my list of places to visit. There’s plenty of other things I would like to check out in Wyoming, so this fits in nicely.
The weather has been unsettled on the west coast this spring. That, and a number of other distractions, has meant we haven’t been able to get out to Gambier Island or many similar destinations. Even the kids have been asking to go camping.
Having been cooped up for so long, my thoughts have turned to bread, and inspired by my late friend Kris, I’ve begun making it for the family. Kris always modified the white bread recipe found in the Edmonds Cookery Book—a New Zealand classic—and so I have been doing the same. So far, I have a nice 50% whole wheat loaf which is perfect for sandwiches. In time, I’m going to try adding a variety of seeds and grains; like barley, rye and flax.
The venture has been successful enough that I no longer have a need to purchase a standard loaf from the supermarket. It’s easy to make, allows for experimentation and is a joy to do. I only wish I had started sooner.
This weekend, I’m planning on getting a sourdough starter going and trying my hand at good, old-fashioned country loaves. If all goes well, I may never need to buy bread again1.
- OK, presumably I will buy bread at some point, just not very often. ↩
I’m looking forward to seeing Missouri’s Ha Ha Tonka when they roll into town in August with Murder by Death.
Lonely Fortunes (recorded in a living room), Ha Ha Tonka
Living the dream.