Sunday, June 22, 2008

Trent is laughing at me as I keep madly swatting at a mosquito as  I write this post.  Its tough to get indoors with out a few making it in with you.

The ice came back in Friday evening and it doesn't look like its going anywhere soon as the winds haven't been blowing in our favour.  

As a result we've had to revise our plan and we are now planning on leaving Tuesday morning.  We spent a lot of time talking with some of the locals yesterday at the Aboriginal Day celebrations who are familiar with our planned route from their hunting and trapping.  As we can't cross the Great Bear Lake we are going to have to cut across to the mouth of the Great Bear River via Little Lake and the use of some quads that the guys have over on that side of the lake. Without the use of the quads we'd have about a 6K portage.

I'm so glad we got the opportunity to attend the festivities yesterday.  Trent and I both competed in the archery competition (to the amusement of all the on look
ers), and the couples egg toss which saw us knocked out in the second round when I put my finger through our egg.  
In addition to the games we ate and ate. One of the elders took a shine to me and helped me gut my fish (ok..he gut it) and then instructed me on how long to cook it on the fire.  Not long after that was done he brought me over some delicious pan fried lake trout which wasn't part of the normal offerings.  I also got to have bannock straight off of the fire.  Again..delicious.

Tomorrow is Sahtu Day which will involve more community events and some tradition games in the evening.  Trent are I are trying to get all of our organizing and packing done tonight so that we can take part.  

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Just a quick post before we head out to join the Aboriginal Day activities (it was a slow morning).

Bingo was a lot of fun last night.  I was left in the care of three lovely ladies who watched over me and made sure I didn't miss any of my numbers.  Our table wasn't getting very lucky until I won with a small X on the bonanza.  You'd have thought I won the lottery with my scream of excitement which drew laughs from the entire room.  I took home a big win of $125 which more than paid for my entry fee, cards and nevada tickets.

After bingo we headed to Barb and Seymour's where we joined up with the other teachers for a final celebration.  Most left this morning, with headaches I am sure.  It definitely has taken me a while to get myself ready to tackle the day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I arrived in Deline yesterday afternoon to warm temps (15C) and lots of sunshine & bugs...Trent wasn't kidding about the bugs.

While waiting in Yellowknife for my final flight, Trent's friend Shawn swung by to visit. I had about an hour to kill so he took me for a quick tour of Yellowknife and showed me all of the places that have become so familiar to me through Trent's stories. Back at the North Wright hanger, I was then treated to another visit by Trent's cousin Kelly who came by and spent the last half hour with me. It was great to see both of them and catch up on what's going on.

I've been here only 22 hours or so and its felt like a whirlwind. I've met so many of the people that I've come to know through Trent over the past two years. I'm not sure if there are many more female students left for me to meet as it seems each time we leave the house we run into another group of them.  Coincidence...I think maybe not.

When we got to the school this morning I was excited to see that his class had left messages for me on the chalkboard. There were also notes on the wipeboard in the staff room joking about Trent's leaving. I joked with them that I was starting to feel really bad for stealing him back but my huge grin gave the truth away. The principal also offered me a teaching job...apparently my lack of experience or teacher training isn't a problem at all.  (Trent humoured me allowed me to take his photo with the note in the staff room.)

Tonight we are off to a BBQ and then Trent is calling Bingo. I am going to play with some of the ladies from school, it should be fun. Tomorrow is Aboriginal Day and there are all kinds of cultural games and activities going on which we plan to participate in.

Plans are to start the canoe trip Monday. There have been many jokes about people joining us but hopefully we'll just have the pilots do a few fly bys over the river to check on us as they go between Deline, Tulita and Norman Wells.

Time to run, we are almost cleaned up here and want to get a quick paddle in before we head to the BBQ.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm up, the kettle is on and I am about to pop some bread into the toaster.

That's right, zero days left! 1 hour and 56 minutes until I start my journey North. Woo hoo.

See you soon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We've got a busy summer of swimming lined up once Trent and I return from our canoe trip. In addition to my Friday morning masters swim, Monday open water swims and Wed nights at Kits Pool with the swim girls, Trent and I have signed up to do a number of races.

July 1st - Canada Day Classic 2K Port Moody
July 20th - Kitsilano Classic 3K Vancouver
July 27th - Thetis Lake 3K Victoria

The Thetis Lake swim is in Victoria and is a fundraiser for the MS Society. If interested you can pledge me right here.

Trent might be able to get a race in back in Halifax in August but our plans to head to the Okanagan for a race will have to wait for next summer. We'll just have to do the wine tours and for go the swimming when we head out to Kelowna to visit Sharon.

My dad is coming out in July and is going to accompany us to Victoria for our race there. It will be just like when I was a kid and he and my mum would come to regattas to cheer me on, though its a little harder to hear the cheers when I am actually in the water.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The countdown really is on now...just 3 more sleeps until I head up to meet Trent and we head out on our great northern adventure.

The bear spray is bought, the paddles wrapped and my hiking pack filled to the brim. I spent the weekend picking up the last of the essentials; some chocolate chips and marshmallows for fireside treats, a tetrapac of wine and some firecracker pepperettes. These should round out our freeze dried selection of foods quite nicely.

We are giving ourselves 5 days to make the approximate 200 km trek. If all goes well we should be able to get from Deline on Great Bear Lake(our starting point) to about half way up the Great Bear River. Plans are to stop the first night just above the rapids. This will give us a chance to scout them out and see what we have to deal with the following day. From that p.oint on Trent with the help of some locals has mapped out a few other good spots to stop as we make our way past Tulita and to Norman Wells on the Mackenzie River

Peonies at the market on Saturday. Aren't they beautiful!

On top of shopping and packing, I also managed to get a good swim in on Sunday. After doing the grouse grind in the morning I had a light breakfast and then took a short nap before heading out to the pool to put in 3000 m. My goal, which I accomplished, was to swim the entire distance without any significant breaks. I took 4 short stops to clear my goggles and have a swig of water totaling no more than 20-30 seconds each. I'm feeling prepared for my first race on Canada Day. The distance will be no challenge, I just need to focus on setting an aggressive pace and not settling too much as I have a tendency to be a little lazy and not push myself. Basically what I need to do is find someone to set a good pace for me to follow and then to build for my finish as I know I have the power to pick it up and go when I need to. Hopefully the 10 days away from the pool won't hurt me too least with the paddling I will still be using a lot of the same muscles.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Went for a swim tonight with a some girls I know from masters swim. We met a Kits pool despite the cold temps and grey skies. It was a great workout as they are definitely a little faster and used to pushing each other in workouts. I swam much harder than I normally do when I swim on my own but it felt really good.

I'm getting excited for my Canada Day swim where my goal is to swim faster than last year. I haven't figured out a time goal yet but I'm hoping to take a few minutes off of my time and break 35 minutes at a minimum.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sun and warmth please...I'm done with this cold, grey weather.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I survived.

First open water swim of the season was tonight. As the day progressed today I began to experience more and more anxiety over the swim as it was cloudy and cold outside and the water temperature was a chilly 14C.

After some words of encouragement from Trent (and a bit of an a@$ kicking) I pulled on my new wet suit and waddled down to the beach. Just as we were about to hit the water the sun peaked out from behind the clouds long enough to provide a little warmth. The warmth was not long to last for the cold water quickly took my breath away and froze my feet. Drawing on what I learned from last season I took my time getting my body used to the cold before starting to swim too hard.

It was tough spotting the first bouy and more than a few of us found ourselves a good couple of 100m's off and needing to swim back. The main stretch didn't seem as far as I remember but the final leg into the beach was a challenge as the tide was definitely pulling us all off of our lines. I swear each time I looked up I was facing a different direction.

I felt great coming out of the water. A little dizzy, some cold feet but all things considered great.

All that and home in time to watch the game. And I thought the swim was stressful!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June 1st, can you believe it? 18 days 'til Deline!

Summer really has arrived in Kits.

I started yesterday morning off at the local nursery picking up a few final plants for the balcony. I added some radish and beets yesterday (started by seed), dill, thai basil and parsley in addition to two peppers. The first pepper is a sweet chocolate pepper and the second is a chili pepper. My tomato plants are growing so much, I am so excited.

After a light lunch I wandered over to the pool for a short swim. Found out that if you buy a month pass anytime in June you will get a second month for free. Woo hoo..I'm so glad I waited to finish off my 10 pass.

Last night I went to see the The Visitor. Its the story of how two illegal immigrants change the life of an widower who is stuck in his lonely life of being a professor who pretends to be busy just to avoid social interaction. I loved it. While it was a slow movie I enjoyed just sitting back and watching and feeling the movie develop. The lead character reminded me a lot of my father.

Today the Kits Farmers Market opens. I love biking over and seeing what fresh from the field fruits and veggies they have to offer. I've avoided grocery shopping all week because I wanted to let what I pick up today set the tone for my meals this week.

I am also going to go to a skin cancer screening clinic down at the beach today, its National Sun Awareness week. I figure you can't be too safe.