Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sean and Teresa's most excellent adventure...

Sean wanted me to title this post "The Donner Party", but I decided that didn't quite fit *g*.

But first, a quick report on our Wigilia/Christmas Day celebrations.

We were up early on Christmas Eve in order to get the 8:20 ferry into the city. We walked on and were met on the other side by my f-i-l. After dropping by the hotel so he and my m-i-l could check out, we headed for Lonsdale Quay and then Sean's uncle's house, which has been in the family for many years. Almost everyone else was already there, so we were thrown right into the fray. Just the kind of Christmas family reunion I like - noisy! Sean's little cousins drew cards for everyone and after a while, my brother and sister-in-law arrived. Here they are with Sean:

Everyone had places to be, so just past 12:30 we all headed out and by 1:20, we were back on the ferry and headed for home. And not a moment too soon as the weather turned nasty. By the time we arrived home, it was really windy and rainy but we kept power this time.

Our Wigilia dinner was yummy. The evening did end with some excitement, though, when a chimney fire erupted. Sean took a pic of it:

Fortunately the roof was absolutely soaked from the rain earlier, so the house wasn't in danger, but it was pretty spectacular nonetheless. I'd never seen (or heard) anything like that before. The neighbours arrived just in time to see the end of it.

Christmas Day was very quiet - we opened stockings, munched on breakfast and opened presents. I received a puzzle and had to at least get the frame done before Christmas dinner *g*, while Sean readied our gear for our trek up the mountain on Boxing Day. As always, my m-i-l prepared a wonderful Christmas dinner, a veritable feast for the four of us, enjoyed by all.

Boxing Day dawned cloudy, a touch misty and cool, a perfect day to head up the mountain to visit our friends camping up there. We had rented snowshoes, a good thing too, as there was lots of fresh snow. A little too much on the road, for our liking and parking proved a bit of an adventure. But at last we set off up the trail. And I do mean UP. For the first 45 minutes the incline is quite pronounced as you climb the side of the mountain. The only time you go down is when you come to a drainage ditch (there are sixteen between where we started and where our friends were camping). Here are a couple of pics from that first section.

But at last we reached the lookout. Longtime readers of this blog might remember me mentioning hiking this same trail in June. A couple of the photos are taken from the same spots. The first one you see in that old post, corresponds with the one immediately below:

And here I am, checking things out with the binoculars:

We rested only a few minutes before soldiering on. The three biggest drainage ditches still awaited us - I actually had to crawl up the side of one of them *g* - not graceful, but I made it!

After that we knew we were getting close, but the fresh snow was very thick and deep plus the incline increased again, so it was slow going for a while. And, I admit, at one point I was about ready to cry uncle, but within five minutes we happened upon one of our friends out for a ski. Just knowing the end of the big climb was imminent gave me one last spurt of energy, though I did stop to take this photo, taken from the same spot as the second one in my June post:

Then we followed the others into camp:

We greeted the others, drank hot chocolate, ate lots of different yummies (including some of the chocolate we'd brought with us) and inspected the snow palace - a cool shelter they'd built out of blocks of snow and a big, big tarp:

The scenery from up there is breathtaking, especially in the winter. We could see for miles, over to the mountains on the other side of Howe Sound, up towards Whistler. Here are a couple of pictures of the view:

After a couple of hours, we put our snowshoes back on and headed down the mountain, after having been assured that the trip down would be MUCH easier and take about half the time. And it did! Not that we still didn't have to work hard - staying upright in the deep snow, even on snowshoes, was challenging. And the cross-ditches didn't disappear. But considering the slog up, the down was a breeze.

Alas, getting down the snow-covered road with the truck didn't prove quite so easy. The snow was very slushy, but also icy underneath. We had to back around another parked vehicle and in ensuring we didn't hit it, we ended up in the ditch. Luckily a really nice guy by the name of Rob, there sledding with his family, pitched in to help and used some of the tricks he's learned over the years in similar situations. I also got a cell phone signal long enough to contact my in-laws. Even so, it was well over an hour before we were on our way home. Sean thanked Rob on the radio yesterday and we hope he heard him!!

Despite all that latter excitement, we thoroughly enjoyed the day of snowshoeing and hope to get snowshoes of our own at some point. It's great exercise and you can't beat the scenery.

Wednesday was a much quieter day - we ran some errands when Sean returned from work, I glanced through the GH entries that arrived for me, then cooked dinner (turkey pot pie). After that, it was hockey while I worked on my jigsaw puzzle!

That's it for right now :-) I'm off to Nia in a few minutes, so I'd best get my a** in gear.

Happy Thursday.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick


Melissa Marsh said...

And you don't have to feel at all guilty for indulging in those sweets since you hiked off all the bad calories! ;-)

Glad you had a nice Christmas, Tess!

Brenda Oig said...

Wow, that looks like quite an adventure! I would love to do that, all except for the snow. :-) The pictures are lovely.

Rene said...

I am exhausted just reading this post. Sounds like an exciting time! LOVE THE PICTURES!

Kelly said...

Great pictures - and it sounds like a lot of fun!!