Monday, March 21, 2011

March Madness

Fallout girl

March break was hectic once again this year. We managed to squeeze in a visit with friends in different corners of the province and we even made a trek back to Peterborough to see family.

Early in the week, we drove west to visit with the McMullans. On day 2 of the visit, they brought us to the Purple Woods Conservation Area north of Oshawa where we hiked the semi-self-guided maple syrup tour ending with a feast of pancakes and fresh syrup. As we were leaving, I did shots of the little paper cup filled syrup containers, this medium blend syrup was like liquid gold. Needless to say, I was wired for the rest of the day.

Boiling the sap Raw maple sap
St. Patrick's Day breakfast fry 193

The trip to Peterborough brought out the usual suspects... less one wee man, Luke. After mentioning that we'd come in contact with a bad case of the pox, they'd decided to play it safe and keep baby Luke at a safe distance ... safe as in Skype visits only. :( See you at Easter Luke.

High paws Sara is about to get run over
Walking the creek Testing out the taste of wintergreen from the yellow birch

Just a quick explanation on that last photo above. It's a shot of Opa showing the kids how yellow birch tastes like wintergreen. Give it a try sometime.

Once back home, I baked a tasty loaf of beer bread (recipe) and enjoyed a slice or two under the extra large full moon that everyone was tweeting about. Though to be fair, without any perspective, my moon shot isn't really all that impressive but it did give me a chance to break out my tripod that I thought I'd lost.

Beer Bread...mmmmm Big bad moon

Monday, March 14, 2011

Snowshoe to Annapurna


Again we seem to be tackling the days between the rainfall but beggars can't be choosers. As it turned out this was a postcard day for a snowshoe run back into the Neill's Annapurna hunting cabin.

Approaching Annapurna Stoking the fire
Bear skin Starting up the stove

The next morning brought sunshine and a monster breakfast of homemade waffles, hashbrowns, scrambled eggs with salsa, sausage, grapes and strawberries. Loaded up we decided to make for one more hike on the nearby snowmobile trails. Snowshoes were left in the van as we gingerly shuffled down the icy road leading to the trails. Once on the compacted ski-doo trails we leisurely strolled through the rolling hills soaking in a heavy dose of vitamin D. All along the way we noticed different animal tracks crisscrossing the trail - mice or moles, squirrel, coyote, fisher or fox, ruffed grouse, deer, and of course dog (aka Charlie). We even left a mark or two of our own in the snow that unfortunately can not be posted here on this family friendly blog (Hi Grandma!) ;)

Taking a break
A great start to March Break 2011.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Winter wind down

Approaching Taylor Yurt

A couple ski trips to the GAT before the rain falls. One to Lusk Cabin and another to Western Hut. Both great trails, but the solitude of the Lusk-Taylor lake loop just can't be beat.

Lusk Cabin... all to myself Cheers from Lusk

A few days after my success at Lusk I decided to head to Western via Shilly Shally and Huron. The return flight down black diamond 9, complete with three sections flagged off with "DANGER" tape, was a blast. Another great day highlighted by the fact that I didn't sustain any injuries.

Western Trail DANGER on Trail 9

The weekend dropped a few more inches of snow on top of a couple days rain but just enough for the family to get out into the local Greenbelt. It was a dull gray day but the snow conditions were near perfect. Sadly this may prove to be our last family xc ski outing. Time will tell.

Mommy's down! Safe landing