Monday, June 24, 2013

White water and tractors!

This past week was a busy one. The first part of the week I took an introduction to white water kayaking course, something that I know I would like and have wanted to get into for years (so I was more than stoked :D ). On the final night of the course it was also a good friends birthday which was very entertaining, but I won't get into details!The first day of the course was done mainly in still water, teaching you different strokes and how to turn and stuff. The final day of the course we headed out east of town and went down the upper Willow river. Your first time going down a pretty fast moving river, it is really exciting and intense. River kayaking up in northern BC is really cool because there are never others out on the river so you are pretty much at your own personal water slide park where there are no rules, line ups, and the odd bear or moose on the shore! Also you get to see the world from the perspective of the river, and see things you would never see, as the rivers, at least up north here go through some really isolated areas. Timing for the course was good because on the weekend the northern paddle club was hosting their annual paddle fest, held out on a property in Loos, BC, a small place of about 40 people in the middle of nowhere in the foothills of the Northern Rockies. Since taking that run down the Willow, I couldn't get my mind of off Kayaking. I grabbed a ride with one of the paddlers heading out to the festival, and went and hung out with a bunch of people I never met before for a day and a half. I am really glad I did because the place we stayed was above a lake and the background had a great view of some really tall snow capped mountains, and I saw a whole bunch of bears and other wildlife throughout the day I was there! Saturday morning after taking to long to figure out shuttles and which rivers to run, my group headed out to the Markole river. The river was bigger, colder and had more rapids then I had done before, which is exactly what I wanted. The run lasted about 3 hours, and had me flip about twice. From Kayaking I was impressed with how much in control you can be with your boat, even in huge rivers that look like they would just eat you. The Markole had some great views of the surrounding mountains, trees and cut banks surrounding it. Everyone at the paddle fest were really interesting people, and were super helpful and supportive of me as a rookie trying to paddle. I’m gonna do my best to get out more this summer with some of them.
View from Paddle fest

The Markole

On Sunday I headed out to a farm about 70km east of town near the community of Giscome, BC. The farm was run my a single mother with three kids. On the farm they have about 20 goats, 11 horses, 2 mob boss turkeys, a bunch of chickens, and some gardens. I didn't know it was illegal in Canada to sell any milk which hasn't been pasteurized, meaning it hasn't been heated briefly above a certain temperature. This family has been drinking there own non pasteurized milk for some time, and so far at least have been doing just fine. I helped them out for the afternoon building a board walk through the mud. Went swimming at the lake with some of the family, and stayed for a dinner that had left over birthday cake, homemade goats milk and cheese. The goats milk was so good and fresh, I wish I could have my own milking goat that followed me around on the road! A 12 year old boy lives on the farm who reminds me of Annikan from Star wars episode 1. He spends all day fixing up his tractor and other machines, and is planning on entering the annual Willow River tractor race this year. You can tell that he loves living on the farm, and especially finding any excuse to ride his tractor, even transporting me around wherever I went. How nice and creative this kid was just strengthens my own beliefs about wanting to live on my own farm where I can grow my own food and be creative with what I do, and really help out some youth (and whoever else) that want to come live out there with me! Anyways I’m off to work for another week, and when I get back I will officially be on the road as I am moved out of my house!
Sha Sha's Tractor and homemade trailer