Just when I think the weather can’t be any worse……`
Last week ended in spectacular fashion at the orchard. After sitting looking out at the view writing my blog, Tonya and I set off on a walk through the farm. First stop was to feed the chickens on our way up to see the diversion they have put in place from the river to supply natural water down to the house. The trench was hand dug and needs regular maintenance to stop it from becoming blocked by leaves and silt. What an amazing way to connect into a pure natural resource.
Walking back down through the heaving orchard in full fruit, we decided to use the excess apples and pears to try making home made cider! That was it for the rest of the day as we cut and juiced huge bowls of fruit. Rick was back in the kitchen and we all feasted on home-grown veggies turned into an amazing Indian dinner.
Our evening entertainment came in the form of two large tree stumps that we turned into ‘Swedish Candles’. Cutting into the log with a chain saw and lighting the centre, they were amazing self contained camp fires in the crisp night air. As they burned in on themselves the view of the stars was totally uninhibited by any man made light. It was a great end to a fun weekend.
Saying our goodbyes, Patrick and I set off back across on the little ferry towards Vernon. The ride started out lovely, winding our way along the river. And then the rain started. For once, I was warm, dry and completely smug with my new gear purchase. Unfortunately it continued, coming in sideways and without a set of toasty heated liners poor Pat was almost snap frozen.
Stopping in to his sisters for a bowl of soup and a tea, we warmed up before tackling the final hour to the ski villa. Riding into Vernon for dinner the sun went down and we had the final 20 minutes to go in the pitch black. Winding up into the mountain through the rain it was a hairy ride and not one I would like to repeat in a hurry.
With cool weather moving in we chilled out in Silver Star mountain village and made the most of the scenic surrounds. It was a fantastic week exploring British Columbia with Patrick who was incredibly generous with his time and effort put in making sure I had a great time.
Thankfully there was a break in the weather as I headed to see the famous Lake Louise. Arriving late afternoon after an uneventful ride, I parked Yogi and walked to the edge of the lake. The clouds were dark and without the sun breaking through the picturesque colour of the lake was hidden. The temperature dropped and snow began to fall. The grand Fairmont Chateaux beckoned and I retreated into the plush hotel for a tea and early dinner.
The snow stopped and the skies cleared slightly so I took the chance on riding up to the lesser known lake Moraine.
My stopover for the night was the little village of Lake Louise where my only option had been the very busy hostel. I got lucky as it was a great room with a heater and I slept until the sun came up. For once mother nature was on my side as it was the perfect conditions to ride and see the stunning scenery along the Icefield Parkway on my way to Hinton.
The sun was warm, the air was fresh and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen as Yogi and I rode the relatively short 250km through a part of the Canadian Rockies. It took us through rolling curves, mountain views and endless water ranging from emerald green to sapphire blue.
Stopping what seemed every 5km to take in the views, it turned into a long day however it was more than worth it. Arriving into Hinton late afternoon, this time to visit my ‘Canadian Gang’ from Russia. You might remember that I met these guys as I crossed the Russian border back in July and shared some great times hanging out in Moscow before I headed east and they went south to the Stans.
Darrin and his wife Janet extended a warm welcome and we caught up over pizza in the small town where they live. It appeared that my luck with the weather had run out as more un-seasonal snow moved in. Relaxing and enjoying the views out of the windows of the snow settling on the pines, it has been a real treat to see Canada in its winter blanket.
With no option of riding in these conditions we drove up to the local hot springs and had pie (dessert) and a spiked tea as the snow fell outside. To me it felt like Christmas 🙂 Moving on from dessert to dinner we planned our Friday night dinner party for the fellow members of the gang and some local friends. I volunteered to cook and put together an “Aussie” menu for them to enjoy.
On our way to Jasper for dinner I finally saw some of the local wildlife, a huge Elk and his harem of ladies. He casually strolled from the grass into the middle of the road and promptly stood there, bugling. That is his call to the group, which went unanswered. After stopping two lanes of traffic for a good amount of time he casually walked back. It was a special sight to see.
More snow fell all day as I cooked and looked out the windows. If only I wasn’t on a motorcycle trip this would be perfect! Unfortunately one of the crew, Jay, wasn’t able to join us but he made time to stop by and say hi on his way through which was great.
The diners gathered and were subjected to something completely foreign, pumpkin soup! Yes, that’s right they had never eaten it…..pumpkins are mainly used for sweet dishes and baking in north America and Canada. It went over well as did the meat pies and pavlova. The night was a hilarious mix of stories of motorcycles, travel and the cultural differences between Canada and Australia. It was great to catch up on our respective trips with Darrin, Andrei and Steve recounting their adventures and I shared mine since we had last seen each other so many miles ago.
One person in particular had us all in hysterics, the hilarious Twyla. She and her husband Keith take motorcycle trips together, sometimes with Darrin and Janet as well. Twyla took it upon herself to try and re-educate me on how to speak properly, Canadian, and of course that didn’t exactly go to plan. It ended in the agreement that I was styyypid and she STUpid.
I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to see old friends and make new ones, something that this trip continues to give in abundance. Staying here in Hinton with Darrin and Janet has been so much fun and I feel completely at home, seeing the sights, watching the snow and cooking. During the day I have had the company of the adorable Zoe who loves to curl up next to me on the lounge.
Although I had plans of making a move south to head into the USA, with a total whiteout this morning, that will have to wait until the weather clears. So as always I am taking the changes as they come, a few extra days spent with good friends isn’t much of a sacrifice to make.
Today’s mission is to continue the hunt for the elusive bear here in the back country. They have been seen in the local area so fingers crossed we get lucky.
Love Kylie and Yogi x