marble meadows

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after a full day of butchering a sheep with john, and then canning, and then making marinade for jerky, i am exhausted. time to sit down with a bowl of sheep stew and write. there is so little time for writing these days. almost all down time spent indoors since returning from savary has been for working on the annual arts anthology. i am done as much as i can do on that for now, so yay, a well-deserved break. and it seems there’s very little down-time indoors regardless. there’s enough light in these waning fall days to get a lot done outside until quite late, so i keep going going going while the going is good. i’ve moved almost all of the lumber to my place, just one more load that is too heavy for me on my own, so that project is mainly done for now. i do need to make space for some of the lumber that doesn’t fit in the lumber shed. i’ve put a cat door in for khurue, which, upon getting used to it, i think she has come to appreciate quite a bit. as have i, since it now enables me to sleep through the night a bit better. i cleaned out one of the smaller water cisterns so it can now collect the delicious fall rains. i made a vent cover for one of the bus roof vents, partly because it was leaking, but also because i can now have the vent open as a skylight when it’s raining, without getting wet. every now and then i find a bit of time to haul firewood, and whenever john comes over we spend time working on the cistern shed roof, which is inching its way closer to being able to collect water this winter. soooo, life is busy! somewhere in there social time needs to and sometimes does squeak in. there is still a list of things i’ve wanted to get to since returning from savary that haven’t happened! like working on finishing my knit vest, but i think i may be inching my way closer to that too, and the days just keep getting shorter. however, one of the main things i have been very tardy about is my birthday post, so here we go!

john and i headed up to marble meadows in strathcona park for my birthday this year. it should be noted that i am not a hiker. at least not the type of hiker who likes to carry a pack. i will happily walk up and down hills and little mountains, but not with a pack. this is one of the reasons why canoeing works so well for me, the canoe carries the packs! but despite this i wanted to go somewhere beautyfull and there was a little canoeing involved in needing to cross buttle lake to get to the trailhead (20 minutes), so that made me happy. i packed as light as possible, all dehydrated meals, but again, i am a canoer, so for my tent and gear in general i don’t necessarily buy the lightest stuff. the hike was five hours from the trailhead to the meadows, and pretty steep with lots of switchbacks. john is also not a pack-hiker and to top it off he had just come back from a working road-trip to california, so was worn-out both from working full days and from having crappy sleeps in his car on the way home. he was worse off than i was by the end of it. on the way up we were both swearing we would never do that again, although john was more in the camp of never doing it from the beginning. it’s just that on this occasion he had a persuasive girlfriend who was having a birthday. by the next day, up in the beautyfull “meadows” i was thinking: nah, i’d do it again for sure. john was not swayed. it was just soooo gorgeous up there, and how else is one to get to such a spectacular place, and have the necessary time to explore it, without staying? on the way up we we did pass a couple who had a base camp at the bottom and had just gone up for a day hike. the man was hiking naked, after betting his girlfriend they’d see no one on the way down, so she was having a laughing fit as we passed them. and then we were passed by a young man who was also only going up for the day, and was planning to get to the peak of marble mountain too! it was already 4pm by then and we were still at least an hour from the meadows, so i was thinking he was little on the optimistic side, but he did indeed reach his goal as we learned when he passed by our camp late in the evening. wowie.

i had wanted to reach the hut that we knew was up there, but by the time we reached anywhere that was remotely beautyfull and resembled a campsite, we were done. same to the idea of moving the camp the next day: this was good enough for us and made a great base camp. i spotted a black bear way off on a distant hillside the first night, but other than that no signs of bears or other wildlife. there were some ruminant-type poops i was curious about, but we never did find out what they were. after john recovered from the hike, we went day-hiking to try to find the hut later the next afternoon. we were unsuccessful, but i think we came pretty close. on the way though did we ever see some beauty. i loved the prolific wildflowers intermingled with the remaining snow. the clear deep turquoise lakes. the spindly mountain-top trees. i would need so much more time up there to explore it thoroughly. someday i suppose i will just have to go back.

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can you spot our tiny green tent off in the distance?

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this is the mountain we hiked up, starting down in the valley

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