Saturday, June 30, 2012

Not Just Hiking - June 2012

Want to see what I am reading and have read before I post my complete list at the end of the month? Want to know when I read a book or what I am going to read? Check out my Goodreads page. Want to see a list of every physical book in this house? Want to know what my husband read? Want to know what my kids own? Visit LibraryThing.


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline l'Engle
For Shelf Discovery - The joy of A Wrinkle in Time!  I was crying by the end, tears of joy.  Yes. Yes. Yes.  Love is what will defeat evil.  So many comparisons between Meg and Lucy Pevensie

Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
For Shelf Discovery - You know, I have never been a big fan of Dahl.  Still not.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
My childhood favorite still holds its own.  I remember why I loved this book ... it just made me believe that everything was going to be o.k.  I didn't get a ton of practical advice on being a girl from my mom, and Judy Blume and her characters filled the void.

Mason's Retreat by Christopher Tilghman
I don't even remember who recommended this to me.  Which is too bad, because I will take their recommendations with a grain of salt from now on.  It wasn't bad, but I know there are so many better books on my list.

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
Brilliant.  The man and the book were equally compelling.  Self made outdoorsman.  Devoted family man.  Honorable Police Commissioner.  Governor. Hero of the Battle of San Juan Hill. Vice-President. Never took a bribe.  And that is just in the first volume of three.  What I am beginning to understand is that what made him great came from inside.  Who knew anyone disliked Jefferson?

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
For Shelf Discovery

I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier
For Shelf Discovery
Spectacular.  And, yet again, I am angry with the local and school librarians from my hometown for not pointing me in the direction of these great works.  I will be giving this to my son.

Book in June: 7

Books in 2012: 47

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Off Again

This vacation has existed in so many iterations that even I am not exactly sure where we will end up.  We are heading West tomorrow.  Photos and comments when I return.  I'm taking Shelf Discovery, Jacob Have I Loved and the 2nd TR book with me.  I'm looking for something to listen to in the car that EVERYONE will enjoy.  Maybe A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bryson?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Own Fault

I did it to myself ... I was so focused on making sure that my book club had good solid books to read this year ...

Sisters Brothers
The Night Circus
The Age of Innocence
Let's Pretend This Never Happened

... that I promoted a list that includes 4 books I have already read.

At least everyone else will have great books to read this year!

And I will have lots and lots of time to read the books I am sure I will not get to this summer.

Final Book club list for 2012-2013:
The Dovekeepers by Hoffman
The Sisters Brothers by DeWitt
The Power of One by Courtenay
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Lawson
Devil in the White City by Larson
Night Circus by Morgenstern
The Paris Wife by McClain
Age of Innocence by Wharton
The Painter From Shanghai by Epstein
Hare with the Amber Eyes by DeWaal

So I think we will start strong and end with a whimper. From what I have learned about the personalities and what I have already read, the first six books will be wonderful.  The next two have potential and the last two will be bad.  D suggested The Painter and I have never liked one of her suggestions.  Anything she likes, I don't.  I like her, but we have the most divergent tastes of any two people in the group.  The last one I have already read and didn't like the first time around.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lake Minnewanka

Saturday was a good day for firsts.

First 10-miler of the year.
First whitetail.
First rainy hike.
First "gourmet" trail food.
First time with my new hiking poles.

Heck, I'll come out and say it.  Saturday was just a good day.

Despite the fact that snow has been gone in Calgary for weeks, the mountain areas where we really want to hike this summer are still mostly snow-bound.  There was record snowfall this winter, and it just hasn't melted yet.  This has forced us to begin our hiking at some lower elevations.  

Lake Minnewanka is Banff National Park's signature lake.  We could have paid $130 for the boat ride.  No thank you.  We chose to hike it instead.  Five out and five back.  A little long for this early in the season, but the trail was pretty flat.  

We started early before the crowds.  We always start early.  We like to be the first or second group on the trail and usually by the time we are heading home, the late-risers are coming out in force.  We saw two people on the outbound trek and about 25 on the inbound trek.  We also ran into her ...

She was so beautiful and sweet.  She stayed right there despite the noise and disruption.  I was over-joyed.  She might have been a better surprise than the first moose.  I've seen many deer, but not like this.  

We stopped for lunch here.  Right on those rocks as the clouds rolled in and it started to sprinkle.  Hey, but we are scouts ... be prepared.  We just pulled out our rain pants and our jackets and ate in the drizzle.  It looked ominous, but I am happy to report that we just got the edge of the storm.  If we had been on the other side of the lake, we would have been soaked.

Lunch made me a hero.  I usually pack a sandwich or a peanut-butter bagel.  Not today.  I was better prepared and finally tried one of the recipes from Backpacker magazine.  Sitting on the shores of Lake Minnewanka, we dined on my version of Quinoa Taco Salad.  Now I have raised the bar ... what will I make next time?

By the end of the day, with tired feet, the sun came out just in time for this shot as we headed back to the car.

Distance: 10 miles
Elevation: 200 feet
Miles hiked in 2012: 29
Miles hiked since arrival in Canada: 98


I admit it, I am a National Park Junkie.  So these photos from Wired Science amazed me.

The above photo is of Death Valley National Park.  It is my favorite photo of the bunch, but my memories of driving through it as a child are not as beautiful.

This second photo is very near to my heart.  It is of my most favorite place in the entire world ... Glacier National Park.

In the upper left corner is Grinnell Glacier (the biggest of the glaciers in this photo).  I have hiked there twice.  The left side of the ridge the glacier rests against is the Highline Trail, which my family will be hiking in September.  Look at the photo ... you can see the path the glacier took as it receded.  The NASA website provides a great explanation.  But I knew it in a moment.  When you love a place so much, it just sticks with you.

If you haven't been and you want to take you family ... go soon.  The glaciers will be gone in 15 years.  I would still go back without the glaciers.  This place is heaven to me. Go. Go Go.