Prairie Skies and Train Rides

A few weeks ago, I flew home to Saskatchewan to surprise my Mom for her 65th birthday. My Dad and brother and I had it all planned out. We made sure to NOT tell the nephews, because we didn’t think they could keep the secret 🙂

I flew in on Friday night – Dad had to make an excuse to get Mom to leave my brother’s place, so that my brother and his family could pick me up from the airport!

On Saturday morning, we headed out to a restaurant for breakfast, and waited for the birthday girl to arrive. The surprise was exactly as I hoped it would have been. The look of recognition, then confusion, then shock, then realization (all within a second or two)… Then the tears came (for both of us!). It was priceless 🙂

For Mom’s birthday in the evening, my Dad had booked the entire family on the Southern Prairie Railway train ride through southern Saskatchewan. The train starts in Ogema (a bustling community of 400 people, about an hour southwest of Regina) and travels to Horizon or Pangman, depending on the tour. We did the evening train ride, which heads out to Horizon for a “Settler’s Dinner” in an old church (aka a classic Prairie Church dinner, complete with an epic pie table).

On the way out to Ogema, we had to wait for road construction, so had a few minutes to snap some pictures of the local scenery.

Once in Ogema, we had a bit of time to kill before the train ride started. So, we checked out the main street of Ogema, played on the wooden train structure, and had a peak at the restored train engine that would be whisking us away through the prairie fields.

The Southern Prairie Railway is completely run by volunteers – the two train conductors (one driving the train, one punching tickets) were both retired CP Rail conductors, and another woman (a local from Ogema) was our tour guide. She pointed out bits of info about the area as we were passing through the countryside.

The train ride took about an hour to get out to Horizon. We could either walk over to the church for dinner, or take a school bus. With three young nephews who had energy to burn, we chose the walk 🙂

The train ride back to Ogema showcased a perfect prairie evening – big, open skies and a setting sun.

It was a great weekend to spend with the family!

Saturday Snippets: 29.July.2017

This time of year always feels like a busy time for celebrations. My birthday was yesterday, my Mom’s was last week, my Dad’s is next week. Their anniversary was thrown into the mix, too! For my birthday, Jonty and I started off with breakfast on the beach, then went climbing (obviously), moved on to one of our favourite places for nibbles and drinks, and finished off the day with a slice (or two) of the birthday pie he made me! It was a good day 🙂

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.July.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • What words were added to the dictionary, the year you were born? 1979 brought us words like “first world problem”, “napa cabbage” and “pepper spray”.
  • The West Coast typically gets a few really hot weeks every summer, starting about now. So, it’s the perfect time of year for ice cream! We love making our own small no-churn batches. Here’s 48 fantastic ice cream recipes to try, if you need some inspiration. Ours is the Balsamic-Roasted Cherry Ice Cream, if you’re interested 🙂
  • We may not own a cast iron skillet, but I’m quite sure this blueberry cobbler would be just as tasty in a regular glass baking dish 🙂
  • I finished reading Night Film last week. It was a long book, but it’s been on my to-read list for quite some time, and I’m glad I finally opened it up! It’s a mystery / suspense novel, and there were quite a few tense moments when I wondered if I should be reading it with the lights on… But all good in the end. Honestly, it has been one of the best books I’ve read in a while!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • The platform bed is thiiiiis close to being done! We’ll have the bulk of the pictures for you next week. For now, here’s a little sneak peek.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - building a platform bed

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - building a platform bed

Pictures from the week of 29.July.2017:

I have a bunch of pictures from my weekend in Saskatchewan, but this week has slipped by me in a blink of an eye, and I haven’t had a chance to properly go through all of them. So, for now, here are a few pictures until I get the rest edited!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Saskatchewan prairie views

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Saskatchewan prairie views

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Saskatchewan prairie views

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 29.April.2017

Goodness gracious – the last weekend of April! I feel like I’m in denial. Maybe because it’s only started to kind of feel like spring in the last week. One more weather fact for you, because we’re Canadian, and apparently it’s all we talk about 😉 On Monday, Jonty sent me the rainfall update for April: as of Monday, Vancouver has had 170 mm of rain in April (the average for the month is 67 mm), and we still had a week to go! However, the sunshine gods must have been feeling sorry for us, because we’ve had more sun than rain this last week of April. Hopefully this is a sign of weather to come?

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.April.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This was another week of planning and prototyping, but we’ve officially entered cabinet-making season 🙂

The Cabinets:

  • The first half of this week was all about the hinges. What type of hinges are there, what kind do we want to use, do we want to fully cover the 80-20 or not, how can we attach the hinges to the 80-20, what hinges will work with 1/4-inch thick cabinets, etc, it’s all non-standard…
  • The second half of this week was all about the latches. Once we figured out the kind of latch to use on the cabinet doors, we then spent a bunch of time trying to figure out who sold them in the lower mainland, to see them in person.
  • Good news is that we think we have answers to both questions! Jonty used some cheap-o $3 hinges from Home Depot, to prototype attaching them to the 80-20. It involves drilling holes in the hardware, but we think it’s going to work! We also found the latches we want to use, at the local Marine store (which is closing their Vancouver store shortly), so picked up one to try (at a 25% discount!).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - upper cabinet hinges

  • We picked up a few sheets of 1/4-inch Baltic Birch and started making the cabinets! The bottoms of all the upper cabinets will slide into the grooves of the 80-20. The cabinet fronts and sides will fully cover the 80-20 frame. Jonty was able to blitz out 4 cabinet bottoms and 4 cabinet fronts on the CNC machine yesterday. Now we just have to stain / seal them, and attach the hardware and we’ll have usable storage space!
ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - cabinet bases

Cabinet bottoms, made out of 1/4-inch Baltic birch, will slide into the grooves of the 8020 extrusion.

Pictures from the week of 29.April.2017:

Last Saturday we were climbing in the competition, but Sunday morning we spent an hour wandering around downtown Victoria, to snap a few pictures before it got too busy. Victoria has a very walkable downtown area, and I absolutely love the old brick buildings!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Downtown Victoria BC

Happy weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 04.February.2017

Do you believe the old saying that, “Bad things happen in threes”? As I type this I am in yet another airport, waiting for yet another delayed and/or cancelled Air Canada flight. This makes it 3 flight woes in 2 weeks (I have one more flight next week, but according to the Law of Threes, I should be okay 🙂 ). While the Ottawa airport is fairly easy to hang out in, I don’t want this flight to be cancelled and I’m ready to get home. (Update: the flight was only delayed by 2 hours!)

This week I was at a mammography conference in Quebec. It was fantastic! I learned a lot and was able to reconnect with fellow medical physicists across Canada, and enjoyed spending a few days in the world’s largest man-made log cabin in the world (I’ve got a few pictures at the end of the post).

Have fun checking out what caught our eye in the online world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 04.February.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter Conversion updates):

  • Because I was going to be gone for the majority of the week, Jonty wanted help installing the upper wall panels. It’s definitely a job that is much easier with two people. The big difficulty we had was trying to accurately map the position of the screw holes onto the wood panels. Jonty had a brain wave at 3 am one night – use a laser level to mark the centre of the first screw hole, then place the board back into place and mark the hole on the wood. It worked really well! After that the remaining holes can be found by indenting with studs in the bolt holes. It took us about 5 hours to CNC, measure and drill, and install 4 panels, which we thought was actually pretty quick!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

  • After two months of trouble-shooting, then sending off parts and waiting for them to come back, we finally got the replacement sense-board back from the manufacturer. Jonty hooked it all back up and, guess what – it works! Like a dream! Here he is, running the laptop off of our batteries, doing some diagnostic work.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - installing wall panels

  •  Now that the batteries are charged and working, we’ll start to run the wiring throughout the van. Having ceiling lights wired will be pretty exciting! Hopefully we’ll also be able to start wrapping the panels in foam-backed vinyl. Moby is really starting to take shape, and each job we finish feels like one big step in the right direction.

Pictures from 04.February.2017:

I attended a mammography conference this past week. It was held in Montebello, Quebec, in the world’s largest log cabin. The place was huge! The fireplace, alone, was spectacular. The resort was built back in the early 1900’s, with logs shipped over from BC. According to someone’s cab driver, the entire building took only 3 months to build, because they employed non-union workers 🙂 It’s quite impressive.

The conference was jam-packed and we were kept busy with talks and sessions from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm so, unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of time to check out the area. We did have a few hours of free time before the conference began, and used that time to walk into the nearby village of Montebello.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20170202-Montebello-Quebec-5174

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Travel to Montebello Quebec

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 31.December.2016

Holy moly, can anyone else believe that we’re at the end of 2016 already? One year ago, we were wondering as to whether we would be in The Van and on our travels. Jonty gave it a 50% chance, I thought around 75% and Jonty’s brother an optimistic 90% chance. While we’re definitely not on the road with a finished van, we’ve made reasonable progress. We’ve told everyone it WILL be finished in 2017, so now the pressure’s on 😉

We spent the holidays in Saskatchewan, with my side of the family, and had a wonderful time. The week went by quickly, with lots of visiting and eating and drinking, and very little time online. As such, I’m anticipating another Saturday Snippets that is light on the words and heavy on the photos.

So here are a few things that caught our eye online in the word of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 31.December. 2016.

And now for a few holiday pictures.

Checking out the prairie landscape, from above.

Christmas was filled with stocking and Christmas sweaters and backyard ice hockey. A Christmas-day birthday and just-because cinnamon buns. A few tasty local craft breweries and lots and lots of coffee 🙂

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!