I love spring!

What a great Saturday! I didn’t have it in me to meet the group at 8 am, so i headed out for my long run around 11am… I knocked off a nice 17k! Woot!

I met Jamie in the parking lot at Edworthy Park, then we headed over to Douglas Fir trail to scope out a place for me to run… Nice!



jasper journeys with jen & jamie

Well, it has been an interesting couple weeks. Last week, hubby and I decided to take a trip out to Jasper to get some fresh mountain air. That we did.

Sunday: Arrive in Jasper, the long way via Edmonton, due to poor driving conditions on Highway 93.  Book a guided ice walk tour. Sleep. For like 10 hrs. We were both exhausted from the previous week which involved lots of fun things, but resulted in significant energy expenditure.

Monday: 9am Ice Walk. Beautiful! It was relatively warm, and not too busy as it was the last weekend of the season. The large ice formations at the top of the canyon were melting quite a pit, and each day the risk of big ice chunks falling increased. It was slippery in spots, but all in all a safe casual walk. Our tour guide Trish was informative and amusing.  Headed back to town, grabbed some lunch and a nap, and then headed back out to explore. We drove along Maligne Lake Road. We were promptly greeted by a couple bald eagles (we weren’t able to get any shots) and a gorgeous Red Fox. Jamie got some fantastic shots of the Fox, which he will post on Flickr. We kept on driving up the road to see if there were any good snowshoeing treks. We found one that looked ok, but it was getting late so we just threw on the gators (yes, dad – the gators you bought for me in JUNIOR HIGH!) and did as much as we could in plain old hiking boots. Baldy Hills is a nice 10=-k uphill loop, apparently the views are fantastic! We turned back at about the halfway point.

Tuesday: After some recommendations for pristine snow for snowshoeing, we decided to trek Medicine Lake. It’s a dried lake bed with a small meandering river through it, with perfect snow. I figured the lake was maybe 3k long. I was wrong. Oh, I was wrong in so many ways: 1.) snowshoeing is not easy, 2.) Medicine Lake is much longer than 3k, 3.) Snowshoeing in heavy, wet snow is a lot tougher than nice dry, hard snow.  At 5.5k, knowing that the end of the lake was still ~2k away, we decided we should head back. I was exhausted and had to pee.

Side note: I have some kind of fear of peeing anywhere but a toilet. Flashback to a snorkeling tour I took in Belize – I held my pee the entire3-4hr trip, which also included lots of sangria and ceviche. As soon as we docked, I sprinted back to my hotel room on the beach. I remember the local caribbean dude yelling “where you goin’ so fast, girl?” and I was made and screamed, “I HAVE TO PEE!”. I met Jamie and my father in law at the entrance of the hotel room, pushed them out of the way, and, well, no need to explain. That evening at dinner with the tour group, I learned that everyone just pees in the ocean. Huh.

Anyway, I had to pee in the bushes. I don’t even know why I am including this in my blog post, but I cheered afterwards – I felt like I conquered something extra that day. Snowshoeing, and peeing in the bushes. We finally made it back to the parking lot, and enjoyed a sandwich on a park bench, looking back at our tracks in the snow. We didn’t do much that evening, but I must say – the beer at dinner was the best damn beer I have ever had.

Wednesday: We decided to take it easy, maybe drive out somewhere and do a small walk. Unfortunately, due to the beautiful weather, the entire length of Highway 93 from Jasper Townsite to Saskatchewan Crossing was closed. Maligne Lake Road was also closed. Luckily there are plenty of hikes that start right in town. I picked the Old Fort Pointe hike, and added a few extra km’s from another hike onto it to make it a nice couple hours walk. Unfortunately, when you add deep snow, ice, and poorly marked trails into the mix, things take a bit longer. So, we were exhausted from yesterday’s Snowshoe Expedition, and then were exhausted by the deep snow and maneuvering over the ice… it made for a long, tiring, 4 hr hike. about 3/4 of the way through, we came to a nice hill that we figured would have great views up top. We started the steep but short ascent and were greeted by a family of rams. 1 specifically angry ram. We backed down. Finally made it to Old Fort Pointe with a beautiful view of the town of Jasper and the Tonquin valley. I could also see the parking lot which made me happy. We headed back, got some homemade fudge (mmm), and took the rest of the evening pretty easy.

Thursday: We headed back to Cowtown. Again, we had to go home via Edmonton – Highway 93 was still completely closed, and who knows for how long. We met a friend in Edmonton for lunch, so the detour was worth it. Once we passed Red Deer, we were greeted with the wonderful Snowstorm and got to drive the QE2 in that nightmare, then Stony Trail, and then home.

It was an absolutely fantastic trip. We were exhausted, but we really got to see a lot and we did a lot.

what a week

Friday cannot come soon enough.

On Sunday night, my body decided to wake me up at 2am – and not let me get back to sleep until about 6am and by then I had to get up for work in ~20min. Fantastic. I forgot mascara that day, and continued to make bizarre typos (such as “2rd”). Somehow we made it to our Monday workout (and kicked ass) and then I enjoyed a deep comatose-like sleep. What a way to start the week, eh?

on the bright side, i had a pretty good weekend.

Surprisingly, I can cook (ok, I lied, I forgot the S&P in the stuffing! Eek!)

on saturday, i went for a light afternoon run. on saturday evening, our good friends steph & brendan came over and I made them dinner. we had pork tenderloin roast with roasted vegetables. steph was in charge of dessert and brought some delicious pastries from her favorite bakery in canmore. i enjoyed a slice of napoleon (sp?), which was layers of flaky pastry and cream, topped off with a sweet icing. mmmm.

Chickadee @ Weaselhead



on sunday, jamie, paula, and i ventured to weaselhead. we checked out a few pathways we hadn’t been on before, and found a very cool and very active bird watching spot!



tuesday night after meeting with the tuesday run group, my buddy janelle, her “couch-surfing” roommate julia, and i headed out for a quick drink @ Wurst. I had never been there before, and quite enjoyed it! janelle ordered pretzels (omg i love bread),  julia ordered some kind of sliced meatloaf with bread and mustard, and i enjoyed my fav – spaetzle. mmm.

Jen & Couch-surfer Julia at Wurst

random summer update

because of the sun, the warmth, the vegetation, the blue sky, ice cream, slurpees, and a million other things, i love summer. i have been taking photos this summer, but most of them suck. here are 3 randoms that aren’t “good” but don’t quite “suck” either.

more fun times!

another good weekend!

fri night: housework & couch potato-time

sat : 14k run with darren. holy shit i am slow. but i will listen to the experts and stick to my heart rate training…

then i met up with jamie and his mom, donna, for some delicious lunch @ tazaa (best middle eastern cuisine in the city!!!).

We enjoyed some chicken & beef pitas, followed up by some fantastic baclava, and some kind of macaroon thing which we plan to never eat again…   in the evening we had a buncha friends over to watch ufc (the Aldo vs Hominick fight was awesome! I did not know goose-eggs could be that HUGE!).

sun: a nice 4k run with the running club… then the pannenkoek haus with mom, dad, and ange… and the rest of my sunday is NOTHING! I can sit on the couch for the next 7 hours if i want! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!

Yellowstone adventures . . . Post # 1 – PHOTOS!

Jamie uploaded a small fraction of his absolutely amazing photos on his flickr site:

And here are my less professional ones!

stampede adventures

i made it down to the grounds this year. unfortunately, it rained. my day at the stampede wasn’t that awesome 😦

my first and favorite place to check out is the agriculture area. i checked out all sorts of livestock. there were some ginormous cattle and horses, and some miniature horses and donkeys! obviously, the best part was the miniatures. i liked listening to the miniature horses whinnying at each other. you can only handle the smell of said animals that you are not used to for a certain period of time, so i blew that pop stand.

next stop – blacksmithing competition! this was cool – i had never seen it before. the coolest part was the female competitor – her arms were ripped. wicked.

in amongst all of this, i had to find food. i discovered that you can get relatively cheap food in weadickville, which i also had never been to before. this is bizarre for a born & raised calgarian. i found coffee for $1 and mac’s frosters for $2. yay team!

i wandered the grounds for a few hours. ange met me at about 6:00. we found some “dinner”. dinner this time was fish and chips. but not just any fish and chips. the slimiest, greasiest, blechiest fish and chips ever. thankfully we had already decided to share it. yick!! then we headed to the chuckwagon races! in the rain! with no roof over our seats! we bought ponchos to make it a little more bearable. we had a few hours ahead of us, as the grandstand show was next. it was cold and miserable, but i bought tickets so we were staying dammit. i went on a coffee hunting adventure, and returned bearing 2 x 16oz cups of coffee. yes!

the grandstand show was less than grand. due to the rain, we missed out on the freestyle motox stunts, the globe of death, some kind of ballet in the air, and some other acrobatic thing on stage. hmph. the best part of the show, i thought, was the tribute to michael jackson… the lead dancer dude did a fantastic job. i guess the canadian idol chick, eva avila, was good too… of course i had no clue who she was… finally – the finale – the fireworks! they were beautiful and awesome! aaand i got to try out the fireworks setting on my camera! woohoo!