Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wonderful Weather ALERT!

If you are reading this and live in Southern Ontario STOP what you are doing and go outside! You can go now if you want...don't worry, I'll wait for you to come back.
Did you go? Just in case you didn't, it feels like spring! The sun is out, it's warm..well warm-ish, bright and the snow is melting. With the exception of the snow storm we are scheduled to get Thursday evening, this may be the last we see of the cold stuff for a while.

As far as winters go we have had a real mild one and I did miss the snow at times, but there's something about days like today that affect me. I feel happy and I like feeling this happy! As I walked outside this afternoon the weather had me thinking about the summer and all the things I look forward to doing. The weather has me humming and even singing to myself. It's amazing how just a little sunshine can have such a powerful impact on my mood. Maybe I have seasonal affective disorder or perhaps I am just a guy who like the sun, either way I feel amazing right now and hope you do to.

On a different note, I did my first "Brick training session" today. This is triathlon jargon that means bike then run. It was not as hard as thought it might be, and in 30 minutes I did 11.2 miles and then immediately ran 2 miles. The transition felt weird, as I got off the bike and started to run every muscle in my lower back was still trying to ride a bike...just felt weird. After a few minutes all the muscles figured it out and it felt normal again. It's fun to have something new in my training again. Today was just a test to see how hard it will be when I start my real 20 week training program next month, but tests can be fun too right?

Anyway, I know my posts are usually a little more structured then this, but I guess this rambling post is the product of how good I feel right now... almost euphoric in fact, so I for now I don't care. Thanks for stopping by folks!

Monday, February 26, 2007

It's freezing cold and windy...let's go run a half marathon!

Tanyia, the kids and I arrived at the Peterborough YMCA about an hour and half before the start time which gave me plenty of time to ask questions and check out the facility. The race bib pick-up, bag check and the information desks were all in the brand new YMCA building that had only been open 3 weeks! It is a stunning facility, loaded with state of the art equipment and even an Olympic sized pool....but this day was not about swimming.

My Mom, Dad, niece Hayley and "baby" sister Kate arrived about 30 minutes before the start time and we made our way over to the start line. This was a little strange. The start line was a good 10 minuted walk from the Y and I am not sure why it had to be. Not a big deal , but I would love to know why they chose that as the starting point.

As we arrived at the start line, there was about 1000 people, which is about double the number at my first run. I think that if this has been my first I would have been intimidated by the sheer numbers, but I felt a real rush of confidence as I said my goodbyes to my family and found my place in the crowd. In a race with these kind of numbers it is essential that people are able to group themselves by the pace they run, otherwise you could have people running slow at the front of the pack and slow down everyone else. To help this, they have people strategically placed in the crowd carrying signs with the time they run a half marathon. I run a half in about 1:50, so I had to weave my way through the crowd at the back until I got about half way up and found the guy holding the 1:50 sign with just a minute until the start. It was very cool to walk through the crowd, many of the people wishing me good luck as I past them to move forward, some even giving me a healthy pat on the back saying " way to go!".

As the announcer starts the countdown I do my self talk ritual "five"...OK Jim you can do this..."4" ...stick to the plan "3" ...mp3 player on.."2"...just breath and focus "1"...I am ready for anything.. "Go!!!" and I am off and running!

The first 15 kms went very smooth and I remember being surprised at how good I felt. At this point I was on pace for a personal best of 1:45. Then at about the 16 km mark the course turned into the wind and what a wind! Now running into a very strong wind, my pace slowed and many of the people I had kept pace with were now stopping to walk. I kept running, but the wind cost me allot of time and really drained my energy. With each step I was fighting back the thought of taking a bit of a walk break, this wind was killing me! But as I approached the Gatorade station my spirits lifted and as I sucked back a cup of liquid energy I regained my focus. I was now just 3 kms away.

The final 2.5 kms were tough , but with my renewed focus I ignored the pain and pushed on. As I approached the finish line with only 400 meters to go this Scottish Man in the crowd jumped out at me and yelled " Give it your all...PUMP...PUMP...PUMP !" and man did it work. I found renewed speed as I went from a run to an all out sprint. I crossed the finish line and Tanyia rushed to greet me. As I saw her I was overcome with emotion and kissed her with tears on my eyes. My Dad has often asked me why I do these runs and I would always respond "for the challenge" or "to see if I can", but as I stood holding my wife in a crowd of thousands, with tears rolling down my face..I knew the real answer. For anyone thinking about running for the first time, it is an experience like no other. It is the cleanest high you can experience...hard to even describe.

I had a great day all around! My final time was 1:55, not my best, but I don't care that much. I am just happy my family was there with me for the race and always.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Countdown to last?

Just 16 over hours from now I will have finished my second half marathon. Unlike my first one last September, I feel as prepared for this run as I could possibly be. I woke up early this morning and got all my gear ready and all of my training is over, so all I have to do now is kick back and relax until tomorrow....or at least try. I don't usually sleep very well the night before a race, but I hope that being this prepared will ease the constant worry of forgetting some key piece of gear or sleeping in.

But as I mentioned in the title of the post, this will likely be my last marathon. In running I have accomplished everything I wanted to and need a new challenge. On that note, I am proud to announce that this fall I will be competing in my first Triathlon. I have entered the Subaru Sprint Triathlon Series in Orillia and it will be on Sunday August 19, 2007. This is an event I have always dreamed of doing and I can hardly wait to start training. This is a sprint triathlon which is one level above the entry level "Try a Triathlon" level.

Here are the distances for my Sprint Triathlon:

  1. Swim 750 meters ( This will be tough, but not my biggest challenge)
  2. Bike 35 Kilometers (This is where I will have to do the most work...I hate the bike)
  3. Run 7.5 Kilometers ( I could do this with my eyes shut)
It is getting late, so I should get to bed. Wish me luck and I will update with results.....Man I am so pumped I know I won't be able to sleep, but I should try...good night all!

Welcoming the members of

I wanted to welcome the members of to the blog. The owner of the site Barry Bridgeford was kind enough to post my blog on the main news site for AA and the traffic this has created for my blog has been simply astounding. I have a real passion for all things Algonquin and it is amazing to go to a place where everyone are just as passionate...maybe even more? The members of the algonquin adventures forum are some of the friendliest and knowledgeable people you will find. For anyone who is searching for the ultimate Algonquin community...look no further then the AA forum.

Anyway, just wanted welcome all of you that have come to check out my blog and thank you for creating the ultimate online community.

Friday, February 23, 2007

My first solo Canoe Trip!

After thinking about it for a while, I have decided to go on a solo trip. I have penciled it in for early July and it will be 4 days, 3 nights. This will be the first time I have been to Algonquin without Gerry and to be honest, I am feeling a bit guilty about going without him. You see it was Gerry that introduced me to Algonquin and we have learned everything to this point together, so it just feels wrong for him not to be involved. I did ask him if he would be interested and he was, but he only has so much vacation, so he is unable to go. It will be so weird to be there without him, but the experience I gain here should help us both on CC 2007.

Now I have posted a map of a route I may take, but as many of the guys on Algonquin Adventures have noted, this may be to much for my first I may just stay on Big Crow. The idea of doing the huge Dickson Portage solo is very appealing to me...hmm, still need to consider it , but at this point I am leaning towards staying on Big Crow.

For my first solo I wanted to go somewhere very cool and from what I have read Big Crow Lake fits the bill. There's so much to see on this the fire tower, the old stand of while pines, the view, the ranger cabin, the spring and lots of other cool features. I will be using the water Taxi to get to the start and again at the finish to avoid having to paddle the Op.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Stop thinking about boy George..."

OK...this is way out of the realm of Canoe Trips, but I need to tell this to someone before I burst!

A female client just came in to see me and I swear she looked just like Boy George. She was wearing the trademark hat, hair in braids, sunglasses and a black cape...I am not kidding here folks...a frigg'n cape! This woman we be in her early 40's and dressed like a confused superhero. She was here to discuss some serious problems she is experiencing, but in my head I just keep thinking " god, it's Boy frigg'n George". I feel like a real bastard, but I just couldn't help it. Every time I gained control over my thoughts I would look at her and hear " you really want to hurt you really want to make me cry..." and suddenly I am fighting back laughter again. I have to say it again that I feel bad, 'cause she seemed like a nice lady....but she was wearing a cape people!

Unless Wham and the village people show up this afternoon this is all for now...A CAPE!!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Low Maintenance Portage Route on CC 2007!

As I mentioned in our UPDATED PLAN for CapsizedCanoe 2007, we are venturing into some uncharted territory for us on this years trip.... Algonquins infamous "Low Mainantance Portage Trails". For Gerry and I, the lure of these relatively unused trails speak for themselves. They represent a new challenge and that feeling of adventure that will be somewhat absent as we retrace many of our steps from CC 2006. Below is a response to a question I posed about the Low Maint Routes we will be taking this year.

"I went in to North Cuckoo, Macoun and Plumb coming from the Petawawa . Sounds like you would be coming from the other direction (Robinson Lake). Macoun gets very liitle use. The campsite is quite small and had not been used for about 2 seasons when I stayed there. There was a large site around the point from Macoun on Plumb Lake that looked like it had regular visitors each fishing season. It had tables etc all made up. The portage from Macoun to North Cuckoo is tricky. Its an old road for about 1000 meters. when you come off Macoun just remember to always stay left on the road. There is a fork in the road part way down. Stay to your left. The remainder of the portage to North Cuckoo turns off the old road on the right side of the road. It was poorly marked when I used it. Portage signs were ripped down and the trail off the road is not easy to see. Part way through the bush to North Cuckoo you come to an area where there is a small creek. Very difficult to identify the trail at this point for about 100 meters. You may need to wander a bit at this point to pick up the trail again so take a good bearing before doing so. The good news is that the portage from Macoun to North Cuckoo is downhill all the way to the Petawawa.
Since you are going to be in that area I would recommend that you try Lynx and Luckless lakes as well. There is a very nice site on Luckless and the portage from Luckless to the Nippising, is long but easy. Mostly flat road and downhill."

The goal for 2007 is to build on the practical experience from '06. While it was a great trip, I want a second chance to prove to myself that I can finish strong on any of the portages that kicked my ass on the first attempt. The one that really stands out was the 2345 M form the Petawawa R. -> Narrowbag L. This was my first portage and as I set out I remember saying to Gerry " I am going to crush this...". Well, the only thing that was crushed was my spirit as I was forced to hand off to Gerry about 1/3 of the way in. By the time we got to the half way mark at "Unicorn Hill" I was feeling pretty deflated. In retrospect, I really had no idea how hard a single carry with a 60lb pack and a 50 lb canoe would be....well now I do! By the time we tackle it again, it will be a year of thinking about how hard it was, so my hope is that I will now be overestimating how difficult it is.'s a theory anyway...

Below is a quote from Scott Smith's Trip Log and it describes the portage to a "T"...

"If you consult the Canoe Routes Map, the 2,345 meter portage doesn’t look all that intimidating. But I can assure you, it is very unforgiving .. even for the experienced Voyageur. This is definitely one of the most challenging portages I’ve ever done in Algonquin. On this carry, you climb most of the 80 meters difference in elevation between Cedar and Catfish. It’s an uphill grind all the way and it really takes a toll on you physically and psychologically. With light packs and determination, it can easily be done in a single carry. At the hilltop, you pass by a canoe rest on your right that has a sign that reads “Unicorn Hill”. I’ve always wondered what the significance of the name is and hopefully one day I’ll discover its meaning."

This year Unicorn Hill....this will be the year I crush you!

Friday, February 16, 2007


This week has been a pretty shitty one by most accounts, so I am happy it is mercifully over.

I was unable to go for my long run earlier this week due to the pneumonia, but I will be completing it this afternoon. This will be the last time I run over 20 kms before my half marathon next weekend, so I am both excited and anxious. This run will be all about fun, so I am not concerned with time at all! To add to the fun I plan to bring my digi cam with me for the run and do a little " This is what it's like to run with Jim " video. I will let you know if it happens, 'cause I still have not figured out where to keep the camera.

...check out this video of how NOT to run rapids...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Great Wolf Lodge Compilation

A few weeks ago Tanyia, the kids and I took a 3 day mini-vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, in Niagara Falls. I shot allot of video while there using my new digital camera and this is my attempt at be kind!

The camera is an Olympus Stylus 720 SW and as you will see in the video, it is completely water proof! A few times I caught the looks of horror on the faces of some of the other dad's as I went under water with the camera...funny stuff! This camera will be very cool on our trip this year as well.

So turn on your speakers and enjoy...

Puppy Update!

Despite my feeling less then 100% yesterday, we went to visit the puppy we will be bringing home in 3 short weeks. This was the first time we had seen him in person and I shot some video of our little "Jack"(attached below). He is 5 weeks old and saying he's cute hardly covers it!

We picked up a toy for each of the kids to give him and they were excited to see how much the little guy enjoyed playing with them. All three of the kids were excited, but it was Ethan (the real dog lover) who was enamored by Jack the most and every moment he spent petting him he had this huge smile on his face.

Must not...get sick....not now....please god!

It seems Karma bit me in the ass on Friday, when I was boasting to a client about never getting sick. About 24 hours later I developed a rough throat, that over the next few day was followed by a cough, fever and generally feeling very unwell. But to this point I figured it would pass, until I woke-up Tuesday morning with a gurgle in my chest and a productive (phlegm) cough, the perfect environment for pneumonia. This was the point where my laze fair "it will pass" attitude turned into "...holy shit this could screw me for my marathon". A bit panicked that my immune system (normally an impregnable suit of armour) had failed me, I went to the clinic.

Like most people, I only go to the clinic when I absolutely have no other choice. I expect a long wait and despite being impatient at the best of times, I really don't fret about the wait time. But as a nurse, the part I dread is sitting in deaths waiting room with all the other coughing, sneezing, vomiting disease ridden people. It's like being forced to pull up a chair inside a diseased gas chamber and I am always tempted to wait outside, but I reluctantly take my seat. In the clinic all the bugs and virus's combined to form this concentrated cocktail that could compromises even the strongest of immunities. With my virus shields already at half power to begin with I have the feeling I will be leaving here with more then just a prescription.

Anyway, I was eventually seen by the Doctor in only 1 hour, 15 minutes...a new record. I was diagnosed with either a URI (Upper Respiratory Infection AKA, Pneumonia) OR Influenza. WTF? I grilled the doctor for a bit and eventually she conceded to give me the meds to treat both and after even more coaxing she agreed to me treating the Pneumonia first with anti-biotics, then the influenza med as a last resort. I really pushed her on the idea to try anti-biotic treatment for pneumonia first, mostly because I don't want to take the Tamiflu (a harsh anti-viral med riddled with side effects) unless I have to.

Well after 1 day taking the anti-biotic I am pleased to tell you that I am now fever free and my coughing has been reduced by other words, I am getting better fast! I have also been taking Cold FX and it seems to have helped with my cold symptoms.

Man...what a relief! Fortunately, my training was hardly interrupted and if anything, having a couple of days off has helped heal some minor aches. With just 10 days until the race it is now full steam ahead and (fingers crossed) healthy!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Canoe Trip in New Zealand

Stumbled across this great video put together by a group of six Kiwi's that built their own canoes then paddled for 60 days. Incredible pictures and great editing make it very special...check it out!

Yoga and Running Update:

Wednesday night I went to my first group yoga class. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about going, mostly because the gym is a place I normally feel at home, so these feelings made it even more strange. The classes are taught in the same gym where I do much of my cardio and weight training. As I stood in the weight area outside the studio not so patiently waiting for the doors to open, I noticed more then a few confused looks from a few of my "gym friends". I just smiled and tried to ignore their expressions of "...what are you doing?". The teacher showed up and ushered us in. I grabbed a mat, removed my shoes and before long, I was doing it!

The class was an hour, but it really did seem to fly by. Lots of good are the highlights:

  • The instructor commented that I was "remarkably flexible for a beginner"
  • The female instructor seemed to be a real "touchy feeley" person and surprised me a few times when she "corrected my poses" by grabbing my but! At the time I thought little of it, but I think she was just taking the opportunity to grab my bum....and I kinda liked it :)
  • Amusing thing...we were doing this pose where you put your feet up the wall. The instructor says to me "...when we walk around upright all day the blood in our legs is trapped there...this allows all that stale blood to be returned to the body". LMAO! Yeah...if that were true I would have two rotting dead stumps for legs! Instructor: Great at teaching yoga, but not so good with her Anatomy and physiology.
I really enjoyed the class and found the instruction to be very helpful. I will be going every Wednesday from now on and will continue on my own 2 additional days a week.

Also, my "Yoga for Dummies" DVD came yesterday and I am looking forward to using it to help master the common poses. If anyone wants a free copy just shoot me and email: jim"at"

Yesterday I went for my last long hard run before my race and man was it cold! If felt so much colder then what was posted. Much of the run was with that feezing cold wind in my face and I am sure this is why it felt so much worse then it was. Despite the frigid temps, I pulled off my half-marathon distance in 1 Hour, 54 minutes and better yet, I was holding back for the first 12 kms! My race pace is 5 minute kms ( +/- 30 seconds), so if all goes well I could break my summer time of 1 hour 50 minutes! The race is 2 weeks form this Sunday and unlike my first half-Marathon, I feel so ready for this one.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Blog Updates:

Just a few changes.

1)Updated the Gear List and it can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

2) Changed my profile picture. This was a self-take I did about 2 minutes ago. At least you can see my face in this one...

That's all for now!

Why does nature want to kill me?

I love the outdoors and despite having a severe allergy to bees, I don't think much about what could happen. The way I have always looked at is I live minutes from a hospital and always (the truth is sometimes...) carry my epinephrine needles with me. That said, if I am stung I will only be aware of my circumstances for a couple of minutes and then my life becomes someone else's responsibility. My friends and family are painfully aware of this and have instructed on what to do. I had always been comfortable with this arrangement, until Gerry and I started doing interior camping trips....this has changed everything.

Last year we had a safe trip in that regard, but in retrospect, I am no longer comfortable burdening Gerry with this. If I did have a reaction while in the middle of the park, it would be Gerry that would be forced to leave me behind and paddle/portage 8-12 hours for help. It just never struck me how bad that could have turned out...what if I ran out of epinephrine and died? Not Gerry would blame something had to be done before our trip this August.So today I set the "allergy-less" wheels in motion.

I contacted my Doctor and he has refereed me to an allergist that will begin the process of ridding me of my bee allergy for good! It is called being desensitized to the venom. An allergist can administer increasing doses of bee venom over the course of several weeks until the body develops immunity and can tolerate a large dose of the venom. In one study published in 2000 in Clinical Therapy, this immunotherapy regimen was shown to be effective in up to 79 percent of people.

I am waiting 4 weeks to start the process, as I have my marathon in 2 weeks and don't want to do anything to screw that up. If all goes well, I will be allergy free before spring!

Take that mother B**ch!

Must Read Book: K.I.S.S Guide to Yoga

What a find at the library yesterday. If you want a liberal arts education in yoga, this is the book for you!

It gives a brief overview of just about everything related to yoga from the different styles of yoga to meditation, health tips, and even eating. For the person who knows nothing about yoga or the person who has practiced yoga without learning the background, this book fills the knowledge gap.

In short, this was exactly the book I needed and I can't recommend it enough!

Memories from the produce aisle

For some reason the task of doing the grocery shopping for our home has always been my job. It has its buying things I like to eat ( those pricey Soy rice cakes) and avoiding things I don't (fish cakes..yuk!). Since I do most of the cooking, I guess it makes sense that I am the one collecting the ingredients. I really do enjoy going and I have developed a system that to make the "Grocery Store Experience" a more pleasant one.

No kids is essential- add kids to the equation and a quick in and out to grab some milk is easily turned into a 20 minute "dad can we get this...." battle of wills.
Know your store- If I need a bunch of things and time is a factor, I avoid going to a store I am unfamiliar with. The additional time spent searching shelves for that "imported jar of curry paste" in the new store is a total waste of time.
Have a Plan- I have a grocery list that includes the names of the foods we commonly buy and have organized them into the corresponding isles in my grocery store. Example: In my store the Fruits and veggies are in the first isle, so they are first followed by the other sections I pass as I weave my way through the aisles...may seem a bit nuts, but it eliminates having to back track.
Meal Planning- I always grocery shop based on what meals I am planning, otherwise I am just buying a bunch of stuff that may not equal a meal.

Enough of that stuff though, this was not what this post was even about. What can I say, I am easily distracted. Anywho, back to the real topic of the post...

Yesterday as I was grocery shopping... (incidentally, with no kids, at my store, a list in hand and Chicken Cesar Salad with wild rice on the menue) ...a song came on the radio and it immediately brought me back to a very vivid memory from last years trip.
It starts just moments after piling into Gerry's Jetta, as we began winding our way up the bumpy gravel road that heads out of Brent. As both of us sit silently brimming with the pride of completing our first canoe trip, Gerry switches on the radio. The song "Crusin" by Huey Lewis and Gweneth Paltrow starts to play and although never a fan, for me this song perfectly preserved this moment in time and all the emotion attached to it.

Back at the grocery I listen to the song, I am flooded with details that until then were unavailable memories. Like the way the sun cut through the thick web of trees, at times almost blinking Morse Code. Or the smell of the freshly cut trees....or the sound of the air as it passed by my arm. But most of all, I remembered how good it was to know that I was going home to see my family.

I have attached a the song below. It makes me feel really good just hearing it, so if nothing else, now I know where to look if I need a reminder of happier days.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Free Satalite Radio...kinda?

This may be a sign that I am getting old, but I have a hard time convincing myself that it is OK to pay for radio. As it stands now, I am not a subscriber, but learned to appreciate the service while Gerry and I drove to Brent last year. Gerry has subscribed to Sirius Satellite Radio for a couple of years, but this was the first time I had been exposed to it for any meaningful amount of time. Besides a very funny guy named "Bubba the Love Sponge", there is also station I really liked called "Alt Nation". It is a great mix of old and new alternative music, but it was something else that was the home run for me....if I liked a song, I could look at the screen and see the name of the band/title. At my age, this is necessary 'cause I can't recognize bands anymore, but I still know what I like.

But still, I can't come to grips with the monthly I came up with an Alternative, Jim Satellite Radio...OK, not really but this is a free "alternative" to Sirius (pardon the pun).

I go to Sirius Satellites countdown chart for Alt Nation and copy and past the song titles into Microsoft Word so I can....ahhh.... go buy them...yeah that's them!(insert grin here) Then before you can say piracy, I have them on my mp3 and I am off and running. This way I can check out a song and find out if I like it. If I do I keep it, if not nothing lost. This is a perfect solution for those days that I want to hear something different, but don't know where to look. They have lots of channels, so if Alt Nation isn't your thing, find a channel that is.

Another great option is Pandora "the musical genome project". (...Gerry introduced this to me). This allows you to put in the name of a song or artist and it play music that are similar in tempo, music etc. I have found some great music using this...give it a try.

Various Updates:

The past week has been so busy that it has even been difficult to find the time to post, so I apologize for the lack of updates...but I have a great excuse!

Last week we went on a mini family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge and I had planned on using some of the nightly down time to do some updates. But just as I was loading my laptop into the van on the morning we were leaving , Tanyia spotted my computer and gave me that look of death that screamed "don't even think of bringing that" and fearing for my life, I didn't. Tanyia is a very easy going girl, but don't be fooled by this. She's as tough as nails, so unless there's something I feel I have to go to war over...when she says "no", I listen.


1) YOGA -
I continue to practice yoga 3 times/week, but I don't feel as though I am doing all the positions right. I have ordered the "Beginners yoga for Dummies" DVD after reading some great reviews and believe this may be just what I need to learn the correct movements. I am also very interested in the spiritual side of yoga and want to find balance between that and the physical portion. My hope is to have enough experience under my belt by the time we go on CC 2007 that I can do it each morning when we are on Robinson Lake. This lookout I am standing on in the attached picture (taken last year) would be the perfect place and I have envisioned this as being a truly magnificent setting to find my "spiritual happy place". I have also stumbled onto a great yoga workout series on TV called Namaste and with the help of my PVR, I plan to collect all of the episodes. My gym (Goodlife), also offer group classes and although I am still reluctant to make an ass of myself in public, a friend has convinced me to go with her this Wednesday. To the guys that have jokingly poked fun at me, for the last time ...this is not Gay! Gay is not doing something 'cause I am afraid what "they" might say....I am done with that stuff.

2) Gerry's Basement - It might seem a little weird that I am reporting on my buddies basement, but I just have to get this said. Saturday night I went over to drop off some things for Marie, to say hey to Suds and to check out the progress he has made on finishing his basement. I was blown away and although I hope it didn't show at the time, I am so jealous! It looks great, but more impressive was that he had done it all himself. I have allot of respect for a man that can use his hands, as I have limited skills in that regard, but desperately want to learn and hope that Gerry "Bob Villa" Suthers, will show me the way of the nail gun. Congratulations Gerry! That is one top notch basement!

3) Gear Updates- I ordered the Amigo, our new gravity fed water filter today and was happy to find out that it had just been re-designed for 2007. It now has reinforced elastic draw strings to make hanging easy. As I said in an earlier post, this water filter will be much easier and will allow make filtering water less of a chore.
It was one year ago on Sunday that Gerry and I went to MEC for the first time to get our gear for CC 2006. In the spirit of that trip, I placed an order with MEC this morning. I bought the short version of the RidgeRest sleeping pad and 3 Cactus Creek Stuff Sacks. The Ridge rest will be used with the self-inflating thermarest I already own in hopes of giving my hips and shoulders just a bit more padding. Last year both were sore and it meant waking up every hour to turn over. The stuff sacks are 3 different colours and will be used to separate food. Instead of digging around in the food bag for that elusive last flakie, we will be separating food into 3 different bags: Breakfast/Snacks, Lunch and Dinner. This way we will only have to look through a quarter of the food!

4) New Links Section - I have added a new "Blogs I like to Read" Section to my sidebar. Feel free to check them out.