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Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

Shed, Port Bickerton

I have not had the best of luck with weather during the last, almost year, since beginning this blog. A very wet spring eventually lead into some (too few) decent days through the summer then as fall colors began their annual display a wind storm decimated the canopy. Winter has been mild without much snow. Without snow or ice winter photography is limited and because photography is limited I’m not motivated to explore or go very far from home. Without photos I find myself reluctant to post but because I don’t want too much time to go by without registering some life here I thought I would re-iterate a point I’ve made a few times before: short repetitive outings are essential to remaining active.

The idea of practice applies to nearly everything. When it comes to an active lifestyle it means doing activities that don’t require too much time so they can be easily incorporated into each day. If you want to be good at something then you practice the necessary skills. If you want to truly excel then you practice more and more, each individual will determine their own goals. Sometimes practice will build strength and stamina as well as skills. It seems, however, the concept of practice often has a pejorative connotation. For many practice equates with boredom and repetition. Procrastination or other excuses largely boil down to the same thing which is to consider practice as a separate aspect of an activity or sport. (more…)

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TCT runs horizontally through center of this shot

When conditions are right skiing truly is a great way to spend an afternoon. I love the sensation of a nice glide, the feeling of speed achieved with relatively little exertion.

Great conditions for skiing

Late in the afternoon on Tuesday I skied on the Trans Canada Trail near the village of Guysborough. I was able to park along the side of Route 16 with my car fully off the pavement. By beginning here I was able to go north toward Sunnyville then turn and go all the way to Cook’s Cove before turning again and making my way back to the car. The entire portion I skied is very flat, ideal for beginners and experienced skiers alike. There is a nice mix of wooded corridor with more open views, a pond, a tree lot and then at Cook’s Cove an impressive vista overlooking Chedabucto Bay.

Cook's Cove with Chedabucto Bay beyond

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A typical view of the TCT near Salmon River Lake

A few days ago Olivia (youngest daughter) and I went skiing. My current agenda is to try going to places I have not skied before which is a change from my usual impulse to ski on Donahue Lake. Olivia was not interested in dealing with hills so the safest bet was a section of the Trans Canada Trail.

Brook running beside the TCT

We drove to Salmon River Lake, parked (safely) on the side of the road where we could easily access the trail. As we were getting our gear out of the car three snowmobiles went past. They had come from Guysborough Intervale – a route made possible once several lakes freeze. It was nice to see others out enjoying the afternoon, and nicer still when the noise of their machines faded away.

Olivia skiing near Salmon River Lake

Once we were clamped into our skis and moving on the trail another consequence of the snowmobiles quickly made itself known: slushy crud. Each of us ended up with gobs of ice on our skis. This rendered our forward progress painstakingly slow. I didn’t even realize the cause of this poor performance right away. I thought it seemed odd that we were not able to glide when conditions were so favorable. When I finally clued in I used my wax scraper to clear both pairs of skis. Olivia had clumps like small fists on both skis.

Olivia

The section of trail we were on ended up not being especially flat. We encountered several inclines that were tricky to descend. I thought this added nice variety while Olivia would have preferred the trail to remain flat. The trail is closely lined by trees on each side. Unfortunately we ran out of time and had to turn just as we came to an interesting area where the trail borders a few lakes.

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Tanker on Chedabucto Bay, Half Island Cove

One of the most difficult things I phaced, oops, faced last Saturday when I spent the afternoon out driving around was being content with where I was. The theory of being present and the practice of it can have some serious divergences.

Old House, Peas Brook

As you can see in most of the shots it was a cloudy day and what often happens on days like this in winter is the clouds eventually grow heavier and heavier until they blot the sky out completely. Early on in the afternoon I wasn’t especially pleased with the scenes I was finding. Internal pressure mounted quickly as the little voice in my head insistently criticized me. It reminded me over and over that the quality of the sky and light would soon disappear. Versions of the grass being greener (whiter) elsewhere played like a jukebox.

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Whitehead

Snow is falling as I write. An hour ago the flakes were tiny and hesitant, now they are big and coming sideways at the window. They hang for a few seconds then begin to melt. Some bits streak straight downward while other remnants cling or wriggle slowly. An hour from now this snow will give way to rain.

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Essential supplies

My morning has been hijacked by the discovery of a blog I couldn’t resist looking through. A ‘like’ on a recent cycling post was left by All Seasons Cyclist. I don’t have time to check out everyone who clicks a like but I couldn’t resist this one since their username obviously suggested someone interested in cycling throughout the year. He’s in Michigan writing about gear he uses and mostly likes: All Seasons Cyclist. I love coming across information like this. I do not have a local shop where I can go for help nor are there (m)any others in the local area experimenting with all year cycling. I tend to distrust much of what passes for information in magazines since so-called reviews are little more than highly biased advertising.

Yesterday I was on my skis twice. First, I drove out to Ogden for a quick jaunt on the TCT and then last night I opted for skiing (instead of cycling) on Donahue Lake. (more…)

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Every now and again things come together very nicely without anything to detract from the experience. So it was last night. I had to do a little eenie meenie minee mo to chose between skiing and cycling but ultimately decided on cycling because snow conditions weren’t quite as good as road conditions.

A light flurry of snow crisscrossed my headlight beam. I began the ride feeling a little apprehensive about the pavement. The temperature showed minus one which meant there could be ice. After a few kilometers without encountering any sinister glimmer on the road I relaxed and increased my pace. I ended up with some tire spray soaking through on my shins but I only noticed it when I undressed after the ride. (more…)

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