Monthly Archives: September 2015

Roadschooling in Kelowna

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We came to Kelowna for a handful of reasons – to meet up with Hunter’s Distributed Learning Teacher, to find warmer weather and to bike the Kettle Valley Railroad. We based ourselves out of Canyon Farms RV Park and it turned out to be a great road school experience as well.

The RV park is actually 8 beautiful sites that are located at the back of a working organic dalia farm. Lesley, the owner, has raised 4 kids and is passionate about making farming a learning experience. With a simple question of “why did you build an RV park” we learned all about the pine beetles that devastated their forest and the spruce beetles that had travelled into southern BC and are now decimating spruce trees, along with wood worms.

Every morning Hunter goes up and collects the eggs with Lesley. He starts by feeding the chickens, which keeps them distracted and out of the hen house. He then goes and collects all of the eggs from the coops and has learned to inspect them as well to look at shell quality. The egg haul is sold as farm gate every day to Lesley’s local customers, with Timber the dog benefiting from any non-sellable eggs as snacks.

IMG_2189The laying hens are all organic and Lesley takes advantage of having extra kitchens on her property. Everyone gets a bucket to place all of their plant based compost in and then you get to go and feed it to the chickens. It’s fun for Hunter and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to not place our compost in the garbage.

Hunter has also been helping out in the garden with end of season work. They have pulled plants and then moved fencing to allow the chickens greater range to wander and eat. He has learned about how the chickens create great fertilizer for all the plants and that it is a symbiotic relationship.

They also have a net and a variety of balls and rackets to use. Hunter decided that badminton would be fun and we’ve been playing everyday, most times more than once…

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Although it’s a quiet place, filled mostly with “golfers and wine tour folks”, we’ve also found it to be a great road schooling stop. Lots to learn in our surroundings, close access to biking and walking trails and amazing internet access.

12 years later…back in Alberta

mineral springsIt was 12 years ago this August that Hunter launched himself into the world at the Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff. We left Alberta for the Yukon a year and a half later and have not really been back since.

As part of our “Summer of Paddling” we have spent over a month in Alberta spread through out July and August. In between all of our time spent at the Kananaskis River (playing, training, competing) we managed to fit in some visits with family, connecting with old friends and some general fun days…

Our first visit to Calgary came over the Canada Day weekend. We camped out at Calaway Park (medium RV park rating) and then drove into Calgary each day to hang out at family central – aka the Murphy house.

mark and hunter cookingHunter had a fabulous time hanging with Uncle Mark every time we landed in town – they cooked, they golfed, they went for ice cream, they walked the dog and Hunter even bought into the mental math lessons!

murphy poolLots of time spent playing pool in the basement with anyone that Hunter could talk into a game. The other upside was meeting Spencer, a new “cousin”, and they had a great time hanging out doing boy stuff. Big thanks to Uncle Paul for taking them for laser tag, skating and ice-cream…

canoe meadowsWhen not in Calgary we were mostly based out of the Kananaskis region. Lots of time spent at Canoe Meadows as it is so great to be able to just walk to and from the river rather than load up shuttles etc.

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We also spent time at the Bow River Campground, the Bow Valley Campground and the Willow Creek Campground and give high ratings for all three with respect to hanging out in nature, great sites, amenities and cleanliness plus reasonableness of price.

One of the pleasant surprises of the summer was getting to connect up with old friends. Tim ran into two former colleagues from Banff during the first day of kids kayak camp in early July as it turns out their boys, of similar age as Hunter, are also into kayaking. We even ran into and old friend on the street in Banff when she was taking her garbage out! We ended up with visits on and off the river throughout the summer with many people, with one of those visits being Hunter getting to go for a trail ride with Heidi in Canmore – it definitely made his week!

tim hunter kan biking 1We had a family bike ride on the paved trails around Kananaskis Village as we enjoyed the sunshine and told “when you were little” stories to Hunter, who loves that stuff. Out and back to the ponds made for a great 20km ride.

hunter ice cream kan village

This is a re-enactment of where he had his very first ice cream cone, thanks to Great Grandma. We had come up to visit her at Kananaskis Village where she was attending an IODE conference and we all went for ice cream. Much to our dismay, she decided to share hers with Hunter – months earlier than he was supposed to have ice cream according to all the feeding charts! I guess that’s the privilege that comes with being a Great Grandma…

hunter chester pokerOver the course of the summer we have “run into” Chester and Anne six different times across BC and Alberta and they have been great paddling partners. They went to Kananaskis for KanFest and stayed for a week after so we joined them and had a fun week of paddling and general hanging out. Hunter finally found someone to play poker with him!!

hunter pelly climbingOur last non-paddling adventure was our day trip into Canmore to check out Elevation Place, where they have a workout centre, full climbing wall, pool and library as well as SHOWERS to get clean and INTERNET to stay connected. Hunter and Pelly had fun enjoying all of the amenities. What a great resource for the town.

tim hammockOur month in Alberta was an interesting mix of hecticness, paddling/activity frenzy and downtime. We are grateful for getting to see so many friends and spend the time with family. It was fun to be back and I’m sure it won’t take us another 11 years to do it again.

Top results at Alberta Whitewater Provincials

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This weekend was the successful culmination of a busy summer of kayaking. We participated in the Alberta Provincial Whitewater Canoe/Kayak Championships at Canoe Meadows on the Kananaskis River and were one of two Yukon athletes in attendance.

We have spent close to a month training with the kids from the Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak team this summer, through various camps and races from early July to late August, and it has been an amazing experience. Full thanks go to coaches Mike, Paul, AJ & Kyle for making training and competing achievable and relatively fun. They were great cheerleaders and stepped in when Hunter had no interest in listening to Tim or I.

The weekend was full of various races and Hunter made the most of the opportunity to participate in multiple events. Hunter was also joined by Pelly Vincent-Braun, another Yukon paddler, for the event.

After two and a half days of events, the boys finished as the top competitors in terms of total points in their respective categories. Pelly was the top Junior paddler and Hunter was the top Cadet paddler. Points were awarded based on results in each event that took place and then tallied at the end.
In addition to being the top paddlers in their classes, the boys also had very strong results over the course of the weekend:
Hunter – Gold, beginner C1 slalom (his first time in a C1 boat)
Hunter – Gold, novice cadet C1 slalom
Hunter – Bronze, advanced cadet K1 slalom
Hunter – Bronze, novice cadet K1 freestyle
Hunter – Silver, C1 downriver (no classes)
Pelly – Bronze, junior freestyle (Pelly competed in a C1 boat against other K1 paddlers)
Pelly – Silver, advanced junior C1 slalom
Pelly – Gold, C1 downriver (no classes)
Hunter & Pelly – Gold, novice junior C2
Hunter & Pelly – Silver, advanced C2

We were really proud of the boys – they sat in a C2 together for the first time about 10 minutes before their first race. Pelly’s power and Hunter’s water awareness enabled them to pull of a strong race in the Advanced event (see photo at the top) and a silver medal. Day two was an even stronger result as they got the hang of it together. Hunter has come away passionate about C1 paddling – his novice Gold was his first ever clean slalom race, which was exciting in itself!

There was great recognition of their results in the local papers, which was also nice to see! These are fun articles to read…

http://www.whitehorsestar.com/Sports/whitewater-paddlers-snag-top-awards-in-alberta

http://www.yukon-news.com/sports/yukon-paddlers-excel-at-alberta-whitewater-championships/

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