Monday, October 24, 2005

Friends and Weather

Last weekend Greg and I had a few girls from school over for a potluck dinner. Greg made a roast. It was nice to finally have some social interaction! Actually, on Thanksgiving, we had another couple (a girl from Vancouver and her visiting boyfriend) over for dinner as well. We certainly have been eating well. As busy as I am, I am trying to organize social things that don't involve the bar because we are starved for friends. Next week, we are going to a Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) game with 31 of our closest friends from my section in first year law. And by closest friends, I mean people I usually remember the names of. Oh well.

Today's Halifact: In the fall of 2003 Halifax was hit by Hurricane Juan. Point Pleasant Park, at the south end of the Halifax peninsula was the first place that it made landfall. It caused a ton of damage, shut down the whole city for a number of days and the high winds actually shattered large stone blocks in a historic military tower. I saw the blocks. They look like they were blown apart by explosives, but no. Then in Feb 2004 Halifax was hit with a snowstorm they nicknamed "White Juan". This storm dumped over a meter of snow on the city overnight and again, shut everything down for a few days. So apparently we have moved to the land of extreme weahter. Tomorrow we are due to get hit by the tail end of Hurricane Wilma, perhaps the most powerful storm ever recorded (now no longer even classified as a hurricane). We have been issued a heavy rainfall warning and a wind warning. We are promised gusts of up to 100km tomorrow afternoon along with up to 50mm of rain. No one here seems too concerned. Apparently it is just another normal fall occurance. Yikes. I'll be wearing my rain jacket, and watching for falling trees, that's for sure.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Time Delay continued: Last Week's Failed Hiking

As many of you may had already heard, Taryn and I had decided to attempt a hike around Cape Chignecto for Thanksgiving weekend. Our plan was simple: cram 60km of hiking into the 3-day weekend. It was an excellent plan, were it not for forces against our control. But alas, I get ahead of myself.

Here's the quick plan rundown.
Friday: drive to Cape Chignecto, camp at a walk-in campsite.
Saturday: Get up at crack of dawn, meet rangers for orientation, hike to Refugee Cove, camp
Sunday: hike to Seal Cove, camp
Monday: hike back to trailhead + visitor centre. Hunt down nearest snack food store.

Here's what actually happened:
Friday: drove to Cape Chignecto, camped at walk-in campsite. Cursed the dark and dreary skies.
Saturday: got up at crack of 9, met rangers for orientation. Began hiking towards Refugee Cove, discovered that source of torrential downpour was unending. Watched as trail slowly but surely turned into creek. Realized we weren't too excited at the prospect of 3 days of this. Turned around. Went to Superstore and bought turkey + turkey accoutrements.
Sunday: still pruny from hiking. Stood in front of fan for awhile. Read paper: found out it rained over 200mm in 24 hours where we were hiking.
Monday: made turkey + gourged ourselves on stuffing.

Above is our path. The Cape is an absolutely beautiful place and I'm really excited to go back when the weather is better. The trail from the visitor centre to Refugee Cove (just off the map on the left) is apparently one of the harder sections... and although it may not be quite as hard as the west coast trail, it certainly has a lot of elevation changes that make it approach the difficulty. Here's the profile:

You can see that we decided to turn around somewhere at the 6.5km mark... just after having gone back UP the huge 200m ravine. Ok, so obviously we aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but we probably needed the exercise. As well, you can see a hump at the 12-13.5 km mark that doesn't correspond to the start. Because the tide was up, we couldn't walk the beach as we did on the way out, so we had to go up and over a largish hill, getting prunier every step of the way.

Anyways, we had fun even if only for a day, and we're already planning going back (perhaps even on snowshoes!)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Old news: Last Week's Hiking

Last week we took a trip to Musquodoboit to hike in the White Lakes Wilderness area.

It was a beautiful fall weekend, and we decided to hike the South Granite Ridge trail, a "wilderness" trail that was rated Challenging. Overall it was about 20km of hiking, but only about 9km was on the wilderness trail itself. Much of it was cruising along a popular trail on the path of an old abandoned railway. Here's Taryn going through the railway bridge at the start of our journey:

Surprisingly, the wilderness part of the trail was definately much less traveled and definately full of ups and downs. Here's the profile:

I think we totalled somewhere around 500m of ascent. Not bad for a province who's highest peak is only about as much! The views were lovely, especially towards the end of the wilderness trail when you get some great shots of the valley!

A view of the Musquodoboit valley:

The trees around Halifax have yet to start changing to their fall colours, but apparently the ferns are ahead of the game:

So that's an example of a hike that went according to plan. Stay tuned for more info on one that didn't!