Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Summertime in the Muggy City

It is finally summertime here in Halifax! The leaves are finally on the trees, there are flowers in everyone's garden, the muggy weather has returned, and it is BUG season (as you can see by the photo at left).

The warm weather comes a little later to Halifax than it does to Vancouver, and technically it is still more like spring here so the cooler weather and rain mean that we haven't been out hiking and backpacking as much as we would like. When it isn't busy raining and being cold it is very muggy here which takes a lot of getting used to for me.

I've also been really busy at work in the past few weeks doing my 2 weeks of intensive product knowledge training. It was pretty cool to get paid to run around an orienteering course, set up multiple tents inside each other (Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 inside MSR Hubba Hubba inside MEC Wanderer 4 inside MEC Funhouse 6), and taste test the various freeze-dried backpacking foods on a variety of stove models (I recommend the Black Bart Chili or the Kung Fu Chicken with Rice but definitely NOT the Cashew Curry Chicken with Rice).

So far we have only been on one overnight backpacking trip. We took my friend Lori, a Newfoundlander from school, on her first backpacking trip to the Bluff trail, a wilderness trail only 15 minutes from our house. Greg wrote up a trip report for that outing and posted it on clubtread.com here if you want to check it out. I am really itching to get out backpacking again after that trip. (Although despite the headnet I was literally itching after that trip as well.)

We are also planning one big trip for our summer vacation: we are going to Newfoundland! We plan to take the ferry to the western side and then drive up to Gros Morne National Park to do some backcountry hiking. Then we'll drive up to see the Viking site at L'Anse-aux-Meadows, then we'll drive east across the Island to St. John's and take the ferry back to Nova Scotia from Argentia. Our whole trip will be two weeks long and we'll stop lots of other places as well. We're both very excited. I've even been learning the additional verses to "I's the B'y". (Did you know there is one about maggoty fish AND one about maggoty butter? Good stuff.) As well, they have actual mountains in Newfoundland... up to 815m worth of mountains!

Also, we are expecting a visitor at the end of the month! Bill, Greg's dad has the honour of being our second houseguest ever. We're looking forward to showing him around Halifax during the short 4 month window when it is green!

Today's Halifact: The local franchise of the Simmons Mattress Gallery is owned by three crazy Brits who do their own low buget and cheesy commercials. During the winter they had some sort of tropical promotion going on where they were all wearing Hawaiian shirts in the ad. We just saw their new one today. For their 10 year anniversary (or something) they are having a Thank-You Nova Scotia Sale. To celebrate they all dressed up in fishermen's bright yellow rain slickers and promised that you get free lobster with your mattress purchase. That's right, FREE LOBSTER! They were each waving around a live one during the ad!

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