We had internet hooked up at the new house, so SchipAlong is back after an extended (but not particularly restful) holiday. The plan was to start up yesterday but my boyfriend accidentally took my phone instead of his, and I had this post typed up on that! So I’m back a day late. On the bright side, it gave me an extra day to really work on getting the new house sorted out.
Speaking of the new house, I am in love with it and I think Suki is too. It’s nearly right at the foot of the mountains, which can be seen from almost every window in the house. But the best part? It’s a converted barn! I feel as though somehow that brings Suki a little closer to her roots, even if the interior contains all the comforts of a regular house (the roof, though, is exposed rafters. How cool is that?). The house can be summed up as “modern rustic”, which I’ve discovered is my ideal design type; not too modern, but not too vintage or rural either. It also has a proper office space, so I don’t have to do my writing on the couch (unless I want to, of course). Now if (for whatever reason) anyone ever asks me if I was born in a barn I can tell them, “no, but I live in one!”
Rather than drive through the Coquihalla, which is very dangerous, we travelled down into the US then back up into Alberta through Idaho. The US border guards were hostile at best, but the roads sure were clear! Even in Snoqualmie, where the snow was piled three times higher than the car on either side, I didn’t see even a speck of snow on the road. We stopped there for gas and I was able to get a photo of Suki atop a large snowpile.
The trip was a lot of fun. Border guards aside, everyone was very friendly and I’d definitely travel that way again. I think I may have confused someone though. At one point I was asked if I knew how cold it was, and I casually replied that it felt maybe -1 degrees. In Celsius that’s not very cold (about 30° Fahrenheit), but I completely forgot about Fahrenheit until I was back in my hotel room! At that point it made sense why the guy had looked so confused and shivered! Oops!
I also learned that Suki is no longer a particularly happy car traveller. She quickly grew tired of sitting still, then when she was told to stop jumping around and to act like the adult she is she took to harrumphing and glaring unhappily in the backseat.
Alberta was cold, but I was certain I remember it as being colder. When I lived there I spent a large portion of the year padded in a thick down jacket but during the trip my rain shell, a light fleece, and my glove liners were enough. I guess that gives some weight to the statement that damp cold is harsher than dry cold? We were even able to routinely walk Suki to a nearby rink to toss snowpucks around.
Aside from rushing back to finish packing up the old place, moving everything into the new place, unpacking, and getting the new house set up we also went snowshoeing the past two weekends. The first time we hit up the Hollyburn summit trail, the second time we went to Seymour. The plan was to hike the Dog Mountain trail, but we ended up on the Seymour summit trail instead. On Hollyburn Suki took to trekking in the snowy mountains like she was born to be there, and if I’d given her the entire four meters of her leash she’d have led the charge from four meters ahead.
During Sunday’s hike it was quite slippery and she was having traction issues with her boots, so she lagged a bit on the uphill. Once she was able to stop concentrating on not slipping she was able to relax and enjoy the scenery with her buddy, Samson.
I tried taking her boots off but her paws quickly began to freeze. Even during the summer she seems to prefer hiking in boots to going barepaw. Because of that, figuring out a way to build her something like crampons is now on my to-do list. She loves to climb, so it’s a shame for her boots to make that difficult for her.
I think that’s everything… Condensed down into one post, it doesn’t sound nearly as hectic as it all felt. Ah well, now that’s it’s over I’m very excited to get back to writing. I hope everyone’s holiday went well and that 2013 will be a very exciting and fun year!