We’ve been going to Vandusen for xmas for the last 15 or so years. It’s one of our only xmas traditions.
We felt that Brinkley needed a playmate so we started looking at local rescues for a dog. Desiree stumbled on a litter in Surrey rescued from a Saskatchewan farm. We were told they were Berneses crossed with Border Collies. When we arrived one of the puppies started cuddling with Desiree, so she was immediately sold.
We named him Wilson after the volleyball to stick with our tradition of naming our pets after Tom Hanks movies.
I flew out to my mum’s 60th bday in APril of 2018. We use to try to get out every year in the early years, but once Mallory was born this turned into every 3-4 years or longer. I’m committing to make it an annual trip again even if it means going alone as its 10x easier to make arrangements when you only have 1 schedule to work out, plus I can work remotely.
We were fortunate enough to be introduced to Shannon Scheer of Eirene’s Goldens through a mutual friend. With everything we went through with Sadie getting cancer at such a young age, we wanted to ensure we reduced the risk and got our new puppy from a highly reputable and respected breeder. Shannon has been fantastic right from the start, nothing but professional, and caring with every one of her puppies.
Shannon is based out of Calgary, so we left Mission at 1am on March 10th in the middle of a snow storm. We arrived in Calgary around 230 and spent a good deal of time playing with the puppies and being introduced to Brinkley’s mum, aunt and older brother. From the start I was leaning towards the red girl, based on the videos / photos Shannon had sent us the first 8 weeks. When we arrived and met them, and saw the personality profiles it solidified in my eyes the red girl was the one for us.
We stayed in a hotel that evening with Brinkley and drove home the next morning on March 11th, Brinkley was fantastic the entire drive home given it was her first time with us, and it was such a long boring drive. We knew pretty early on she was much more wilful, and smart then we were use to, and she was easily bored. So we immediate got her into puppy classes, and knew we’d need to keep up with obedience and keep her very active to keep her out of trouble.
She did fantastic, we probably didn’t practice as much as we should have the first few weeks but Brinkley picked up on everything so fast. We started the classes when she was 9 weeks, she was the youngest in the class but she had so much confidence it wasn’t intimidating at all for her. By the end of the 6 weeks she caught up to the other dogs in size. We followed up a couple months after the class ended with basic obedience, she was by far the youngest again but did amazing, and received 151 out of 150 on her final exam.
Brinkley loves to swim, run and wrestle, and generally gets up to no good if she’s bored, so she keeps us busy keeping her out of trouble.
It had been four years (too long) since we had camped at Green point. We really wanted Brinkley to experience camping when she was young, Sadie loved camping at Long beach, and we wanted to Brinks to have the same experience.
|Three Falls Trail||Easy||9km||Manning Park|
|Mount Crickmer||Hard||18km||Chilliwack BC|
|Hoover Lake||Mission BC|
|Alder Flats (Golden Ears)||Mission BC|
|Davis Lake||Mission BC|
|Abbotsford to Langley|
|100km BC Randonneuring Event|
|147km BC Randonneuring Event|
|200km BC Randonneuring Event|
|Kettle Valley Rail Trail|
|Icefields Parkway (Banff/Jasper)|
|7 summits hike from Nancy Green Summit|
|Revelstoke: Frisbee Ridge / Keystone|
|Nanika-Kidprice||Moderate (2 portages)||30km (5-6 days)||Houston||BC|
|Main Lakes Canoe Chain||Quadra Island|
|Pacific Rim National Park||6x|
|Yoho National Park|
|Peter Lougheed Provincial Park|
|Mount Robson Provincial Park|
|Cathedral Provincial Park|
|Jasper National Park|
|Killarney Provincial Park|
|Fundy National Park|
|Gros Morne National Park|
|Queen Elizabeth Territorial Park|
Manning Park – Three Falls Trail
Elevation Gain: easy
Time: day trip
Distance: 18km return (15km of which is logging road)
Elevation Gain: 4000ft
Time: 1-3 days (Camping allowed)
Take Dewdney Trunk Rd. from Maple Ridge east to the Stave Dam. Before you go over the dam take your last left (north). This is Burma Road or Florence Lake Forestry Road and is gravel all the way. Go 6.9KM up this road and turn left at the gate to the Kearsley Creek Forestry Road. Follow this as it switch backs up the road, use a map or you can get lost as it there are a few off shoots. Once you get to the yellow circle signs with the black arrows follow those signs. The trail is marked with orange and pink tags.
Notes: Bring the MTB and use for the logging roads, and lock to a tree and climb the rest?
Distance: 29km return
Elevation Gain: 4000ft
Time: 1-3 days (Camping allowed)
Alder Flats – Golden Ears
Distance: 29km return
Elevation Gain: 4000ft
Time: 1-3 days (Camping allowed)
Abbotsford to Fort Langley
Map & Directions
BC Randonneuring Event!
Kettle Valley Rail Trail
Elevation Gain: 4000ft
Time: 5-6 days (camping or hotels)
The Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) is an abandoned railroad track that winds across the Okanagan and Similkameen region in southern BC. It offers over 800 km (497 mi) of mountain biking trails (as opposed to road biking). While the 80 km section from Myra Canyon near Kelowna through to Penticton is one of the most popular, there are loads of sections that can be strung together to form an amazing multi-day trip.
Icefields Parkway (Banff/Jasper)
Elevation Gain: n/A
Time: 2-3 days (camping or hotels)
7 summits hike from Nancy Green Summit
Elevation Gain: 4000ft
Time: day trip
Seven Summits starts from the Nancy Greene parking area and heads south along a very buff and flowy singletrack trail located right behind the trailhead kiosk. After a short 600 m cruise along this trail, just enough time to warm up your legs, the climbing will begin. The climb is gradual, getting steeper and a little more technical as you near the first summit 3/4 of the way up. This is the longest climb of the day, just over 620 m in vertical gain, and it will start to wear you down as you near the top. Once you reach the first summit the trail will descend from there; rolling along the side of the mountain and across a well-defined ridge over to a short technical climb. The quick up is followed by an exhilarating and awe dropping descent, about 4 km in length. Enjoy this long section of down and make sure to stop and take a break before continuing on up the next climb; a technical climb which will take around 25 min to complete. A few more ups and downs will follow, until you reach the 20.5 km mark on the trail. From this point forward the trail is virtually all downhill, with the exception of a few extremely short ups that can be cleared when maintaining your speed. At the 30 km mark you will spit out onto a fire road (Rossland Cascade Rd.). Continue on across Cascade Rd. to the well-marked trailhead for Dewdney to complete your descent down the remaining 5.4 km of flowy singletrack. When including the Dewdney trail, the descent is almost 14 km in length. The actual Seven Summit trail ends at the Rossland Cascade Road; however, most riders will take the Dewdney trail the remainder of the way down for a much more enjoyable finish.
For most riders the Seven Summits trail will take the better part of the day to complete and one should plan on 4 – 7 hours for this epic ride. After all, for most this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience an IMBA Epic and Bike Magazine’s 2007 ‘Trail of the Year’ and therefore rushing it is not recommended. Take your time, take in the views and enjoy your surroundings. We’ve been told that the fastest riders will take under 3.5 hours to complete this point-to-point, but for many just completing the full length of the ride is a formidable accomplishment.
Revelstoke: Frisbee Ridge / Keystone Standard Basin Trails
Elevation Gain: ?
Time: day trip
This is two rides, actually. Keystone Ridge, which is one of Revelstoke, BC’s finest high alpine XC rides is a long and beautiful trail through some of the most gorgeous terrain in the area. Couple that with the Frisbee Ridge ride and you’ve got a trip all on its own. Frisbee Ridge was built by bikers for bikers and is a newer, epic XC trail that starts in old growth forest and makes its way onto a high alpine ridge. Beautiful views, killer terrain and a long ride make these two trails definitely worth a visit.
Nanika-Kidprice Canoe (Houston)
Distance: 30km return
Portages: 2 (longest 2km)
Time: 3 days (5-6 preferred)
Just over an hour’s drive from the town of Houston (which is located on Highway #16) you can enjoy the start of a wilderness canoe/camping trip in the Nanika-Kidprice Lakes Basin. This basin lies on the eastern slope of the Coastal Mountain Range and forms the upper watershed of the Morice-Bulkley Rivers. The basin area is 920 meters above sea level and is surrounded by glaciated and snow-capped peaks that rise as high as 2400 meters.
Canoe camping trip.
Main Lakes Canoe Chain (Quadra Island)
Distance: 22km return
Time: 3 days
In Main Lakes Provincial Park there is an alternative to saltwater paddling around Quadra Island. It is a small chain of 6 freshwater lakes (Village Bay Lk, Mine Lk, Main Lk, Little Main Lk, Clear Lk, & Stramberg Lk) in the interior of the island that is perfectly suited to canoeing. It is about 11 kms one way but to explore this chain allow at least 3 days.
Bowron Lakes (Quesnel)
Distance: 22km return
Time: 5 days
Another way to describe it as the scenery you get driving from Banff to Jasper, except you’re in a canoe, everything is pristine, from crystal clear waters to majestic mountain slopes all in their original state. You can stop off at waterfalls, mini-hikes, visit old trapper’s cabins, and witness nature as it has been for millenia. You’ll find a bit of other canoe traffic on the circuit (which can be a good thing), but since this park is managed by B.C. Parks, you’ll find that you only encounter congestion at pinch points, of which there are few. Instead you will mostly find beautiful pre-set up campsots (with bear caches), sandy beaches, rocky beaches, and lots of water-front camping and spectacular views.
Mackenzie River (Yukon)
Time: 21 days
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
It’s no wonder this gem of a camping area in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country is popular with the locals. It has all the peak attributes you get in nearby Banff, but without the crowds. Nestled on a promontory, it sits on the west shore of Upper Kananaskis Lake, and delivers a 360-degree view. The bad news for most people is that you can only reach it by hiking (or paddling) about three kilometres. Which is good news for the rest of us.
Mount Robson Provincial Park
When you first see 3,954-metre Mount Robson from the highway about 25 kilometres away, it’s obvious that the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies is also one of the most spectacular, with its immense bulk rising nearly 3,000 metres above you. And there’s no better place to admire its grandeur than at the Berg Lake Campground, which sits at the northern base of the peak, about a day’s hike from the highway. As its name suggests, the campground is located beside a small lake that actually contains mini icebergs that have broken off from a glacier on the mountain above.
Cathedral Provincial Park
It takes a day of hiking to get to this campground at the centre of Cathedral Provincial Park, in the Cascade Mountains west of B.C.’s Okanagan, but the park’s interior is worth it: a subalpine plateau of fish-filled lakes, unique geology, alpine meadows and, most importantly, plenty of hikeable summits and ridges. Day hikes project like spokes on a wheel from the campground, which sits on a turquoise lake across from impressive granite walls.
Jasper National Park
Sitting just off the Icefields Parkway at an elevation of more than 2,000 metres, this tent-only spot is among the highest places in Canada to go car camping. But the real reason to come here is that it sits across the road from one of the country’s most famous scenes: the fractured tongue of the Athabasca Glacier rolling down from the Columbia Icefield, surrounded by snowy 11,000-foot summits. The campground also provides easy access to world-class hikes and the glacier itself.
Desiree and Kim coordinated a quick weekend camping trip this year instead of our traditional 5-6 day trip, we chose Birkenhead as it had an offleash dog area at the beach for Sadie to swim.
We ended up buying a new car a couple weeks before the trip, which came handy as it was AWD, and we had 17km of gravel road to get there. We took roughly 4.5 hr to get there through Whistler, and Pemberton, on the way up we realized the day we return a triathlon would close down the highway between Whistler and Pemberton, which meant a 5.5 return trip the opposite way through Lilloette.
It was a beautiful campground in the middle of no where, in which we couldn’t see most of our neighbouring campsites just the way we like it. Probably #2 next to Greenpoint on my list of favourite places to camp. Next time I’m going to bring a canoe and bicycle to hit the lake and trails.
The 2nd day there, we hit the trail which goes along the north side of the lake and returns down an old logging road, it extends further several km, which is probably best to be taken via bike. But the main trail would also make for a great all-mountain/xc trail. It was a quiet / peaceful couple a days, and a beautiful drive home.
Travis: I’ll leave this to Des rewrite/update, she puts things into words 10x better then I. In mid May we rushed Sadie to the vet as she was lethargic, and it turned out she had a ruptured tumour on her spleen. Lougheed Animal Hospital did an amazing job keeping her alive until she was well enough to have the spleen and tumour removed, and putting up with us coming to visit her so often. She came home a little over a week later, and was later diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma, which we found out was a terminal cancer in dogs with a median life expectancy of two months. We weren’t ready to lose Sadie so soon, so we did plenty of research, and took her off Acana and started preparing each of her meals at home, and providing extra supplements which had favourable results in trials (extra couple months of life expectancy). We took her to an oncologist two weeks ago, and they found a small tumour on her heart, so she began Chemotherapy. She was finally acting fairly normal the last few days, much more lively. She went in for blood work on Friday to prepare for the next round of chemo, and we took her for a walk afterwards, and she fainted after the walk, we rushed her to our family vet who were once again great to deal with, I always felt like they loved Sadie. We weren’t ready to put her down, and our worst fear is her dying alone, so we tried to rush her to a 24hr emergency clinic in Langley and Sadie died on the way. Luckily she wasn’t alone, I laid with her on the floor of the van as Des drove and she passed away half way there. Sadie was the most amazing dog I’ve ever met. She was the cuddle monster (both human and stuffy), ball fetcher, swim fanatic, puddle masher, and toy lover. I never met a dog with so much love for all beings, and toys. She died way too early, we weren’t prepared for it, we tried to be but I hoped we’d at least get through summer. But we tried everything we could to keep her alive perhaps selfishly. She will be missed by many, and will always be part of our family, and could never be replaced. This was meant to be one or two sentences as a placeholder until Des wrote a real one… I also included a photo album below (over 300 photos) of Sadie from the first day we got her until a week ago.
Or a link directly to the album at flickr.
As with most adults I have struggled with the weight gain / loss cycle. I’ve been 249 lbs twice (peaked at 269), and 205 twice (as low as 185) in the last 8 years. Once I lose the weight, I go back to bad eating habits and the larger I get the less energy I have and slowly the exercise stops as well. For me the four months between September, and December each year is typically when everything falls apart, there’s too many birthdays, holidays, and events and I typically end up extending my cheating window from days to weeks, to months. By December any progress I made throughout the year is typically gone. It’s sad how quickly you can put on the weight that took months of hard work to lose, and sadly I love food too much. I call these months the dead period.
Not surprisingly given that I am an INTJ, and I love data, I always kept meticulous data around my progress, and created detailed plans each time. But as always Sept would roll around, and everything would fall to shit. I would stop checking my weight, tracking my progress, and everything would slowly grind to a halt. The only thing I’ve been fairly consistent about is my weight training, but even that would be less so during these dead periods. Also given that my dumbbells only go to 75lb each it limited my progress, it didn’t take long for me to max out the dumbbells on most lifts.
I’ve always kept a pretty good record of my progress in a spreadsheet when I was watching my weight. After each year, I would condense the previous year into a single column. The following spreadsheet shows my yo-yoing over the last 8 years and I documented my struggle over the last 15 years below as reminder to myself that I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.
My dad had a pretty extensive gym, so I weight trained in high school, but it was rather intermittent, and free flowing, a typical pyramid workout a few days a week. I also didn’t watch what I ate at all, it wasn’t uncommon for me to eat an entire package of bacon in one sitting, looking back on it, it was amazing I wasn’t 230 lb+. I hovered around 185 throughout high school, and got as low as 165 after working in a saw mill before College.
Summer ’97 – Around 185lb
These poor eating habits, and the lack of an off switch with food was setting myself up for failure later in life when my metabolism slows down, and the exercising grinds to halt. This happened sooner then I expected. It started in my first year of College, I ate pizza almost every night of the week, and that first year I went from 165 to about 210.
Post College, I got a job in IT which meant sitting on my ass for over 120 hours a week between working, watching tv etc and still not eating properly, I ballooned from 210 to 249 by 2006. At this point I got my hands on Body for Life, and Eating for Life and bought a couple sets of Bodylastics, and put what I learned to the test. Later that year I bought BFFM (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle) by Tom Venuto, it was by far the best fitness/nutrition book I had ever read, it didn’t wiggle around issues. Tom said it like it was, and explained the what it all meant, I consider myself a skeptic and a analytical person by nature so it was exactly what I needed. I started bike commuting to the office 2-3 days a week (16km each way), unfortunately I didn’t count calories, and I ended up under eating, and lost of a substantial amount of muscle in the process. I got down to about 205, but still around 22% body fat. Naturally because I didn’t do it the right way, by the winter of 2007 I started working from home exclusively, so the cardio stopped. Around this time I stopped weighing myself, and the bigger I got the more I was scared to check my weight.
It wasn’t until Boxing Day 2011 when I saw a photo of myself and realized just how bad it got, I was HUGE, to add insult to injury a relative commented on how fat I had gotten. I checked my weight on the 27th, and I was 269! I vowed to never allow myself to go so long without checking my weight. We were getting married in Hawaii in May of 2012, so it gave me a goal to get myself down to a reasonable weight by May. I re-read BFFM, and this time start counting calories, and I bought a set of 75lb Dumbbells (Ironmaster Quicklocks) and a bench to get more resistance out of my training. I immediately took before photos, and measurements, and created plan that included daily cardio on the bike trainer, and weight training three days a week while keeping the calories around 1600-2000 a day.
Winter ’12 – 269lb
After months of weight training, and daily cardio, I got down to 228 by the end of April ’12. I was quite happy that I reached my goal for Hawaii, naturally I put back on about 10lbs while in Hawaii. I stayed around the 230-235 range for much of 2012 while eating pretty much anything I wanted. Thankfully, the regular exercise kept my weight in check. I decided to kick it into gear for 2013, and started watching my food intake again, Des joined me this time, which made it so much easier to be consistent when you have someone else watching their intake, and exercising along with you. I got down to about 196 by October of 2013, and close to 13% body fat. Unfortunately almost all my fat is stored in my belly, I was showing crazy definition in my lower body but I still had huge love handles.
Sept ’13 – 199lb
I knew the only way I was going to lose them was to further cut calories, but I did it too fast and got down to 185. I should have shaved off that last bit slower, I lost some strength in my lifts, and overall wasn’t happy with my composition. I was coming into the dead period, and put back on 20 lbs. By January of 2014, I was back up to 201lb, and luckily Des was still eating very clean so it kept me from gaining too much, and I stayed around 205 until the summer of 2014. I went back into my old habits, and I was back up to 219 by January of 2015, I kept the cycling and weight lifting fairly consistent during this period, but given that my dumbbells only go to 75lb each it limited my progress. I always wanted to see progress during training, and I couldn’t apart from changing up rest, and adding reps. There’s only so many reps I can do before it gets so boring, I was doing 4 sets of 18 reps of bench press with the db’s maxed, and over 20 reps with deadlift, and squats. I don’t have hours to workout so I haven’t maxed out or went to fatigue in years. I wish I had known more about super sets or circuits back then.
I continued to eat poorly through 2015, and I kept changing up my routines as everything was getting very boring, and the workouts were becoming far too long. It wasn’t until Sept of 2015, when I realized I hadn’t weighed/measured myself in months and my workouts were more tiring then usual, and my shirts were starting to get way too tight. I was now pushing 235, I decided enough is enough (yet again), and start researching different alternatives. I started doing shorter full-body workouts with four super-sets three days a week with way shorter rests, and doing nothing the other four days as I just didn’t have time to get much more in with my work hours getting longer due to a deadline coming up. Unfortunately I still wasn’t committed entirely. I still sneaked cheat snacks, basically whatever was in the house that I shouldn’t eat, I ate. I continued to gain until I hit 241 at the end of October. I was now officially back into XL shirts, and 36″ pants, so disheartening after all that hard work.
I do it to myself though, and luckily I have lost it before, so I know I can do it again. It’s like I always need to remind myself how hard it is to lose the weight and stop shoving shit in my mouth. One day of poor eating can set me back nearly a week if the daily deficit is 500 calories. I know this is going to be a life long struggle, and the one thing I’ve learned about myself is that when I’m fit, and have energy I’m the happiest when I’m doing daily exercise. I might hate it now, and I do, there’s nothing I hate more then exercise when I have no energy, and really don’t feel like it. But I know when I push through that, eventually I love the sweat, and pain I feel after a workout. It’s just a matter of getting started and being consistent for a few weeks, and not allow myself to fall back into eating junk.
I downloaded Joe Manganiello’s book Evolution and it has reinvigorated me to create a new plan of attack, and start again. We started eating clean again last Monday, and my new work out is a three day split, six days a week with minimal rest between sets. The last few days I realized my biggest hurdle is boredom, my workouts lack variety, the exercises never change and I can’t increase the weight, it eventually kills any momentum I have. I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that, I’m a workaholic because I’m bored, and I’d rather do something constructive, I change operating systems regularly and, find new hobbies etc because I get bored easily.
My original plan to was to simply buy some extra weight, but I know that won’t be enough, I won’t reach go as hard as I need to with no spotter. I have no workout partner so I’m going to require a power rack to lift heavy relatively risk free. I’m going to try to do this workout as long as I can with what I have until this spring when I plan to finally purchase a power rack, and some free weight, either that or I’ll finally bite the bullet and join a gym, although those that know me, know that would be the absolutely last resort. My new plan of attack, and measurements will be posted in a few days to help keep me accountable.