Easter Weekend Camping, Koocanusa, BC

This is the first time that we have camped on the Easter long weekend, and it didn’t disappoint! The weather in the Calgary area has been chilly and rainy, so we headed to Koocanusa, BC, where the weather is always just a bit warmer than here, which was true for this weekend as well.

Lake Koocanusa is located in southern BC, southwest of Fernie and just north of the Roosville border crossing to the USA. It is a man made reservoir with many camping areas, ATV trails, housboating, boating, and other lake activities. Lake levels vary throughout the year, so if you are into water activities, it is best to check the levels!

Packing up our trailer is always a challenge. Because we live in a townhouse, we have to store it elsewhere, so trying to remember everything you need can be a struggle, we always end up forgetting something, but can usually make it work for the weekend. We also have to try and jam all our gear, our motorbikes, and ourselves in the truck until we pick up the trailer and are able to transfer everything inside it. Also, our trailer isn’t particularly large, only 18 feet, so we have to be careful not to overpack.

The trip to Koocanusa from Calgary takes about 4 hours depending on traffic and the amount of stops you have to make. Gunnar has been camping before, but is now at the age where he is able to have a bit more “freedom” as he can now understand where camp is and when we tell him not to  wander off, he listens (mostly). Because the Easter weekend isn’t as busy as other long weekends, our trip down was uneventful. We found our friends, set up everything, and relaxed for the afternoon. The view from the campsite was pretty amazing.

We brought our bikes, but I didn’t expect to ride that much as we didn’t have anyone to watch Gunnar. I was ok with that as I was enjoying watching him explore and play all day. He was so good and stayed within eyesight at all times. Just seeing the excitement and joy he had while riding his bike and exploring was worth it.

Since my motorbike was being unused, and we had the proper helmet for Gunnar, Derek even took him for a slow, short ride. He loves it so much that he didn’t want to get off, and asked to go back on it again and again!

But the weekend was just too much excitement for the little guy, it tuckered him out so much that he fell asleep before we even left the campsite. It has been less than a day since we got back, and all he has asked is to go back camping in the trailer.

Now it is the clean up stage of laundry and dishes that we didn’t get to before we left camp. We are planning our next camping trip already, but that won’t be until May.

Bow Valley Ranch, Fish Creek Park (Calgary, AB)

The weather is kind of cooperating here in Alberta, so I decided to go on an outing with Gunnar. He has been addicted to riding his strider bike lately, so I wanted a place where he could “run free” without fear of vehicles and such. So I decided to go to Fish Creek Park in Calgary. It is a short drive from our current residence and there are so many pathways and fields where Gunnar could ride his bike. 

One of my favourite areas of Fish Creek is where Bow Valley Ranch is located. I had the opportunity to hold an archaeological permit by Bow Valley Ranch after the 2013 Flood in Southern Alberta. It was only a monitoring permit as the work being done was already in the existing utilities corridor. But since it was so close to a historical resource, the regulators wanted to ensure that nothing would be impacted. 

Bow Valley Ranch was first settled by Europeans in the 1870s by John Glenn, who farmed the area. He built barns, set up an irrigation system (the first in Alberta), and cleared 9 acres for farmland. The Ranch was purchased by the Alberta government to become an instructional farm, but after a few years, the program was phase out, and the property sold to William Roper Hull and his brother John in 1884. Numerous improvements were made to the property, including the brick farmhouse. In 1902, Patrick Burns, purchased Bow Valley Ranch, and saw the importance of conservation. He built fences around groves of trees, protecting them from cattle and clearing. The Ranch stayed in the Burns family until 1970, when it was leased to a Calgary stockbroker. Through the work of the provincial government, 1400 acres of the ranch was bought. In 1975, Peter Lougheed declared that the area was now part of Fish Creek Park.

The brick farmhouse has now been converted into the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. While I have not had the pleasure to dine there, it is on my list! 

Another house that was for the farmhands, was moved next to the restaurant, and is now Annie’s Cafe. Again, I have not been into the cafe, I will make a point to get there next time as it was not open for the season yet.

Numerous outbuildings are still on the property, and Gunnar had a great time riding his bike around them.

There is also an Information Centre run by Alberta Parks, so that visitors can get information on the trails, day use areas, and the Ranch. This area is worth visiting as there are plenty of family friendly activities!

Art the Moose – Crochet Review

I enjoy crocheting, I decided to make some stuffies for my son when I was on medical leave during pregnancy. Most of them were patterns from the same person, Sharon Ojala of Amigurumi To Go. What is amigurumi, you ask? You can find the answer here.

The Amigurumi To Go website is user friendly, and the patterns are easy to access. Videos of every pattern are readily available, just in case you get stuck, or find it easier to follow. I haven’t had to use the videos yet, the written patterns were just as easy to follow, even for someone who was new to making amigurumi.

Now that I am practiced in the ways of crochet amigurumi, I decided that I would share these creations with friends and family that were having babies, or for birthdays. This particular pattern was for a close friend who now lives quite far away. She loves all things outdoors, so a moose was only fitting.

I am currently a stay at home mom, and in school for massage therapy, so finding time for this gift was a bit difficult. I did try and start it while I was still employed before Christmas, but my time was even more limited then. But I persevered because this pattern was just too cute not to finish. Fast forward to March, and I finally finished a pink “Art the Moose”, two months after my friends baby was born. Better late than never, I guess.

I made a few changes to the original pattern as I didn’t have the supplies, and I thought that my changes were better suited for an infant. I stuffed the antlers instead of using the pipe cleaners, and crocheted eyes instead of using safety eyes. I now have eyes, so in the future I will be using them, but I really do like the look of the stuffed antlers. And despite my best efforts, sewing all the parts together, things always looked a bit skewed (maybe this is where I should take a look at the videos). But, maybe that is the magic of making homemade gifts for people, it will always be unique to them. Overall, I am so happy with how my version of Art turned out. You can find the original pattern here. Oh, and another great thing, all of the patterns can be printed if that is easier for you.

Will I be making more from Amigurumi To Go? Absolutely! I also highly recommend the patterns from this site to anyone wanting to make that special gift for a loved one. My little boy is really getting into dragons lately, so I may have to give that one a try!

My foray into the blogosphere!

Well, I have been saying for almost two years that I should start a blog, but it never happened. I had great aspirations when my son was first born, but since it is now two years later, we all know how that turned out! I also went back to work when Gunnar was 5 months old, got laid off 4 months later, decided to go back to school, started another full time job, got laid off again, and the list could go on and on! I am almost finished school now, and currently at home with my son, so now is the time! 

Here is a little bit about me and what will be in my blog:

My name is Tammi, I am married to a wonderful husband, and I am a mother of a very active toddler, Gunnar. This blog is dedicated to him and the things we do in our daily adventures. Gunnar loves to play, make forts, be outside, and chase around his best friend, Freya. We also have another elderly cat, Zeus, who may make appearances every so often, but tends to keep to himself.

I am a recently “retired” archaeologist, so that I can spend more time with my family. I hope to one day get back in the field, but since it can take me away for long periods of time, I chose to stay closer to my family. So, in the meantime, I am going to school for massage therapy and will be graduating in May 2017.

I love to crochet, dirtbike, camp, hike, ski, pretty much anything to keep me somewhat active and outside. Thank you for checking out my little piece of cyberspace. I am not one to stick to one topic, so there may be posts from motherhood, crocheting, archaeology,and beyond. I hope you enjoy it!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter as well!