I just want to go hiking with my dog!

05 Apr
I just want to go hiking with my dog!

Has it been a year already? Yup, it’s been longer than that unfortunately. Twelve months ago no one could have foreseen what has transpired in that time. Sigh! Like me, you’re all likely suffering from Covid fatigue, and it has certainly turned the spotlight on mental health. I know I am struggling at times like everyone else, and there are moments I just want to do one thing…

Hey kids, I’m finally back! I know it’s been another long stretch since I last wrote, but as I’ve already stated, it’s been tough to keep motivated. Hopefully all of you have been keeping safe during this difficult time. I feel like a hermit in my house, but I’m a firm believer that we need to stay the course to get through this pandemic. I find it quite frustrating that there are still people who cannot fathom that this is real and continue to flaunt the health requirements/mandates such as masks and physical distancing. Obviously, they do not know their history, since pandemics have been around since the beginning of time and will continue to do so in the future. But I digress.

So, you’re probably wondering how school is going? Well, it is, kinda. Since my last post, we’ve gone through quite the stretch. The lockdown the province started in late December became a stay at home order, which affected a number of things, primarily work. With that order in place, we were told to work from home the first week in January. Then, later that month, we began working from home in the afternoons to minimize the number of people in the building. That lasted until mid-February. For the most part, cases here in our city were relatively low; then they exploded. The local health unit shutdown the schools for two weeks starting at the beginning of March. Guess what? We’re still at home! Two weeks became four, then six. The provincial government pushed the spring break to mid-April, so we’re supposed to return to school on the 19th to start the new quadmester, but that might be in doubt. Cases of the new variants have gone through the roof and the whole province has moved into the “grey” zone (which we are already in). What that means for schools after the break no one knows.

I must say it has been a huge challenge teaching from home. It is nice rolling out of bed and doing my lessons in shorts and a t-shirt. However, it is an awful way to teach. The kids are shutting down and there’s not many ways to make virtual learning more exciting. And it’s tough for us too. As a teacher, you feed off of the interaction with the students, which is non-existent when you’re staring at a bunch of black tiles. At first the kids at least responded, but now they don’t really speak either, so I spend my day talking to myself. The good news is that this was my busy quadmester, and I only teach one class for the fourth quadmester; I can breathe a bit heading into summer.

Okay, you know I’m going to bring it up so I might as well get to it…the weather. The weather has been relatively okay. Really? Ya, really. We did have a brutal 10 day or so span in mid-February where we were beset with the dreaded polar vortex. I don’t think I remember that many consecutive days of such frigid temperatures, like -30C frigid temperatures. Yuck! Since then, it’s been pretty good. It actually seemed like we would have an early snow melt with some warm weather the last few weeks, but unfortunately, we’ve had a bit of a setback with some snow and chilly temperatures. It has bounced back up this past weekend, so hopefully the snow will all disappear sooner than later and we can get on with spring.

Polar vortex cold, February 2021.
Early spring thaw, March 2021.
Early spring snowfall, March 2021.

Speaking of spring, it can’t come soon enough. With the Covid situation, I haven’t been out hiking since early January. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle. I’ve been working hard updating this site again with a lot of new information, so please look around. I’ve also been doing a lot of plotting. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a busy hiking season planned, fingers crossed! I’ve revised my list and have 28 hikes of various sorts that I’d like to do…so, ya, I’ll be staying out of trouble. I just want to get out there with Luna!

I’m also looking forward to better weather and hiking because I have a new toy. I’ve been diligently saving my pennies and I finally was able to buy myself a drone. A drone? Yes, because I don’t do enough on my hikes taking pictures and video that I needed also to be able to take them from the air, right? I know, it seems a bit much, but there are so many places that I want to get photos and video from a different perspective or just can’t get from the ground. One in particular is the Blende River Viaduct. While some people are crazy enough to cross it, it is fenced off and I’m not crazy. Therefore, my only option is from the air.

My drone is a DJI Mavic Air 2, which has some really cool features including HDR video and a 48 megapixel camera. Here in Canada you have to register any drone over 250 grams with Transport Canada and take either a basic or advanced flying exam. I’ve registered the drone and done the basic exam, so all I need is more flying time. Unfortunately, I cannot fly it at my house, since I live close enough to the airport that I’m within restricted airspace. So, I have to go to camp to do any flying for the time being. As the weather warms I’ll be out there more often, so I’m sure I’ll get more flying experience soon enough.

Drone shot, April 2021.

Anyway, I think it’s time to move on. As usual I’ll be back as soon as I can with the latest news. Until then…

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Posted by on April 5, 2021 in Hiking, History, Railway, Research


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