Friday, August 24, 2012

Chilkoot Trail

6:35 sunrise
21:28 sunset

I don't like hiking. Not really.  So It has taken awhile to write this blog post.  How to write about something that I don't like... and yet... kinda loved.

I've always meant to hike the Chilkoot Trail, the route that gold-crazed stampeders walked and then boated from Dyea, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon.  But every summer I have refused to take days off work to do it or I just got so distracted by bike-love that I didn't make room in my summer for a multi-day hike.  This year it happened sort of last minute. There was a long weekend and a friend who also wanted to make the trek. There were spots available to summit over the weekend and there was space on the WP&YR train to get us out of Bennett.  We left our decision to the last minute (ie: Friday afternoon) and we finally pulled the trigger when the weather forecast improved from torrential rain to just cloudy and maybe showers.

So how does a 53km walk through history sit with a girl who likes bikes?  Pretty well, actually.  But there are a few rules one has to follow in order to have a good time.

Rule #1
Take along an appropriate hiking partner.  Preferably this partner should want to hike the route at the same speed you do and she should make you lunch.  She should also be perfectly content to carry enough wine for the journey.

Rule #2

Bring wine. Really, this rule applies to most outdoor activities.

Rule #3
Take time to gawk at the beauty of your surroundings as well as the artefacts en route.  Soak in the history. Take lots of photos. Between us, we managed around 350 of them.  Understand, then, my restraint here.

Rule #4
Have the weather gods provide clear weather around Crater Lake so that you can be floored at how crazy gorgeous it is on the Canadian side of the summit.

Rule #5
Pack light.  This kind of goes against rule #2.  We didn't manage it this time. Perhaps that means I'm open to hiking the Chilkoot again next year.


More photos on flickr if you are so inclined.  The hike is pretty spectacular.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wardrobe Bike-mix

6:15 sunrise
21:54 sunset

At its best, a Whitehorse summer is filled with long, warm, sunny days and light that bathes our mountains in warm shades of yellow and pink.  At its worst, a Whitehorse summer probably resembles a pacific coast winter.

We haven't had much of a summer this year.  Yes, there have been a few awesome sunny and warm days but, they have been few and far between.   So this week, after enjoying some proper east coast hotness in Ontario, it has been fabulous to see the sun in the sky at home and to be basking in +20C days.

Tonight's ride was a slow one.  Mingus and I went for a tour of our neighbourhood trail - Quickie.  At our pace there is plenty of time to practice cornering, to force myself to use only my middle chainring, and to really pay attention to my surroundings.  And oh - those surroundings tonight seemed especially beautiful. The pungent scent of trees and ground cover after a few days of sun is quite possibly the purest, most calming and delicious smell there is.  I wish I had a better vocabulary or narrative skill so that I could make you understand.  The light is becoming more diffuse as the days get shorter and the way it shines through the trees somehow it seems to be everywhere at once.  It wraps golden rays around you, on the path in front of you, and it glows above you all at the same time.  

When Mingus and I set out tonight, I knew it was going to be gorgeous on the trail so I brought my camera. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the camera's battery.  Oops.

So instead of looking at the world with thoughts of what would make a good photograph, I just took it all in through the camera of my eye.  I felt simultaneously calm and exhilerated, restored, even, from a crap day at work.  Nature is good for us.  This is not news.  

When I returned home tonight and dragged my camera outside, this is what I took - a wardrobe remix style shot of what I typically wear when I go for a ride.  With so few posts from me lately I figured why not blend the two aspects of my blog (bikes and clothes) into one entry.  With the popularity of micro-blogging and twitter, it's all about maximum blog efficiency, right?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monochrome - Everybody Everywhere in August

6:10 sunrise
22:00 sunset

I haven't written about bikes much lately.  Actually, I haven't been writing too much at all.  I haven't felt very inspired.

However, I have acquired some funky new threads the last few weeks.  Some have come via my trip to Toronto and some have come as hand-me-downs from a colleague.  I couldn't quite make any of these new pieces work for this month's everybody everywhere challenge (monochrome) but I was still inspired to look a little harder through my closet this morning.  Shoes were the sticking point.  In trying to go for a single dose of colour, my choices were green, red, black or brown.  I decided to go for a late summer pick me up in green.  There will only be a couple of weeks left of this summer shade here in the Yukon so I might as well enjoy it while I can!


Shoes - 60s sandals from tialeyvintage
  Dress - Ann Taylor Loft c. 2005
Necklace - Turquoise, Cameron Trading Post, Arizona

Saturday, August 4, 2012


My sister and I each bought a pair of shoes this week. Can you guess which one belongs to me?

I do sometimes wonder how we came from the same parents and spent the same 19 first years in the same town.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A bike skirt for me

After picking up a bicycle skirt for my bike-wife this spring, I finally bought one for myself yesterday.

I picked this up at Fresh Collective (Roncesvalles) one of my favourite Toronto clothing stores. Designed and produced in Canada, this skirt is made by Spruce clothing. Best part? It was on sale for half price.