Thursday, 16 August 2012

Wild Bears, Wildfires, and Whistler

As I write, I can hear water bombers and helicopters making their way to the wildfire just a few kilometers from here (Kris's place) - over the next ridge. We are assured there is no danger to us but it's a bit concerning when you wake up and the place smells like a campground and you can see whiffs of smoke on the distance (but not so distant!) trees.

                                         Article and pics of the forest fire near Squamish

It hit the news yesterday afternoon and we are "off the grid" and we don't even listen to the radio much, so when a friend of Kris's drove up to make sure Kris had heard the news (which was news to us!) (and  Kris wasn't home yet), then us small town Ontario folks were in a bit of a "huh.. is this serious? Do we evacuate, do we douse the house with water, do we just sit tight?" Just a month ago, at Science North in Sudbury, we had watched a 4D show about wildfires in northern Ontario. The "monster" of a fire in the show was what sprang to mind for the boys! They were full of questions  and really concerned about Kris's house. Liam decided if we had to evacuate (now a word in his vocabulary!), he would bring his DS and stuffies (the dogs and cats were a given).  We texted Kris and she said she wasn't worried.. so us southern ontario folks breathed a sigh of relief. Now, we are just chilling and continuing on as normal while the water bombers and helicopters continue their work above us!

The boys started swimming lessons this Monday which is going really well but has definitely but a crimp in our homeschooling.. now the boys are lethargic and harder to focus when we get back to the house to do work. It doesn't help that we've been taking on errands when we are in town.. which totally exhausts me too! But mainly I think the novelty of the homeschooling and having Mom as teacher has warn off. So we are trying to find  that right mix of being relaxed, going with the flow and providing x structure and expectations.

Last weekend we were back in tourist mode and spent a day in Whistler - full of action (Crankworx- biking competition), tourists, recreationalist  (thanks to all the Aussies that keep the service industry running!), shopping (new Crocs for the boys)....and bears!

                                             (bike park in Whistler.. not Crankworx)

                                                          Chilln' in the Village

After a day in "the Village" (sounds very hip) we took the kids to cool off at a splash park in town and right there in the park was a black bear with three very cute looking cubs! A local had to point them out to us (duh!) even though the bears were really close to the splash pad.. we called the boys over and gazed and marvelled but it seemed a bit out of context with them munching on the grass in a recreation area full of families and kids on bikes and people walking their dogs. Everyone was very respectful and kept their distance and when we warned people that there is a "bear over there!" there was a respectful retreat and detour. But the momma bear was completely unconcerned that we were all there gawking at her and her cubs. Her cubs eventually got freaked out when the crowd and noise got too much and scrambled up a tree in the nearby bush. At one point the boys just went back to playing in the splash pad as the bears continued their munching just a few meters away (about 20 metres we figure).  Eric and I were pretty excited! This is just the occasion for our  new camera with the zoom!

Have a great Friday and Weekend everyone!


  1. Great pictures Kerri! glad to hear the fire isn't a safety thing for you! Safe travels...

  2. Thanks Jillian - we still hear the helicopters over head most mornings but the fire is not big news anymore. Keeping safe (though the boys have an incredible amount of scrapes and bruises on their legs from all this outdoor living!). Hope all is well with you.