Notes from the Summer of 2017

Canmore smoke1-web

Canmore - 3 Sisters in Smoke

2017.09.10

This summer has not unfolded normally.  At least not normal to Leslie and me.  I am so glad that we made our sojourn to BC in May.  We had super weather and no forest fire smoke.  We didn’t realise how fortunate that was at the time.

I think the number one subject on everyones tongue around here this summer has been the obtrusive smoke from forest fires ranging from northern BC to southern Oregon.  Just when we thought that the smoke was dwindling a week ago, new fires closer to home ignited and delivered to us continuing grey skies and polluted air.

The image above of the Three Sisters in a shroud of smoke is actually a colour image even though it looks monochrome.  That is what most days looked like around here this past summer—dreary.   Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise are on the roads that I like to cycle, but the Bow Valley was one of the most smoke-polluted valleys around.  I didn’t wanted to subject my lungs to that stuff, so my bike riding this summer has been minimal and my ‘mid-drift, spare tire is showing the consequences.  (Sigh)

One bike ride that was fun was with three of my grandsons.  We did the city pathway loop around the north end of Calgary.  It was 50km long with some good climbs.  The boys were impressive, to say the least.  Of course, when asked about the highlight of the day it was the ice cream cones we got at the Bridgeland Market.  I thought it might be the thrill of roaring down some of the winding paths from the top of the climb to The Hamptons in Calgary, which they definitely did.

Cyclists extraordinaire

The main thing that influenced how both Leslie and I spent our summer was the operation she had on her foot.  That meant a convalescence of eight weeks wherein she couldn’t stand on two feet, walk, or drive a car.  I won’t go into it, but you can imagine where my focus was.  Mind you, this is where the limitation provided by the smoke polluted air kept me sane, because I knew I didn’t want to get out in it.  Being around the house most of the time was just fine.

So that’s about all for this time.  Nothing literary, just a short documentary.