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Friday, July 24, 2015

My Return to Hiking – Rolley Lake

Last Saturday I completed my first hike since dislocating my kneecap earlier in May! My rehabilitation has been very conservative because this was a first-time dislocation, and as I've started walking without a brace I've been very anxious. To help build my confidence, I've started walking more when running errands or travelling. With every new experience my leg seems to get stronger, as does my confidence.

Now that I've become more competent and mobile, I've been able to be social and adventurous again. Marina and I has been planning on having a picnic this summer, and on Saturday we decided to make a trip out to Rolley Lake Provincial Park. I thought this park would be a great idea; it has a beautiful beach with a picnic area and a walking trail surrounding the lake. We had a delicious lunch and managed to enjoy the sunshine for a few hours by the beach. Afterwards, we decided to tackle the 5 km hike around the lake, which began as a boardwalk and then transitioned to a forested trail. 

I experienced no pain during the walk, but I did need to take breaks every 15 minutes to rest. Thankfully Marina was very understanding and supportive the whole time. It was wonderful to be outside again, and I'm feeling much more positive after this achievement. Hopefully I'll continue to have good news regarding the knee. I'm determined to reclaim the last few weeks of summer!

Friday, July 10, 2015

British Columbia is on Fire

It's been a very dry year for British Columbia. There's very little snow pack up in the mountains and the lower mainland is already running out of water in our natural reservoirs. A heat wave has been scouring the province for several weeks now, creating a huge fire risk throughout our forests.

There are currently 197 fires burning throughout British Columbia, with about 30 expected to ignite each day. There was even a short-lived forest fire up on campus due to a lit cigarette. It seems nature is a tinderbox right now.

Normally the effect of large fires don't immediately impact Vancouver and it's surrounding cities. However, smoke was recently pushed into the lower mainland by changing wind conditions. I was out of the province for the worst of it, but I saw pictures of Vancouver shrouded in smoke. An air quality advisory was put in place due to all the smoke and ash.

I flew into Vancouver on Wednesday night, and even by then I could still see signs of the forest fires.

What may look like a dark rain cloud is actually a thick blanket of smoke. As we got closer to Vancouver, the plane descended and I realized the gloomy reality.

When I first landed in Vancouver I could smell the smoke. It was so strange walking around in the gloom when I had just been above it all and knew that the sun was shining brightly. 

Today was the first day the smoke started clearing. There was a little bit of rain this morning and the wind direction changed. The air quality advisory has been lifted, and the forecasts say it might rain this weekend. Let's hope! If there's one thing our forests need it would be some long awaited water. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Rainy Canada Day

Happy belated Canada Day to all my Canadian readers! 

This Canada Day I was back with my family in Ottawa, where the weather was rainy and dreary.  I opted to avoid any crowds or parties since I'm still recovering from my kneecap dislocation. Instead, I went with my dad  who was celebrating his birthday  on a rainy walk at the Mer Bleu Bog. We stuck to the boardwalk so walking would be easy for me, and my dad offered to carry my crutches as I hobbled around taking pictures. We got poured on during our walk and I had ironically forgotten my raincoat in sunny Vancouver. It was so worthwhile though. I've really missed moments like these after suffering my knee injury.