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Oh, Canada!

Yes, Folks, we have arrived.  We hit town yesterday (Friday) afternoon.  Our travel was unbelievably uneventful!  We left Iowa Thursday morning.  Freya was ready to go:

Freya ready to go

OK…maybe not quite that ready, but with the help of a tranquilizer three hours prior to departure, she was a great little traveler!   I think the entire trip was way less stressful for both of us.

Many things were different this year.  We had new paperwork at the border which delayed us about 1.5-2 hours.  The crossing itself went well; it was just long.  STAY TUNED FOR INFORMATION ABOUT POULTRY/EGGS FROM THE U.S.  RIGHT NOW BRING NONE; WE’LL LET YOU KNOW IF THINGS CHANGE. 

Here’s what we saw upon arrival last year on April 29:

last years snow

Here’s the driveway today:

this years driveway

Lovely, I say!  Here’s Gruper several days after arrival last year trying to gain access to one of his buildings:

last years snow2

Today he wandered up to his building and was able to get the garbage truck out:

garbage truck and garage

Amazing, I say!  I took a 5ish-mile walk on 105.  There were signs of life everywhere:

a fox has visited

fox poop

a deer has visited

deer poop

a moose has meandered through

moose track

He had nothing on the one I saw about 10 miles south of Camp yesterday.  The bull was ENORMOUS!  He already had a great start on a rack and it’s only April!

mushrooms are sprouting (though not morels like Sally found on her walk at home yesterday)



I saw a grouse and a whiskeyjack along the driveway when I returned.  Check out the white birch on the blue sky:

birch on blue sky

Check out this alligator under the dock:


Gruper left out a few trail cams over the winter again.  We only got a couple of usable pics.  Here’s a whiskeyjack who discovered the camera:


Perhaps this is the fox who used our driveway as a bathroom:


Look at how beautiful he is later in the season:


So, what’s it like when we arrive on a “normal” year such as this?  Gruper and I cross the border and get to Dryden for lunch.  He then takes Freya and some of my cargo so I can get groceries while he heads up the hill.  By the time I arrive, he has a fire going in the entry room, heat going in the propane fire place, water throughout the house, etc.  I come in, put away the fresh groceries (produce, dairy) and get Freya more settled.  By evening, it’s like we never left:  we’ve showered and have settled down to watch The Amazing Race with a yummy dinner of black bean salsa chicken:

chicken dinner

I spent this morning unpacking and came to a huge realization:  I am food-obsessed!  Please raise your hand if you knew this about me.  Wow.  Anyway, we are set for some time.  This afternoon was so beautiful that I wandered around and took pics for this blog entry, coaxed Freya from the basement for a walk about the yard, and took my good walk.

OK, I’ve played with you all long enough.  We know you’re wondering about the ice situation.  Here’s a gull floating by:

gull on ice

Here’s a nice view toward the falls:

our tree

The cute tree on the right is “our” tree by the way.  We planted it many moons ago.  Here’s a nice glitter shot:

glitter lake

Perhaps I’ll do a family foto fest in the next day or so.  Until then, you know where to find us!

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