Thursday, February 21, 2013

Banff CNP: Lake Louise to Bow Summit on the Icefields Parkway

Lake Herbert

Once I entering the Icefields Parkway, it was not long before I made my first stop at Lake Herbert.  My favorite picture of the lake was taken facing south looking back at the mountains surround Lake Louise.  They made a beautiful reflection in the lake.  The lake water was so clear that you can see downed trees lying on the bottom.
Mount Hector from Lake Hector Outlook
Lake Hector: left to right Mount Balfour, Mount Olive, and Mount Gordon.  The two mountain on the right side unknown.
Here is better picture of Mt Hector than the one I took from the 3rd floor balcony at Lake Louise Inn.  The sky was just so blue and many of the pictures have wispy clouds giving the picture the perfect touch.  I was so lucky the weather was great while I was traveling.  The next pull off was a view of Hector Lake, the lake was a bit off the road.  There is a trail down to the lake but I wanted to wait before I started doing some hikes.  Looking toward the northeast there is Dolomite Mountain and Watermelon Peak and southwest you can see Mt Balfour.
Pulpit Peak and Mount Balfour from Lake Hector Outlook
Dolomite Peak and Watermelon Peak from Lake Hector Outlook
Nosseeum Mountain from Lake Hector Outlook
There are three viewpoints to stop at before reaching Bow Summit which allow you to view the mountains and glaciers surrounding Bow Lake.  The first stop allowed a great view of Crowfoot Glacier.  The lower toe use to descent down to Bow Lake years but broke off years ago.  There was a very lazy raven in the parking lot which must have found good pickings because he just walks around the cars way instead of flying away.  I started to find some flowers blooming along the road side and Indian Paintbrush was the most 
Indian Paintbrush

Raven at Crowfoot Glacier Outlook

Crowfoot Glacier above Bow Lake. 
Left to Right: Bow Peak, Bow Pass and CrowBow Peak southwest of Crowfoot Glacier
Mount Andromache, left of center from Bow Lake Outlook
The Bow Lake turnout was only a hop and skip away. Here you can get better views of Bow Lake and the mountains surrounding it.

Bow Lake with Crowfoot Mountain left edge, Mount Thompson, and Mount Jimmy Simpson right edge.
Bow Lake with Crowfoot Glacier.
Bow Glacier viewpoint is the last stop and is also the entrance to Num-Ti-Jan Lodge.  You can see the lodge's red roof in the picture of Bow Glacier.  I did not have time to stop and check it out since I wanted to spend the night in the campground near Jasper.

Portal Peak far left, Bow Glacier, if you look under the glacier you can see Bow Fall, and Mount Thompson right.
The red roof is Num-Ti-Jan Lodge.
The final stop before leaving Bow Valley is the Bow Summit Outlook.  The stop requires a short hike to the viewing platform and can get some great pictures of Peyto Lake.  Due to time restraints I stop here and headed back to the parking lot but the trail leads to Bow Summit Outlook.   While drive out of the parking I saw this Clark's Gray Jay looking for handouts so I stopped the car, open the window stick my camera out and the bird flew over to my car looking to food.  I snapped the picture before the bird figured out that I was not going to feed him/her.

Peyto Lake: Caldron Peak left edge and Mount Patterson along the lake from the platform on Bow Summit Trail.
The other end the Peyto Lake: Peyto Glacier and Peyto Peak.
White Mountain Avens on Bow Summit
The next blog will from Bow Summit to Whistlers Campground south of Jasper.  Where I finely had the chance to see the park's wildlife while driving through this section.

Clark's Nutcracker hoping I would feed him.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finishing Up Old Projects

I did not make it down to the basement until Saturday afternoon.  That morning I took a trip to Cedar Grove Cheese factory for their low-fat cheddar cheese.  While there I also brought a low-fat Colby, smoked little baby Swiss, smoked cheddar and a cheddar with basil & tomato in it.  I make a few stops on the way home and one of those stops was at Country Sampler in Spring Green.   It is a quilt shop that has primitive folk art theme.  Since I brought the house I have very little time to quilt but I still occasionally enjoy visiting a shop and finding out what is new.  I return home around noon and went to work soon after lunch.
Starting aliening the screen

My project for the weekend was to replace the ripped screen for the back door.  Two years ago I put something through the screen causing it to rip.  I removed the ripped screening planning on replacing the screen after I finished the basement.  I actually believe I finished the basement two years ago.  Boy, did I have high hopes back then!  By the time winter ended I needed to work in the garden and scrape another outside wall to the house so the screen waited again and of course I use the same reasoning over the 2011-2012 winter but for the summer 2012 my excuse was I went to Alaska to help Dad.  So now I have no excuse and the work must get done.  I forgot how easy it is to replace a screen.  I thought it would take me all weekend but I finished touching up the paint early Sunday morning.
Before sanding
Primed side, I will be turning it over to do the back later
this week.

That allow me to start working on a storm window I stripped in the fall 2011.  I did find time to treat rotten wood sections with hardener that fall and to remove the window panes but nothing been done since then for the same reasons as above.  I pulled out my orbital sander and remove the last bit of paint on the frame.  I covered a wooden shim with sandpaper to clean out the lip the glass pane sits in.  Once I finished sanding and vacuuming the dust off, I painted an oil-based prime on one side of it.  I will prime the other side later this week.  Then I pulled the glass panes out of the safe place I stored them but broke off a large piece off the corner of each pane.  I stored the panes for a little over a year near the furnace and managed to keep them in one piece.  I moved them about a month ago when I defrosted the freezer and thought I put them in a safe place but the storage place was too narrow to support it when I was pulled it out.  The good thing is glass is not that expensive and I will keep the glass to cut smaller panes when I work on my 6 over 6 double hung windows this summer.  I ordered two 24"x24" glass panes today and expect to glaze the panes in the frame this coming weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2013

No-Knead Honey Whole Wheat Bread

No work was done in the basement over the weekend because I neglected the rest of the house for the last two weeks.  So I spent the weekend cleaning the upstairs and making meals.  I started Saturday morning pulling a turkey carcass out of the freezer and making turkey stock.  The turkey made enough stock to make a turkey noodle soup with another 7-1/2 cup of stock for the freezer.  I froze about 3 quart of roasted tomatillos last fall and found a wonderful recipe for Tomatillo Chicken Stew from Simply Recipes.  While defrosting and organizing the freezer I found several pints of marinara sauce and spinach packages.  These items allow me to make Spinach Stuffed Manicotti from my own recipe for dinner tonight.

Since Christmas I been working on a No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread recipe.  The modified recipe was published by Mademoiselle magazine. Susan Leiberman was a guest editor and submitted it "No-Knead Bread"in the 1970s.  This recipe makes 3 great tasting white bread loaves but I prefer whole wheat.  The whole wheat bread only makes 2 loaves.  The whole wheat flour does not raise as high when using white flour.

No-Knead Honey Whole Wheat Bread

3/4 cup warm water
2 pkg or 4-1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon flour
5 cups unbleached flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
3 eggs well-beaten
2 cups warm water

In a small bowl mix the first 4 ingredient together and set aside. 

Measure the unbleached and whole wheat flour and add the salt in a large bowl.  Using a whisk thoroughly mix the dry mix together.  Add the honey, vegetable oil, eggs, water and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.  I use clean hands to mix it together until I have a sticky ball.  If you prefer not to use your hand a large spoon will work just fine.  I prefer to use my hand because I can feel when all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the mixture to sit in a warm place for 3 hours or until the mixture doubles. 

Divide the dough in half and shade into 8"x 5"loaves.  Put into bread pans.  Cover the dough again with a towel and allow to raise another hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350F.   Brush the bread tops with egg whites to get a lovely carmel colored loaf.  I use dried egg white and it works well.  Place the loaves in the center oven rack and bake for 55 minutes or until the sounds hollow when tapped.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Winter Gardening

I spent this weekend working in the basement again.  I did some cleaning but most of the weekend I spent putting together a new plant stand.  I brought the stand in December when Jung had their Dollars Days.  I waited until the basement floor was done to assemble it and it was fairly easy to put together.  The wooden plant stand in the second bedroom just could not hold all the plants I start from seeds. 

Sunday, I planted two flats of petunias and put them on the heat mat.  I found time to start my 2013 Seed database.  This allowed me to determine which seeds I still need to order.  I will be ordering German Pink Tomatoes, Black Krim Tomatoes, Chocolate Beauty Pepper, Forkhood Acorn Squash, Table Queen Acorn Squash, Cheddar Cauliflower and Graffiti Cauliflower.  I will be trying these new varieties Black Plum Tomato and Lemon Mint Herb this year.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Basement's ups and downs

The basement may still look like a mess but the decluttering is progressing.
I took Monday and Tuesday off this week to work on decluttering the basement.  I did get the table cleaned off only to fill it back up so I could start sorting and arranging my tools.  Last summer my father gave me most of his tools to take home from Alaska.  I needed to buy another standing tool chest to store them in.  I spent Sunday going through them and sorting them by use.  I also need to sort through the many different types of nails and screws it would help to know what I have instead buying something I already have.  I got a good start before calling it a day. 

Sunday evening I emptied the freezer and stored all the food on the 3-season porch for the night.  I unplugged the freezer and allowed it to defrost over night.  Monday morning I moved the freezer back against the wall dividing the finished and unfinished basement.  Then I wiped the freezer down and started to organize it.  Almost all my vegetables come from my garden and I freeze my vegetables in one pint bags.  I fill 2-gallon bags with the same vegetables since it is easier to pull out larger bags than pint size bags when looking for something.  I was able to consolidated bags and place older dated items near the top to be used first.

After I finished arranging the freezer I could finely change the furnace filter. I have an Aprilaire air filter which only needs to be changed once a year. It normally gets changed each September before I turn it on. I never expected to have the freezer still in front of the furnace when I moved it early last spring to paint the floor. I should have known better since it always takes longer than expected to finish a job. Once I finished that I moved my router out of my sewing/craft room back into the unfinished section. Next the stationary bike was move out of that room to its old area next to the furnace. I am not sure if the bike will stay there but I am no longer tripping over it in the sewing room.

Polished Light Fixture
The dirty panned light fixture.

While moving everything around I found three light fixtures I have been storing in the basement.  Last year, I had two fixtures rewired, a pan light for the dining room and bathroom light.  I kept putting off the installing them since I am leery about working with electricity.  The pan light fixture needed to be cleaned, I found time to do it and it looks great.  The third fixture I got as a Christmas gift from my Dad and planned on installing it in the hallway.  I made a decision that if I plan to straighten out the basement I need to take the time and finish many of my UFO (unfinished objects) so I can free up space.  What an original idea, HUH!

Cleaning up the leaking water along the north wall.
Tuesday was a day with many ups and downs. I went downstairs to start working and noticed a small puddle of water leaking from the basement dividing wall. I walked around into the sewing room and found a large puddle of water coming from the middle of the north wall. The puddle was less than a 1/4 inch deep but it covered a large area. I was lucky since I put my picture framing supplies on plastic grids so nothing was ruined. I did need to move everything out of the area so I could mop up the water with old sheets and towels. The leak was behind the drywall and I been trying to fix leaking in the sewing room by changing the landscaping around the house in hope that I would not have to tear out the drywall. That will be a big job. We had over an inch of rain from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon. The water did not flowing from the leak until late Tuesday night.

The broken down sprout.
After I mopped up the water and laid down dry towel to soak up anymore water coming in, I walked around the foundation trying to figure where the water was coming from. I found the lower section of the northwest down sprout fell off allowing the water to soaking next to the foundation allowing it to find it ways into my basement. I use sheet metal screws to hold it in place. I hope this will sweep the water away from the foundation now. This spring I will need to remove the decorative stones and back fill the area with more soil tilling it away from the house. If that does not stop the leakage I will then need to pull down the drywall and fill the foundation cracks with hydraulic cement. Past changes in landscaping on the south side have stopped the leakage problems on that side of the house.

After but I still trying to get the light on the right to work.
Bathroom before

Later I installed two of the light fixtures. I did the bathroom light checked the to be sure it work and then put in the hallway light. Later in the day the bathroom light stopped working and every since I been trouble shooting the problem with no luck. I decided the dining room light could wait until my brother comes for a visit because I do not think I can move the heavy ceiling fan from the ceiling and then replace it with the pan light fixture.

Hallway Before
My new Hallway Light.

Tomorrow I will be back in the basement working again and checking the wiring in hope of finding the problem.