Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Summer Highlights 2015 in Photos

September is here and I'm a little bit sad that our summer vacation is over already. While I like the fresh new start that another school year brings, I will miss my little adventure buddy while he spends his days in the classroom instead of playing with me all day long. 

I've written about most of our "big" adventures this summer but many of the highlights come from the smaller outings, from our two week camping trip across BC, and from the simple little trips we did close to home. 

Most of our summer highlights involved water

The Summer we all fell in love with Jumping

I have a crazy child and I'd definitely say his BIG summer highlight was jumping off of every "safe" platform he could find. This was the summer where he discovered how fun diving boards could be (he probably did at least 50 jumps in various pools) and where we realized that a beach was only fun if there was a raft, dock, or some kind of platform for launching oneself off of.  Noah also jumped off his first bridge (a dozen times) and will be begging for more next summer.

Noah's first bridge jump in the Okanagan this August

Fortunately, our whole family thinks jumping into water is a pretty fun pastime and we made it a weekly priority to find something to jump off of.

I'd never jumped off of a diving board until this summer

Splash parks are for the whole family

This is one of my favourite summer photos below because it shows how much fun we really did have playing together as a family.

The best way to cool off after a hot bike ride

One Word - Wibit!!!!

What's a wibit?  Only the best water park ever!  And the Okanagan has two of them (one in Penticton and one in Kelowna.)
Climbing up the inflatable Wibit tower to jump or slide off
Full upper body workout trying to climb this wall

Noah has fallen in love with these Wibit Aqua Parks and  I'm impressed with the workout you get from playing on one! (I was sore for three days after one hour on the park in Penticton.) Seriously, if you could get a membership to use a Wibit park a few days a week, I don't think you'd need to go to a gym.

Big Daddy jumps on bouncy pillow.  Small child goes flying.  Great fun for all!
He almost did a flip this time!

Skateparks are Rad!

Noah discovered just how awesome skateparks can be this summer. Forget bike parks made of dirt because this summer it was all about concrete ramps and bowls.

Every day trip involved a visit to at least one skatepark

Mini Golf could be played daily

Thank God for our annual passes to Winsport's Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.  Our passes included as much mini golf as we could ever play and we certainly took advantage of this perk.  I haven't actually found a way to tell Noah yet that the golf course has now closed for the season.

Such a simple activity but so much fun!!!

We got to feed Kangaroos this summer

We payed a visit to the Kangaroo Creek Farm while in the Okanagan in August. This was an incredible experience for us to feed and pet kangaroos, hold babies, and interact with a bunch of fun animals we'd normally look at through bars at the zoo.

Eating right out of my hand!
Baby Kangaroo!  It doesn't get cuter than that!

A Summer of First Scrambles

On the more adventurous side of things, we introduced Noah to scrambling this summer and took him up a few peaks that required a helmet and a short length of rope.  He did his first exposed down climb on Polar Peak in Fernie and he almost tagged the summit of Mt. Yamnuska in the Bow Valley near Calgary. He also made it pretty far towards reaching the South Summit on Nihahi Ridge in Kananaskis.  (links to the three stories are in the titles above.)

Down climbing on Polar Peak, Fernie

Through these adventures we discovered that Noah definitely loves scrambling and rock climbing.  Now if we could just find more chair lifts to get us to tree line without having to do the boring hike up...

Scrambling on Mt. Yamnuska

The Big Bike Ride - up to 30 km!

I'm always curious to see what Noah's new "limit" will be by the end of another bike season. This year I was thrilled to see him bike all the way from our house on the outskirts of the city to downtown for ice-cream in a big 30 km ride (motivated heavily by the promise of a c-train ride home.)

The big bike ride and the train ride home

Graduating to Downhill Biking

Noah took mountain bike lessons at Winsport's Canada Olympic Park and by the end of the summer he was able to ride some of the intermediate runs at the park.

We learned that downhill riding is quite a bit different from cross country riding and Noah likes it better because he doesn't have to ride uphill at all!  Meanwhile, I myself am sticking to easier terrain and am leaving the downhill riding to my boys.


Noah's First Solo River Run

This highlight may not go under the category of "smartest parenting moves" but never the less, we are extremely proud of Noah for running his first river in a small sit on top kayak through class I rapids on the Elk River in Fernie. He did exceptionally well at steering and only toppled over on the last set of rapids (moments before I fell off my board and injured my knee for a good month.)

Noah and I paddling the Elk River in Fernie together

Noah has since decided he will return to the bow of our tandem kayak for the rest of the summer but he did try out his boat on a few lakes afterwards.

Lake Paddling in August in the Columbia Valley

Other Summer Paddling Highlights

Overnight Paddling and Camping Trip on the Columbia River (story here)

Camping on the Columbia River

My first kayak run down the Bow River

Girls Night Out - on the river

First time Paddling the Bow River from Banff to Canmore

Banff to Canmore on the Bow River

It was an adventure-filled summer and we managed to get out camping for 33 nights.  Not as many nights as last year but we still have one more trip planned for the end of September. Now it's on to winter planning and another great season of outdoor family fun.

And it's a Wrap!  Summer 2015 was Awesome

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