Moving to Edmonton the biggest adjustment was the snow in the winter, with high energy kids, sitting inside ins’t an option, so I have made a list of a few things to do in the winter to stay active and have fun. Here are some outdoor options;
- Sledding. This was a huge hit with the boys, whether on the little hill by our house or exploring for a bigger option.
- Snowshoeing. If they can walk they can snowshoe. Edmonton has lots of trails, however Whitemud creek is our favorite to explore.
- Cross country skiing. Since we have snowshoes we have yet to purchase this gear, however with lots of river valley trails maintained there are lots of great options for this sport.
- Downhill skiing. With a few local places to ski we plan to take advantage of these so the boys can learn to ski for our Rocky Mountain trips.
- Snow forts, snowmen and snow ball fights. With the cold temperatures there where a limited number of days building with the snow was easy, but on those days this is always a big hit.
- Hiking. With so much traffic on many of the trails, simply wait a day after a big snow fall and many river valley trails are packed down and ready for hiking.
- Toy machines. The snow is like a giant sandbox, a couple of toy machines or a shovel will keep the boys busy for a long time.
- Fire. A highlight of camping is the fire, and when the temperatures drop it is a great way to stay warm while enjoying the outdoors, this year we plan to build a back yard fire pit to take us outside for a campfire meal.
- Ice skating. We spent last weekend getting the boys fitted up with skates, with many free outdoor rinks, and friends with rinks in their backyards it is a fun way to enjoy the winter.
- Northern Lights. I have yet to see them since living here, but recently have committed to getting a picture of them. With sites like http://www.aurorawatch.ca/ as a guide I am watching for them, and if it makes sense on any day will drive out of town with the boys to view them.
With these options and hopefully finding more some days are just too cold and an indoor option sounds better, a few of the things we do in the winter here are;
- Alberta Museums. With younger kids free, and an annual pass for us surprisingly inexpensive this is a great way for the boys to learn while staying warm and entertained in the winter.
- West Edmonton Mall. In the winter the mall is quiet, with a huge playground in Galaxy land, a huge playground in the water park, mini golf and the occasional roller coaster, last winter this was the reward for the boys having a good week. It keeps them active and with an annual pass much more affordable than the other pools in the city.
- The city has a list of rec centers and attractions that are indoors, some of which we plan to check out this winter and likely add to this list.
And what would a winter in Edmonton be without a few trips to the Rockies, full of amazing places to visit.
Outdoors, Winter, Young Family
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The kit I started with.
I bought this kit from a local plastic supply store. I needed to add stir sticks and mixing containers. I made a container the right size for the Boler emblem, however it didn’t end up with a perfectly flat bottom. It still worked, but I would find a better solution next time.
With the emblem glued down I sprayed some mold release stuff on it and mixed up the stuff for the mold.
The mold is done
With the mold done I mixed up the plastic and poured it in. The second attempt I did a better job of mixing it and it worked great.
First one out, another curing in the mold.
Here is the first good one out of the mold. All the flaws are over pour along the back edge. Another is curing in the mold behind it.
After trimming and a light sanding
I cut away some of the extra with a knife, then sandpaper did an excellent job on the rest. With the garage at -15 I will wait to paint it and install.
I also plan to test and see if milk an vinegar will make a plastic strong enough for such projects.
Boler, Boler Project, Crafts
Boler, car, cast, diy, empblem, homemade, Logo, mold, old, plastic, reproduction, Trailer, trillium
E panning in the river
After another visit to Fort Steel (a heritage village just outside of Cranbrook BC), I learned that the North Saskatchewan river here in Edmonton has good panning and unlike BC most places along the river are no eligible for claims. So little E and I went down to the river after school and tried our luck.
So far nothing to get excited about, but we had lots of fun trying. Hopefully head out again soon and have a little better luck.
The first trip out was a great learning experience, I do want to pick up a few more tools and learn more about where to look for gold. With this I think it will be a fun way to pass an afternoon with the boys.
Outdoors, Young Family
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Picture while waiting in line.
Every year in September the City of Edmonton has a free admission day, where city attractions are free to visit. We decided to check out the Muttard Conservatory, one attraction I knew very little about.
It was an interesting place, with 4 glass pyramid shaped rooms, each with it’s own theme. We went to the tropical rainforest first, then the boys found an area for kids to plant seeds, and get there face painted. Being a free day it was busy, which was good as it kept the boys walking slow, giving them time to look around.
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The petting zoo was the highlight
This was the boys first visit to a zoo, and they had fun. Their favorite part was the petting zoo. It was often hard to find the animals, which struck me, if we can’t see them in a small space when we know they are there, how much do we miss when out it the mountains.
Yes he is kneeling in the pen.
As always they love to play, viewing was interesting for them, but anything different they really seemed to be drawn to.
A glass dome was a highlight for the boys.
Trail down the hill at Devon Bike Park. With stunts showing to the bottom right.
While living in BC I regularly took the boys to the local bike parks, but moving to Edmonton the city has none of these parks. Luckily Devon, only a 20 minute drive from our place has been building a bike park, So we let the boys out to check it out and see what they think.
As usual an outing to a bike park was a huge hit, they had lots of fun and the park itself turned out to be nice as well. With this location set on the inside of a large curve of the North Saskatchewan River, the slow shallow water had many people sitting in it, and kids playing along the shore.
Smaller dirt track was just right
A ride along the river before leaving.
Having been away from this type of riding for a long time, the boys were not as skilled as they used to be, but I am sure it will come back quickly and they already want to return.
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With Big Lake having little access I wasn’t ready to give up on exploring this area, so with an internet search we headed out to give it another try.
Entrance to the property
I was surprised that the Ducks unlimited property allowed hunting, walking along was fine until a sign pointed out we where entering an area where hunting is allowed. Even without any signs of others it was decided we should head back, so we hoped in the car and decided to check out a Bike park I had heard about in Devon (because somehow a city the size of Edmonton still doesn’t have a bike park).
The directions I found online where out of date, but the road isn’t labeled on the maps I have or google maps when I checked, so the coordinates of the parking lot are 53.610331,-113.737939
Outdoors, Young Family
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Another great trip to Rock rock, it is a beautiful place and much quieter than many other rocky mountain stops. The boys where especially looking forward to this trip as we were meeting friends there.
The stars were amazing, so for next season I need to learn how to take pictures of them.
I have a map showing a trail up the south side of the lake, we tried to hike that way, but the trail faded out eventually. Still made for a great walk. I think the boys favorite part was the campfire.
Boler, Camping, Outdoors, Young Family
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Snaring River Campground
As the summer was winding down we got out for a quick camping trip, first stop Jasper National Park. This stop was unique as it was just my oldest son and brother in-law who is 11. Arriving Thursday morning we had no problem getting a spot, and spotting another Boler camping in the campground.
Another Boler in the Campground
Then we were off for a hike. Having driven past parking lots for 5th and 6th bridge on the way to Maligne Lake, we headed for these parking lots and Maligne Canyon for a walk.
The next day we checked out Jasper lake. We had built candle powered boats before the trip and where hoping to test them out, however it was too windy to keep the candles lite. The stop was still a hit, as playing around or in water usually is.
Playing Boats Jasper Lake
Next we explored the town of Jasper and some of the gift shops.
Shops were interesting, some of the camping trucks where even better
Boler, Camping, Outdoors
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Wood Sink cover
Using the same pine boards I made the cabinets, trim and shelves from, I ran it through the table saw a few times and stained it to get a lite, strong cover for the sink.
I still plan to pick up magnetic tape, so it doesn’t shift when driving.
Under Side of cover
Since we have yet to use the sink it should make for hidden storage under the cover and more working space when needed on top.
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