Trip Reports






Rest Days

Winter 2013

Mostly a cuteness report.

Fall/Winter 2012

Daryl and i combined forces to produce this cuteness report.

Fall 2012

Henri played with friends, got his first pair of headphones, and hung out with his cousin Isaac in NYC for Andrew and Michelle's wedding. Photos!

Spring-Summer 2012

Daryl takes photos, too, and i sometimes remember to post them online!

Summer 2012

This summer included trips to Aspen and Santa Fe. Henri learned how to ride a pedal bike with no training wheels! Photos!

March & April 2012

Henri had a big bike crash, a third birthday, went to Florida and started painting. Photos!

Feb 2012 Cuteness Report

Photos of the new climbing gym, floaties, as well as a hair cut, aquarium visit, birthday party, dentist visit, some garbage trucks, and a morning drum session.

Daryl's Photos

Some recent photos from Daryl

Aspen (Jan 2012)

Daryl and i enjoyed back-to-back winter meetings at the Aspen Center for Physics. Photos!

Montreal (Dec 2011 - Jan 2012)

We spent the holidays in Montreal. Photos!

Train to The Bay (12/2011)

We took the 2.5 day train from Chicago to Emeryville, then spent a few days hanging with friends and family in the Bay Area. Photos!

Thanksgiving in Minneapolis (2011)

We visited Myriah in Minneapolis. Gail came up, too! Beautiful town, reminded me of Canada. Photos!

Henri's First (real) Halloween (Oct 2011)

Henri dressed up as a fireman. Photos of that and assorted other cuteness.

Nantes et Fontainebleau (Oct 2011)

The joint EPSC-DPS meeting in Nantes gave me ahcnce to explore that lovely city, as well as piggy-back a bouldering trip with Rok at Fontainebleau. Photos!

Museum with Kyle and Little Tomato's Baby Shower

Henri and Kyle hooked up for a day at the Field Museum. A week later, we flew to Seattle to celebrate Kiki and Matt's impending parenthood. Photos!

Cuteness Report (Sept 16, 2011)

Just some cute photos of Henri.

Henri and Friends

Henri started at his new school, Total Child, and he is able (albeit not always willing) to bike there on his own. It took a while for Henri to get used to the new routine, but he is good and happy. Photos!

Last Days at IWSE

After a wonderful year at the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Henri is moving to Total Child, a much more convenience location for cycle-commuters like ourselves. Here are some photos from what has felt like the last days of summer.

Henri and the Balerinas

Henri came down to Millennium Park with Kyla, Maia, Daryl and i to partake in some free, outdoor classical music. He and some girls were inspired by the music and started doing ballet, which was fortuitously caught on film by Margaret Vincent a passing photographer.

Evanston in July

Henri got his first real haircut this month. See if you can spot the change in these photos! Henri has also mastered a new trick on his bike, and he enjoys going for drives with his girlfriend.

Aspen (May-June 2011)

Daryl, Henri and i spent three weeks in Aspen, ostensibly for Daryl to attend a couple of black hole meetings. We enjoyed our time in the mountains. Photos!

Zurich & Vienna

Daryl, Henri and i spent a week with Rok and Molly in Zurich. Then Rok and i bouldered in Ticino for a few days before i left for the EGU meeting in Vienna. Photos!

Isaac in Evanston

Henri's cousin, Isaac, visited from Montreal with his folks, Catherine and Darryl. Photos, and videos of Henri playing on Isaac's laptop and the two cousins having a jam session. Henri has also been taking swimming lessons with his mom. Here he is getting thrown in the air, and here jumping into the pool

Eight Wheels (March 14, 2011)

We figured out an ingeneous way to strap Henri's Strider to the back of his Chariot, as shown in these photos. We tested out the new rig by pedaling to Penny Park, where Henri enjoyed a big hill (by Evanston standards): video 1, video 2.

Garfield Park Conservatory (March 6, 2011)

Henri and Ruby sharing a rocking horse, Henri dropping a curb and slaying a back alley snow pile. He also visited a conservatory (glorified grenhouse) with his friend Elaine. Photos!

Henri's New Desk (Feb 26, 2011)

A few random photos, one video and a second of Henri riding his Strider at a rest stop in Michigan.

The Chicago Blizzard of 2011

Daryl and i picked up Henri from daycare just before the storm started in earnest. The city shut down for a day, good times! Here are the photos, and videos of Henri walking his animaux, Super Henri riding his horse, Henri doing laps in his tub, and sliding.

Seattle for a Week (Jan 2011)

Daryl, Henri and i (and thousands of other astro nerds) converged on Seattle for the AAS Meeting. I forgot Henri's suitcase at the security checkpoint in O'Hare, so we had to buy him a whole new wardrobe of mostly vintage clothes upon our arrival in Seattle. Apart from the usual socializing and networking, we got to check out all our old haunts. Everyone was happy to see Henri. Here are some photos and a video of kids racing around Elin and Darryl's house.

Santa Fe for the Holidays (Dec 2010 - Jan 2011)

Daryl, Henri and i managed to be under the weather for pretty much the entirety of our stay in NM. We still managed to witness some cuteness, as evidenced by these photos.

Holiday Spirit in Evanston

To get into the holiday spirit, Daryl, Henri and i took the Santa Train, one of the most awesome Chicagoland traditions. Henri was so excited he proceeded to demonstrate his jumping prowess.

Kyle's Birthday Party (Dec 19 2010)

Henri went to Kyle's B-day party at the YMCA (photos!). Kyle (who turned two) impresed everyone by blowing out his candles like a pro. Henri gorged himself on cupcake icing. In other news, Henri has taken to having inpromtu dance parties.

Strider Practice (Dec 11 2010)

A few photos, and a couple videos of Henri riding his Strider: video 1 and video 2.

Suburban Adventures (Dec 2010)

Despite the dropping temperatures, Daryl, Henri and i are still managing to get around. Here are some videos of Henri riding his ladybug, drumming, watching Kyla drum, helping me bake, dusting me with flour, trying out his new bike, biking down a snow ramp and some Photos!

Tokyo & Kyoto, JP (Oct 20-30 2010)

Daryl and i each found a good reason to travel to Tokyo: her for a conference at the IPMU, me to give a seminar at Tokyo University. We spent a weekend in Kyoto, too! Henri deleted most of the photos off my phone, but here are some of Daryl's, and here are some brief notes i jotted down on the train:

Wednesday: Train from Narita to shinjuku, late diner at hotel restaurant. Thursday: Two metros to Hongo campus of U Tokyo. Caught a cosmology seminar, then lunch before giving my talk. Crazy two hour long seminars, followed by many-hours long chat with Yuka and Hajime. We were kindly invited to a party at italian restaurant in Ueno. Chats with Yasushi, Klaus, over beers. Friday: Shinjuku and dinner with Nate, a friend of Daryl's from St John's. Saturday (Kyoto): palace garden and slide, early night in the ryokan. Sunday (Kyoto): temples, rock garden, philosophers walk. Saw the most outrageous cigarette advert. Monday (Kashiya): limited express to Ueno, zoo, long nap, work from hotel room. Tuesday: laundry, posting cards, national museum. Minimal caligraphy and scroll work, off to the book stores at tokyo station. Found both english and french books at maruzen, founded in mid 19th century. Ate pasta, Henri mesmerized by glass elevators in oazo mall. Daryl gets to hotel, early night for papa. Wednesday: Japanese breakfast at hotel, starbucks at station, bus to Kashiwa campus. Tour of IPMU, very modern! Henri and papa to huge Kashiwa park. Lunch with Daryl, traded Henri, worked on manuscript, then chatted with Ed Turner. Bus to hotel, train, metro, walk, bus to boat for dinner on the river, Michael Strauss leading the way. Beer, sushi, tempura, sake, soju, then bus and train back to hotel. Oh, and karaoke, too. Thursday: breakfast at starbucks, Daryl to IPMU, papa and Henri to Ueno park and the science museum. Predictably, Henri loved the dino bones and ran laps around the room. Had spaghetti for lunch, then back in the rain to the train and to the hotel.

Random Henri Pics (Oct 2010)

A few random photos of Henri from Chicago.

Exeter and Cambridge, UK (Sept 6-16 2010)

I went to a conference in Exeter, then visited Jesse in Cambridge. Took some photos on my new-fangled smartphone.

Driving from Seattle to Evanston (August 22-27 2010)

Daryl, Henri and i loaded up a U-Haul with all of our wordly posetions and drove cross-country to Evanston, IL. Notable stops along the way include: breakfast with Craig and Lisa, Yellowstone, the Tetons, and the Black Hills. Things were pretty quiet and flat through SD, MN, WI and IL. We took a few photos (guess which ones are Henri's).

Montreal Visit (July 17-28 2010)

Daryl, Henri and i spent some time with friends and family in Montreal. I snaped some photos of Henri.

Weekend in Kalaloch (July 10-12 2010)

Claudia, Bill, Ketil, Suz, Iris, Rosco, Daryl, Henri and i headed to the Olympic Coast for a couple days of relaxing. Henri played on the beach; some beer and wine was consumed. Photos!

Ben & Carla get Hitched (June 26 2010)

Ben and Carla tied the knot. Daryl, Henri and i made it to Chapel Hill, NC to see it. Photos!

Izilla Photo Shoot (June 6 2010)

On an April 30 trip to Izilla Toys, Daryl and Henri got professional photos taken.

Puddle Jumping (June 2 2010)

Henri has acquired a rain suit and galoshes. We put them to good use in the rainy Seattle weather! Photos, Video 1 and Video 2!

Joseph's Graduation (May 22 2010)

Henri, Daryl and i flew to New Mexico to see Joseph's graduation from St John's College. Photos

Toddler Henri (May 1 2010)

Henri is getting back into his groove in Seattle. Photos and Video!

Last Days in California (April 20 2010)

Henri learned to walk during his last weekend in Santa Barbara!! Photos!

Henri in Santa Barbara (II) (April 6 2010)

Henri spent Easter in Santa Barbara. Photos!

Henri's First Birthday (March 34 2010)

Hal visited for Henri's first birthday. We decorated his trailer and made a convoy to a German restaurant in Santa Barbara. A few days later, Daryl, Ola and i hauled Henri 2500 feet up San Marcos road into the hills behind Santa Barbara. Photos!

Henri in Santa Barbara (March 23 2010)

We're working at the KITP for a month. Josh and Lauren drove through town and Henri got to play with his birthday buddy April. Photos!

Four Days in Hawaii (March 1-4 2010)

Daryl attended a high-energy astrophysics conference at the Hilton resort near Kona, while Henri and i hung out. Photos!

Henri's 11 Month Birthday (Feb 24 2010)

Henri is sooo big! He's had many adventures: a visit from his cousin Isaac, a dinner party, a trip to Canada, and a birthday. Assorted photos!

Henri's 10 Month Birthday (Jan 24 2010)

Henri is growing out of both his pairs of Carhartts. Photos!

Henri Photo Shoot (Jan 16 2010)

Henri made his first trip to the East Coast but we were too busy working and having fun to take any pictures! Fortunately, his grandparents snapped some photos. And here are some cute pictures of Henri back home in Seattle.

Henri's 9 Month Birthday & 1st Christmas (Dec 24 2009)

Henri turned 9 months on Christmas Eve! He heard his first reading of "The Night Before Christmas", went to his first midnight mass, and enjoyed his first Reveillon. After that late night it's no wonder he fell asleep eating Christmas brunch. Photos!

Henri Photo Shoot (Dec 15 2009)

Here are some photos of Henri doing his favorite things: riding his hobbie horse, rifling through his toy chest, playing in his exer-saucer, climbing up furniture, enjoying boob-time beneath amazing artwork, tramping about butt-naked, reating the newspaper, and admiring his Christmas tree.

Henri Photo Shoot (Dec 3 2009)

Henri was looking particularly adorable so i took some pictures. Photos.

Henri's 8 Month Birthday (November 24 2009)

Henri crawls like a madman and eats lots of solid foods. He likes to smash metal bowls with a wooden spoon. Photos.

Henri in his New House (November 2009)

Henri is getting used to his new digs on Belmont Ave E. He's also getting used to bathtime, which is now among his favorite activities. And he now sits in his high-chair and eats with his parents. Here are some photos of cuteness.

Colloquium at HIA (Oct 27, 2009)

Someone cancelled, giving me a chance to give an invited talk at the Hertzberg Institute of Astrophysics, near Victoria, BC. I tried flying out the night before but the wters in Victoria harbour were too choppy so we came within a couple meters of landing before turning back and returning to Seattle. My flight the next morning was more succesful: a very gentle landing in Victoria just in time to meet Alan. I couldn't resist snapping some photos while in the air!

Henri's 7 Month Birthday (Oct 24, 2009)

Henri can now crawl slowly, loves to babble, shake his head, eats solid food (but still mostly subsists off of milk) and is generally the best and most beautiful buggles. Photos!

Porto (Oct 18-24, 2009)

I went to a conference in Porto, Portugal. The country is best known for Port wine and cork trees (used for bottling said wine). I snapped some Photos between sessions.

Santa Cruz Visit (Sept 30 - Oct 4, 2009)

Enrico invited Daryl down to UCSC to talk about postdocs. Henri and i tagged along, mostly wandering around the beautiful campus, but also poking our heads into peoples' offices and talking science. Photos!

Henri's 6 Month Birthday (September 25, 2009)

Nick was on the East coast on the 24th, so we temporarily moved his birthday by a day. Henri now has two bottom teeth, but we have not managed to capture them on camera. He is pretty uch mobile now, so we have to keep a vigilant eye on him. Photos!

Henri's 5 Month Birthday (August 24, 2009)

Henri is chugging, along. He can now consistently flip from his back to his belly, so can roll himself around. Photos!

Our Wedding (August 1, 2009)

Daryl and i had a wedding in Santa Fe. Now it's official! Our beautiful and talented friend Claudia Valdes took wonderful photos, which i've divided into three groups to avoid crashing people's browsers.

Henri is 4 Months (July 24, 2009)

Henri became 4 months old in New Mexico!

Henri is almost 4 Months (July 22, 2009)

Time flies, and Henri is getting ready for his first ever airplane ride. We've been practicing by playing airplane in bed. Still keeps growing, and he's really starting to enjoy playing with his parets, and stuffed animals and mobiles. Here are some Photos!

Henri is 3 Months (June 24, 2009)

Henri has started riding around in his jogging stroller, and he now faces out in hi Bjorn! He's also on the verge of mastering the roll-over. Photos!

Henri is Almost 3 Months (June 14, 2009)

... and he's already wearing his 3-6 month clothes! He's also mastered the art of burping up milk into his unexpecting father's mouth. Photos!

Henri in Argentine Clothes (June 7, 2009)

My mom held on to my argentine baby clothes to pass them on to me when i had kids of my own. We had a photo shoot to prove how stylish Henri can look.

Birth Class Reunion (May 31st, 2009)

Elizabeth and George hosted a birth class reunion. Henri hung out with the ladies.

Henri's 2nd Month

Henri has learned to smile and giggle, but we still haven't caught him on film. He's cute anyways!

Henri's Professional Photo Shoot (May 16th, 2009)

Rok and Molly bought us a photo shoot with their friend Rose. She took some awesome photos of Henri.

Henri's 5th and 6th weeks

Henri keeps getting cuter and we have the photos to prove it!

Henri's 1st Month

Henri's a month old! Photos!.

Henri's Third Week

Henri's third week, he's almost a month old! Some photos.

Henri's Second Week

Henri's second week! Here are the photos.

Henri's First Week

Henri learnt a lot his first week, here are the photos.

Henri Porter is Born (March 24, 2009)

After 7 hours of laboring at home, Kat (our midwife) realized that moosie's heart rate was dropping during contractions. This would not have been a problem except that Daryl's contractions were very long (many minutes) with little or no break between the end of one and the start of the next. We transfered to the UW Medical Center by ambulance at midnight, a first for all of us! After an extra hour or so of laboring at the hospital, Daryl's cervix was fully dilated and Ali (the OB/GYN) wanted to get the baby out in a hurry. We learnt in hindsight that moosie's umbilical cord was not only wrapped around his neck, a relatively common occurance, but he also had a mountaineer's coil of it over his shoulder; this is why his pulse was dropping with every contraction. Through Daryl's heroic pushing, a cesarian was narowly avoided and Henri Porter Cowan was born at 2:03 AM, March 24, 2009. He weighed 7 lbs and 15 ounces, and was 20 inches long at birth. He took a big, deep breath as soon as he came out, and he's been getting cuter ever since! Gail's photos are here.

Weekend in San Francisco (January 16-19, 2009)

Daryl and i spent a weekend in the bay area, hanging with family and friends, and to see Amy and Rob get hitched. A very large baby and wine bottle were also in attendance.

Holidays in Santa Fe (December 18, 2008 - January 3, 2009)

Daryl and i spent the holidays in Santa Fe with the Haggard Clan. I took some assorted photos.

Thanksgiving in Capitol Hill (November 27, 2008)

Countless guests converged on 511 Federal for deliciousness.

In Montreal (October 23 - November 5, 2008)

Daryl and i spent some time in Montreal, where we were wined and dined by friends and family. We also took a stroll on Mont Royal.

Engagement Party (August 1, 2008)

Daryl and i got engaged! Carmen and Rok helped out. Photos are here!

Cambridge, MA (May-June, 2008)

I went to a transiting planets conference in Cambridge and worked at the Center for Astrophysics for a month. Here are some pictures from Cambridge and Boston.

New Jersey Shore (June 1-5, 2008)

I joined Daryl and other Haggards at the Hartshorne family reunion (in honor of Harry's 90th and Peggy's 80th birthdays) in Spring Lake, NJ. Here are my photos.

Mid-Week Dinner Party (March 26, 2008)

We had friends over for salmon and crab dinner and i snapped some photos.

Weekend at the Hermitage (March 14-18, 2008)

Mom & Dad drove their RV to the Bay Area to witness Andrew's second Master's graduation. I joined big bro the next morning and we headed up to Fred & Frances' hermitage in Anderson Valley, a few hours north of SF. We enjoyed good food and conversation, read a bunch and worked on some odd jobs around the property. Photos!

Weekend at the Kaib Cabin (January 24-27, 2008)

Nate, Boo, Rich, Rok, Daryl and i spent the weekend relaxing at Nate's uncle's cabin near Willamette Pass in the Oregon Cascades. Highlights included spectacular dinners, the hot tub, countless DVDs of The Office, and a foot of fresh. Photos!

Holidays out East (December 18, 2007 - January 4, 2008)

Rok, Daryl and i spent Christmas in Montreal and New Years in NYC. The camera mostly stayed in my bags but i took a few photos for posterity. Catherine did a much better job of documenting the goings on in Montreal.

Birthday in Seattle (November 30, 2007)

Celebrated my first birthday as an urban sophisticate.

Thanksgiving in Sante Fe (November 20-27, 2007)

Daryl and i spent Thanksgiving in New Mexico with her family. We ate all sorts of delicousness and i took many photos.

Astrobiology Workshop (September 22-23, 2007)

The astrobiology crew headed east of the crest to check out the channeled scablands. I took photos.

Wedding (August 24-26, 2007)

Becky and Joe got hitched on Orcas Island, so Daryl and i made the drive and ferry trip ou there to see the show and enjoy the views.

Wedding (August 1-4, 2007)

Dave and Meghan got married! My photos are here.

Sightseeing (June-July, 2007)

Daryl and i spent a few weeks in Europe, ostensibly to attend a pair of Conferences. We flew to Santorini, ferried Rhodes then flew to Thessaloniki and caught the Trans-Balkan Express to Slovenia to hang out with Rok. Good times had by all.

Partying (June 14, 2007)

The first and second years took a big exam so we had a party.

Easter Styles (April 8, 2007)

Daryl and Nick: Hollywood Style.

Daryl and i joined her friends at Becky and Joe's for the second annual Easter Styles. Brunch, bloody marys, modeling, croquet, egg run, strolling about town, and ridiculous pastel fasions ensued.

Pasta Making (February 16, 2007)

Bernhard came over and we made pasta. Damn good stuff.

Lazy Afternoon (January, 2007)

Just a lazy afternoon in the apartment smoking shisha.

Rainy Weekend (November 11-12, 2006)

For those of you who wonder what we do in the Pacific Northwest when it just keeps on raining, here's and idea.

Sightseeing (September 29 - October 1, 2006)

Went to Yellowstone National Park for an Astrobiology workshop. Photos here.

Wedding (August 5, 2006)

Catherine and Darryl got married! Photos here.

Sightseeing (July 1-13, 2006)

Went to a week-long summer school in Bad Honnef, on the Rhine between Cologne and Koblenz. Then spent a week sightseeing in Berlin. Photos here.

Picnic (April 30, 2006)


David enjoys the overcast Seattle weather.

David was in town so we had a picnic of St-Viateur bagels and some tasty cheese down at Gasworks. Hucked a frisbee around, too!

Jeeping (March 26, 2005)

Shadow art. --photo by Steve

A butte. --photo by Natalie Beckman

Natalie's boss, Steve, took us out for in his Jeep Rubicon (a sturdy little vehicle). We drove around in the cactus and flower-covered hills near Pheonix, stopping occasionaly to sip tasty beer and enjoy the views.

Avy Practise (January 29, 2005)

A bunch of us (Lu, Josh, Rok, Steffen, Margie, Ted, Malcom and myself) headed up to Alpental for some beacon practise with the club's fleet of red hot, brand-spanking-new Mammut Barryvox beacons. Gene Pires (a profesional mountain guide, no less) had all sorts of helpful stories to share and some top tips on how to avoid getting buried. We also tried finding buried beacons (buried under mere inches of snow, in most cases!) and learnt that chair lifts and power shacks do weird things to EM fields. The weather started deteriorating shortly after noon so we called it a day and headed back to the city. Alpental was a sad sight to behold...

Sightseeing (September 2004)

Dinky American Falls

Big-Ass Canadian Falls

Andrew and I, ever the patriotic Canadians, finally dragged our sorry asses to the tourist-packed, honeymoon capital of the world. We played frisbee on a finely manicured lawn and ate over-priced cafeteria food.

Camping (July 2004)

Josh and I decided to get out of town for a few days. We hit 5 states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) in 4 days on our way through Yellowstone Park. Craters of the Moon and Yellowstone National Parks were both spectacular, albeit over-run with obese americans. We saw 3 beautiful women wilst in the 'States and two of them did not speak English. The roads in the US were great, and the high speed limit (75 mph) in Montana contributed to keeping us on schedule. While on the highway, a bird tried to cut us off. Its splattered blood on our hood seemed to deter other animals from getting in our way. We saw a lot of wildlife in Yellowstone, but we didn't feed or approach the animals, unlike our american counterparts. Check out pics.

Painting (June 2004)

Harrison Hut gets a facelift

The view from the hut

Being a big fan of manual labor, and not being one to turn down a free helicopter ride, I could not resist when Roland asked for volunteers to work on the VOC's Harrison hut.

We began the day before the sun peeked over the horizon, driving up past Pemberton to a clearing on a logging road where we were picked up by a helicopter. Now, helicopters are quite expensive to operate and i'm told that it costs on the order of $1 per second to keep one in the air. So how did poor students manage to get air-lifted to their inaccessible hut? Well, it turns out that Frank, an ex-VOCer, does geological work up in those parts and has access to a 'choper. Since Frank was an active member of the VOC back when Julian Harrison was prez, it isn't too far-fetched that Frank is willing to pull some strings to help maintain the Julian Harrison Memorial Hut.

The helicopter dropped us off on the snow near the hut and we got to work: scraping off the twenty year old paint and applying fresh stuff. After what we deemed to be a healthy amount of work, we wandered up the morraine to get better views of surrounding peaks and glaciers... but mostly to see how much air big boulders would get after being knocked down the steep slopes :-)

After our walk, we continued cleaning up the hut and outhouse before catching our lift back into the valley to our car. The drive back to Vancouver was lengthened by a road closure on the 99 between Whistler and Squamish so we only got in at 2:00AM. A long day, but the helicopter ride and breathtaking views were more than worth it!

Paintball (April 2003)

Headshot!! --photo by Nicolas Clement

out of the dozens of people who had expressed interest in this trip, only 11 brave super ninjas actually showed up at shatner on the day of the event. we travelled by means of the metro and bus to the paintball place in ville st-laurent. we almost lost irina along the way but we all made it safely. once we were all decked out in stinky cover-alls and face masks, and armed with guns, we took to the indoor courses and started blowing the crap out of each other. everyone got covered in sweat, paint and sand. everyone felt FEAR. everyone had fun. we also spent a lot on extra paintballs...oh well.

asta la vista, baby!

medals of honour:

**greg** (this insane super ninja never stayed put and always nailed people point-blank in the back)

**cata** (this sharp-shooter managed to use half as many paintballs as the rest of us!)

**nicolas** (for stoically taking a few hits to the unprotected top of the head...sorry, i didn't know you were already gone!)

**jon** (for taking 6 hits from point-blank range in under 1 second, from complete strangers, no less!)

**paul** (for actually catching a paintball in his hand!!)

**irina** (most likely to shoot you in the back, possibly because she was always last in line)

Winter Carnaval (March 2003)

Poi!! --Photos by Julien Lemire

Camping (September 2002)

I'm the scruffy fellow downing pop --photo by Julien Lemire

seven of us managed to make it up to shawbridge for some hardcore no zipper action. maude drove laurie, jackie and kristin up in her brother's sweet ride (0:45). martha and myself took the bus (1:30), while julien zipped up on his motorcycle (fast).

we bought some extra yummies at the depaneur and hauled our awekward packs up to the lake. we saw a beaver in the lake, the girls called it benny (both the lake and the beaver). walked around the lake (saw frogs), then set up camp, keeping an eye on the sky which seemed conspicuously cloudless. we had brought loads of tarps and other water-proof stuff but we ended up sleeping on, not below them...

went for a dip, got nibbled on by little critters, then got out of the lake only to realize that we were dirtier than before ( photographic evidence courtesy of julien will come). we made a fire, had some dinner, then went on a night hike up to the power lines where the electricity flowing above our heads and the bright lights of montreal helped us attain nirvana...

during the night the sky was clear so the temperature dropped...but just enough to make us roll up in our blankets. in the morning i went for a jog in the woods, scrambled along the old rock slide and spotted a fox (hurray for wildlife!). made hot chocolate to entice the sleepy heads out of their blankets, then we stashed our bags and went for a hike up along 6X and the power lines. everyone made it back ok.

softcore? damn straight!
fun? darn tootin'!


Horsback Riding (September 2002)

7 of us (Annie, Jamie, Maja, Nick, Phanh, Sonja, me) headed to Mont Saint-Hilaire this evening to go horseback riding. After a long traffic jam leaving Montreal it felt so good to be welcomed at the ranch by the sweet smell particular to good stables. As the sun was going down behind the mountain, we got on our 7 horses (Blacky, Bobby, Comptesse, Captain, Picasso, ?, Blanche) and started heading towards the sun. There was some apprehension at first but it progressively disappeared as we tRoTtEd and then cantered/TroTteD-VeRy-FaSt. The trail then went through sumac bushes and tall plants that the horses enjoyed tasting. The moon became brighter, the stars started to brighten up and slaloming through the forest at night was amazing. dark and mysterious, with the moon and stars shining on us. As Sonja puts it "it feels like we are in a fairy-tale or during medieval time".

I know that everyone had a wonderful time and those riding for the first time discovered how enjoyable it can be. Like Maja who started aprehensive of trotting and near the end asked the guide "madam, can we try to galop again?". I could keep writing for pages about how amazing horseback riding is. Two hours is too short I want to go back!!!

I'll end with a quote from Nick: "this is great! it's like a bike that knows to avoid puddles and rocks"