Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Intermezzo: Jamaican pumpkin soup

During my whole stay in Canada, I've only cooked once. I've eaten so much junk in this past month that I'll have to eat really healthy for quite some time when I get back (except for the big chocolate birthday cake my grandma is baking for my return, you couldn't expect me to pass on that one). Anyway, while staying at Jozina's I decided to cook - I had some time on my hands, pumpkins were cheap on the market and I felt the urge to produce something with mine own hands - and since the result was a real success, and since Claudi asked me to put up the recipe, here it comes:

Jamaican Pumpkin Soup

2 pounds peeled pumpkin (about 6 cups)
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup
light coconut milk
(4 ounce piece pickled or salt pork )
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 bay leaf large
1 sprig thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
(1/4 teaspoon ground allspice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
(hot chile pepper to taste (Scotch bonnet) )

"In large pot, combine all ingredients . Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until pumpkin is very soft.
Remove pork, thyme sprig and bay leaf. "

So, I didn't follow the recipe in all parts, I left out the pork (vegetarian roommate) and the allspice (where the heck was I supposed to get that? although, in Montreal, I probably could have got it in the shop around the corner...) and I used two cups of coconut milk and one cup of water less, and I added two potatoes. Turned out really well. Hmmm.

Work in Progress continued

So, last time I wrote I kind of eschewed the task of describing the trials and tribulations of my first interview, and now I can barely remember them. The good thing is, all I need to do to remember is go back to the -now annotated - video of that first meeting, all my successes and failures are documented faithfully.
As we learnt in school, when judging somebody's performance on anything, highlight the positive aspects first, as hard to find as they may be, and then plunge into your criticism tirade.
What I considered positive about that first interview was that it provided me with the necessary self-confidence to continue my work. I realised that I was not going to fail completely, that my camera was set up well, that it wouldn't just stop recording right through the middle of the interview, and I was able to communicate my questions through pictures, hand-written and typed out English sentences and fingerspelling. I was lucky to have an amateur linguist as my first consultant (I learnt much later to call them consultants, I used 'participant' and 'subject' before, but now I think I'm gonna stick with consultant, sounds most professional and least insulting). Not only was he very much aware of the differences between English and ASL grammar, teaching them to students every day, but he realised early on that we were talking about compounds, so I was able to slip in metalinguistic questions of the sort 'Do you consider this one word or two? Is this a compound'?
I also decided to not randomise my questions but go through verbs first, proceeding to nominal compounds after and finishing off with adjectical ones. The rationale behind this procedure was that once the consultant knew what I wanted from him, he'd supply some of the information himself. For example, I would show him a picture of a calf (BABY COW) next to its mother and ask for the sign for calf. Next, I would ask if any sign could intervene between BABY and COW and the last question would be if he could form the plural of that sign by repeating the sign for COW accompanied by a body shift from left to right. When I then showed the next picture of a baby deer, the consultant would already know what type of questions I was going to ask and sometimes provided replies without my even asking the question. Proceeding in this fashion has the further advantage of enabling the consultant to use analogies for his judgements, e.g. if he cannot form the plural of BABY COW by reduplicating the head, he might also not be able to form the plural of BABY DEER in this way. Or he might be, and then the contrast would become obvious right away.
My first consultant also helped me eradicate several mistakes in my questions based on vague assumptions I had previously about what was possible in the language and what was unusual, or influenced by English. In my search for signs I might use to split up compound candidates (to see if they could be split up, rather), I came across the intensifier 'really' and thought myself real smart for having found such a convenient adverb to put between adjectival and verbal signs. I'd ask my consultant how to say that the dog was 'really wet' or how the man 'really' smuggled cigarettes (ok, no 'intense' meaning there) and I'd meet with outright rejection. That the dog was 'really wet' would be expressed not by an extra sign for 'really' (and I had chosen the wrong one for that anyway, I had chosen one that is used to affirm the truth of an expression or express surprise at a certain proposition), it would be expressed by using the 'intense' inflection on the sign for 'wet', i.e. a short hold at the beginning of the sign followed by a rapid and forceful execution of it. So I had to come up with different signs to put between the compound sign that translates as 'wet', namely WATER SOFT.
So much for the positive aspects of that meeting. Now to the downsides, and of course there were and are downsides. Namely that things didn't work out the way I wanted them to work out. Namely that I couldn't show formal headedness on compound heads as I set out to do. I'm not sure about verbal compounds yet, things are looking a bit brighter on that side, but for nominal and adjectival ones, I fear I can't. I know, that's a result, too, and I'll be able to write enough about it to fill the required amount of pages, but it's not the revolutionary thesis we all dream we'll write. Should I go into detail? I'll skip the theoretical aspects for now, if you want them, post a comment.
The second annoying downside of elicitation work for me during that first interview was being considered ill-prepared and ill-informed by the consultant. Of course he didn't say it in so many words, but asked me if I had looked up the answers to my questions in books. My ASL was not sufficient (nor is it now) to explain that of course I had done my reading on compound formation in ASL, that I know how you're supposed to set up things in space before you expound on the relations between them (ok, I suppose I really had neglected that aspect in my preparation!), that I knew plural formation was generally possible on nouns through reduplication but there was no literature on how this is done in compounds - in short, he must have thought me pretty ignorant and unprofessional. And yet, when I got out of the Deaf Culure Centre that afternoon, I had my first set of data, and it was pretty good data and I knew I'd be able to converse in ASL for my next interviews - and that was a darn good feeling.

I forgot to mention the last downside of this first interview: I ended it after 'only' 90 minutes, maybe two hours, we took one or two short breaks in between, so I don't remember exactly, but after I had gone over all my test items I decided to call it a day and meet up with my consultant at the end of the week for the remainder of the semantic questions and to review stuff that had been recorded so far. Only that there never was to be a second interview. The following week was very busy for my consultant, who had just started a new job, and the next weekend was just as bad, since it was the long Labour-Day weekend and he had gone away for a trip. So I never got my second interview. We settled for me asking him questions via email, which I'm planning on doing once I have reviewed all the other consultants' data.

So much for my first interview.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Work in Progress

Since I promised a few notes on my work here and since I was just informed by Joseph that I'm supposed to take field notes on the ups and downs of my fieldwork experience, I will hereforth lay down meticulously the trials and tribulations in my quest for data.

It all really started months ago when I decided I would need the intuition of native signers for my thesis project. If I wanted to know more about compounds in ASL I would need to go out and ask signers for their opinions on which two signs formed a unit and which didn't. And it was clear to me from the start that the best place to do my research would be in Montreal. I knew the location, I knew some Deaf people (with whom I'd taken signing classes when I studied there), I thought it would be no problem to find a couple of volunteers to interview. Plus I would get to spend some time in Montreal, which I love and kept missing after I left it last July.

Things turned out to be more difficult than I thought. Montreal's deaf population is considerably smaller than, say Toronto's, partly because LSQ (Langue des Signes Québecoise) is quite strong in the region, as is its oral counterpart French. I contacted the Mackay Rehabilitation Centre, also the Montreal Association of the Deaf, emailing them a leaflet which contained the prerequisites for participating (native signer with at least one Deaf parent) as well as my contact details. I asked them to send it out via email or put it up on the walls of the Mackay Centre, but I fear no leaflets were actually put up on the walls. I spoke to a former teacher of mine, Lea Mavroudis, about finding subjects. I contacted my 'Psychology of the Deaf' professor, I even posted a notice on facebook market place. Furthermore I contacted Rachel Mayberry, a linguistics professor at UC San Diego who worked on the acquisition of ASL in Montreal a few years back. She put me in contact with one of her co-workers, Marc-André Bernier, who had assisted her in recruiting deaf participants for her studies in Montreal.
First I didn't receive any positive feedback. It was July, people were on vacation and nobody seemed available. Then Marc-André got back to me and explained that he was working in Toronto at the Deaf Culture Centre at the moment and could try to help me find subjects there. Through him I found my first and up to now only participant Adrian, who happened to be a friend of a friend of mine from Vancouver. I contacted Adrian and we scheduled a meeting in Toronto.

That's all I really knew before I stepped into the plane in Berlin, I had one informant and was hoping to find more through him. I didn't know where I would interview him yet, for he didn't seem to like the idea of being interviewed at his place, and I didn't know where I would be staying in Toronto. I asked at UofT, at George Brown College (which among other things has an ASL English interpreting programme) and at the Deaf Culture Centre (DCC) and heard back from its co-director Joanne that I would be able to use space at the DCC. So on my second day in Toronto, Friday, I walked down to Toronto's historic district, where the DCC is located, and walked in. That was my 'Feuertaufe' in terms of ASL usage, and I don't think I did too well. I had to somehow make myself understood in ASL, and I had to fingerspell quite a bit, until Slava, the IT communications person at the Centre, took care of me. He speaks English well and accompanied his signing by speech. He showed me the opening hours of the Centre and also showed me their studio. The studio is an open area with green curtains, very good light and a tripod and camera. Slava explained to me how to use the tripod with my camera, got me an extension cord and generally made sure I was well equipped to do my recordings. I could even have used their video cameras, hadn't I brought my own. I was surprised and grateful for the DCC people's generosity in letting me use their space and equipment and I will certianly mention them in my acknowledgements.
I had my first interview there on Sunday, and I was sooooo prepared. Not only had I checked that I had all my cables on me, enough recording space (4 tapes), knew how to work the camera, had gone over all my test items again (except for the adjectives, I went over them right before the interview), I had tied my hair together so it wouldn't be in my way when signing, I had put on a black shirt because they provide the best contrast to white signing hands - in other words, I was prepared. I had also printed out a short questionnaire to elicit information on my participant's history of Deafness, I had printed out a short explanation of the tasks that awaited the participant and let them sign an 'Einverständniserklärung'.

I got to the DCC an hour in advance and was lucky to meet Jessica, who works at the centre and who helped me set up my camera in front of the green curtain. I had placed a table and two chairs behind it and thought Adrian and I would both be signing more or less toward the camera. Things turned out differently - we looked at each other during the interview, so the camera caught us in profile most of the time. I did signal to Adrian once to sign more toward the camera, but I still got lots of profile.

While waiting for Adrian to arrive Jessica introduced me to Lucia, a girl from a Deaf family who's involved with the DCC and that Sunday stepped by to guide a couple of visitors thorugh the exhibition part of the DCC. Seizing my chance I explained my study to her and asked if she had time to participate. She agreed to be interviewed the following Friday (Aug. 29) and gave me her blackberry email address. I could barely believe my luck in having found another native signer in so short a time. It bolstered my confidence in the Adrian interview. I felt more comfortable signing with him than in my first ASL encounters in Toronto, since now I was on firm ground, I had practised the vocabulary I needed for the study. Still, Adrian had to repeat and fingerspell for clarification quite a bit, since my receptive ASL skills are rather low. It's such a fast language that my visual processing system is working 100% and still too slow.

more on the interview next time

Friday, August 29, 2008


For those of you with whom I haven't spoken on the phone yet, and for my own travel records, I post this entry to keep track of what I'm doing here.

Here is Toronto, or Toron(t)o, as I was informed it is called by locals. Of course, you have to adjust the vowels, too, and transform the first into a schwa and the second into a long-drawn /a/. I arrived here Thursday last week, i.e. August 21. So far I have interviewed one native signer and transcribed his data. The rest of my time I spend recruiting more signers and talking to strangers in this alien city. I'm staying at the Toronto Downtowner Inn, a few side streets from Jarvis and Dundas, a really dodgy area. Like my fellow hostel dwellers I made the mistake of going down the wrong alleyway once held my breath walking past homeless, drunk, generally shabby-looking people. I tried to avert my gaze not so much out of delicacy of spirit - oh my gosh I can't bear poverty - as out of prudence. 'Don't look and they won't rob you'. It worked for me, but I heard of a guy who got mugged there the other day. Who knows maybe that's just hostel-lore, but I'm not taking chances and will just avoid that street in the future.

You know how I know that I'm no longer 21 but a worldly wise 25? I bought a bike the first day of my stay here. My feet were complaining from the long walks I had taken to get around in Montreal and Toronto from Tuesday to Thursday, so I checked craigslist Toronto and bought a bike for 30 bucks that very same afternoon. And I already found a buyer for it when I leave here :)

I haven't done much sightseeing, since I've been to Toronto before and also since there isn't thaaat much to do. I went to swim in Lake Ontario last Friday. Nice, cooling, but the trip there led me through downtown and consequently a bath of smog and exhaust fumes. Saturday I met my borrowed friends Elena and Kristina in Kensington and we strolled through the streets stopping by at second hand stores every now and then. I call Elena and Kristina my borrowed friends because I got Elena's phone number from a friend of mine in Montreal who shared a room with her in college. Kristina is her German flatmate and we got along really well. So I asked them to go out with me for my birthday this past Wednesday, which we did. Actually, I took that whole day off from work. I got up at nine and first checked my emails for greeting cards :) and talked to my family on the phone. Then I spent an hour and a half at the hairdresser's to get blond high lights. After that I meandered around Kensington again in search of the perfect dress/shirt to wear for the night. I abandoned that search after a few hours of fruitless trying-on of only half-perfect dresses. It then dawned on me that I could have spent that time better sitting down somewhere at the beach looking at the waves and contemplating my life so far. Instead I wasted time on vanity... I was going to say not much like me, but I guess there's a vain spot in me, too.
At night I went out for dinner and some live music with Elena, Kristina, Achim and Mathias. Achim is Elena's German boyfriend an Mathias is a German acquaintance I made at the hostel, so basically Elena was the only Canadian in our group and we switched freely between English and German for most of the night. Here's another indicator for my newly found grown-uppishness: I don't mind speaking German in Canada anymore. When I first traveled Canada I eschewed Germans 'wie die Pest', I didn't want to hear German or speak my mother tongue during my stay. Now that I speak both English and German on a daily basis and probably also think in English 50% of the time, I don't feel threatened by my native tongue anymore. Plus, I try to practice Spanish whenever I can, and there are lots of Mexicans at the hostel to practice with. And for a few precious hours during the week, I get to sign ASL. So there's enough foreign languages to keep me busy and German and English count as 'Verschnaufpause'.
What made me feel most at home on my birthday was when Kristina, Elena and Mathias intoned a 'Happy Birthday' and I got to blow out the candles on a couple of delicious cupcakes baked exclusively in my honour :) So all in all, I had a memorable quarter-century birthday.

On Thursday I was invited to a German dinner at Kristina's: Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat, Currywurst, Krautsalat und Kartoffelpuffer mit selbstgemachtem Apfelmus. hmmm, lecker. The only drawback was the ride home: 20 minutes on my bike through the pouring rain. Biking while holding a borrowed umbrella from a borrowed friend :) I got soaked, and so did my pants and shoes...

The gaps in this report will be filled some other time, when I'll write about my work. Let's hope that I'll actually have something to report on the next time I write.


Friday, January 18, 2008

"I'll be the one who'll break my heart"

In clinical pychology they teach you that individuals who suffer from depression can lighten their mood by remembering happy episodes in their lives.
This strategy might work well as a short-term method in critical situations, but I would advise caution in the long-term use of the drug. Because a drug it is, this memory of a "happy and blissful past"- Sipping from the melancholy mix of nostalgia might relieve the feeling of hopelessness that is weighing you down, but it guides your focus away from the present (not to mention the future). And it is today and tomorrow and the day after that that you need to look towards!
Now, I am far from suffering from depression (thank God, or rather, my genetics+environment cocktail), but I have become a sucker for memories, too. For a good deal of the week, in all the little moments where I'm alone, especially when procrastinating some studying or the other, I let myself slip back into memories of my Year in Canada. Don't get me wrong, I have a life here in Leipzig, and it isn't even a dull life or a loney life.
And yet...let me illustrate what I mean by my still pending repatriation:
While I'm writing this it is dark outside, after 10pm. Yet my laptop clock shows faithfully 4:20pm, Montréal time. If I had still access to my McGill website I'd probably check the weather forecast every once in a while. Before Christmas I youtubed "Montréal in the snow" and promptly followed a guy through last year's snowy Montréal, thinking that I was probably there, in another side street, fighting to get through the masses of snow.
And of course, I keep track of what I was doing lastyearatthistime. Right now, lastyearatthistime has me coming back from Christmas in Germany, exhausted from a long flight and a longer bus ride from New York Central Station to Montréal. Only because I was too scared to get on another plane from NYC :)
So I don't think I'm exaggerating when I claim to be thinking of my Year in Canada every day. And these memories aren't even mediated by anything, they just pop up any time during the day. Others are activated by stimuli of the sensory perception: mostly auditive, but sometimes olfactory/gustatory sensations. As the avid reader of this journal will know, I dabbled quite a bit in cooking last year, and so the taste of a vegetable curry or the smell of a ratatouille fabricated in my Leipzig kitchen will inevitably evoke the squeaky floorboards of this other kitchen, in which I've spent so much time cooking, but also dancing (space!), singing, and talking whole nights through.
Apart from sound, the faculty of smell has the strongest capacity of bringing back memories, not so much of objects or events, but of atmospheres, of the whole repertoire of emotions and thoughts that possessed you at the time of smelling. I think that's because of a direct link between the olfactory nerves and the amygdala, a region in the brain responsible for emotions and the emotional part of memories. Remember those holidays at the Baltic Sea when you were, say, 16? Now imagine you're buying sunscreen for your next summer vacation and testing for its scent. Out of the blue, you are hit by images of a blue sky, the sea, the book you were reading then and the guy you had a crush on (diving instructor, volleyball partner, bungalow neighbour, younamehim). That's how strong the ties are that link your nose with your past.
So why would it surprise you that in the far back corner of my bathroom cabinet, there's an almost empty bottle of shower gel. It is pink, and I forgot why I bought it, I'm not really the pink type, but it was probably affordable and therefore bought. And I cannot bring myself to throw it out, because the smell shoots memories of standing in a youth hostel bathroom on Prince Edward Island up my nose. Unfortunately, shower gels have this handicap: They remind you of the situation you were in when using them. Bathrooms. So I have pretty clear memories of a Charlottetown, an Edmonton, a Calgary and one or two Vancouver bathrooms. Mental note to myself: Sunscreens allow a wider landscape of memory. Only it was way too cold on that trip across Canada to bother with sunscreen.
As I mentioned before, apart from smell there is sound as a good source for atmosphere memories. In my case that would be Pink Martini, Andie's Grey's Anatomy soundtrack and, above all, Feist. Pink Martini is salsa Thursdays and winter. Grey's Anatomy is really winter through spring, lying on the veranda and staring into the sky. Feist, Feist is summer and bridges the journey back across the Atlantic: while "Honey Honey" is the sea as seen from Wreck Beach and Kitsilano, "I Feel It All" ranges from getting up in the mornings in a red basement room (Jozina's) to sitting around the small kitchen table in a not so small boat floating along the river Rhein.
As I said, I'm a sucker for memories.
But in clinical psychology, they also say that writing has psychotherapeutic value. So I'm exorcising the flood of memories by banning them onto paper. Because I know that as beautiful as they are, they keep me from living my life here and now.

PS: Waiting for the 80 bus at Cinéma du Parc in the bleak midwinter, standing on the grid of the ventilation shaft of the shopping mall to stay warm. The most recent memory banned on patient paper.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Writing about Vancouver is a lot harder than writing about the previous stages of the journey, because I am no longer traveling and nostalgia is creeping over me. I will still try and give my best because Vancouver deserves a good description, if only to jog my memory in times to come.
I had decided earlier to travel by bus from Calgary, since I would be able to see the changing landscape and the mountains from afar. Walter, a friend I made while studying in Montreal, traveled with me which made the 14-hour trip a lot more pleasant and kurzweilig than it would otherwise have been. I slept during the first few hours on the bus and woke up facing a mountain! We went via Banff and Kamloops through mountains interspersed with lakes (I was disappointed at those lakes at first, having imagined them as turquoise blueish when they were first muddy and only later of a satisfactory deep blue).
In Vancouver I stayed with Jozina, another friend from Montreal, in a quaint house with a lush garden a little outside of downtown. What strikes the senses first upon arriving in Vancouver is the abundance of nature in everyone's front garden (roses!), the size of high rises in downtown - only to be topped by the vast mountains looming in the background.
I guess I "did" more in Vancouver than in Calgary, but then I had 12 days to spend there.
The day after arriving I went camping with Jozina, Walter, and his brother Mark, and although it rained most of the time we spent in Golden Ears Provincial Park a little outside of Vancouver, it still was a great experience. The trees in that forest were higher than I'd ever seen any and all the more majestic for the dull greyness of the sky. Had it been sunny while we were there the trees would have been less imposing, I'm sure. I hadn't been camping since I was a kid, so it was all very exciting, the four of us crammed into one tent, confined to it for half the day, until the rain ceased a little and we ventured out on a hike to some really cool waterfall. On hte way there we stopped at a river to skid stones over the water and see how often we could make them tip the surface before going down. And who could thrown a stone most accurately on a rock at the other side of the river. Sometimes all it takes to pass a few enjoyable minutes is water and a few stones.
The day we came back from camping I had my first sushi experience. All you can eat sushi! My friend Emily, who hails from Vancouver and therefore is an expert on raw fish navigated me through the whole variety of uncooked fish and I must say that although I only really disliked the oysters, I don't care much for raw fish. I prefer vegetarian sushi.
The next night Emily took me and some Australian friends of hers out sailing in English bay, where we spent two hours idling across (with me on the tiller steering, yippieh) the bay, downtown skyscrapers and a mountain range as the backdrop. To grow up with the sea and the mountains in view at all times is quite enviable.
The next days I spent walking around downtown, visiting the art gallery with Jozina, reading on the shore at UBC (University of British Columbia), walking to Stanley Park, mainly enjoying the company of the friends I made last year. On my last night in Vancouver Jozina gave a dinner party which ended with a backyard bonfire at midnight and me saying good-bye to Emily and Matt, soon to be Mrs. and Mr. Rogers, to Jozina who housed me and made me feel at home at her place, to Bernie, my fellow exchange student at McGill, and to Walter, who brought me to the airport on Tuesday morning. I did not cry, but I think it would have been a relief. The tears are still in me, waiting to break free, and I fear my mom will have to bear them once I set foot on German ground.
Here ends the travellogue for now. Thanks for joining me on my trip across Canada.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I had a great good-bye from Edmonton thanks to climbing down into the river valley and spotting a beaver (!) there and almost watching the sunset. Not to forget practising cartwheels and the Ave Maria in the legislature grounds around 10pm. My feeling for time is being turned upset down not so much due to jetlag but because the sun sets so late here. Thanks, Meaghan, for making my stay in Edmonton so eventful and memorable. I'm glad I got to see you again!
My morning drive to Calgary started out in pouring rain, but once the sky cleared I got a first glimpse at what people mean when they say the Albertan sky is different. Its vast and all-surrounding and you could spend a day just watching the clouds move over it. I am at Walter's place in the outskirts of Calgary at the moment and enjoying a few days of doing nothing but sky watching and strolling along the almost picturesque Fish Creek. Tomorrow morning we're taking the bus to Vancouver, a 14-hour ride.
I'll get back to y'all soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


From Halifax I have proceeded to Edmonton, and I have managed to do so without tranquilizers thanks to a gentlmean on the plane who sat next to me and tried to take my fear away from me by pointing out that so what? what's the use of panicking on the plane when you can't change what's happening anyway? Whatever happens, happens. We're all going to die some day. And it'll be a quick dead. Well, apart from those cheerful and uplifting comments it helped that I was seated at the front of the plane where I could see the flight attendants caht and prattle and be merry. And as long as they have no wrinkels of worry on their foreheads, why should I worry, right? Still, there were some nasty bumps on that flight (over Ontario, Great Lakes Region) which made me aware of the fact that I wqill never be able to enjoy a flight. Or relax. I will always be tense and dread it.
Anyway, I'm in Edmonton now and since Meaghan has to work I spent yesterday with her boyfriend Stephen, wandering around downtown (which looks quite ghostly to be honest, because you have all those high rises and so few people walking the broad streets) and seeing an art exhibition featuring young Chinese art. It was good, esp. walking thorugh it with somebody who loves art and does art and can point out those little details that a non-artist like me would never have thought of. But it had a disturbing number of pink pig heads which reminded me of Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies combined. Brrrr. We had a vegetarian lunch afterwards. Today I spent with Meaghan's friend Malcolm cycling on a tandem which M&M had used to bike through Asia a few years ago. It was a very leisurely ride for me, sitting in the back seat and enjoying the landscape (mainly trees and meadows, no sunshine but the smell of woods.lovely) we did 60km in less than 3 hours. I did feel my legs afterwards, so I suppose I was not entirely idle.
Tomorrow morning I'm going on to Calgary.