Monday, April 29, 2013

Ready or not here they are

Ready or not here they are

Monday, April 29, 2013

Well this is the day - this is what all the cleaning was about - this is why we all have jobs - the first school group has arrived.
I have 100 mouths to feed for the next three days, then this group leaves and another school comes.
Today I also have a new helper so I am now at full staff. Myself as chef - Noni my wife as the baker and two young ladies to work the front of the house and dish pit.

So my first meal was grill cheese and tomato soup. I made 140 sandwiches and one pot of soup. We have I think the full salad bar up and going now also.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Back on Track

Back on Track

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Honing the skills as I feed our start up crew.
Where is the Beef? -- Right here.

Yes I made Yorkshire's

Ok we seem to be back on track - the gas is reconnected and I relighted the pilot lights with No mishaps, No explosions.
The septic system is replaced and installed with the green light given for me to run water in the kitchen drains. The owner will cover this dirt patch with wild flowers so in a month or so it wall look much better.

Sysco delivery and Excavator at work at my kitchen door steps

In the late afternoon my wife runs into the kitchen asking me if I had my camera - silly question - not really - I almost always have the camera with me :) -- there is a giant wood pecker on the tree at the side door of our kitchen dining tent..
Pileated Woodpecker

To end my day I went for a little walk at Anderson Beach to look for a geo cache which I my wife and I could not find. And I placed my first cache here -- I hope to place two or three in this area.
AND the scale did not gain any today - did not go down - but at least it did not go up...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chaos in the Kitchen Area

Chaos in the Kitchen Area

Friday, April 26, 2013

One - Two - Three steps forward and one huge leap backwards would be my comment for camp and for my weight lost goal as well I could add.
First I have been gaining a pound a day says the scale for the last three days - not so pleased with that - I must get control of my food intake again..
OK - Kitchen chaos - I have no drainage - I have no gas - I don't really have use of the running water and NO use of the Toilets near the kitchen.
I am told things must get worst before they can get better - I sure hope so.. This Day -Today - I am told the turning point will happen!
Right after breakfast the trucks and digger thing arrived - then the worker asked me if I had things in the oven and he was going to have to move the propane tank. To do so he has to disconnect it. I am a little upset over this - all the gas stoves are now OUT. I really don't like lighting the stoves - once upon a time I have lost all facial hair - mustache e and eyebrows from doing so and had to spend a night in a hospital. Also our convention ovens are so hard to relight. Oh well nothing I can do about it now.
The camp staff were packing a bag lunch to take on their hike to High Falls - so there was no issues with me not preparing lunch - another good reason for Noni and I to join the staff go hiking.
But supper - no problem I will just cook on a BBQ.
One small problem what do I feed the vegetarians - I have no vegi burgers - I have felafels - OK they I will cook that on the BBQ also, and for my gluten free person can warm up a piece of fish left over from yesterday.
Camp Life...........

one of my favorite meals

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hiking High Falls


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Four hours of hiking - 650metres climbing an elevations up of a distance 7-12 km to find a geo cache. Noni and I went with the staff - there would be no way I would attempt to do this alone. I am so proud of my wife to do this. Walking up I could barely catch my breath - but my body was strong. My left leg even was working normal for the first time since the accident. I always push off with my right leg - yes my left leg can hold my weight - but up to this day it has not only held my weigh but carried my body lifting me up - and I mean up as we climbed.
Climbing I was panting - and grasping for breath on the way down my thigh muscles and knees were burning beyond belief.
I must mention that I wanted to hike this last year but never got a chance to - a good thing too because I was much heavier and more out of shape than now. This was all before I even thought about geo caching. I want to hike as many of the local trails I possibly can. Now with geo caching I have a double purpose - and I am slowly crossing off my list of trails. The other thing I have noticed is that my body is recovering so fast. Both when we stopped for a breather - at lunch break and when we ended the hike I can still move - my body is not so stiff and I still got energy to do a little more --a good thing too as I had to cook supper on our return. - That will be tomorrow blog -- chaos in the kitchen area.....


This trail is one of the most scenic hikes between Squamish and whistler. from this trail are superb view of the Squamish river valley and the Tantalus range as well as of the High Falls themselves.
This is not a hike for everyone as at times it runs very close to cliff edge of an extremely steep canyon - a simple slip could lead to a deadly fall.

So this is not an average day of a camp chef- but it was a good day.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kitchen almost Opened

Kitchen Almost Opened

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Did you forget about the kitchen? I have been still in there cleaning and cooking. We have fifteen spring staff being trained for our first group arriving on Monday.
I have hot and cold running water - and drainage. This day the septic system was pumped out - do you realize how awful it smells? -- and just before lunch at that.

Eco lab technician arrived today also and tweeted the dish machine - all is set for our up coming health inspection.
On Friday our laundry machine stopped working - Monday the repair man came and left - This day he returned and it is now working again.

Our well water has been tested and results are all good --
Health Inspection is coming up soon - just a few more little tweet

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ek Balam Mayan Ruins Mexico

Ek Balam Mayan Ruins Mexico

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ek’ Balam "Black Jaguar" - "The Great Talol Empire"
The occupation of the site starts from 600 BC, and lasted until 1600 AD. The height of its importance was during the Late Classic Period (600-900 AD). The rise of the site corresponds to the period between 770 and 900, in which appears the record of a ruler named Ukin Kan Le’k Tok’, which together with his descendants, succeeded in extending the power of the city to compete with Cobá. Ek 'Balam was founded by Ek' Balam Balam or Coch Cal Balam, who came from the east and ruled for 40 years.

Ek’ Balam, the capital of the Maya Empire of TOH, had a population of more than 15,000 inhabitants in 12 square Kms. approximately. 45 structures are surrounded by two concentric stone walls plus there is another wall that unites the central buildings. The walls were used to control the access. The city was one of the longest continuously inhabited Maya sites.
Ek’ Balam was a large and powerful city that was part of the Maya Talol Empire. The towns of the eastern part of the state paid tribute with offerings of shell and other valuables.
Surrounded by protective walls and four beautiful arches, the architecture of this city is completely different to others in the Yucatán.
The arches are at the entrance of the Sacbéob (Scabé), the Maya roads made of shells, lime, and sap of the Zapote tree and raised with stones. The roads connected the city with other Maya cities and within the temples and pyramids of the center. The Maya traveled at night to avoid the heat, and, by using shells on the roads, the light of the moon was reflected on them making them white.
This great city was a ceremonial place where everything was planned. Temples, ball court, and beautifully carved monuments known as the hieroglyphic serpents.
The city was founded by the priest Ek' Balam or Coch, which arrived from the east and governed the city for 40 years.
The Maya King Coch-Cal-Balam, founded Ek' Balam, but, U'kil-Kan Lek-T'ok, was the powerful ruler that is buried in the main pyramid called the Acropolis.

I am ex tactic - if that mean real happy - really really happy - that was me this day. This was my first time seeing the Mayan ruins - and I got to climb all those stairs - over coming fear of heights and the anxiety of coming back down all those stairs once I at the top. This site was chosen over other sites mainly because here they still let you climb the steps.
My childhood fantasy of seeing the Mayan Ruins - fulfill - I should have made my life career working for the National Geographic Magazine.
(Next on my list is to visit a Rubber plantations in Indonesia)
The day was hot - but not over whelming. I had no issues with bugs. Made me think about how life was lived in the past. I am thankful I am living in this age.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mayan Ruins of Tulum

Mayan Ruins of Tulum

Monday, April 22, 2013

I must say I was very pleased. This is one of the sites I have always wanted to visit. What is it with ruins - graveyards that entice me?
Growing up looking at pictures in the National Geographic magazine might contribute to my wanderlust and desire to see first hand all the marvels I had looked at.

Tulum From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tulum (Yucatec: Tulu'um) is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Cobá.
The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico.
Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have been the cause of its demise. One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, Tulum is today a popular site for tourists.

(Once again no thanks to Sunwing travel that I was able to go here - had to book privately through the hotel -the best thing ever - do not fly with Sunwing if you can help it)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Xel Ha Mexico

Me Snorkeling

Noni and I became sea sick as we were rocked back and forth from the waves. If we would had known we would had started snorkeling at the other end - but we didn't and so we became nauseated. However before this happened we had a marvelous time looking at the fish through cloudy waters. Don't take me wrong - I really did enjoy it - but the water was a little cloudy.
Would I return here? Yes - I could spend another day or two here exploring - specially now that I know more about the place. We missed many things just because time ran out and we were "lost" to where to go and what to do.
After we were sea sick - we went out of the water and walked all over the place. This is how we discovered where we should had started..
- Of course I found a geo cache here so I am happy about this also.

(This is one of the places where Sunwing Travel screwed up on and I ended up taking the tour from the hotel -- **** remember I will never deal with Sunwing again they are horrid.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Danza de los Voladores - Flying men

Danza de los Voladores From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flying Men starting their dance, Teotihuacan
Totonacs of Papantla, Veracruz performing the "voladores" ritual

The Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), or Palo Volador (Pole Flying), is an ancient Mesoamerican ceremony/ritual still performed today, albeit in modified form, in isolated pockets in Mexico and Guatemala. It is believed to have originated with the Nahua, Huastec and Otomi peoples in central Mexico, and then spread throughout most of Mesoamerica. The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 30 meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. The fifth remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum. According to one myth, the ritual was created to ask the gods to end a severe drought. Although the ritual did not originate with the Totonac people, today it is strongly associated with them, especially those in and around Papantla in the Mexican state of Veracruz.[1] The ceremony was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in order to help the ritual survive and thrive in the modern world.[2]

Friday, April 19, 2013


After a breakfast of Waffles with bacon and sausage - yogurt, fruit salad the Pinnacle repair man shows up. Exhaust hood has a new belt -- what a difference - what a draw - sucked all the heat out of the kitchen. This will be such a blessing once the season becomes stifling hot.
Sink - that was a head ache -however I have running hot and cold water - I have drainage. The drains are a little slow - will have the maintenance man work on that next week - but they drain. Taps need to be replaced - but today it was braised closed where the ice broke them. The repair person didn't know that the taps themselves were cracked other wise he would had brought with him the replacement he thought just the joint at the wall was broken from the winter freeze. We are 30 minutes from town then another 45 minutes to the city - so going to the store is not so a quick fix. The walk in cooler was topped up with freon so it is all set to go. The 30qt mixer was greased - all is well.
Progress.. I cleaned the second convention oven - yesterday I cleaned the first one. The kitchen has two conventions and two regular propane ovens.
The floor - well before the day was done I did give it a once over - it will need more loving care yet - but at least I removed the first layer of gunge.

So while the kitchen was being repaired I made a Split pea soup for lunch and served the left over Perogies, Swiss steak and grilled Talipia and made a fresh toss salad.
Supper - I cooked Spaghetti and made a meat sauce and more toss salad.

Now I am officially off for the weekend. We have to serve snack Sunday night to the new staff that are arriving Sunday afternoon. I do not have to cook Sunday supper - they are all stopping at the local pub/ restaurant in Squamish for supper before they move into camp. I understand most of the staff are flying into Vancouver international airport and are being picked up at 2pm by the camp bus. Any local staff that are driving to camp have been instructed to meet at the restaurant.

So I am officially off - I will go into the kitchen tomorrow and do another mopping and more cleaning.
Most likely the maintenance man will replaced the hood vents tomorrow also even though he is off also - if not he will do that Monday. They have been soaking in a degrease ing solution most the day and then sprayed with the pressure washer - but not yet finished.

racks from convection oven

sinks put back together

ready for inspection from top Dog

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Will the Kitchen ever be ready?


Day four has become worst. The repair man came - looked at the ice machine - needs a part - can not fix it today. He disconnects the sink totally including the drains - needs parts - now I have NO running water in the kitchen - NO drainage in the kitchen. I go to the tool shed to search for a garden hose - bring it back and connect it to the outside taps at the kitchen. I now have water again. I fill a large pot with very cold water and turn on the propane stove to heat. Great I will have hot water to clean. We empty our dirty water containers in the driveway.. Not so eco friendly - but we have no choice..

ice machine


exhaust hood fan belt

Delivery of propane arrive - this is a good thing.

Breakfast I fried eggs on the flat top and made oatmeal. Served fruit salad and yogurt and English muffins.
Lunch cooked four pizza's (bought crusts) Tossed Salad - Garden soup
Supper - roast beef - fried potatoes - fresh beets (boiled) - frozen corn - stuffed peppers with couscous - toss salad - homemade banana bread that Noni made this afternoon.

The kitchen does not seem to be getting any cleaner - but slowly it is.
Today both our grease traps were emptied and cleaned