Three months into writing daily missives here on this blog and it occurred to me that there is one particular word woven through my stories to which I have not given much thought. It is a word with multiple, distinct meanings, and that fact should have been obvious for a guy who writes about the outdoors, cooking, and cast iron cookware.

SEE - zunn

Simply, to flavour or preserve food with salt and spices.

Or… simply, to ready a cooking surface through the application of heat and oils.

Or… simply, the delineation of winter from spring, spring from summer, summer from autumn, and autumn back into winter.

Maybe not so simple?

The etymology of the word season seems to come from the Latin satio, which is itself entwined in the word to sow, or to make something ready.

One readies food to be eaten or a pan to be cooked upon.

Nature readies the world to grow, blossom, produce, and come to life …and then resets itself to make ready all over the next year.

Seasoning is an act of maturation and preparation.

It is purposeful conditioning.

To season is to make something richer and more ready.

These concepts strung together clearly form a broader theme for the things I’ve been thinking about and writing about and sharing here. Three months in, ninety disconnected posts, and some forty thousand words spent has distilled down to one not so simple word: season.

To season. To be seasoned. To welcome the changing seasons. To ready the heart and mind. To sow a space for good food in one’s home. To mellow the harsh cold iron of a skillet against the delicate organic surface of food. To flavour life as one ages one’s mind and soul against the cyclical reset of the universe. To season.

The Snowy Drive Home

As I posted on Twitter less than an hour after we cleared this particular winter driving mess: The downside of a winter vacation is often the treacherous drive home!

After a quiet morning of wandering around our hotel in the ankle-deep winter snow of a mountain wonderland it was time to pack the car and start the drive home. But where on one side of the mountain it was sunny and magical, a few kilometers North on the same road, just around that big mountain there, a heavy cloud had settled into the valley and the wind was blowing.

All of this was making for a sketchy drive homeward.

Winter Roads and Mountains.

I was the passenger. This is sometimes the worse seat to be in.

All you can do as the passenger is sit quietly and try not to be a distraction. I accomplished this heavy task by pointing my phone camera out the front of the car windshield and taking in the rare view of a lonely winter drive down an empty mountain highway.

The video called “Winter Drive” is from part of our long, slow, snowy drive yesterday.

I include a second video for context, as “Kananaskis Cruising” was a short out-the-side-window clip of the same twenty-five kilometer stretch of highway we had driven inbound less than fourty-eight hours previous. Notice the lovely mountains that are barely ghostly shadows in the video taken a couple days later.

We’re hearty, snow-trained Canadians… eh.

We have high-quality winter tires on our four wheel drive SUV, emergency supplies in the back hatch, and have both driven our share of winter roads.


There was no cell service anywhere along this road.

There was a kid and a puppy in the backseat.

The advanced driving features (lane detection, collision detection, etc) of the car had tapped out and were just flashing a yellow light apologetically from the dashboard.

And snow, ice, cold, and speed are never a trivial combination no matter who you are and what technology you are using.


The worst of the drive (actually) was less impressive visually. As we turned up onto the main four-lane cutting vertically up the province and across the prairies, the one hundred kilometer per hour gusting winds had blown a number of large trucks off the road. The car shook for three hours and we had to stop to refill our windshield fluid because the asphalt couldn’t decide if it was wet, icy, or snowy, but all of it spattered on the glass obscuring the view. Passing these jackknifed in the ditch and watching them through a muddy, snow-streaked pane of glass as the road of gusting wind creaks and groans the seals of the car is a glaring reminder that the buffeting of the vehicle as it shakes is not exactly an amusement park ride.

But in the end… (spoiler alert) we made it home safely, if very slowly.

Mountain Winter Wonderland

I think I mentioned yesterday something-something about unpredictable weather in the mountains. It snowed all night here and we woke up to an ankle-deep blanket of fresh mountain powder.

Of course, the highways home are going to be terrible. Gah!

But as far as a morning walk went, the dog was over the moon to bound through the snow drifts and I took about a hundred beautiful photos from the panoramic vista near the hotel.

It’s a shame we didn’t bring any skis!

Day Hike to Troll Falls

Springtime in the mountains is unpredictable. It could be sunny. It could be snowing. It could blow in with a thick fog and lock the world into a magical claustrophobia inside the vastness of unseen towering rock castles.

Our first twenty-four hours in the mountains in 2021 saw all of those types of weather here, and more. We’re in the mountains for a short spring getaway, including some spring-slash-winter walks in the wilderness to refresh our souls for the upcoming adventure season.

Adventure Journal.

We woke to a spitting rain that was trying it’s darnest to be a snowfall, but by breakfast the weather had settled into a mere hazy overcast sky. Just down the road from our hotel (no camping for us this time of year!) was the trailhead to a short day hike into the woods to a waterfall we’d visited a few months ago in warmer days.

Troll Falls is a popular easy hike for all ages. In fact, we saw as many dogs and kids on the woodsy walk as we saw adults. And we brought one of each… to be fair.

There is some story behind where the name “Troll Falls” originates, too, and it’s linked back to the rocky cliff walls near the waterfall-proper pocked with small holes fit for the likes of the mythical trolls that might live there. I assumed they were all still hibernating during these still chilly days. I didn’t actually see any, though a deer crossed our path once.

Leading into the woods from the parking lot, the still-frozen path led us into a sparse, bare wood.

The trees here are a mix of pine, fir and poplar, the latter being still to early on for any sign of foliage, and the formers notoriously spartan even on a good day. Between the bare trees and the well-trod path (it is a very popular place to visit for most everyone who comes here after all) all this made for a sheltered but bright route.

There is nothing particularly remote about the trail, though. Apart from the fact that one is out and about in the fresh mountain air and at least a hundred kilometers from the nearest city, the trailhead is a mere fifteen minute stroll from a four-star resort hotel, and the route itself traces the lower perimeter of a former Olympic ski resort. Yet for the solitude and clear mountain air one may as well be tucked into a remote valley far from civilization.

Either way, we’ll take what we can get these days.

It was an ideal hike for the pup, tho. At just six months old she’s had a whole checklist of new adventures over the past thirty-six hours: a four hour car ride, a visit to two new cities, an overnight in a hotel, meeting a deer, the fresh mountain air, and now a wilderness hike up to a frozen waterfall. We’ll work up to bigger things and longer adventures slowly. An hour an a half through the woods tuckered her out solid.

The final stretch of the inbound hike brought us to the base of a small waterfall.

In the summer we had hiked up to the upper falls which were much more spectacular, but the steep ascent and the sketchy footing in the still-frozen spring meant that the interesting portion of the trail was still closed for the season.

Instead we crept carefully up to the foot of the frozen shards of falling water and snapped some photos at the base of the view. The cliffs all around it are only about ten meters tall, but they overhang with a teetering perspective that felt as though the whole thing could have collapsed in over us without a moments notice, snoozing trolls and all.


And as we made our way back along the icy path, the weather changed its mind yet again, the fog swelling up like a crashing wave over the nearby mountain and the snow spinning in the springtime breeze.

A short morning adventure concluded before lunch, and just in time to beat that unpredictable weather.