Saturday, July 29, 2017

Canning: Homemade Garlic Dill Pickles

This year I grew two key ingredients for my dill pickles. Of course, the first was pickling cucumbers. The other was dill. I picked up a seedling at the nursery. Boy has it grown and do the bumblebees love it.

I selected a recipe from my favourite Facebook group's website Safe and Smart Canning Recipes. It's a group that provides lots of assistance to experiences people and those of us just learning the art of canning. Here is the complete recipe. I only had enough cucumbers to fill two pints.

Garlic Dill Pickles


16 pickling cucumbers (depending on size)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups distilled white vinegar
4 cups water
5 tablespoons pickling salt
2 peeled garlic cloves per jar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar
1 teaspoon dill per jar
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns per jar


In a large pot combine the vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer. Arrange jars on counter. Place the spices and in the bottoms of the jars.

Wash and slice the cucumbers. You can slice them any way you prefer: coins, spears or chunks. Pack the slices firmly into the jars, leaving as little space in between them as you can.

Pour the brine into the jar, leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Wipe the rims, apply warm lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Promptly remove the jars from the pot and allow them to cool on a towel placed on the counter.

Make sure each lid has sealed (you will hear the popping sound as each jar seal). After 24 hours press down on each lid to make sure they do not pop back up. If they do not, the process is complete.

Garlic Dill Pickles

I followed the recipe but used my own fresh dill heads rather than the dried dill. These were easy dill pickles to make. Now all I have to do is wait for them to absorb all the flavours before enjoying my homegrown, homemade garlic dill pickles.

Do you make pickles? What are some of your favourite recipes? -- Margy

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Goat Lake Barge and Quad Ride

One of our favourite spots to take the barge and quads is the head of Goat Lake. Because of a large construction project last year at a friend's cabin we didn't get there. Last week was our best chance while the lake level was still high enough.

Barge and quad routes for Goat Lake.

We offloaded our quads at the barge ramp and out of the way for two days of camping and riding on the logging roads and trails.

Since there isn't a dock at this location, we used our empty barge for both our tent platform, lounging spot and kitchen area.

The Eldred River flows into Goat Lake. Wayne took some time to do some catch and release fishing in the rushing water.

We stopped at the Eldred Valley rock climbing location. After walking down to the river we met a climber and he pointed out friends high on the cliffs. Here's one of the steel cable lines they use to cross the river to reach the high cliffs on the other side.

This trip we tried a new road, B Branch that heads up to Emma Lake. It was a nice shady overgrown logging road in good condition for a quad. We met a pickup coming out. He was having more difficulty, especially crossing a steep sided stream.

To get to and from Goat Lake you pass through meandering Goat River. At low water it is shallow and difficult to navigate. Where Goat River empties into Powell Lake there's a stump forest where logging occurred prior to the installation of the dam in the early 1900s. Follow the markings and floating buoys to stay clear. This passage is also part of the Powell River Canoe Route.

Wayne and I share driving duties in the barge. For such a large craft it is easy to drive and maneuver. It is also very stable even in rough water.

It's the best purchase we ever discovered on Craigslist. -- Margy

Friday, July 21, 2017

Goat Lake Reflections

On our recent trip to Goat Lake we had beautiful weather.

Goat Lake reflections on a calm afternoon.

After mid-day uplake winds calmed we had a beautiful view with mirrored reflections to the southwest. -- Margy

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Powell Lake by Barge and Quad

Newest Release

Coastal BC Stories

And other Online Booksellers

Wayne and I have lived in our float cabin on Powell Lake since 2001. In 2003, our good friend John introduced us to quad riding.

In the beginning, we followed John around as he introduced us to the many logging roads and trails in the Powell River region. At that time, we kept our quads on a trailer in a hangar at the airport, and drove to off-load locations.

In 2012, we tried keeping our quads a short boat ride away from our float cabin.

It made it easier to go riding, but we were limited in the roads and trails we could explore. Plus, they were exposed to the elements.

Thus began our quest for a landing craft to house and transport our quads to all of the roads and trails around Powell and Goat Lakes.

In 2014, we found a perfect 22' barge on Craigslist and quickly bought it sight unseen.

Now our quads can remain at our float cabin, ready in an instant for day trips and camping adventures. We can also maintain them better and protect them from the weather.

In Powell Lake by Barge and Quad, you can join us for quad adventures to destinations on Powell and Goat Lakes accessible only by boat. You will visit unique places where all-terrain vehicles can explore logging roads and trails in picturesque British Columbia. 

Check with your favourite online bookseller or go to for more ordering information.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kurt and His Husky on Floats

We had a friend come visit us at the float cabin this week. He arrived in a very special way. It was Kurt in his Christen (Aviat) Husky floatplane.

Wayne with Kurt and his Husky floatplane at our new dock.

He dropped in from a beautiful mackerel sky and landed right in front our our breakwater.

You can see the long floats under his wings.

Then he taxied in through the opening and docked at our new front deck. The parking spot was perfect, with his wing just fitting over the top of our main deck.

Touchdown, or should I say splashdown.

He stayed for dinner before returning to Courtney Airpark where is is camping next to his airplane after pulling it up onto the grass with a special tug.

An engine off glide into the dock with perfect precision.

He'll be returning next week after some more Coastal BC exploring. -- Margy

Monday, July 10, 2017

Available Online: "Up the Airway"

A great book for any aviation enthusiast.

Up the Airway

Coastal BC Stories
by Wayne J. Lutz

For the pilot and adventurer at heart. Fly high over beautiful Canadian lakes, forests and inlets. Land at remote strips and camp under starry skies. In addition to BC, travel to the Arctic Ocean, Hudson Bay, Canadian prairies and Pacific Northwest for a unique travel experience. Read Up the Airway by Wayne J. Lutz and see how much fun flying can be. 

Go to for more information.

Kindle version for $1.99
Print version for $12.95
iPad and Ebook versions $1.99

Or check with your favourite online bookseller.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Finishing the New Front Deck

Attaching the new front deck to our main float.
On June 20 I shared about our new front deck. John built the structure down at his place and towed it into place at our cabin. It uses two large cedar logs and 55-gallon plastic barrels for flotation. The decking is 1x6 cedar boards with a full length Bull Rail from 2x4s.

Next came painting. That was a Wayne project. We had plenty of redwood coloured stain left from our other decks to make it match

Wayne painted the new deck with stain to match.

We use REZ Solid Colour Stain from Canadian Tire. We've used it for years and it works especially well when applied to fresh wood surfaces. And it is frequently on sale, a huge plus.

I selected plants in pots to move down to the new deck.

Next came a Margy project. I selected plants in containers for decorative purposes and weight. We don't like heavy items on our main cabin deck. The keeps our cedar log foundation floating higher to reduce waterlogging.

John replaced our old swim ladder with a new one to reach the deck.

The last step was to build a new ladder leading down from our upper deck. That was primarily a John project, but Wayne helped hold boards in place and I handed out tools as necessary.

Our float cabin hole at Hole in the Wall, Powell Lake.
We are really pleased with the final product. There's lots more space for my plants. There's an extra dock for guests to park their boats. And we have more space to enjoy the outdoors. Again, a huge thank you to John, the master aquatic engineer. -- Margy