Monthly Archives: June 2009

Off to Powell River

Today is June 18th. Christopher’s birthday. I phoned to congratulate him on achieving 29 years but felt strange. How could I have a 29 year old son? Where did time go. He was having a good day. Lynden and Ryan were arriving (probably have arrived) from Ontario to show off little Austin and to party for longest day which is June 21. So, at this very moment my whole family, 4 children, one son-in-law and two grand babies are in the Yukon. Only Fred and I have managed to miss this big event. I am feeling a bit lonesome. Continue reading

Rain and Interesting Facts June 16

sign-for-the-skookumchuck-rapidsDid it rain today? It was bright when I woke up and looked out at my peek-a-boo view. I wrote about it in my journal so it must have been great. It was cold and clouding over when I headed out for the Skookumchuck Rapids this morning. It took me about an hour to drive there and by then it was coming down pretty hard. By the time I parked, put on my rain gear and embarked on my hike, the camera had slipped into a safe dry place in the van…so the pictures of that event are non existent. I am pleased to report that the camera is fine.  By the time I got back to town, the sun was shining and I was dressed far too warm.  Maybe it didn’t rain at all. Everything is dry now. It could have been my imagination.

clouds-over-the-roads1

Clouds over the winding road home

The Coast Highway is #101. It takes people from ferry to ferry and much of the heavy traffic comes off of ferries. It seems to make traffic move along in chunks. The road is narrow, winding and very scenic with speed limits  between 30k on some of the tight curves and 80k when it is wide open. The distance between Sechelt and the and the rapids was about 50 km. Today, not knowing the road, I wished I had a driver so I could be a proper rubbernecker watching for  the glimpses of the water and tall trees brushing the clouds. I think I need a chauffeur.

Today, after my drive, I got Vincent gassed up and gave him a shower. He is feeling  light and pretty now.  After him skipping and dancing all the way back to the house it seemed like a good day to do some math.

Here goes:

* I have driven 5785 km since I left home on May 11.

* I have spent $580.81 on gas at anything from $.95/litre to $1.09 today.

(When Sue was driving with me, she had a Petro deal that gave us some gas as low as $.84/ltr but I can’t get that now. Hey Sue…I miss you and not just for that)

* I have spent $357.00 on ferries

Lots more gas, ferries and Kms to come.

I picked up Angela from work and we headed for the Lighthouse Pub on Porpoise Bay in the Sechelt Inlet for dinner. She wanted me to see some float planes taking off…and they did. What a spectacular dining experience. Ok, I couldn’t eat I was just hanging over the railing watching boats come in and planes go out. Watching the planes take off I could feel my heart rate pick up. Maybe I need to consider flying as a late life career. Ah, a dream for another time It was great though. lift-off2

plane-taxiing-out1

While I sat there soaking in the beauty, my attention was drawn to a huge scar on the hillside above us. This is the gravel pit that Angela had mentioned before. From where I was sitting it was apparent that reforesting is taking place on the old sections but as I thought of the gravel pits back home I realized that all of them put together could probably be dropped into this one. Wow!

Gravel Pit taken through the mast in the marina

Gravel Pit taken through a mast in the marina with a close up lens

I am on the move again tomorrow, heading to Powell River. I will go from there to Texada Island if the weather is good enough to camp, then on to Comox where I have a couch surfing appointment and then to Port Hardy where I don’t yet have a place to stay. I am starting to get into a rythm. I am really enjoying the people I meet and so many different flavoured communties. It is exciting.

Keep in touch and don’t forget to keep passing my website along. That is where I get so many of my contacts.

PS HEY!!  to the cool woman at the Sechelt Petro Can this afternoon. Meeting you was worth the extra 3 cents a litre I paid for the gas.

And HEY!! too, to Shannon the reporter who spent a pleasant afternoon with me. I hope your journey goes well too. 7 month old great dane puppies are not known to be great long distance travelers. Have a blast.

Isn’t it nice

Isn’t it nice to have a high speed internet connection? I am still working too late but I like the space to work on my computer without having to tie up my hosts phone line or use theirs. I just climb into bed and work. My bedroom here has a nice peek-a-boo view of the coast. Apparently an ocean view ups the price phenomenally…a flash of water and sky is not as pricey but still more than no view at all.

When I woke up it was cloudy and cool but the sun came out in patches. We actually dried some laundry on the line. When I did my walk about in town I was glad I had my jacket. It felt like rain.  I started out hiking to a house I had seen my first night with some really amazing driftwood art. I  decided that I wanted to meet the person who built these quaint little driftwood-house1places. Turns out it was a bed and breakfast, the Weeloveitto B&B. When I knocked Bob answered the door. It is his wife Nattanya who is the artist and she was out of town. Ah! The yard and gardens are beautiful, right on the water with the whole property  filled with these whimsical creations pulled off of the shore. At this point in the trip I am more interested in the art and the driftwood than the B&B although it looked like a great place to check out. If I ever come back on vacation…and Angela doesn’t have room for me…I would definitely stay there. Continue reading

Putting it out there

I had a quiet day today. I reorganized the van when I realized that I couldn’t find my spare key. I now have it. I just have to quit changing purses. Worked on some publicity, organized pictures, slept in, wrote and went for a long walk on the beach at Davis Bay. I love the community of Sechelt has  focused on their water front. Davis Bay is a beautiful example of that. There are gardens, benches and a nice wide walk way with steps down to the beach every few hundred feet. Angela, my host says that in this town there is a waiting list of people who want to donate the beautiful wooden benches that you see everywhere in town.

Me on the beach. See I really was here

Me on the beach. See I really was here

Here I am trying to take my own picture on the beach. I guess I will get better at this art…but I still have to hold my tongue a special way to make it work. It makes the picture weird. Continue reading

Another Ferry and Gibsons

A bit of trouble formatting this post. Don’t know why but hopefully the next one cooperates a little more. vp

Yesterday I left Pitt Meadow and headed for Horseshoe Bay to the ferry again. This time I did not have to drive to or from the airport on the way and the route was very straight forward, right along the Trans Canada all the way to the ferry terminal, well marked, no real city driving. Not bad at all. I realized how tense I get when I am driving in strange cities, even with Karma’s help (or sometimes because of her help). I don’t feel like a bad driver but when you don’t know where you are going, it is not great. Karma (gps)  is definitely useful, but she does have her moments. Continue reading

Salmon Berries and Banana Slugs

First, to all of those who volunteered to edit my work…I am so sorry. I know. When working late at night…my eyes just don’t see the mistakes. I know you would. Actually I see them the next day. But I need to send it when I have time. If I sent it to you first…I wouldn’t get it up here. I know some people cannot tolerate typo’s and punctuation boo boo’s. If you are one of those people….well, maybe you can help me edit the book and I will continue to torture the English language here. My apologies to anyone who cares.

I am almost finished my week at Edenvale (where has the time gone) and it has been stellar. The process, the people and the environment have been very nurturing. I will treasure the memory.

While I have been here I have encountered many new things and salmon berrys are one of them. The woods where we have been walking are full of them. They look much like raspberries, maybe a little more elongated shaped somewhere between a raspberry and a mulberry. It is startling to see the unripe ones, perfect berries the colour of salmon. The ripe ones are red and have a great tart taste. I can just imagine them in jam or pie but have only eaten them off of the bush.

almost-ripe-salmon-berry2 ripe-salmon-berry1 Continue reading

Writing, Learning and the BC Medical System

Edenvale Guest House my bedroom top right window

Edenvale Guest House my bedroom top right window

I have spent the last few days at a Freefall Writing Retreat at the Edenvale Retreat Centre. It has been great. If you have never taken a Freefall Writing course of any length, do consider it. The learning here is definitely about writing but many of the ideas have strengthened me as a life coach, Therapeutic Touch Practitioner and a student of life. The ideas are far reaching and you don’t have to be an experienced writer to get the benefit.

Apart from the life changing quality of the course material, the women (no you don’t need to be a woman to go to a Freefall course but this time everyone is) are a great bunch from Canada and the USA. Each one is bringing her own strengths to the week and we are learning from each other.

The Edenvale Centre, just outside of Aldergrove BC is a beautiful and accommodating place to be. The food is incredible and the staff seem totally devoted to our needs and wants. The meals have been stellar and Vincent is already saying he will be reluctant to leave. I talked to the people here about just becoming a permanent fixture around the dinner table and they were polite…but I may need to move on.

Building on the grounds

Building on the grounds

I got an opportunity to go to a BC walk-in clinic yesterday and I must say if was a very good experience. BC has been very good to me. I even had a very intimate greeting from the local insect population. A deer tick, lets call him Rick, attached himself to my back just on the edge of my shoulder blade (where I can not only not reach but I can.t see either). Monday evening I felt slightly bruised and asked someone to look at my back, to see if I had a pimple there or had scraped myself somehow. She was grossed out but gamely carried out some midnight surgery. I was very interested in where Rick may have come from but due to an unfortunate accident in the removal, he lost much of his mouth bits and couldn.t say. The next day I went to the clinic to be sure we got him out completely and we had miss a bit. No wonder he wasn’t talking.

I have no idea where he came from but I think that when I was swimming last Friday on Cortes Island and went into the shade and sat leaning on a tall, broad pine tree, he probably decided to travel with me. At the clinic the receptionist was an incredible woman, friendly and fun. The doctor was inquisitive and willing to listen to me when I was worried that I might get Lyme disease while traveling. He said he was much more worried that I would get a secondary infection but gave me a preventative dose of antibiotics as recommended by the Merick Manual for Lymes and cleaned the wound very well. My naturopath has given me suggestions to boost my immune system and I have had Therapeutic and Healing Touch here, not to mention 7 people mothering me. I was surprised that OHIP covered my call completely and that my drug plan was effective here. I think that is about as much adventure as I want to have with the medical system but it was nice to see it working so well.

Yes, you are right, I am not supposed to use my computer at the retreat centre but I won’t tell if you don’t…and this is by far the best connection I have had to date. How tempting is that.

Off to bed.

Two Ferry Day

Today was a two ferry day. I got up early and took the 7:50 ferry from Cortes Island to Quadra Island. There I had a short visit with Leslie (I met her yesterday and went swimming with her) to see her spa (www.steppingstoneretreat.ca)and Then after tea and a short tour I headed across to Campbell River. I was sorry to leave Cortes and the hospitality that not only Debbie but the whole island seemed to show me, from the weather to the people I met…oh and not to mention the home grown food, especially the clams and oysters. My trip will be hard if every leave taking is so sad. One benefit of having such friendly people on the island was that I had people to chat with on the ferry crossing to Quadra.

Once back in Campbell river I did a few errands and hit the road. I got to Mary’s place just outside of Victoria just in time for dinner with Mary and Barbara. I am enjoying the beauty of the gardens in BC and Mary’s is no exception. The colour, layout and numbers of flowers are eye catching. I am getting so many ideas for my garden back home…assuming our climate will allow me the freedom to do such things. Tomorrow Barbara and I will head for the ferry and the Freefall workshop.

Tonight is the first night I will sleep in Vincent. I still haven’t built the platform that Deb recommended but it is a good idea. If I can find some free lumber along the way or if I am stopped long enough to do the work, I would like to give it a try but right now…I am fine. I have quite a cosy little nest in here and am looking forward to shutting my eyes.

No pictures today. I took lots but don’t have time to down load them. I will be writing for the next week…retreating… and then back on the road.

I hope you did something you loved today. Talk soon.

Kayaking

June 4th

Today I loaded Debbie’s bright orange kayak in the van and headed out to the lake. I wanted to go to the free store to look for a sun dress, mason jars and a bit of lumber to raise the bed in the van so I said goodbye to Deb and headed out with a map in one hand and lunch in the other.

Even with the map, the roads are narrow and winding. The trees huge the shoulders and most things are hidden behind them. I was glad to see a young lady woman hitching a ride. I picked her up. Her name was/is Sarah and she was heading to work. It was hot and she appreciated the ride. I enjoyed her company and could be assured of not getting lost. We went by way of Squirrel Bay where she picked up a few things at the store and got us both ice cream bars. I must have “feed me ice cream,” tattooed on my forehead because she didn’t even have to ask. Continue reading

Clams and Oysters

Cortes Island June 3

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Today was great. It was 27 degrees and we knew that a swim was going to be part of the plan. First we went back to Manson’s Landing to dig some clams and get some oysters for dinner. I was surprised that when the tide was low the clams were just under the sand. We each grabbed an abandoned oyster shell to scrape away the surface tidal debris and within 10 minutes we had pulled up the 75 clam limit that Deb could take with her license. She also picked up 15 oysters within moments. She put the clams into a pail of water to clean themselves out during the day. We tucked that pail into a garbage bag so that the salt water wouldn’t slosh into the back of the car while we drove and then we headed off to see the rest of the island. Continue reading