Back from the Edge… Again!

newmapHey folks. Once again, the wife and I have emerged from our walking tour of the Sunshine Coast Trail alive and unscathed and we are pretty pleased to be back in civilization. This is the second time we’ve hiked the trail, and after last year’s abortive but adventurous attempt, we were determined to make a go of it this year.

Sunshine_Coast_Trail-Powell_River-tnLast time around, we began our march into the wilderness from Sarah Point, the northernmost tip of the trail that sits at the edge of a peninsula. That required scaling a kelp-covered rock face since the tide was low, and that was quite the adventure in itself! Several followed, as we hiked across high, rocky hills and dealt with a shortage of water since it was a particularly hot summer!

This year, we did things a little differently, beginning our march from the town of Powell River and proceeding inland along the rocky bluffs that overlook Powell Lake. We also were sure to bring a tent, and not trust in the cabins that are spaced at intervals throughout the wilderness. We also chose our route based on the fact that there were several lakes, so we wouldn’t be subject to water shortages… again!

1000594And let me tell you, it was quite the adventure. After a weekend spent at a friend’s wedding and all the travel it takes to get from our home down south to Comox and then the mainland, we were already feeling a little over-sunned and quite restless. And despite the presence of bear poop and low rumbles behind us along the trail, we managed to get to our first destination unscathed.

Our destination on the first night was a lovely campsite tucked in at Haywire Bay which is part of Powell Lake. We swam, ate, and slept out under the stars in our new and ultra-light tent. We got some odd looks, since the majority of people in this park had driven in and were sleeping in their motorhomes and mobile campers. Somehow, hikers who carry all their gear are in the minority in these parks. Go figure!

7186361The next day, we hiked farther into the interior and made our way through clearcut patches and more forests to Inland Lake. Here, we camped out on a small island on the lake called Anthony Island, which was another adventure of its own. Ravens ate our dinner sausage, which nearly made us vegetarians on the last two nights. And for a good hour before dusk, we lay in our tents and heard strange noises that sounded like wild animals.

Lucky for us, no animals were in our campground. And whatever the noise was, it seemed to dissipate around 10 pm and we were able to get some sleep. But of course, I kept my knife handy and we kept making loud noises every time we suspected something big and furry was in the vicinity.

The next day, we were outta there! We hiked back to the Inland Lake campground 4km away and set up our tent there. We wanted to walk farther into the interior still, to a place called Confederation Lake. However, we knew that Inland had a gravel road that ran all the way back to Powell River, close to the one we used to get into the wilderness in the first place. This was our exit strategy, so we decided instead to spend day three hiking around the lake and sticking close to this road.

townsite-brewingAnd then, just yesterday, we packed up all our gear, hiked the 10 km of logging roads and back streets to get back into Powell River. Once there, we visited the Townsite Brewery, drank some samples, and picked up some bottles to bring home. Half are intended for our neighbors who watched over our cat, Jasper, while we were gone.

We were then fortunate enough to get a ride back into the town proper, which was another five km away along sun parched roads. After hiking about 40 km through the wilderness and along logging roads, we weren’t too eager to walk along a sun-parched highway. We already did that to get out of town at the beginning, and that was no picnic!

PowellRiverThen came a restful lunch at a nice restaurant, cold beer, and a ferry ride back to Comox where we spent the night at my folks place. Hot showers and a soft bed are a luxury few can appreciate unless they go without for days on end. And sure, we’re burnt and sore, but we feel really good. This year’s trip felt like an accomplishment whereas last years felt like a failure.

The rest we plan to enjoy for the remainder of our vacay which will now be spent at home relaxing! So expect to hear more from me in the next few days. But not during the peak hours of say 10 to 4. I imagine the wife and I will be hiking at home since we’re full of piss and vinegar still and want to chase that feeling.

Hope this summer is finding all of you happy, healthy and full of piss and vinegar too!

Happy Canada Day!

happy_canada_dayWell, it’s Canada’s birthday, a day of celebration and national holiday. And I thought what better to celebrate that day on this site than with a video of Chris Hadfield playing for audience on Parliament Hill. Back when I used to live in the nation’s capitol, I’d turn out on the Hill with roughly 100,000 other people to take in the show and then stay for the fireworks.

And I can honestly say I wish I could have been there. Since his return to Earth on May 13th of this year, Hadfield has been showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. After months of educational, inspirational and musical broadcasts from the International Space Station, he’s now making guest appearances, giving talks, and as usual, showcasing his musical talents!

chris-hadfield-852-17888-8colOther than that, I hope my friends back in Ottawa are having fun today. I know that some of them are likely braving the crush of people downtown right now, suffering through the sweltering heat to take part in the festivities and patriotic fervor. Wish I was there with ya, buds!

And also, I would like to take this opportunity to wish one of my best friends, Chi hung-La, currently residing in Edmonton, Alberta, a happy birthday. Lucky for him, and all of us who care about him, the flooding didn’t effect his neck of the woods. And also to longtime family friend Shannon Hagerman. Happy birthday to you too!

And to any fellow Canucks out there, hope this day finds you happy, comfortable, and having a good time surrounded by family and friends. And since it is vacation season, I’ll be gone for about a week on the Sunshine Coast Trail again this year. But expect me back soon enough! Happy Canada Day, and a glorious summer to all!

The Vacay Is Over!

Yes folks, tomorrow I got home and resume a normal life, which will consist of getting ready to go back to work at the local school and driving my sweetheart to work every morning. I have to say, and my wife agreed with me on this, we need a vacation after this vacation. Somehow, romping through the bush and thinking you might die of dehydration, followed by a week of house sitting a 92 year old woman and nine cats, just doesn’t seem conducive to relaxation.

On the plus side, I didn’t accomplish half of what I hoped to when it came to my reading and writing goals either. So at least there’s symmetry. If I recall correctly, my list looked something like this:

  • Finish editing Data Miners already!
  • Finish my contribution to the Yuva Anthology (Winston Agonistes)
  • Get more chapters done for Whiskey Delta
  • Write up a new chapter for Crashland (still need people to vote on that one!)
  • Proofread new submissions for Yuva (Amber, that’d be your story)
  • Get some TKD training in with the Comox Valley people
  • Sit around the deck drinking GandTs and using the Hot Tub

Well, item one was a total bust. Didn’t get one page of DM editing and ready for print. I fared slightly better one item two, finishing Winston Agonistes for the Yuva Anthology. In fact, a few thousand more words, and it should be complete. Man, I totally busted my self-imposed word limit of 5000 (it was 11, 161 last I checked)!

Third item, writing more chapters of Whiskey Delta, I totally did! In fact, I published chapters nine, ten and eleven of my zombie tale while here. As for Crashland, which only I wanted to do one chapter for? Not so much… Item five, I actually did twice, meaning two submissions were sent by the erstwhile Amber and I managed to read them both and offer some comments. Item six I managed to take care of this morning, and item seven I did like gangbusters!

As for my reading list… that went even less well. If I’m mistaken, I planned to finish Mona Lisa Overdrive, finish Second Foundation, get into We, and finish Martian Chronicles and A Feast For Crows if there was time. My progress? Almost finished Mona Lisa, made a little progress on Crows, and nix on the rest! Damn, I guess I’ll be carrying a heavy reading burden back with me to Victoria. And I hoped to do some reviews on these since I’ve been promising them for awhile now.

Ah well, as they say “The Best Laid Plans…” etc, etc. At least we had an adventure, not to mention the fact that we’ll be home, in our own beds, and not have to look forward to cats coming and going into our room all night long, demanding food, to be let out, or trying to use the damn litter box. I’m seriously reconsidering my love of cats, I tell ya! And I do have a surprise or two to look forward to when I get home so I’ll be pleased to push off tomorrow. It was also real nice to spend some time with my grandma, and she tells me she had fun too. So it’s sure to be a bittersweet goodbye 🙂

Hope everyone’s had a great summer and catch you real soon! I know, it goes so fast, but at least we can make some memories that we’ll be able to hold on to. And just think, the fall will be bringing many new and wonderful things. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, ripe apples, our favorite tv shows, new movies, new friends, and new opportunities to witness new and exciting things. I look forward to it all…