Friday, July 14, 2017

HOUSE SITTING AND GEOCACHING OUTINGS

Once again a bit of a gap between posts.  Initially, I had a sore back so didn't do too much of interest.  As the back improved, I got out geocaching and I think that helped it get better faster.  In the past week, in four outings, I have put on 88 kms on my bike and on foot gathering a total of 112 geocaches.  Certainly one way to get some exercise!
Aileen has been looking after ensuring the plants are all watered here where we are looking after things while my cousin and his wife are on vacation.  She continues to work on transcribing my Mom's diary into the computer.  I edit and print her copy but have to admit I am several years behind her.   She also gave me a haircut this morning.  It seems the less hair I have, the more important a haircut becomes.
We have been to Victoria three times since being here in Duncan.  Richard and Robin have bought a house in North Saanich so we got to see it the other day after Georgia's birthday party.
I have also been busy scanning old negs that I brought from storage.  That is a very slow process and is made more difficult by the fact of not having the correct set up for the old off sized negs.   I haven't even gotten into editing and cleaning them up yet.

While sitting outside reading the other day, I was intrigued by the expressive clouds drifting by.

One evening we went for a drive.  As we were heading out Genoa Bay Rd, I spotted this peek a boo view down to Maple Bay.

Returning from Victoria on one of our trips, we managed to get a view over the Saanich Peninsula with Mt Baker in Washington State slightly visible.  The Canadian Gulf Islands are first then the American San Juan Islands lead in to Mt Baker.

On my first geocaching expedition, I spotted this interesting mushroom.  Unfortunately, after much searching, I didn't find the cache hidden nearby.

Georgia had some friends over to help celebrate her 15th birthday with a pool party at her aunt's place.  That's Richard and Aileen on the left.

On my second geocaching trip, I rode both ways over the historic Kinsol Trestle.  It is the tallest wooden trestle standing in North America and was recently rebuilt and is highly popular as a tourist attraction.


A historic photo taken in 1958

Another old photo taken in 1956

In the Shawnigan Lake area where my last three caching trips took place, the Foxgloves are blooming in abundance.




Sunday, July 2, 2017

MOVING DAY AGAIN

I was out geocaching for a few days either on foot or on my bike.  Then I did a dumb thing and tried to pick up a heavy water jug too far from my body and I have been suffering with a sore back since.  It seems to be finally relenting so I hope to be back to playing again soon.
Tomorrow we are moving down to Duncan where we will be house sitting for my cousin Neil and Carol for a couple weeks.  We will be parked in their yard keeping an eye on things.  I hope to get out geocaching down there and it is also an hour and a quarter closer to visit Richard, Robin and Georgia.
We had gone down to Victoria from Errington on Thursday to attend the school year closing party for Georgia's class.  The lady who hosts the party puts on an incredible gluten free spread.

A peaceful evening at Qualicum Beach

An artist left this work on the beach at Storries Beach, south of Campbell River

On the trunk of an Arbutus with the beautiful inner bark showing through, found while geocaching

While out geocaching the other day, I was brought to this odd looking Douglas Fir tree.  It was a maze of branches.  Below is the distant view.



Canada Geese at Qualicum Beach



While doing laundry the other day, I happened to spot a couple of these guys flitting about so ran for my camera.  I only managed one keeper shot.

I spotted this Honeysuckle guarding a geocache one day

A local rat rod

Note the use of an old cross cut saw for a sun visor.  You wouldn't want to be tossed into that!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

IT WAS QUITE A RIDE!

My brother in law and I joined a group of ATV riders from all over Vancouver Island on a historic ride this past weekend.  BC is very stringent on where ATVs can be ridden and for this ride, we had received a one time permission to ride to the gas station and one of the hotels in Gold River on public roads.  We also had permission to ride all the way through Tahsis.  We hope that the authorities will look at this and expand it to more communities.  We departed from Campbell River on the east side of Vancouver Island and took a combination of rough trails and logging roads to get to the west side of the Island.
I think we had up to 35 ATVs on our trek Saturday to Gold River.  Some machines just rode part way. Quite a few ATVs headed home on Sunday.  While three riders stayed behind, ten of us made the extra drive to Tahsis on Sunday and enjoyed a more leisurely ride.  We stopped at Moucha Bay Resort and checked it out.  We also spent considerable time at Westview Marina and Lodge where we had drinks or ice cream.  The highlight was watching the many Bald Eagles competing for fish scraps.
On Monday morning, we headed off on our return trip to Campbell River in a driving rainstorm. Kind of wished I had a windshield at that point.  Even with rain gear we ended up getting rather damp but at least it kept us warm.  We put on a total of 507.7 kms in the three days (317 miles for US people).  We did have a bit of dust here and there on the first day and quite a bit of rain.  Some of the linking trails were quite challenging on day one so we were happy to take different roads on the return trip on Monday.
Several of the communities on Northern Vancouver Island are hoping the rules will be relaxed so they can participate in such rides.  It could be a boon to tourism in these communities that have been hit by hard times with the downturns in the resource industry.
We parked the motor home at Bill's in Campbell River Friday after finishing up with the RV rally in Chemainus.  Aileen stayed there for the weekend.  We came back to Charlie and Sheila's yesterday.  I spent much of today cleaning the RZR as there was a lot of mud thrown up when we were cruising along at 60 KPH (about 40 mph) on the wet roads.  This type of riding is not what I normally do as I like to cruise at a slower pace and be able to stop whenever I want to for photo opportunities.  On a trip like this, photo stops are few and far between.  Especially on our first day where we covered 192 kms (120 miles) and day three at 168.5 kms.  You just have to keep going or you'll run out of day.



                                      
The Main Upana Cave.  We made a long stop here and I was able to spend some time wandering with my camera.  All the photos were taken with my Canon SX50 as I was travelling light.  With all the rain, I was wrapping my camera in a towel between the seats.  I guess it got too damp there on Monday as partway through the day, the camera quit working.  After putting it in my cargo box which sits above the muffler and gets some heat, it dried out enough to start working again.  By the time we got home, all the features were working properly again.  Whew!

Upana Creek goes underground at one point and resurfaces at Resurgence Cave.  The opening is nearly ten meters high (that's 33 feet for US  followers) and it is easily accessed from a set of stairs.




Looking out from within Resurgence Cave

The rain had just quit as we walked down the path at Upana Caves.  This is a Bunchberry flower.      It is also known as Dwarf or Ground Dogwood.

Bunchberry

Heather

Three Sisters waterfalls along the Tahsis Road

Celebrating our arrival at our destination 

We stopped at Westview Marina and Lodge in Tahsis on Sunday.  They had put fish scraps out and the eagles came from far and wide to partake of the feast.








On our return from Tahsis to Gold River on Sunday, we drove by this pretty little lake

As we departed the hotel on our way home Monday morning, the rain was pounding down

A biffy tucked away in the forest.  Seat looks soft but not sure if I would trust it holding much weight.

Friday, June 16, 2017

PARTY TIME, RALLY TIME, FUN TIME

We helped with the Toastmaster's garden party at Chas and Sheila's last Sunday.  Monday we moved down to Chemainus and spent the week with our Escapees RV club friends at our annual Spring Rally.  Four days of fun and games.  I got to play cards every night until late and Aileen got to spend some time at the evening fire.  The weather was not bad except for yesterday morning when we had lots of rain.  In the afternoon, a bunch of us went to the Chemainus Theater presentation of Rock Legends, a live musical show that was outstanding.  We went to a cafe for supper afterwards.  
We heard that one of my younger cousins passed away this week.  Rodney had been plagued with health issues for many years.  He is the first of my generation, Pop Pickard's 33 grandchildren, to make it to maturity and pass on.  The oldest is 80 and the youngest are late 40's.  I am fifth oldest.
We moved up to Bill's, south of Campbell River, today.  Tomorrow my brother in law John R and I are joining a large group of ATV riders on a super long ride.  Tomorrow we ride from Campbell River to Gold River which is 170-200 kms.  On Sunday,we ride from Gold River to Tahsis and back then return to Campbell River on Monday.  I don't know how long the Tahsis ride will be.  It should be an interesting experience.

Looking up in the maples

Momma Kildeer taken from the tractor seat

Killdeer eggs taken from the tractor seat

Mrs Eagle chewing out Mr Eagle

Oops, now we're getting the cold shoulder!

A pond lily

Iris

An Iris in the rain

A tricky geocache hide.  If you look closely, you can see the wire under the branch stub that you use to pullout the tiny container after removing the branch.  Of course, you have to replace it as found.