Thursday, July 27, 2017


We have finished our stint of house sitting at my cousin Neil's and moved back up to my brother Charlie's in Errington.  We enjoyed our two and a half weeks or so there.  Aileen enjoyed the down time and I did quite a bit of geocaching.  I put lots of miles on my bicycle mostly on old railroad grades that have been converted to multi use trails.
I was quite impressed with all the wildlife we saw in the yard at Neil and Carol's.  In addition to the hummingbird pictured below, there were turkey vultures circling overhead often, bald eagles daily, California Quail, rabbits, deer and several different types of bees on the flowers.
Last Saturday, we attended the celebration of life for one of my younger cousins who passed at 55 after a lifetime of health issues.  Rod was a pretty popular guy in his home town of Chemainus so there was a large gathering in his honour.  Quite a few of we cousins were also there.
While we were in Duncan, we made several trips to Victoria to see Richard and family.   One Sunday, we also drove up to Nanoose Bay to attend the annual celiac barbeque.  What a spread the lady puts on and every thing there is gluten free, including beer and wine.  Good thing it is only once a year. Lots of gluten free options are shared among the attendees such as safe restaurants and good recipes.
Our current plan is to stay here another week or so then move up to Bill's in Campbell River for the weekend of August 5-7 then head up to the north Island until early September.  On Labour Day, September 4, we will arrive at Seal Bay RV Park for our Escapees RV Club Chapter rally which will run all week.  Not sure what will be happening after that other than getting organized for our 50th anniversary party on October 7.  We are including a Pickard family reunion as part of the affair so have been reaching out to the extended family.

Hummingbird at Neil & Carol's

Shot with my Canon SX50, still pleased with what I'm able to get with it

While we were house sitting at Neil & Carol's, I polished the motor home.  These are some of Carol's flowers reflected in the black paint on the motor home.  A Monet effect?

While geocaching yesterday I enjoyed these beautiful Arbutus trees.

The peeling bark is a usual occurrence 

Friday, July 14, 2017


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


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!