Thursday, September 10, 2009

blue huckleberry pie

we had a statutory holiday the other day (BC day? something along those lines), so friends and i decided to do the very vancouver thing and hike a mountain. in the rain, as it happened, which is even more vancouver. we did this trail:

Mount Seymour: Length, 4 km. Suggested hiking time, 2.5 hours. Elevation change, 450 metres. This busy trail starts near the north end of the top parking lot, traversing Brockton Point and First and Second Pump Peaks. From the summit there is a panoramic view of Vancouver, the lower mainland and, on a clear day, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. This hike is rated moderate to difficult.

the fog cleared just as we got to the top, and we got a quick view out over the north shore before the clouds rolled back in.

here's me at the top, wearing gaiters:

we ate delicious homemade hummus and bread at the top, fending off a huge raven. on the way back down we picked blue huckleberries (save some for the bears!),

then when we got home we made huckleberry and peach pie:


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

an atheist bikes alone

i went on my first self-supported biking tour a month or so ago. loaded up my bike with cassandra's tent, camping mat and stove, stuffed mr fix-it's panniers with clothes and food, strapped my sleeping bag on the top and headed off to the island.

just me and the open road for 90k . . .

actually, just me and a bunch of jesus botherers, who were doing a "bikes for bibles" fundraising ride - we tag teamed up and down highway 19A for six hours. they were very friendly, and i was very proud of keeping pace with them, loaded up as i was.

having biked up the big island i hopped on the little ferry to denman island and biked across to a little ocean-side campground and set up my little camp. i've never camped by myself before. i liked it. i didn't talk to another human for three days.

this was the view over the top of my morning coffee.

and this was my half-arsed anti-bear measure. fortunately the camp ranger told me there's no bears on denman, and there was a cougar, but nobody's heard anything about it since march, so not to worry.

i spent my middle day doing a slow ride round denman, investigating the local craft store, bookshop and cafe, and eating lunch on the beach. it was all very zen.

the next day i up and broke camp, caught the little ferry back to vancouver island and biked all the long way back to nanaimo to catch the big ferry. it's a beautiful ride most of the way. a little too much highway, but a lot of empty forest and gentle rolling hills.

next trip i'm using my lovely new leather saddle instead of that "comfort gel" monstrosity.

Friday, September 04, 2009

farewell to summer

uni goes back next week. it's a bit of a mindfuck. today is the first day in a long time that i've spent some serious time at the desk, working on the first of four papers i should have written over the last few months and kind of . . . didn't.

it's weird to be turning inwards again, sitting quietly, reading, writing, thinking. my shoulder muscles are engaging in strange ways to fit my hands on the keyboard.

i'm trying to decide if i should stay on at the bike store a couple of days a week over winter, and imagining switching between the self-directed, gradual world of academia and the very physical and social world of the shop.

we're also preparing for fall: filling the freezer with frozen fruit, canning salsa, repairing and buying warm clothes, replacing the full-spectrum light bulbs against SAD.

it's a lot of transitions to think about for a blue sky day.