Life of Dave

Life of Dave

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Weather Outside is Frightful

It seems hard to believe it was only one week ago today that we participated in Victoria's marathon/half-marathon/8K event by jogging 8K in the warm morning sunshine. As I write this (Sunday) there is brilliant sunshine outside (I should be out in it), but last week, Wednesday in particular was pretty nasty. I remember sitting at my desk looking out the window at about 8:30 a.m. impressed by the how dark it was outside. It seemed to have been lighter out there when I'd arrived at 7:50.

Periods of heavy rain occurred later, but I didn't realized the extent of the downpours until later that day as I reviewed Twitter. Turns out there were areas of flash flooding in Vancouver and enough hail to look as it we'd had the season's first snow already in White Rock.

Broadway at Cambie on Oct. 11.

Hail in White Rock on Oct. 11.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Air Travel to Vancouver Island

Lately it seems like another week, another trip to Victoria. I think I've been there five times in the last month and a half. All the work-related trips (three out of five) have been via float plane, and I've managed to get some good views from the air of the places we bicycled (i.e., the Galloping Goose trail system).

The red line indicates the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry route.
On our side trip last month we detoured west from the Lochside Trail to explore a restored former train trestle, the Kinsol Trestle, near Shawnigan Lake. It involved a small ferry trip from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay. We then cycled to the town of Mill Bay and a further 12 km past Shawnigan Lake to Kinsol Trestle. It was well worth the ride as it turns out the Kinsol is the largest such wood structure in the Commwealth of countries! I'd had no idea.

Fort Rodd in in the red circled area.
Another place we explored recently, in 2016, was Fort Rodd historic site across the bay from Victoria. That time we were on a motorcycle daytrip. It was interesting this morning that the natural sunlight lit up the point of land where the fort is located just like a flashlight had been aimed at it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Seal and the Rainbow

(Note: Posted out of order. This event occurred the week prior to the Victoria 8K.)
A job assignment yesterday took me via float plane to Victoria. A picture-perfect day it was too, a clear sunny Autumn day. Since I had forgotten my camera in the office, I was committed to using my iPhone to take job site photos, and thus wasn’t intending to take many photos en route to prolong battery life. But who am I kidding? I always take photos on a clear day when traveling by plane, especially by low-altitude craft.
The Lion's Gate bridge at about 8:10 a.m.
The Lion’s Gate bridge is always a photographic temptation, and I succumbed to a near sunrise photo op. Then after leaving the English Bay area, somewhere over the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we encountered some low clouds and I witnessed a peculiar phenomenon that I think was the result of a weird refraction of light through the plane windows from the low angle of the rising sun. A rainbow halo appeared completely encircling the shadow of the float plane on the clouds. I’ve never seen anything like it. Fortunately I had a camera (iPhone) handy.

The other cool thing about the trip occurred on the return leg. I was sitting in the sun on the deck of the floating float plane terminal when I saw a woman talking to a tour boat operator whose boat was tied up almost right next to me. 

They kept talking and looking into the water. A couple more people walked by, stopped, and also looked into the water. When I got up to investigate I realized they were looking at a seal swimming below the surface, looking up at us, but more specifically looking up at the boat operator. He explained that he often throws fish scraps into the water, left over from his excursions. The seal was swimming around like a trained dog waiting for a treat.

I almost forgot to mention that the plane on the way over to Victoria was all decked to commemorate Canada's 150th birthday. 

Victoria 8K

We just completed our first out-of-town running event, an 8 km jog in Victoria (it was part of the Marathon and Half Marathon event).

I managed to regain my slightly sub-one hour/10K pace with a 47:27 finish. We went with our small informal running group and met up before the run for appies at Chris and Jenn's air B&B, then again for brunch after the event. The weather was perfect; it was sunny and quite warm with even the partially full moon still hanging in the western sky. There had been a really cold wind the day before, funneling through the downtown core. We had thought we'd not brought warm clothes at that point.

We managed to do the whole trip car-less. It was door-to-door via transit buses and walk-ons on a BC ferry; about 5 hours each way. Which is interesting as driving probably wouldn't have shaved off much time when you consider how early one needs to arrive in advance at the terminal for a car crossing. Coming home we cut it a bit close by disembarking from the Victoria bus and walking directly to the ticket kiosk mere minutes prior to the ferry sailing.

And plus...I could sleep on the bus and the ferry! And boy, did I need the rest! It's been crazy-busy the last month: the East Van 10K, the 3-day Galloping Goose bicycle trip with Jeff followed immediately by a 7 a.m. Tuesday flight to Kelowna for work, the next weekend jogging 10K with our running group followed by the rest of the day moving furniture while Shauna was away in Winnipeg...on and on. Actually I was even in Victoria earlier this same week, on Monday, for a building review; flew in via Harbour Air.

Shauna tells me I even slept through what she described as a "marching band" below our hotel window the night before the running event. And I normally require almost complete silence to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Our room with a view. We were right across the lane from "Rebar" restaurant,
which, coincidentally, is where we dined.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Harvest Moon

I couldn't get Neil Young's song out of my head today. I figure the only thing to combat such an earworm is to photograph it.

Some clouds crossed its rising path; gave it a Saturn-y ring effect.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Trestle Tourism 2017

Trestle tourism seems to be becoming a habit for Jeff and me. For several years now we've packed the panniers and set out on bicycle adventures, riding the rails so to speak on former BC railbeds that are now re-purposed for cycle-tourism. We started with the Kettle Valley system, first Kelowna to Penticton, then Kelowna to Midway. More recently, last year in fact, we ventured across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to traverse the Lochside Trail, which blends seamlessly into the Galloping Goose.

This year we thought about doing Kettle Valley again, but didn't for two reasons: the prevalence of brush fires and the fact that reasonably soon I understand another section will connect Kelowna to Vernon. I haven't seen or read any specifics, but I've seen that the rails have been removed at the crossing that runs parallel to the Kelowna Airport. Hopefully a new trail will be added to the system soon.

I'd heard of another trestle on the Island near Shawnigan Lake and did a little research. From scaling some distances on a map and factoring in a Mill Bay ferry round-trip crossing I figured a same-day trip to see the Kinsol Trestle was entirely possible to add some new material to the adventure we'd had last year.

After already passing through the town of Mill Bay I thought we'd have been
closer...but as Jeff points out we still had 12 km to go.

It's no wonder I hadn't heard about the Kinsol trestle until recently; it only re-opened as a re-purposed tourist destination and park in 2011.

"Move along people; nothing to see here."

Not trying to take anything away from it; it's a pretty impressive structure.
Just wanted to try out a new (for me) photography technique.

Jeff cycled end to end while I messed around with camera settings.

According to Wikipedia, the Kinsol Trestle is the
largest such structure in the Commonwealth of Nations.

The next trestles we encountered were on Day Two, in Sooke Potholes Park. The Charters Creek span was no problem, but just as signs we'd seen earlier indicated, there was a detour set up around the Todd Creek trestle due to structural timber replacements.

We're not getting the bikes over that fence.

A map indicated the route up the adjacent hill. It started out tame enough, although some bike-pushing was involved until the top portion flattened out.

It would appear that the replacements of timbers might take a while as there
is evidence of construction of a reasonably long-term re-routing taking place
involving concrete supports for a timber-planked bridge over the creek.

I hafta say, this is as steep a slope as I could push a bicycle
up with 50 lbs of gear packed in the panniers. I was 
starting to lose shoe grip in the dry soil.

The long wood checks marked with orange tape make it pretty plain that
repairs are required. 
The upshot of the hillside detour is that we got to see a family of four deer. I think both parties, them and us, were equally startled to see each other. But they soon settled down to munching on branches while I photographed them.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

East Side 10K 2017

It's simply ridiculous how fast time flies. It's already been more than a week since the East Van 10K and it's about time I posted something.

Much better weather than last year; if anything, it was a bit too hot for the last portion of the event. And that hill! Don't get me started about that hill! But it must've been OK because my elapsed time was 3 minutes faster than last year; 1:01:11. Not bad. Not as good improvement as Shauna however; she posted a personal best. And that spurred her on to enroll us both in the Victoria 8K event coming up on Thanksgiving weekend. That'll be fun as most of our running group is spending the weekend in the capital city to participate in the half marathon. Gotta have some fun with all this exertion!