Monday, April 30, 2018

The House at the Edge of the Woods

A solitary house stares out impassively across a spring field...
Spring colours surround a house at the edge of a forest
Nestled in the shadows of the Chemainus hills on Vancouver Island sits this large solitary house.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Indiana Jones and the Lost Gods of Rapa Nui

An imposing statue peers out from a lagoon.
Easter Island relic at Central Saanich's Butterfly World...

At the advanced age of 77(!) actor Harrison Ford is reprising his signature character, Indiana Jones, next year.

I have mixed emotions about this. There is nothing more depressing than seeing a past-his-prime actor trying to hold on to long-faded glory days. However, Ford is reputed to be a fitness fanatic. If the movie tones down expectations, perhaps it won't be the disaster that I fear.

The title of this post is inspired by this statue at local Butterfly World.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Chemainus River

Vancouver Island's Chemainus River...
Chemainus River on Vancouver Island...
In our quest to find new rivers to run on Vancouver Island, a friend and I poked around the Chemainus River. We didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised to find this waterfall and an adjacent pool that will likely be the site of a future paddle board adventure.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Ebb runners

To practice our balance and paddling techniques on our stand up paddleboards (SUP), a friend and I practice during the ebb tide under the nearby Gorge-Tillicum bridge.

The frothy water flows out at speeds of about 6 to 8 knots. It's less intimidating than it looks. The water is reasonably warm (but wetsuits required) and there are no rocks or hazards in the channel itself.

If you get dumped, it's a matter of remaining calm and letting the water carry you downstream a distance til you can re-mount your board.

A Victoria harbour ferry watches us play in the water.
A Victoria harbour ferry watches us play in the water.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Stamp Falls

Stamp River on Vancouver Island...
Water tumbles over the Stamp River waterfall...
Stamp River and falls near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


The golden hour over Victoria, BC...
The golden hour creeps softly over Victoria...
This is a sunrise view of Victoria's inner and outer harbour taken from a six story building overlooking our Chinatown.

If you follow this blog, you might recognize Shoal Point at the entrance to the inner harbour on the left. In the distance, you can see a couple of freighters which would be anchored off the Colwood waterfront.

The area lit up by sunlight to the right is known as Vic West, a fast growing area of high end condo high rises. 

Huatulco cactuseseses

Huatulco's spectacular coastline...
Cliff cacti
During our week-long trip to Huatulco last fall, we rented some scooters and zipped out to see 'el faro' -- the lighthouse.

The views of the coastline from the cliff were spectacular. The cliffs were dotted with these prominent cacti.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


All tusks and trunk...
Wooly bully is all tusks and trunk...
Every kid who ever visits the Royal BC Museum in Victoria is always impressed with the giant mammoth. It's almost the first thing visitors see as they enter the exhibits.

Over the years they have enhanced the display with sound effects and a wall of real ice.

There is some evidence to suggest that mammoths form part of Native American oral tradition. It suggests that both groups lived together at the same time, possibly as recently as 4000 years ago. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

A pop of colour

Snow capped mountains are the backdrop for Port Alberni...
A colourful truck on the road to Port Alberni's waterfront...
For us, Port Alberni tends to be a place that we pass through on the way to other places such as Tofino or Ucluelet.

However, during a recent long weekend up island on Vancouver Island, we decided to explore it more fully. There are two parts to the town... this photo was taken in 'old' town, the original core of the town which includes its waterfront quay.

More to come this week...

Friday, April 6, 2018

Still snowy

Views from the top of Vancouver Island...
Crystal clear mountain ranges seen from Mt Washington...
Our last ski weekend at the top of our mountain resort here on Vancouver Island was suitably glorious. The snow was still thick and temperatures were relatively warm.

Sunday, April 1, 2018


A faux cat lounging at the Royal BC Museum...
Rare cat is rarely seen...
I've lived out on Vancouver Island for nearly forty years. During that time I've spent a lot of time camping and hiking off the beaten trails. I've encountered my fair share of black bears here, but I have yet to see a cougar in the wild.

So imagine my surprise when I was hiking nearby Todd Gowland overlooking Saanich inlet when I stumbled across this big scary-looking guy.
Okay, in the spirit of April Fools Day, I confess that this stuffed cat is on permanent display at our local Royal BC Museum. Sadly, this is probably the closest I will ever come to seeing a big cat in the wild.