Monday, December 31, 2018

Passing adventurers

A surfer and a paddleboarder cross paths off Jordan River on Vancouver Island...
Surfers and paddleboarders enjoy the waves off Jordan River...
Surfers at Vancouver Island's Jordan River can be territorial about their surf spot. In particular they can be vocal in their disdain for paddleboarders.

However, when the crowds are thin, a truce is called and everyone gets to enjoy the water without judgement.

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Ledge in Lights

BC's provincial legislature lit up for the season...
Christmas lights outline BC provincial legislature...
During the Christmas season the provincial legislature (a.k.a. The Ledge) lights up in green and red.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

After the hard work is done...

Santa's ellves take a well-deserved break...
Chillin' in the hot tub with some buds and brews...
... it's Miller Time!©

Monday, December 24, 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018

Old Town Christmas

Christmas decorations at Old Town in the Royal BC Museum...
A touch of old timey Christmas...
Old Town is a turn-of-the-20th century recreation of Victoria, BC located on the third floor of the excellent Royal BC Museum.

Santa Claus as we know him today is mostly an early-20th century figure... before that he was known as Father Christmas. In keeping with the time and the theme then, Father Christmas puts in an appearance at Old Town to entertain the young kids.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Not so tough now, are you?

An iguana in the rafters of a Mexican outdoor market...
Trying to keep a low profile in Mexico...
This colourful but harmless iguana tries to keep a low profile in the rafters of a Mexican market. It's not easy being green and trying to stay unseen.

Sixty-five million years ago though, his ancestors the dinosaurs -- "terrible lizards" -- ruled the earth.

Dinosaur model from a former RBCM exhibit...
A model dinosaur outside the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC...



Monday, December 17, 2018

Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial taking shape out of Thunderhead Mountain...
Faith can move -- or shape -- mountains...
We first saw South Dakota's Crazy Horse Memorial about 15 years ago. It didn't appear to have changed much since then but that's probably only due to the sheer size of the sculpture. To fully appreciate it, take a look at how small the earth moving equipment looks in the photo above.

The sculpture's final dimensions are planned to be 641 feet (195 m) long and 563 feet (172 m) high. The arm of Crazy Horse will be 263 feet (80 m) long and the head 87 feet (27 m) high; by comparison, the heads of the four U.S. Presidents at Mount Rushmore are each 60 feet (18 m) high.

It will likely be decades before it's completed.

From Wikipedia:

The memorial is a non-profit undertaking, and does not accept federal or state funding. The Memorial Foundation finances the project by charging fees for its visitor centers, earning revenue from its gift shops and receiving contributions. 

Ziolkowski reportedly was offered US$10 million for the project from the federal government on two occasions, but he turned the offers down. He felt the project was more than just a mountain carving, and he feared that his plans for the broader educational and cultural goals of the memorial would be overturned by federal involvement. 


A view of the eventual Crazy Horse Memorial sculpture...
What the final sculpture will look like...




Friday, December 14, 2018

Vallarta nights

Sunset over Puerto Vallarta...
The western sky glows with the setting sun over Puerto Vallarta...
The setting sun silhouettes the palm trees that line the bay of Puerto Vallarta...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Death of a gunslinger

Gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok...
Photos of Wild Bill Hickok on the walls of the No 10 Saloon...
James Butler Hickok a.k.a. Wild Bill Hickok was only thirty-nine when he was shot and killed in Deadwood while playing cards in a local saloon.

His reputation as a gunslinger was embellished by penny novels of the time. They described him as having killed over 150 men when the reality is that he probably only killed about six or seven men.

The hand of cards that he supposedly was holding when he was killed has come to be known as a Dead Man's Hand... a pair of aces and a pair of eights.

He is buried in the cemetery above Deadwood.

Visitors to Deadwood can see entertaining re-enactments of the shooting at the Legendary Old Style Saloon No. 10 on Deadwood's main street.

The final resting place of Hickok overlooking Deadwood...
Wild Bill's headstone above his grave overlooking Deadwood...

Monday, December 10, 2018

War of the Worlds

The aliens are here...
When worlds collide...
"Across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."
-- War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells

Friday, December 7, 2018

Welcome to Deadwood

Deadwood welcomes visitors...
Main Street Deadwood welcomes you... sort of.
American's wild west is very much a part of Deadwood's history. Many famous characters such as Wyatt Earp, the Sundance Kid, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok passed through Deadwood.

Deadwood's main street...
Saloons, casinos and tacky gift shops...


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Deadwood SD

Deadwood... a genuine slice of American Wild West...
Their slogan is the real deal...
Deadwood SD was our ultimate destination during our summer road trip. We had visited the area briefly about 15 years ago and had always wanted to return.

Deadwood was originally known as Deadwood Gulch. Although I had heard the word gulch often used in western movies, I didn't know what it meant until I looked up the definition.

A gulch is defined as a narrow and steep-sided ravine marking the course of a fast stream. Although Deadwood Gulch sounds like a cooler name for a western town, it eventually came to be known more simply as Deadwood.

Deadwood nestled among the hills of South Dakota...
A small town with a big history...



Monday, December 3, 2018

Bull in a bar

Now that is a long horn!
Now that is a Texas longhorn!
Not far from Devils Tower in Wyoming, we discovered this Western bar that was so perfect that it could have been a movie set.

Behind the bar the wall was plastered with currency written over with notes of appreciation.

Bucks, bullets and booze...
Bucks, bullets and booze... the currency of America...