On our travels…

Where are we?! Hmm…

On our travels and with indifferent/intermittent internet connection, so I’ll keep this very short. If you want to play along, feel free to hazard a guess as to where we’ve ended up – maybe not so hard to work out from the photos provided?

Very European looking…

We’ve had a delightful time eating and drinking more than usual, and trying to walk some of it off as we wander around this small(ish) and very friendly city. Anyway, low bars on the wifi indicator, and more bars requiring our attention, so I’ll leave it here this week.

Leafy!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

We’ll walk this off!
Had a drink in the bar up there

Calm

Wandering through town in the days following the recent long weekend, we sensed something of a turning point, both in the season and how busy things seemed. After a summer seeing long lineups morning, noon and night for popular places to eat, this week appears quite calm. Business still looks pretty good for proprietors, but the lines out the door have disappeared. Phew! Maybe it’ll be easier to snag a seat up at the brewery in the next little while…

The coastal trails are certainly quieter, and with some late season sunshine, the black rocks have been a pleasant place to sit with a cup of coffee and think calm thoughts.

Coffee stop

Mrs. PC startled a bear, or was startled by a bear the other day, as a tree Scout was exploring turned out to have a small bear heading up the other side of the trunk. A quiet and calm retreat ensured all was well, but it reminded me to look up more often, pay a bit more attention the next few weeks. Bears are filling up on berries, as evidenced by piles of purple poop deposited along the trails. So, make that looking down, as well as up, and left and right while we’re at it.

Calm

All in all, a calm and fruitful time of year in this corner of the PNW. We know the rain is coming, so we’ll enjoy the golden days while we can!

Rain? Here?!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Fogtember

If Fogust is a thing (and it is out here) then why not Fogtember?

Fogtember? Where?!

We were out on the coastal trails, remarking how sunny and warm it was for the first day of September, and how the sun sparkled on the distant water.

Casting a warm spell

We decided to stop and soak up the warmth on the black rocks, sitting above hundreds of beached and bleached logs, and watching the boats bobbing up and down just offshore. What a pleasant afternoon!

These smell good…

I clambered down to take a closer look at the logs – I like the texture and faint aroma, but don’t tell anyone, they might think that’s odd… Anyway, when I rejoined Mrs. PC up on the rocks, it was still sunny, but the afternoon was about to take a cooler turn. No, nothing I’d said, but a fog bank had rolled in pretty swiftly.

Fogtember? Maybe…

We sat for a few minutes more, and the fog swallowed the far off boats, the sun, and then the trees further along from where we sat. Fogtember had appeared!

Yup, Fogtember!

Deciding it was distinctly chilly, we set off for home, with the regular warning blasts from the lighthouse for good company. The start of September, cooler evenings, with hints of rain later this long weekend? Hmm, whisper it, but I think summer, such as it was in this little corner, might be drawing to a close…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful long weekend! (Oh, and I almost promise not to try and make Fogtober a thing!)

Best before end of summer

Playing out on bikes

I’m not sure if I’ve been having iPad issues or WordPress issues, but I’ve certainly been having technical issues the past few days. Let’s see if this one gets posted…

An outdoors day

Instead of staying indoors and fixing the technical issues, I did what’s best and went outside to play on bikes. That’s what we used to say back in the day. We’d tell our parents we were going out to play on bikes and then use them as getaway vehicles as we terrorized the neighbourhood. Astonishingly, in that particular group of friends, there were no broken bones or arrests made, so let’s leave that in the past and say we were good kids really.

Present day getaway vehicle

Present day, I like to pedal (assist) my way slowly and carefully around town – when the sun is shining. My small combined mission to not fall off and do all errands in Ucluelet by bicycle or on foot has proved successful so far. A friend has an e-motorcycle and likes to tell me how fast it “could” go, but we’ve resisted the need for speed, and I’m not going to push my no broken bones from a bike record for a midlife crisis and curiosity about could an e-bike make that jump? (I think it could, but I’m not succumbing to peer pressure or forgetting to act my actual on the outside age…)

“After speeding down a ramp I took off, flying through the air before landing right here, narrowly avoiding crashing through the barrier and plunging into the water!” Oh, alright, I rolled to a slow and gentle stop and then sat quietly admiring the view.

Anyway, the sun is shining again today – we’re getting the second half of summer, even if we didn’t get the first half, or any spring, not that I’m bitter about it – so I’ll end this now and head back outside. I noticed some local youth have set up a ramp, made from a few bricks and planks. Looks safe to me…

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Sunshine at mile zero!

Our recent trip to the Sunshine Coast wasn’t overly blessed with sunshine, but when it did warm up, it was wonderful.

Sunny sparkle

We were staying just a few kilometres along the coast from Powell River, a mill town that is transitioning to an outdoor hub/cultural centre/pleasant place to while away a few days. We didn’t tackle it, but there is a trail, the Sunshine Coast Trail that runs through the high backcountry, from hut to hut, that presents a moderate challenge to keen hikers.

The end of the road

Instead of taking on the high trail, we drove to the end of the road, mile zero of highway 101, a coastal road that winds north to south 24 000 miles to Chile. We’ve made a good start, only 23 950 miles to go…

Mile zero is in Lund, a bustling little harbour at the end/start of the road. We drove there last week, setting off under cloudy and drizzly skies, but by the time we arrived after a short and pretty drive along a lakeside and through wooded hills, the sun was starting to break through.

Soon to be sunny in Lund

We parked in the lot overlooking the harbour, and what a wonderful spot Lund is located in! Our first priority was the ever important second cup of the day, and Nancy’s Bakery was just the place. We sat on the outside terrace in front of the harbour, and with the sun now fully beaming, and after a long cold spring season, we had to nudge ourselves we were in the PNW.

The tropical side of the PNW

Snow capped mountains in the far distance, boats bobbing on sparkling water, palm trees and lavender plants fringing the terrace, and a fine cup of coffee? Not too bad! Lund is a gateway for adventurous types heading into the wonderfully named Desolation Sound, but in those moments, it wasn’t too desolate. We didn’t rush to leave…

Pretty good day

As fine as all the above was, the absolute highlight was spotting a pod of orcas moving across the bay, spouting and speeding from left to right, dorsal fins high out of the water and just outside the harbour. Hello orcas! You made an already great day even better.

Orca territory

I’ll leave it there for this week – remembering the beaming sun and the magnificent orcas has me beaming as I write this. Right now, I can hear the fog horn from the lighthouse, and it doesn’t look as though we’re in for any sunshine anytime soon, so the memories of last week will have to warm us. Hopefully we’ll be saying hello sunshine as we head into summer…

Townsite saison – pairs well with sunshine

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wobbly? Rickety? Me?!

No! No, no, no. I meant the steps and bridge as you must have known. It’s hardly going to be a moment of reflection or personal insight from this OldPlaidCamper. I’m the sturdy type…

Wobbly and rickety? A little…

Depending on which way Scout’s nose leads her, our morning walk sometimes means taking the slightly hair-raising steps and bridge over a stream flowing to the shore. The wooden structure is actually quite sturdy (like an OldPlaidCamper), but it is almost always slippery due to the rainforest location. Scout’s approach is headlong, and good luck to her, but in the early morning I’m less enthusiastic about a full tilt charge down a wobbly wooden staircase. To be honest, I’m not too thrilled about it afternoons, either. I’m steadfast in my sturdily patient approach, but I can see what Scout is thinking. He’s so boring…

“Sturdy?! C’mon, let’s go back via the wooden steps!”

Anyway, slower than Scout likes, it’s down, across, and back up, then follow the trail until it emerges onto the beach. Some sandy gravel or gravelly sand always delights Scout, and she’ll race in circles just because she can. Once that’s over, and if the tide is low, we’ll explore the rocks and pools, see who slips over first. Feel free to guess.

Sand for madcap circles

As you can tell from the photographs, we’re still waiting on consistent warm Spring weather, so we haven’t been hanging around to soak up the sun or sit to reflect or be insightful. We settle for it all being bracing, and after a few minutes poking around, head back to the trail, through the trees, hit the bridge – down, across, and back up – then on to home.

Fresh

Wobbly and rickety? Not at all, and we’ll do it all again tomorrow!

Through the trees

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Logging on, logging off

A brief post this week, as we’ve struggled (or not) with intermittent internet at the office, meaning I’ve had to work from home in order to communicate. Oh no…

Almost working from home. Oh no…

I have agency in deciding how to approach the day, but if Scout is home and happens to lead me astray, there’s little I can do. When the line manager (leash manager?) gets to decide? You log off and head out the door!

Logging on

Yes boss. It’s been some time since I last tried to be nimble on a log, and you’ll be happy to know that with age and experience and a dedication to lifelong learning, I’ve still to acquire the skills Scout has. When something is as easy as falling off a log, and you do, is that success? I fall off a log very easily. Applause! Go me! Is it correct that you have to stick the landing? I didn’t, but suffered no major injuries other than to my pride, and the distinct sense Scout was laughing at me.

As easy as… (the top one, if you were wondering…)

The sooner we have functioning wi-fi at work, the better for all concerned, so I can focus on my professional development from a chair rather than unprofessional physical prowess on a log. Like I say to students, it’s good to have a goal, but make sure it’s realistic and attainable with a bit of effort.

“I’m busy, working from home. Time to log off, so we can go out now?”

I’ll log off now, might be time to apply a little ice to tender areas, so let’s end by wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

Green

And maybe a little blue – the colour, not my mood…

Early morning lake – a little blue

I was sat in my car the other day, enjoying the rain, having timed the top of the hour construction traffic opening to perfection. After waiting for thirty five minutes, I congratulated myself on being early and adjusted expectations accordingly.

Enjoying the rain

At least the views were good, and I found myself thinking about the survival show “Alone” I’ve been watching the last few weeks. As in most things, I’m about seven seasons behind, and knew nothing about the show, so imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered that the first two seasons (possibly others, I’ve yet to find out) were filmed just up the island! Very exciting, and it added a little extra something to my viewing, being so familiar with the landscapes, if not the challenges, the participants faced.

“Straight ahead, then turn right, paddle a day or so, and after that you’re on your own!”

Not every participant enjoyed the density of the coastal forest they found themselves alone in. I’ve never been truly alone in the forest, or as deliberately lightly (for want of a better word) equipped as they were. I’ve always found the forest to be beautiful, slightly intimidating, but not downright frightening, although it is a dangerous place, as most places can be with or without proper preparation.

Green

Anyway, I was sitting in the car, staring (in a moody yet cinematic way) at the wall of green to my left and wondering how long I could survive alone in that particular forest? The answer? Not long enough to win. I think maybe a week or two, if I avoided injuries, and convinced myself to eat enough fish, crabs, and seaweed to supplement the squashed mouse diet. Even though I’m a confirmed introvert through and through, I could not be by myself for the fifty something days I think the first winner completed.

Fifty something days? No problem! Without beer, you say? Wait a minute…

As the top of the hour came and went, and the traffic didn’t move forward, I began to wonder, peering through the rain soaked windshield, “Is there anybody in the vehicle in front, and the ones behind?” “Am I alone out here?” “Is this the start of an elaborate reality TV show that Mrs PC signed me up for and she forgot to tell me?” “I’m getting hungry – is that a mouse?”

Green and blue

And then the lights on the car in front came on, and it inched forward, the gate having reopened at the same time the door closed on a budding reality TV career. Fifty something + days? Yeah, I could do that…

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Ocean Blue Monday

Not too bad, not feeling too blue, we sat and enjoyed the blue ocean view from a variety of spots around town last Monday.

Not too bad, quite blue, ocean side

It was a sunny one, not too chilly, and we wandered from one place to another, basking in the extra day off for a long weekend, and slowing down. That meant from not too quick to almost at a crawl. It felt good, sun on our faces, bald eagles singing, a relatively calm ocean, and some time on our hands to enjoy it all.

Bright blue, inlet side

I don’t always enjoy the long weekends, it sometimes feels like there is an extra pressure (all in my own head, no doubt) to “make the most” of the extra holiday. I like most days, in my own way, most of the time, so no need to add any extra significance or burden.

Pretty good

Anyway, an extra day, why not go crazy, and have an extra beer? We did, a couple of new ones, from quite local to very local. Both winners, and the red ale edges it if only for being a bit different to my usual fare. A good way to round off a not too blue Monday…

Very good

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Not too blue at all!

Brighter

Slightly lighter each morning, and with a hint of spring in the air – some days – it feels as if a corner is being turned…

Lighter

It’s been great to inch towards a more normal feel for everyday work life. Students are now able to attend after school learning support. They’re trickling in, and if not exactly excited by the thought of homework, then at least excited to see more of their peers in community. And, maybe, you know, the extra learning?

Tough homework task…

As we get back on track, we’re rediscovering the joys of what we might have taken a little bit for granted, pre-virus. A short stroll to the beach outside the office is all the more interesting when you’ve got young ones thrilled to be making marine discoveries with their friends.

Lighter, later

Hopefully, as the days continue to lengthen, and bears appear and buds emerge, we’ll remain on this cautiously optimistic path back to everyday delights. Brighter? Goodness, yes, I’ll raise a glass to that!

I thought it was rail-ly good. (Ouch. Sorry…)

Keeping it brief, with a long weekend to look forward to. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!