Adventurous types…

A shortish piece for a week where we’ve been worried about friends and family not doing so well, medically speaking. That said, it doesn’t have to be all gloom (although, the January weather here – please, weather gods, just a few hours of blue sky! Is that too much to ask?!) Right, on with the story:

Blue sky! Not much, admittedly, but there’s a patch!

L, a good friend, was taken unwell recently and rushed off to a local hospital. Alright, we’ll go see how he’s doing. Nope, not there, he was transported to a larger hospital the next big town up. No worries, we’re heading there Tuesday, we can drop in. Ten minutes before arrival, I picked up a voicemail. “Hey, L here, I’m not in Port, I’m in Victoria!” We can do that, had plans to be in Victoria at the weekend, so called back and left a message saying we’d track him down… By the time we got home from Port, a new voicemail. “Don’t go to Victoria, I’ll be heading to Tofino by the time you hear this!” Sure, that’s an easy reach from home.

Older and wiser heads

We finally caught up with L in Tofino. I thought he might be a touch miffed what with all the travel. Nope, not a bit of it! Instead, a model of grace and calm. He’s been hither and thither, up and down and over and across the island in the past week. Prodded and poked, weighed and measured, yet still in pretty good humour given the circumstances.

On the way to Port – or was it on the way back? Losing track!

Smiling as he recounted his travels, he whispered he doesn’t need but would quite like an air ambulance to the mainland, just to grow his recent medical transportation collection, you know, to complete the set.

As we’re here…

Over the years, L has been a logger, a fisherman and a trucker, loving aspects of each – particularly the travel – the more difficult and remote the better. So being bumped around in an ambulance on roads that have seen better days wasn’t too bad. “The medics couldn’t understand why I was so happy! I didn’t mind, seen worse, felt worse!”

Blue skies! Really! Short-lived, but it happened…

I left L with a pile of sports and outdoor adventure-type books he’s keen to read. “Yeah, you can go now. Let’s see what we’ve got here. Hockey? I dunno, not any more, not at my age. Hold on! Mountain climbing, eh? Haven’t done much of that, could be good…”

Adventurous? Yessir! Busy right now, so how about tomorrow?

Yes, mountain climbing, eh! Well, why not? Curiosity and being an adventurous type can keep one going. L has about 25 years on me, and I wouldn’t put it past him to be out in front again soon, with me struggling to keep up.

Mountains? Let’s start with a low one!

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

A walk on the quiet side…

Exhilarating though it is to be (safely, and from a distance) facing into the teeth of powerful storms, or pretending to do so just after they pass, it is also quite exhausting. Nature’s noise and frenzy is exciting for sure, but sometimes it’s nice to wander on the quiet side.

Still

This is what we did last week, heading out in a different direction for our morning walk, on an almost dry day, stepping away from the coastal trails and across town to the inlet side.

Inner harbour

It’s rarely entirely calm, being so maritime, but on the inlet side it can get close to almost quiet. The rain had stopped, and the wind was barely there, as reflected in the still water. We saw a few ducks – my eyesight and identification skills aren’t up to positive naming – but they were fun to spot. One flew below us, past where we stood overlooking the inlet, a long graceful swoop and glide along the top of the water, a slight skimming wake created before setting down. Nice landing!

Touches of colour!

Although the day was muted and grey, we enjoyed the pops of colour from the floats on boats and the bright paintwork on the wooden and metal harbour railings.

Almost calm

We’ll head back out on the wild side for sure, but it was very pleasant to have the option of a walk on the quiet side!

The quiet side

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

Log, rock, wind and rain…

Could be a nursery rhyme, could be what we chant as we head along the shore, and it could sum up our recent outings.

Yesterday morning had the sort of weather that could ruin your hair do, but with a toque and rain hood protecting my hair don’t, and Scout happy enough as a high shedding short hair, we didn’t let the start of a storm stop us from looking great as we headed out.

Straggly and flattened, as the barber often tells me

Definitely a high energy nature turning up the power kind of a morning. Gulls were wheeling and swooping, seemingly just for the fun of it. Waves rushed in, sporting wind blown crests and crowns, and the noise was almost overwhelming – rain on hood, wind through trees, screeching gulls, the lighthouse foghorn, and the scrunch/crunch gravel sounds of the tide running up and then down. What a blast!

A blast!

Earlier in the week, we’d trotted back up the trail to see if our favourite little cove was accessible, knowing full well it wouldn’t be even after the bulk of the storm had passed. We could hear the thump and thud of logs in the surf before we got there, and when we reached our little viewpoint just off the trail, we were met with quite the sight. I even took a short video:

A short video

Anyway, we’ll keep it fairly brief this week as we need some time to towel dry our hair, see if we can’t get ourselves halfway presentable. Although, why bother, as rumour has it there’s another big one rolling in this weekend! Ready? Log, rock, wind and rain…

“No, no, not this one, I’m not ready – look at my hair!”

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

“Yes, this one!”

Incoming

The turn of the year has brought a fair number of blustery days, and these have been good for blowing away any cobwebs and waking us up.

A day to be above and not on the beach

We’ve stuck to the coastal trails after each storm, excited to see the waves and admire the churning waters. One of our favourite little beaches has been off limits due to high tides and strong surges. On a calm day you can sit beneath the rocks and look up at the enormous logs, marvelling at how big the weather must have been to wash them up there.

That’ll do it

We’re looking forward to calm day so we can scramble down to the beach, see what’s been washed up – Scout is convinced there must be a decent chew twig or two – and we wouldn’t mind a few quiet minutes with a cup of coffee and waving at the resident bald eagles drying their feathers out (the two wet blobs in a couple of the photos this week are the said eagles – they are stoic!)

Churning

Looking at the forecast for the next couple of weeks, those calmer days are still a little while off, but it’s been pleasant to notice and enjoy an extra daylight minute or two as the days slowly lengthen…

Here comes another one!

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

Very big matchsticks
January 2022 Down on that beach, on a calm day!

“Let’s go out, let’s go out!”

OK, Scout, keep your hair on!

“How can you resist? Let’s go out!”

Why the big hurry from Scout? I think because she’s a snow dog, and the weather gods had heard my pathetic whining last week, so we were rewarded with a day of snow. I believe that’s how these things work? Snow? Hooray! First thing in the morning, it wasn’t all that much to get excited about – don’t tell Scout I said that – but we went down to the beach anyway. Light flurries, and the start of a biting wind, but that was it. Pretty enough.

Almost snowing…

As the day progressed, the wind got wilder and the snow got heavier, to the point where we got home and off the roads before other travellers also got off the road by sliding into verges and walking the rest of the way. Yes, there were a number of abandoned vehicles scattered at various points along the road the next day, but no serious incidents.

It turned into the sort of day best enjoyed from home – it really wasn’t a strolling in a winter wonderland kind of day due to the very blustery conditions. Scout indicated she wasn’t too happy about that, so I opened the front door for her to confirm that perhaps she didn’t really want to go out? She took one step – maybe not even as many as that – and promptly turned back indoors. Yes she’s a snow dog, but also a wise dog.

“This is ok…”
“…but I’m not going out in that!”
“Let’s stay in, let’s stay in! You’re going to the lighthouse? I’ll pass…”

Well, we did go down to the lighthouse, without Scout, to see how it looked in the snow, but it was so sideways and gusty, the snow wasn’t sticking and details were hard to find. We beat a tactical retreat and told Scout it was great…

No sign of the ocean

I’ll leave it here for this week, happy enough that we had a pretty cool snow day or two, and wondering if the call for more snow before the weekend is accurate…

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

From the kitchen window

Turbulent…

Turbulent?! Oh no, it’s not a rant is it? Turbulent! Well now, this could apply to quite a lot – the economy? Politics? Weather? One’s stomach? No, no, not the last, all is well, and I wouldn’t go so far as to write on such matters. And it’s not a rant either. Not this week anyway…

Incoming

So, the economy? Do we want my take on fiscal responsibility and supply side reforms? Gilts and bonds? Why green initiatives make economic sense given you might want to be alive – stop, just stop, PlaidCamper, you know when you start to rant, it’ll guarantee a frosty reception in some quarters. No need…

Frosty reception

Let’s skip economics, important though the topic is, and also skip politics so all our blood pressures remain relatively stable. Although I can’t resist saying, given the midterm outcomes as of Wednesday morning, things could have been worse. Would have preferred better, but anyway. Glimmers of hope…?

Hope

That the leaves the weather! A safe enough topic if I resist the temptation to start on about the environment. No worries, at least for now – we’ve got as far as this paragraph, and blood pressure is within norms, let’s keep it that way. The weather being turbulent is where we are this week!

Best viewed from a distance

After a mostly delightful and balmy fall period, the weather finally broke and we’ve received much needed rain. Last weekend brought a robust storm, one that left many without power for a day or two, and we’d fully expected to be in that boat, but were spared this time. It was great to be down on the shore, well back from the crashing waves, and enjoying an exhilarating blast of ocean air. A day to hold on to your hat.

On the shore

Then we had a good old calm after the storm, and woke to a close to wintry scene of frost and frozen rain/snow that took a few hours to melt away. It has remained persistently cold ever since, with mostly blue skies and brisk mornings, and an almost perfect way to shake oneself awake after a bit of reluctance to step outside.

Chill

I’ll leave it for this week, as we must go and pack for a quick trip to Victoria, where hopefully we’ll still be enjoying the cold and bright days, and making the most of it knowing the rain will return. Sometimes, turbulent isn’t so bad when it’s followed by calm…

“Reluctant to step outside on a cold day? Me? Never!”

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

“I’m never turbulent, and always chilled…”

Rainforest reminder

After a somewhat worryingly lengthy dry spell, the weather has taken a turn for the expected the past few days, and reminded us we do live in a rainforest. Temperatures have gone down, hoods have gone up, and relatively normal meteorological service has resumed.

Definitely damp

Scout can usually be relied on to jump up and be first out of the door if a walk is mentioned, but she was decidedly less enthusiastic this week as she heard the rain bouncing on the roof. In fairness, it was quite loud, and her ears are quite large. Fortunately, her curiosity always gets the better of her, or at least a fear of missing out on potential hiking snacks, and her mood always improves after the first few steps. Or bits of kibble. I find I’m the same, although I haven’t tried the kibble.

Greener

The forest smells right, with a return to wet and mulchy rather than dry and dusty, and to my eyes the greens are greener. I’ve missed the pattering of rain on leaf and raincoat, and although there’s much to enjoy hiking in the dry, it’s nice the temperatures have dropped a bit. It all feels a bit more alive somehow.

Not so gentle patter

The forecast is for a fair amount of rain the next two weeks, and we have definitely entered rain season, so let’s see how far our early enthusiasm goes. Will it be dampened? Probably not, as long as Scout can endure the indignity of towel drying each time we get home. I do assure her it’s laughing with and not at her, but she remains unconvinced…

“You said you wouldn’t share this one…”

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

Seasonal greens
“Large ears? Me? Not a problem, other than I can hear him when he thinks he’s being funny…”

Thanksgiving

We’ve been enjoying a very benign fall season so far, one where during the day temperatures have been as good as summer or better. At last! Rainforest? Not right now… Still, we know real fall and some rain is ready to make an appearance in due course, but until it does, we’re thankful for the misty mornings and mild sunny afternoons.

Misty mornings

Thanksgiving is here this coming Monday, and along with the current mellow seasonal moods, we’re thankful for so much more. We moved to Canada this time of year many years ago, so the holiday is special to us. We’re grateful to live where we do, and count ourselves fortunate to be able to do so. The wider human world appears to be as confused and contrary as ever, almost at constant war with itself over resources that ought to be enough to share, if only we could see reason and make some necessary changes for the good of all.

Still warm…

Anyway, preaching to the choir isn’t very helpful, so I’ll leave it here this week, feeling thankful for family and friends wherever they are, and thankful that we live in our quiet(ish) little corner of the world.

A quiet corner hangout

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

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!