Inspiration Point!

A name like that deserves an exclamation point! Or two!8EE130C4-12E4-4E77-A9AA-CF4A6BBF7FEE

A very short post this week, as I’ve mismanaged my time and I’m now scrambling on Thursday evening to prepare for a wilderness weekend away with youth. Fortunately, I’m not the main planner for the coming weekend. I just have to remember some spare socks and a bottle of water. Well, perhaps a few items more – like the new lightweight solo tent I’ll be trying out, one that is rated for winter yet still weighs little more than a pair of socks. I’m excited about that. The tent, not the socks.

EFB6C001-2006-4B75-AA0B-1A4BBAF3D1A9

Inspiration Point was where Scout insisted we go last weekend. After a morning of showers, we made the most of a weather window to hit the coastal path. Scout dragged me through brush and over rocks, around trees and across streams, and almost over a rainbow. We had a great hike, resting up on different overlooks and sunny spots around Inspiration Point. It was rather inspiring, warming ourselves in the sunshine, listening to the crash of waves below, watching the bald eagles and other bird life getting on with their lives.

359B4340-CA20-47F9-A6CD-1A08EDE7F4CD

Yes, inspiring, exhilarating and hard to drag ourselves away. Not so hard for Scout because she was in full adventure mode, whereas I knew I was supposed to be sorting myself for the trip away, but was happily engaged in doing nothing in the sun as a displacement activity. It’s an effort to gear up, but a worthwhile effort.

321E4B1F-A94D-4974-9B2F-9CDBC036EC8B

This weekend is meant to be below seasonal norms for temperatures, but bright and sunny. I’ll take that over a rainy forecast, and if it is dry, we’ll count ourselves lucky, as we’re heading out to a location reputed to be the second wettest for rain in Canada.79C1E966-AD1F-4563-8F8F-46853EC4B90B

Right, time to end this piece, and finish the gearing up that I never really started last weekend. Rain or shine, it’ll be fine, because I’ve already packed spare socks. Just about ready. Why, I’m almost prepared…

A1528632-7EE7-4876-9154-51ACACC933EB

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Falling on cedar

The snow, not me,  and thanks to David Guterson for the partial post heading.8DB864CE-7B5E-4F5E-81FA-B5319937F88F

Yes, snow really was falling on cedars out here on the coast last weekend. As much as one centimetre (!) fell where we are, and because the temperature was barely above freezing, a millimetre or two stuck around. It was quite the delight to watch young children scramble and scrabble to gather tiny amounts of poor quality snow and make a snowman. The ones they made may have been small, but they were loved.E183BBB4-F954-4C26-9CC4-1F585DFD13A1

We went out on Sunday morning, bundled up and bravely striding into the teeth of the blizzard. Oh, alright, there was barely a flurry, and skies even cleared somewhat. We slipped down the gangway and onto the Outer Harbour docks to take in the view of almost snow cloaked hills over the water. The gusts of wind did have some bite to them as they raced up the channel, promising more snow for later in the day.02610276-ABB8-4CAB-911E-14F5BE94ACBA

As excited, if not more so, as the children making mini snowmen, we wandered out again in the afternoon, expecting more snow according to the forecast. As we approached Big Beach (not so big, but bigger than Little Beach) proper snow began to fall – large flakes driven onto shore by an increasing wind. A mini blizzard!12B91662-1B2D-4F19-878A-3747490C90BA

On the beach, Scout was beside herself with winter happiness, jumping up to snap and catch snowflakes. Her inner husky was more than content. If dogs could laugh… It was quite something to be standing on a snowy beach when only the day before, we had been just up the coast enjoying warm(ish) sunshine sitting with our backs against a sun heated log.CDB48AB2-C715-407D-98A8-E3430CA769A9

Although the temperatures all this week have been about half what they normally are, it still feels mild, especially when compared to the Alberta winters we’ve enjoyed over the years. Yesterday afternoon, I managed to steal away for a pleasant half hour when an appointment got shifted to later, and I used the valuable time to get a small shot of Foggy Bean and sit down by Whiskey Landing. The sun was out, a bald eagle flew past, a harbour seal popped up, and gulls made their presence known. Not too bad for a February work day!

CE1A7613-411A-4585-A5B0-58235C74D4E2
Yesterday, getting work done/get back to work!

I’ll leave it here, as I’ve got things to do – I can see a small pile of snow the sun hasn’t reached just outside our door, and I’m certain there’s enough to make one more teeny snowman. Snow person? Snow teenager? Or snow child? Snow baby?

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

 

As easy as falling off a log…

If something is as easy as falling off a log, should you do it? Isn’t it easily avoided? Maybe it just happens, no effort at all. I’ve fallen – or at least slipped – off a log, and it hurts. Easy? Yup. But I’m not so sure it’s the thing to do. Why am I asking? It’s the nonsense that fills the gaps in my head when perched on a log.d5bf7b94-1ca3-4863-85e3-9ac083a8d245

Last weekend we were blessed with a day that seemed more like spring than winter. Blue skies, warm sunshine and very little breeze. It was a day made for the beach, so that is where we went. We found ourselves scrambling over the rocks and between the logs, searching for just the right spot to stop and take it all in.6d9d7bbb-30d3-4d9c-9912-c746c57332b4

Getting there, the tide was low, and the stretch of sand was wide. We couldn’t understand (but didn’t mind) why there were so few people about? We were out for several hours and saw only a handful of hikers and dog walkers. Oh well…ef3a9dfc-0af4-461d-bec4-f79371973933

When perching, I didn’t fall off a log this outing, but I did come close to tumbling a couple of times in my attempt to keep up with Scout – she was sure-footed along the trunks, and didn’t mind showing me up as she leapt from log to log.8ed9fab3-4241-4d7d-a871-682a139fe766

We spotted a few bald eagles, but our closest bird encounter was earlier in the morning. We were enjoying a fine cup of coffee from the recently opened Foggy Bean, admiring the view from Ucluelet across to Hitacu when the little fellow pictured below took a keen interest in our drinks. I suspect he was after something to eat rather than a caffeine hit, but what good taste he had…

e667bd27-f42c-46e8-ad0c-1472010435f3
“Ooh, is that coffee? ‘Cos, yeah, we’re raven mad for caffeine…”

Not so sunny for us this coming weekend – the ravens will miss us sitting at our usual spot, and we will miss being there. Still, the very early spring day last weekend was easy to enjoy – as easy as falling off a log.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Dark, with a little froth…

Sounds like a coffee order – Mrs. PC does like a good cappuccino…

A super short and heavily caffeinated shot of a post this week. We were stretching our legs last weekend, an exercise in dodging rain showers by getting the timing right. It was a cold couple of days, with drizzle, hail, rain, glimpses of sun, and a couple of rainbows to raise a smile.fcf492dc-e293-496d-a40d-154050c8cf76

Usually, we check the tide tables to ensure there’s enough beach to walk on and head out accordingly, but last weekend we had to go whenever it looked least rainy. On Sunday afternoon, there was a narrow ribbon of beach growing a little wider as the tide fell. It was pretty windy, and the waves had whipped up quite a froth on along the shore.c9e7e5c6-7cf5-4513-8b0c-fe4ffafc005a

Scout had a fine old time nosing in the foam and chasing blobs down the beach. Ravens hopped and skipped ahead of us, scavenging at the tide mark, and looking aggrieved that their raucous display didn’t scare us off. We spied three bald eagles and any number of gulls battling the wind. Some gulls were bobbing in the water just beyond the surf. Our guess was the heavy weather had churned up some good stuff.a42cda02-a29b-44ce-a532-339a3aa31fe2

Further out to sea, menacing clouds marched along the horizon, and the sun made only brief appearances – very welcome periods of relative warmth in the stiff breeze. So the froth wasn’t from a cappuccino, but we did have a good strong French roast in the flask, and Sunday was the day for it. Sometimes you get lucky with the timing – we huddled in the dunes out of the wind and were delighted when a patch of blue sky appeared, big enough to let some sunshine through for as long as it took to finish our coffee.e33788ca-fd3b-4e96-8b11-4e6718654815

The caffeine jolt (and a cube or three of chocolate) was just the thing to set us up for the return leg to the car. It started to rain heavily moments after Scout jumped into the back of the Jeep. More rain? Hey ho. Might as well head home for that all important second cup…dfdc9b87-e0e6-469d-9aee-0ffbe9ffd114

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Singing the winter greens and blues

For the past decade and more, we have been used to (and very much enjoyed) a snowy December and beyond, sometimes in a blanketed city, and often in the mountains. Still, change is good, and contrast is good. Winter on the coast is very different!

e0e96e23-0f55-41dc-a3ac-9b436db54fd8
Vibrant

There are so many colours and moods – vibrant green on the trails, but also blue and grey. It can be dry, grey and cold, or gold, warm and sunny, or blue, cold and sunny, or windy and rainy, just rainy, and very, very rainy.  Every now and then it can be extremely stormy. Exhilarating stuff, and always with so much green. (PlaidCamper, you do know you live in a coastal rainforest, don’t you?)

1a424bd6-ae0d-4bea-a918-068ba5b1895b
Energy

Being by the ocean, it always feels fresh, and there’s usually a breeze. Last weekend, we met up with Wayne and took a wander along Chesterman’s Beach. Fresh? Yup! A breeze? And then some! We took shelter in the lee of some rocks overlooking Lennard Island lighthouse (for shots of the lighthouse taken by Wayne over the years, look on his website here) and tucked into delicious soup and cornbread – thanks, Wayne – and a mince pie. We didn’t know Scout was such a fan of soup and mince pies, but perhaps that’s no surprise…

b29819d7-7620-42b6-b522-1c13df6d6093
Not the Lennard Island lighthouse – Amphitrite Point lighthouse, Ucluelet

The ocean wasn’t calm – we saw the coastguard zodiac and cutter both riding some pretty big waves, and it looked as though they were searching the coastline. It would be nice to think it was an exercise and all was well, but the search looked quite intense.

The grey skies gave way slightly, and there was a hint of warmth from a few weak rays, but eventually we had to head back. Scout chased Wayne, or Wayne chased Scout along the beach, and it was a good game to play, because the breeze had a bite to it. We had a great time, and Scout wanted to go home with Wayne, but eventually she relented and came home with us, even though we can’t promise daily soup and mince pies.

2769a816-3cc2-4528-b3ac-9d8bfb348802
Colour

Winter blues? We’re not singing that song, not yet. And I’m sure at some point we’ll find some time for a visit to snowy and wintry mountains – blow the dust off the snowboard and snowshoes – but until we do, I’m loving the winter greens.

cd49cdcb-c1e3-48ad-bffb-4e685acf887a
Last weekend – a colourful winter warmer

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Farewell 2018…

…and welcome, 2019!

It’s the time of year when some people enjoy looking back, taking stock, and then they peer forward into the unknown. Or as far as next year, anyway.

C0CC3AA8-1209-4339-95C3-BD73103331E9
Reflecting

I enjoy reading the “best of” and “worst of” lists that come out this time of year, but don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a compilation of PlaidCamper almost hits and many misses. All I’ll say is, for us personally this year, the worst thing was when Scout disappeared, and yes, the best was when she came back. I know, you’ve got something in your eye as well.

2A1FD941-0F53-4647-81F9-6866F38ABE11
“Me? Cause a problem? As if…”

I don’t make resolutions, mostly because I’m bound to break them if it’s beer or chocolate related (why would I want to change those habits?) So long as I can still haul the OldPlaidCamper bones up slopes, along beaches, and over rocky outcrops, then the almost remarkable and resolute physique is just fine. Almost fit for purpose. Chocolate is an adventure fuel… and beer an excellent end of day reward. Oh alright, I resolve to maintain my consumption of both. Not every day though, not now I have school nights.

B1FDA23B-5719-4A5C-9C94-376F7C209E13
Rocky

I’ll keep the post brief this week. I do want to say thank you for reading and commenting on here over the past year, either enjoying or enduring our photos and words. I’ve enjoyed writing each and every post, even (especially) the ones where I’m having a mild rant about this or that. It’s always a delight when you choose to read and comment, and it’s reassuring we’re not alone when concerns are shared.

F242A2BD-4F5A-4B9D-8CAE-D4983ACDB2CD
Looking ahead

The world has taken a few strange, unpleasant, and wayward turns (I suspect every year some of us say the same) but the people sharing this little corner of the internet remind me that it’s never quite as bad as it seems. Your blogs are humorous, full of wise words, displaying amazing photographs and/or challenging ideas – they can cheer a sometimes miserabilist up – thank you for that!

Looking ahead, I like to think the world will see a happier and kinder year than the one we’re saying farewell to. Young (and not so young) people care about the planet, and care about each other. I believe most of us can see our differences (by race, gender, sexuality or other) as contributing to a wonderful and exciting diversity worth celebrating, and not marginalizing or discriminating against.30A55BF7-3104-4343-9941-72421587796C

So, in the spirit of hope and optimism, I’ll say “Happy New Year” to all, and I wish the coming twelve months are full of outdoor excitement and good health for all of you.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

32443438-E566-4462-BFB4-B9A4929261FF
Farewell 2018

Scout came home…

…happy and healthy, if somewhat skinnier and pongier than her usual self.

She was found this afternoon, sheltering from the rain in her kennel under a tarp we’d left out there in the hope she’d figure out what to do. We’re guessing she grew tired of her week long rainy wilderness adventure, and/or missed my home cooking…

We are so happy she’s back, and rest assured, what passes for normal service at OldPlaidCamper will resume this coming Friday. Scout might even get another mention…

D65A3F28-F695-4504-90E2-BB38BD080630
“Can we rename this blog OldScoutCamper, the adventures of an almost outdoor dog?”

Thank you for all the kind words and hopeful messages earlier, we very much appreciated them.