Static (where are we going?)

Very static for now. As in, not really going anywhere, and seeing very little change. Fuzzy last week, static this week. Could be the brainwaves in my head. Or is that radio waves? Is there a strange buzzing, or is that just my imagination? Or the dishwasher? Huh? Goodness, very little of this is making sense, so perhaps I’m simply slightly frozen… (Warning: Like an annoying series on Netflix, this post may irritate and explain nothing by the end, leaving a sense of frustration and/or anticipation there’ll be another one along later to reveal what wasn’t revealed, then another, and another until the pandemic is over and I remember books are often a better bet than television…)

Slightly frozen

We continue to mope along through the latest (necessary) restrictions, dreaming of better days ahead. There is progress being made on many fronts – work, the pandemic, the pandemic at work, and so on. All is well, even if it feels like we’re not quite getting anywhere.

Where will this lead?!

If our horizons are somewhat limited for now, at least the horizon we see most days is soothing:

Not so bad

All in all, not so bad being static, if you let go and let it wash over you. I’ve been watching too many episodes of “Archive 81” the past week, an enjoyably nonsensical haunted house/spooky video diary/time travel/did we miss a genre/90s nostalgia entertainment offered on Netflix. Clearly, it has had an oversized influence on me and this post. Or has it? Who controls the narrative? And those voices? That buzzing? Oh, it is the dishwasher, at the end of cycle. Best go and empty it – I hear a voice saying it’s my turn…

Spooky clouds and mist (no, PlaidCamper, don’t be silly – it’s clouds and mist, that’s all!) But, but, the voices, the buzzing…(That’s enough! No more Netflix! Empty the dishwasher!)

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

A little fuzzy

Not warm and fuzzy, perhaps more like the day after your birthday, and you find yourself a little closer to early middle age than you might like…so let’s say grey and fuzzy…

Slightly fuzzy beyond

Scout and I were wandering once more, taking advantage of a small window in the rainy weather a few days ago, and we were quite enjoying the soothing effects of mist and light rainy suspension on a brow that might have needed it. Scout will overdo every now and then.

Yum! Robust, like a PlaidCamper the following day

It was all a bit of a blur, most likely the adjustment to new contact lenses, you know how it is, or the atmospheric tricks of light sometimes at play between bouts of heavy weather. That’ll be it.

Atmospheric

I’m back on working from home, or if I’m out with Scout, working from phone. Please hold the line, your call is important, and you’ll be connected to the first available OldPlaidCamper once he’s ordered his thoughts and can string together a coherent sentence that doesn’t run on unnecessarily. Did you just hang up?! Well, really.

Hmm…I could work from here!

It’s been good to be able to wander aimlessly mid-week and at random times (after seeing to all the important WFH stuff, of course) with no mission, in a pleasantly fuzzy blur, and enjoying not seeing the forest for the trees on purpose. No doubt I’ll sharpen up once we are called back, but in the meantime we’ll maintain our socially distanced meanderings and check in with our neighbours, ensure all is well.

“Yeah, yeah, we’re fine! Barking? Us? No, check the other platforms…”

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

Can’t see the masts for the aerials for the forest for the trees. A run on caption? Oh dear…

Power trip

Scout and I have been visiting a new favourite place the past week or more. We’ve been there a few times over the last four or five years, but it had fallen off our radar, for no particular reason, until recently.

It’s cool here

How to find this place? Well, wander down a rainforest road, and depending on the weather, feel uncomfortably warm in the sun (rare, but it happened last week), or turn up your collar to keep the rain from dripping in, or slip and slide on ice patches. Keep going. There are little detours along the way if Scout is your guide. She insists we explore each of the last pockets of snow, and we do have to stop at various tree stumps and earth patches, sniff with intent and leave our (her) scent. Eventually, by crossing over the road at the end of the drive, and taking the trailhead, you emerge out of the forest fringe and on to black rocks overlooking the ocean.

Keep going, past these trees…

The stormier photographs included this week are from a visit we (I) hadn’t intended to make. It was blustery, with the icy rain more like pellets, stinging my delicate skin and having me thinking of taking a short cut home. Scout, however, was having none of it, and pulled me along, the sound of the roaring ocean through the trees appearing to get her attention even over the sound of the wind and rain and my gentle sobbing. We both knew she was in charge of this trip.

Chilly

It was worth it! The waves were racing in, gathering themselves up in shades of green and grey before smashing onto the rocks. Our little viewing perch nestled in the higher black rocks was blasted by icy squalls, but we were safely above the pounding, yet close enough to feel the power. What a rush – a power trip! Thanks, Scout!

What a rush

Let’s keep it short this week – wouldn’t want all this going to Scout’s head. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

“A power trip? Me?”

Happy New Year!

Another short post this week, as we’ve been busy in the best possible way.

Sun and rain

We’ve enjoyed some quiet time, with sun, rain and a sprinkling of snow. Best of all, Junior was able to join us for a few days, and it made up for only seeing her a few hours the past couple of years.

Faint rainbow, no unicorn…

We drank coffee, beer, more coffee and more beer, as well as wandering the local trails and drinking in the almost sunny sights.

A magical ice tree

It’s been a challenging couple of years for most of us on many fronts, and I’ll end this brief post by expressing the fervent hope that the coming year will be better and brighter than the past twelve months.

Boats in the snow

Thanks for reading, take care out there, and Happy New Year to you!

Happy New Year!

“You busy?”

A very short piece this week – I’ve been busy…

I was sat in my office yesterday morning, toiling away on reports no one was likely to read, and wondering where had it all gone so right for me to be indoors on an unexpectedly sunny day? The drive to work had been about perfect, with the sun breaking through light mists, illuminating the low mountain tops and giving the bay a silver-pink- blue glow. Even the usually tetchy kingfishers appeared happy, and ducks were splashing prettily in the shallows outside the door. Yes, poor me. Still, lucky ducks, hey?

Yesterday morning – too nice to be inside

As I began a scintillating paragraph to get page 578 rolling, my phone rang. Oh no! An interruption, and just when I was getting to the interesting bit. “Hey old man you busy?” “Yeah, got to finish these papers today, can’t miss a deadline, you know how it is!” “Oh, ok. We’re in R’s truck, a few of us are heading up Mt. Ozzard to check on the new mountain bike trails, and thought you’d like to see what the young ones have created. But if you’re busy…”

Ozzard on the right (picture taken Wednesday evening)

Fifteen minutes later, I was in the back of a pickup, bouncing along logging roads to the foot of Ozzard. What can I say, I’m dedicated. To getting out and seeing what our youthful charges have been up to. I was almost finished anyway…

Ride a bike down here? No thanks!

As we climbed the trail, slipping and sliding on a mix of mud and snow – yup, the snow had stuck under the trees and in the shade – I delighted in having the freedom to be able to slip away from the office, walk up a mountain, and call it work. Like I said at the top, where did it all go so right?

Hard at work…

Anyway, a short post as promised. Did I finish those reports? Do you really need to ask? Of course – hold on, let me finish – of course I can get them done by Monday. I’m not specifying any particular Monday…

Thursday morning. Easily distracted (silver-pink-blue? I think so…)

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

Thursday afternoon – sun setting on what turned out a pretty good day

Seasonal norms?

We’ve had below seasonal temperatures for weeks and weeks, and above seasonal rainfall throughout the same period. Maybe when fall/winter is done and dusted, it’ll all average out and all be recorded as seasonal norms. In the meantime…

Chilly

…it’s chilly! We went to Florencia Bay on Saturday, enjoying a favourite beach late afternoon on a falling tide. There were a few cars in the parking lot, and down on the beach there were a few hardy surfers braving the water. Cold, cold water. No thanks! The air temperature was a few degrees above freezing, just warm enough to sit on a log – with jackets – and enjoy a rare sighting of the sun.

Not so chilly

Scout was delighted to be able to dig and dig, purposeful in the moment, fully attentive to the task, and then happy enough to abandon the excavations if there was an off chance of a crumb or two from one of us enjoying our coffee and cookies. Off chance of a crumb? No chance, but we always bring a milk bone or two. Scout also likes them.

Saturday was our sunny day, and Sunday was meant to be a snowy day, or snowy overnight into Monday morning at any rate. There were some disappointed students when the promised snow didn’t materialize. More rain though! We braved the elements and enjoyed the dry hour or two early afternoon along the coastal trails before the next band of cold rain appeared.

I’m predicting more rain!

We consoled ourselves about no show snow with a bottle of Spinnakers Flanders Style Red Ale – it was a little too close to a sour to be a sure fire winner, but we did finish it to be certain our conclusions were sound.

Spinnakers slightly sour seasonal offering – now it’s open, we might as well finish it…

We might not be enjoying seasonal norms, but we’re enjoying where we are, and making the most of the season, whatever it looks like! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Cool beauty?

Storm’s a brewin’

I’ll stop writing about our forever storm season when we run out of forever, or storms, or both. (Huh? That last sentence doesn’t really hold up to rigorous scrutiny. Still, why pick on that sentence? There are many others, equally guilty…)

Failure to capture the full droplet photo

I’m exaggerating about forever storms – if you stick around to the end of this piece, you’ll see it’s not all storms and floods. Just mostly, or so it seems.

Raining, but less so

We went to clamber over some rocks and splash along the coastal trails last weekend. It hadn’t exactly stopped raining, but it felt like a lull, so off we went, in rain gear and high spirits. Well, most of us had rain gear and high spirits – one four legged friend has never liked to wear anything extra, rain or snow, and is understandably reluctant walking in very heavy rain, but after the first minute or so, switched from disbelief at going beyond the house boundaries to active enthusiasm.

“I think I see the next storm out there!”

It was good to stretch our legs, and inhale huge lungfuls of fresh sea air. Birds were buffeted by winds, but seemed to be enjoying it, and we had the trails to ourselves. Who would go out knowing a storm’s a brewin’? We would, knowing there’s a storm’s a brewin’ at home, a well earned reward and winter warmer. A new one from Ucluelet Brewing Company, and a real winner!

Very good, even if the thought of a latte stout is off putting.

After another week of rain and flooded roads – admittedly not as bad as last week on the roads – it was a relief to wake up yesterday to a chilly dawn, calm water, clear skies, and all followed by a day of wall to wall sunshine. The sun might be dropping early these days, but at least we got to see it on Thursday!

Storms? Where?

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

Dawn patrol

I do love this time of year, if only because dawn is so much later in the day. I can pretend a false virtuousness at being up and out, working hard before sun up. Dawn patrol? Yeah, right. Anyway, when you’re heading out in the dark, you don’t quite know what is out there. We’ve had another week of mostly rain, to the point that on Thursday we had a minor dawn patrol adventure on the Hitacu-Ucluelet road…

Way past dawn, and a lovely sunny morning

There is a section signposted “road subject to flooding” and each time it rains I always look at the ditch, oftentimes close to overflowing, and think, yup, but not today. Yesterday? Yup, it was that day. There were a few stretches of standing water, deep, but you could still see the centreline under the water and tell yourself an old Jeep can handle it. So it proved, and I ignored the inner teenage voice saying “cool” as the water sprayed over the car. I bet it looked like a Jeep TV commercial. Is what a teenager would say. I’m far too mature to be thinking that, and anyway, why would they film it in the dark?

Early(ish)

There was a nerve jangling stretch where the water was not standing but flowing across the road. Not a torrent, but not a puddle either. It’s a Jeep, we can do it, is what I heard. Ever ready to take advice from my inner teenaged self, we crossed that section, and no floating away. Cool.

Late(ish)

That was before full dawn, when it was quite dark and I couldn’t really see how bad the water was. A few hours later, under orders to return home before the road closed, and after a great deal more rain, it wasn’t quite as cool. The teenager decided to keep quiet, and we enjoyed a somewhat nerve shredding drive, arriving with dry feet – phew – and a notion to pay closer attention to overnight rainfall amounts before setting out on pre-dawn patrol.

The photographs this week were taken last week, some on a rare sunny morning not too long after sun up, and some later the same day. Ah, sunshine, we remember you. Sunshine, you say? Hoping to see a little of that today before the next wave of wet weather arrives tomorrow. At least it’s the weekend, we’re not working, and perhaps taking a later and different dawn patrol:

You can’t see the full label, but this is the latest batch of Dawn Patrol coffee porter – yum, but probably best enjoyed nearer to sundown than sun up? “It’s dawn somewhere, OldPlaidCamper!” Good point.

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

Short, sharp, shocked

After almost a week of high winds and heavy rain, for contrast I thought I’d post bright photos of a recent weekend of sunshine, try to get away from the current floods and gloom.

I have to say we’re thinking of our PNW friends and neighbours struggling with washed out roads, broken supply chains, no utilities and flooded homes. A summer of drought followed by an autumn of floods, what a recipe for disaster.

Sharp

Our own little corner of the PNW hasn’t been hit as hard as other places, and as somewhere relatively remote, where the weather can knock out the power or wash out roads from time to time, the supply chain issues and travel difficulties are more or less part and parcel of normal fall/winter life. The scale of what’s unfolding on the mainland though? Goodness, it’s a loud warning that climate change is happening now – might be humans are leaving it very late to listen?

Still

The photos this week were taken at the end of October. We had a weekend of chilly starts and bright sunshine. Scout had forgotten what relative cold felt like – we all had – and it was funny to watch her tail wagging overtime as she high stepped along frosty paths and frozen docks. The sky was blue, the air was sharp, and the water was still – quite a contrast with what has followed since. When we went to Wick Beach, it was great to be able to sit in a sheltered spot, shirtsleeve comfortable and imagine it was almost summer!

Almost summer!

We wish all the best and a safe and speedy recovery to everyone impacted by the recent weather. All this, and it isn’t even December yet? Might be time to hold on to your hats and find those wellington boots…

So very calm

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

PS I borrowed the post title from a favourite album – anyone else a fan?