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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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!

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Farewell 2018

Yule logs

The plan was to resume normal service here at OldPlaidCamper after all our recent excitement, but a huge storm has caused a power outage, so I’m reduced to tapping out this post on my phone late on Thursday night and hoping it appears on Friday. Small keyboard, chunky thumbs and poor vision – I’d best keep this brief.

You’ll be happy to hear Scout is no worse for wear after her solo wilderness trip – she’s hanging out with us a bit closer than previously, a little wary, and needing to regain some weight, but otherwise all good.

We don’t go overboard with the seasonal festive stuff, but having Scout back is quite the gift. Soon, we will be back on the trails looking for branches she can chew and places for her to dig – wonderful!

A warm glow

If you celebrate the season, then happy holidays, and have a great weekend and week to come!

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…

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“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.

Missing

Scout was out on her pack walk earlier this week, when a logging truck startled the pack and they scattered. Scout was in front of the truck and kept running to try and get away. When the pack regrouped, Scout was missing.

We’ve been out since at every opportunity, walking the logging roads and forest trails, calling Scout’s name, and the pack master has also been out every day, tracing and retracing their usual routes.

On the plus side, Scout was spotted briefly the following day, shadowing the pack, but didn’t return when called. She’s been out there since Tuesday, probably having a fine old time doing what any dog might choose to do. There is plenty of water, and she’s never been shy about trying new things to eat…

We are completely distraught (even if she is likely quite happy about her current predicament) thinking of her all alone out there. It has been very wet, but not so cold. Scout is familiar with the location, and we’re hoping she doesn’t choose to range far.

We will be spending every daylight moment we can this coming Friday and weekend, walking all the trails and hoping for a good outcome. Perhaps the novelty and excitement will wear off for Scout, hunger will kick in and she’ll come lolloping out of the forest to greet us.

Have a good weekend.

 

 

Chilling

Short and chilled this week! Yes, chilling, because that’s what you do on the laid back West Coast. That, and it’s been very, very cold out here for the start of December. Not Alberta cold, but certainly chilly.C8CA636E-9E3C-4E72-A33B-38D9036F5EC9

I was on a field trip with a wrapped up and excited grade 5/6 class yesterday, out on the trail searching for mushrooms. Students had enjoyed a presentation about fungi, listening to a local scientist enthuse about the (for most mushrooms) symbiotic relationship mushrooms have with trees, and the wonderful array of mushrooms that can be found in the immediate rainforest area. Puffball, jelly, truffle – no luck, wrong season – bracket, gilled, veined, morel, bird nest, orange peel, blue chanterelle, we looked high and low (mostly low) for many amazing mushrooms. Students were so engrossed in the search, they forgot just how cold it was. Maybe because they were engrossed in the very best classroom…

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Is this the right way up? I’m really not too sure…

It’s not all mushroom mayhem for this fun guy. Earlier in the week I had to drive over to Port Alberni for a committee, and this time I messed up the timing and got caught in a long construction delay. How did I get this wrong? I realized parts of the Ucluelet Small Craft Harbour had a thin layer of ice and couldn’t help myself stopping, barely 30 seconds after setting off, to snap a shot or two on the phone. Yes, I mistimed the traffic, but when I made it through, thinking I’d be the last to arrive, I was the first person there. The morel (oh no) of this story? There isn’t one, just an excuse for a bad pun.

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A good place to chill 

The photos this week are from the early morning stop. The anchor and bench picture is of one of my favourite places to sit and drink coffee, but it’ll be a while before we’re sat back there in warmer weather, chilling.85B1282B-FC07-4D7B-8237-F2C6F5DA11E9

A short post – trying to keep it cool – thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

PS Is it fungi or funghi?

Stormy…

…Sunday, Monday, and maybe some other days.

We’ve been enjoying plenty of PNW precipitation the past week or two. So much so, camping was cancelled! Noooo. The high winds and big sea swell did prevent travel by boat last weekend, and given how strong the winds became on Sunday – the day we were due to travel back – a couple of mostly indoor gym days were safer and the students still had a pretty good time. Lots of touch football (nothing like rugby but I did my best) and plenty of kitchen activity preparing tacos for dinner and pancakes for breakfast kept everyone busy. Extended trips away have been put on hold for the next little while, but winter brings some time to learn how to carve paddles and clear local trails.

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Not too near the edge

Scout doesn’t love the rain, but still needs a couple of longish walks every day, so we tried to time walks with the forecast lighter spells of rain. The Wild Pacific trails meander through rainforest, and the trees offer quite a bit of shelter if the wind isn’t blowing the rain drops sideways. We are always cautious – life on the (ocean) edge, but not over it – taking extra care on these stormy, slippery days.

The cedar, moss and wet earth smells add a strong sensory dimension, very pleasant for us, and almost beyond exciting for Scout. She soon forgets the soaking she’s getting once she’s on the trail, tail wagging, darting left and right and stopping to sniff all the intriguing scents.

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Sunday

Logs were carried up the surge channels, crashing and thudding into the rocks, and it is a wonder to see wave upon wave pounding the little beaches where we were sitting in sunshine just a few days earlier. The next time it feels safe enough for us to clamber down to our favourite beach hideouts, it’ll look the same but different – newly washed up logs to sit (and chew) on, and different shelves of shells and sand to leave our prints in.

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Down in the same place as the photo above, one week earlier

It’s a blast to have wild and wooly weather followed by calm and sunny breaks. We hope the forecast for a bright and sunny weekend is accurate, but if it isn’t, so long as the wet weather gear holds up as well as it has so far, then we’ll keep heading out and about to enjoy a good soaking all through the coming winter! Stormy Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…

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“No, it won’t be raining here next week…”

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

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Yes it will!

Sunny spells, sunny spells…

I’ve been trying a new mantra, and with the power of positive thought, it’s going to work. Of course, it’ll have to be brief.D4225C4B-854F-4C3F-B956-43FB7509EA98

After a few days this week where the rain was heavy, we’ve been promised sunny spells for the coming weekend. I’ve quite enjoyed the rain, and the fog rolling in late afternoons after the deluge. Very atmospheric, apart from when I left my rain jacket in the car yesterday, and I got absolutely soaked in the thirty seconds it took to dash out and get my jacket because I didn’t want to get wet. Won’t be making that mistake again. It’s hard to look credible advising students that yes, they absolutely must have their rain coats on before heading out, because it is sensible to do so, when you’re dripping rainwater on the floor…

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“I always remember my coat!”

Sunny spells, sunny spells. As usual, I haven’t much enjoyed following the news. We’ve family in the US and UK, and the combined leadership deficits displayed by government in each place has left us quite despondent. All that noise and self serving nonsense. It’s exhausting to read about, and must be so much worse to experience. Throw in the recent dreadful antics on display from the nationalist visitor to France, and all I can say is what a relief it has been to get outdoors and take a few – many – deep breaths. Sunny spells, sunny spells.

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A sunny Indignant Cove

It was mostly dry and fairly warm last weekend, so we wandered out and about, including a pleasant couple of hours at Indignant Cove soaking up some sun. Sunshine and shirtsleeves in November? Very welcome, and we’re making the most of these days with sunny spells, because the rains are coming…but please, not before Monday! Actually, I’ll take time outside, including with heavy rain, because even if you’ve forgotten your coat, or you catch a chill (however that works) it’s still a sunnier prospect than catching the latest headlines.

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Casting a sunny spell

Sunny spells, sunny spells, even in the rain.

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Rain, later…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of sunny spells, sunny spells!