“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…”

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

Fogust

You wait all summer for it to be summer, and then when it is (at last!) Fogust pops up! To be fair, we had quite a lot of Fogust in July, when July wasn’t being March. Is it safe to say by the time this is posted, we’ll be back to full on summer? One can hope…

Sea views? The ocean is there…

Yesterday afternoon was a warm and sunny one, so Scout and I dressed appropriately for the weather – sunblock and pants for me, fur coat for her (what was she thinking?) – and off we ambled about town, looking good and looking for a shady spot to sit and keep looking good.

“Yes, I look good, but if you’re done, I’m heading under that bench behind you!”

With the sun high, if not quite at the midday zenith of high summer, empty shade was in short supply, so we settled for a favourite spot, a small platform in front of the inner harbour. Scout, quite sensibly, sought the shade under the bench I was sitting on, and wouldn’t move over to let me under.

I see shade here

We lasted about ten minutes before the relative heat got to me, protected though I was by sunblock, sunglasses, a baseball cap and the aforementioned good looks. We headed home, almost wishing we’d get a short spell of Fogust to break the brief warm spell. Be careful what you almost wish for…

A tad chilly…

I’m off to put on an extra layer. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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!

Heatwave!

Heatwave?! That’s a lie, no heatwave here, but the sun did shine for a few hours last Sunday afternoon!

Sunday sunshine!

It wasn’t wall to wall sunshine last weekend – Saturday was more of the usual for this grey spring season we’ve been enjoying, but we’ve been out and about all the same.

It’s almost dry under the trees!

The real brilliance this season has come from the vibrant greens of the forest, so wonderfully fresh – inhale and enjoy!

Breathe in…

We wouldn’t want to tempt fate, but there is a rumour that summer is on the way, and it might even contain a few sunny days. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?!

I’m not going back out until it is summer…

Not too much to report, so we’ll leave it there for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

A hint of blue and the promise of a warmer season ahead?

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!