UBC

UBC? Would that be the University of British Columbia? Well, yes, but no, not in this case. UBC is a fine institution, a seat of learning where several of the post secondary students I work with are studying, but all that is far too highbrow for this particular post. That said, although it is summer, with less focus on education-related work than usual, important research has to continue. (If you’re still with me, thank you, but be warned, this post has absolutely no point – but there will be a pint…)

Somewhat hazy

The header photo already gives it away, but my learning in recent weeks has been more focused on the other UBC here in Ucluelet. Yes, the Ucluelet Brewing Company! Since throwing open (and then closing, due to pandemic) their sturdy wooden doors almost three years ago, I’ve really hankered after enjoying an unhurried pint on the outside patio overlooking the water – and my office across the bay! (I think doing so demonstrates my deep commitment to things I love – learning and beer – how professional is that?)

I’ve completed some worthwhile research here

We’ve enjoyed several evenings inside the converted church, but timing or weather hadn’t allowed us to get outside. A few weeks back, one Saturday afternoon, I happened to be out and about running some essential errands. I was heading down the hill about 2pm and glanced up at the brewery, thinking it was bound to be busy. An empty patio?! Goodness.

Essential! (Thank you, universe)

Bearing in mind I’d set out to complete some essential errands that could not be delayed, I did the right thing, which was why, a few minutes later, I was sat up on the balcony overlooking the water, a lovely pint of Harbour View Hazy Pale ale close to hand. Did someone say essential errands?

Almost summer, and can almost see my office from here (it’s out of shot, to the right, and no one’s in right now)

What a happy hour that was! Good things are worth the wait, but I hope it isn’t another almost three years before it is repeated… And those errands? Time for those later, if I can remember what they were…

As stated at the start, a post without a point, but it did have a pint. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Canada Day!

I was aiming to choose a recent photograph that attempted to capture the essence of Canada – our little corner – for Canada Day, and I think it’s quite a good choice!

Pretty hoppy with my choice, and as much as a beer can, this represents our little corner! Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all who choose to celebrate. It’s far from perfect here in the True North, but as a work in (slow) progress we’re paddling in the right direction, and that’s something to celebrate. Cheers!

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

Summer!

We’ve finally had a hint of summer, and it feels good! As with spring, June 21st was a total washout, but the couple of days since, and the next few ahead have been/will be of a more summery nature. Phew!

Summery

A very brief post this week, as end of academic year activities, celebrations, and wrap up tasks take up most of our time. We’re looking forward to a warm and sunny weekend, and will be sitting outside drinking a beer. Might be a pale ale – just saying… And as we sit there, we’ll be hoping for more of the same. Beer? Sunny weekends? Both!

And long walks?!

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

Yup, summery…

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!

Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast? Not always, but it has been sunny, the most sunshine we’ve seen in the past few months, and we’re very happy about that!

Sunnier than we’ve been used to!

A brief post, as we spend a few days in an internet free cabin a few miles outside Powell River on BC’s Sunshine Coast. Powell River is home to Townsite Brewing, and we spent a very pleasant hour in their lovely garden enjoying a jar of Suncoast Pale Ale.

Brewery garden and Suncoast Pale Ale

More to follow (from Townsite Brewing and our trip) when we return home next week. In the meantime, I hope you have a sunny weekend ahead. (I’ve seen the forecast for Ucluelet, and apparently it will be raining by the time we return – there’ll be time to catch up on blog reading. More rain and cold? Oh well…we’ve seen the sun!)

Sunshine Coast…

Warm glow

If we can’t bask in the warm glow of a sunny Spring day, then we’ll enjoy the warm glow colour and looks of a sodden cedar log!

Warm glow

The season continues to be damp and chilly, so when we head out, we do so kitted out for February or March rather than May. Cold and rain aside, everything looks fresh and green, and it is a delight to be out there.

Tangled fringe

To keep warm, we’re walking at a brisk pace, and stops to sit and admire the location are brief but enjoyable enough. With summer just a few short weeks away, we’re hopeful there’ll soon be days when we can sit on a (dry) log, basking in a proper warm glow.

Damp underfoot (underpaw?) – can’t stop for too long…

Until then, it’s appreciate the scents, sights and sounds of the dripping rainforest fringe, and don’t think too hard about why we have winter beers in the fridge…

A failed attempt at a tan and black. Almost a waste of a good stout…

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

Last weekend. Mid May? Or early March?

PS Of course, the day before posting, what happens? Why, there’s an improvement and blue skies reappeared:

Blue skies! The morning after a big storm

Searching

For Spring! Have you seen it? I like to imagine Spring is wandering around, looking for a place to settle, but has been unable to decide…

Is this Spring sneaking in?

…and perhaps Spring has overlooked or possibly forgotten to pay a visit to the island? Overly fanciful? All I know for sure is seasonal norms for spring temperatures here have yet to be reached. Spring is lost, I tell you!

A hint at least

Scout and I have tried very hard to find Spring this past week. There have been rumours of warmer weather and spells of prolonged sunshine, but it turned out they were mostly just that – hints and rumours.

We looked from the top of Marine, but couldn’t see Spring, or not much more than a hint…

We went all the way to Sproat Lake the other day, into the interior where it’s always warmer than the coast. What a joy to see the outside readings on the Jeep temperature gauge fall from a “balmy” plus 5 on the coast to a practically frigid plus 2/3 at the lake. Spring was not lurking by the lake. Hmm.

Chilly at the lake

To be fair, spring signs are everywhere – the birds are busily vocal, the undergrowth and trees are greening up nicely, and there’s been plenty of blossom and such. Just no warmth, no opportunity to sit in the early evening sun and enjoy a beer. Maybe May will be the month for that?! C’mon, Spring, come and find us, if only for a day or two. Or three.

Lakeside blossom, very pretty, but it wasn’t warm

Before I sign off, I understand Scout took control of the blog last time out and she was a touch judgmental about my range of beer choices? I’d be more than happy for her to go into the store and make her own selections, but she’s not an (official) emotional support dog so that can’t happen. Sadly, she’d just choose any old lager and then be disappointed about the relative lack of froth – the part she likes best. I won’t succumb to beer pressure and make bad choices Scout, let me be clear about that!

No, I will not succumb to- oh… (Don’t tell Scout, but I quite liked this!)
“It’s too cold to sit out, and I am not touching that – where’s the froth?”
“But thank you for choosing something different!”

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

Trail tails

Scout here. Old PlaidCamper is asleep right now, nodded off in his chair. I think he’s finding the pace all a bit much, between unpacking boxes and getting out on the trails. I go slow most of the time, but even so, he will insist on stopping “to take a picture” – we both know that means he needs a break.

He needed a rest

Anyway, while he’s asleep – he makes this weird yipping sound and twitches sometimes, like he’s chasing rabbits? – I thought I’d use this time to do a post about me, put a paws on the usual “man goes for walk with dog then has beer after” – he always chooses a pale ale or stout, have you noticed?

Although, when it’s this good, can you blame him? Yes, sometimes he lets me have some of the froth…

I’ll sit outside the beer store smiling at passersby, and eventually, after an hour or two, out he comes looking pleased with himself, and showing me what he’s chosen. Oh, a pale ale? And a stout? Brave choice old boy. I wag my tail, pretend I care.

Scenery
Probably going to the beer store after this

He’s still asleep, so how about another photo of me? This week, I’ve had to drag him away from the boxes. He gets stuff out, puts it somewhere, moves it somewhere else, shakes his head, and then puts it back into a different box. Odd behaviour… I help him realize he’s being boring, and manage to nudge him outside for a little while, encourage him to scamper about a bit. It does him good. More importantly, here’s me, keeping busy:

Now this is real work, keeping trails tidy

I think he’s waking up, and it’s probably what he calls beer o’clock. So funny, never heard that one before. Just enough time for one more picture of me? I think so. And here I am, looking away from the camera ‘cos he thinks I don’t know when he’s about to take my shot – perhaps I’m camera shy?

Not looking at the camera, not looking, still looking away – oh, I like this one!

Thanks for reading. I expect “normal” service will resume next time, so that’ll mean something about going for a walk and having a beer. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

He took my picture, didn’t he?

It was Spring…

…until it wasn’t!

We took a quick trip to Victoria last weekend, and for the first time in a long cold spell, it felt like Spring. The wind was gusting, but we found a sheltered spot outside a coffee shop, and it was very pleasant to be sitting in warm sunshine contemplating the late turn in the season.

Spring!

The next morning was grey, with a hint of rain in the air. That hint was misleading, because by the time we were heading back on the Malahat Highway, the rain had turned to snow, and snow was our intermittent companion all the way home.

Spring?!

Monday promised a touch of Spring. Without knowing it, I captured a stunning image of a hummingbird – I think the image below speaks for itself, and certainly shows how attentive I can be to the local wildlife.

Hummingbird – or smudge on lens?

Did Spring stick around, with a slow yet steady increase in temperatures? No. More snow, rain, hail, sleet, and fifteen seconds of sunshine has been the week since Monday morning. Very happy we won’t have to worry about melting Easter eggs this coming weekend…

Spring arrivals

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

Here’s to warmer, hoppier days ahead…