De-tour of Alberta

All photos taken during a 34 km (21 mile) bicycle ride in the rural area East of our city.

About the Title

The joke in any Canadian winter city (you know – 4 distinct seasons) is that there are really only 2 seasons – Winter…and…Construction. As soon as the snow is gone and the frost is out of the ground, contractors know they only have six months (or less) to get their projects completed.

The ATB (Alberta Treasury Branch) Tour of Alberta was a UCI sanctioned 2.1 rated stage bicycle race that ran each September from 2013-2017. The tour varied routes and stop locations each year, so that as many Albertans as possible could see the tour pass. It was not renewed beyond the first 5 years.

Now, to bring it all together, our bike ride today started off fine, until we hit Range Road 241 at Country Club Drive and saw the signs—-Road Closed-Local Traffic Only. Hmmm, we were local traffic. Through the barriers we went, only to find that the intersection at RR 241 and TR 505 no longer existed and we had no way to transition East to our regular rural route, without going through the ditches. My Patty assured me this was not going to happen.


Recalculating, recalculating. We could go West and then South through Beaumont, back to 50 Street and then onto SH 625, so we did. This added 3.2 km (2 miles) and 10 minutes to the journey.

Finally at 625, we again headed East, but we were soon out of our comfort zone. Dump truck after dump truck passed us. S—, it was Friday and the roads were busy, even without all the construction. We stopped near RR 241 to take a look. Hmmm, this could take a while to finish.

After a very uncomfortable 6.5 km (4 miles) we finally made it to RR 234 and turned South. The dump trucks appeared to be entering and exiting farmland on the NE corner of this intersection.

Down in the dumps

At long last, we could relax and take in the rural scenery.

Rural highrise

Our usual turn around pond at Airport Road and RR234 was shrinking due to the recent heat and lack of rain, but was still teeming with birdlife. It looked like it could use the services of a pool guy, though.

In the distance, we spotted a red-tailed hawk soaring before he alit on this dead tree.

The crops were looking good, but definitely in need of rain to help them fill out.

How do you move 500 kg (1,100 pound) bales??
I looked at him, he looked at me. Who got whose goat?
Happy sheep in tall grass.

We were riding back North on RR 241 when we spotted it!! The mysterious and very rare field pelican??

The crops look absolutely luxurious, but the neat rows do not yet tell the full tale of what may come at harvest time.
Spray coupe, applying herbicide to take care of the weeds. Not a fun cloud to ride through, I might add.
Cutting the last of the hay crop. The birds were hovering to see what food might scamper out, as the mower passed by.
My fellow De-tour of Alberta rider.
Canola crops are in bloom right now but many flowers are falling off in the heat, before pods can form.
Barn to be Wild
For Sale – Cheap – a real fixer upper.
I think this old farmstead will soon disappear as Beaumont expands South East

the Dirty Truth

Photos taken on July 25/26, 2021

the Dirty Truth ©

Journey’s souvenirs

nothing but ash and bug guts.

That’s the dirty truth!

The ash I found on the car in Kamloops this morning has morphed after driving through a small shower.
There were a few bugs on this 2,900 km road trip.
Cleaning off the patio table, which was under cover for the week we were way. And this is in the air we breathe.


All photos were taken on July 25, 2021.

Our sojourn into Jasper was pretty hectic. People and cars were everywhere. I dropped the ladies off to pick up our take out and circled the block to await their return. Food collected, we set off for the public washrooms. I chose the usual washrooms with the huge parking area. MISTAKE! As soon as we hit the parking lot, we were trapped behind a minivan looking for a parking spot and then dropping people off at the washroom (blocking the drive lane). We opted to drive on but the whole exercise in futility took 10 minutes. The washrooms beside the train station were much less busy and in no time, we were looking for a spot where I could eat my pizza.

We settled on Sixth bridge in the Maligne Canyon and it was a very enjoyable 10 minutes.

Reverie ©

Endless highways fade away

in nature’s calm immersion.

Time stands still for 10 long minutes.

I survey my surroundings

as I dine on my pizza.

Children play happily by

flowing water, as trees sway

in gentle mountain breezes.

Is this as good as it gets?

I wake from my reverie

for another 4 hour drive.

Was this short stop just a dream?

The Maligne River at Sixth bridge
Mmmmmm, pizza
Caught with my mouth full
Nature just happens
Happy at play
Meadow moment

Scenes Through a Dirty Windshield #6 – Kamloops to Beaumont

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken July 25, 2021.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to Timmies we go……………Drive thru that is. Bacon and sausage breakfast sandwiches and a family pack of 50 Timbits (Google it). My travelling companions looked at me strangely…really…a 50 pack…we’ll never eat all those…just watch me.

I ate my sandwich before hitting the highway for the final push. Then it was Timbit time. Being Sunday morning, the highways were quiet…smoky, but quiet. We had hoped to stop in the fruit stand near Barriere to pick up some peaches and pears, but our early Sunday morning departure negated this and so we rolled on…..

I would ask all of you to pay attention to slide #2 below which shows the Kamloops Native Residential School (building left of sun), which brought the injustice perpetrated on the children of Canada’s First Nations peoples by the Government of Canada’s misguided “good intentions”. to the world’s attention. 215 unmarked graves were recently discovered here and more are coming to light at school locations all over Canada. We can only hope society learns from this historical disgrace and that Canada and the other nations implicated will also provide all records, tools and resources required to bring closure to those affected.

….to Valemount for a gas, rest and coffee stop. In the coffee shop, very good coffee, but absolutely no Covid precautions by staff or clients. Hmmm, time to get home.

The last 100+ km to the Alberta boundary were very scenic and mostly smoke free, but we could see the clouds building ahead, so visions of raindrops danced in our heads. Sorry, I just wanted to say that.

At long last, we hit the Alberta and Jasper Park boundaries. Great, we just lost an hour as the time zone changed back to Mountain.

As soon as cell service returned, we placed a takeout order with Famoso Pizza. Salads for the ladies and pizza for me. We found a place to stop, so I could eat, (next post) before driving on. Our next stop was in Edson and after that, the final 2 hour and 20 minute push put us home right around 6 PM. The last slide below is of a train crossing over above the Anthony Henday highway in Edmonton.

7 days, 2,900 km, 2 provinces, 4 family groups visited and a ton of stress loaded onto us all. Gee, but its great to be back home.



All photos taken July 25, 2021.

So, despite the quiet room, comfy bed and the super quiet air conditioner, last night’s sleep? was less than stellar. Still keyed up from the hectic past week, I still had hope of a decent sleep, so we could complete the final 10 hour drive home. Not to be! Somewhere around 1:00 AM, I was awoken by the sound of a car horn in the parking lot beep, beep honk, honk, honk. This went on for some 20 minutes by some sadistic moron playing silly buggers with a guest inside the hotel. Delivery person, hired companion, spurned spouse locked out of his room. Who the H— knows? Just when I thought it was over, it got worse. Loud conversation between this moron and his intended communicant commenced and went on and on and on for an hour. Oh, to be a night owl.

Up early, I was assigned the task to go down and check out the situation in the hotel breakfast room (breakfast included). I donned my face mask (no longer required) and went to see if this would be a bagged breakfast, like at our first night’s stay or if the still cautious staff would be serving the buffet to guests. It was neither. Mobs of guests with unvaccinated children were crowded into the room, all serving themselves with the same spoons from the same warming dishes. Sigh!!! They may be back to normal, but we were not. Reporting back to the duty sergeant, we opted to do a Timmie’s drive thru (ahhhh, fine cuisine). How would you have tackled this situation?

Since we were up early and packed up early and ready early, I charged myself with loading up the chariot. On one trip with my camera, I snapped these pix showing the nights particulate settlement on the car. No wonder our lungs felt like crap.

Same smoky sky, just in the East
So much smoke haze, the autofocus would not even kick in. Kinda describes my eyes after my night’s lack of sleep
Hazy hillsides to the West
And again
Ashfall on the windshield
Close up
Ash on the mooneroof
I felt this upside down shot reflected in the windshield described the conditions perfectly
One more time – Note the charred pine needle at right centre – Hmmm, that did not bode well

Now loaded (the car, not us), we were off early.



All photos taken on July 24, 2021.

After settling into our room, none of us had any desire to go hunting for supper. So, we chose readily available options we had garnered during our short time in Vancouver, as well as a few offerings from our travel snack bag. I know, sad, is it not? But, so satisfying………………………………….

Un-Wine-ding ©

Bottle of Rosé

and French bakery pastry.

Un-wine-ding with style?

Beaucoup Bakery cinnamon scroll
delightful Provence Rosé in fine crystal Holiday Inn Express goblet

Bugging Out

All photos taken during our July 5, 2021 walk in Tucker’s Field/Bunchberry Meadows.

Our bug jackets may make us seem like we are insectaphobes, but there are plenty of photogenic insects along the hike that add to our enjoyment.

Bugging Out ©

Dragonflies hover,

Butterflies flitter.

Two nature Lovers,

Our time we fritter.

Sharing – 2 Northwestern Frittilary butterflies/1 flower
This dragonfly looks like a tiny helicopter hovering over the horse pasture
Canadian Yellow Swallowtail butterfly (wings folded) on spruce branch
Aphrodite Frittilary butterfly
Blue Eyed Darner Dragonfly
Can you spot the grasshopper in the grass?
Blue Eyed Darner Dragonfly
We felt sad for this worker Bumblebee. She was obviously on her last legs (wings) so to speak, worn out from all the back and forth pollen gathering. All she could do was walk along the ground.

Regarding Week 4 of the Photo Challenge

Week #4 photo in the photo challenge was of a field of lupins at Nauthalsvik Geothermal Beach in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Here is the link to the original post.


Wyldflower Wynd

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are viewing on your phone is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken during our July 5, 2021 walk in Bunchberry Meadows/Tucker’s Field.

After our week long heat wave, we were worried that the wildflowers in Bunchberry/Tuckers may have taken a beating. Our fears proved to be unfounded as one wild flower variety’s season melded into the next. It seems there was always something in bloom here during spring and summer.

Wyldflower Wynd ©

Out for a stroll along Wyldflower Wynd,

knowing not what new treasures we’d find.

Pink Alberta roses still in bloom,

filling the air with their fine perfume.

Orange tiger lilies, quite the surprise,

then yellow flowers, tiny in size.

Along trail edge, mushrooms translucent,

dainty canopies like tiny tents.

Royal purple thistles, bristling tall,

red wild raspberries, few and quite small.

Delicate blue blooms, like tiny stars,

scattered along path, both near and far.

White flower clump like bridal bouquet,

beautiful wild daisies swing and sway.

Pink roses replaced by red rose hips,

huge white puff balls with feathery tips.

Flowers may fade and green leaves turn gold,

But Wyldflower Wynd never gets old.


#44 – the Years are Zooming By

Fall is our favourite time of year, it is often sunny and mild, with warm breezes, most of the biting bugs are gone and the outdoor world is so colourful. We got engaged in the fall, we got married in the fall and 44 years later, we still enjoy the fall, as we remember our history together.

Sister L and brother L from New Brunswick always give thoughtful anniversary gifts. This year, they proposed a Zoom conversation celebration. Time and date, menu and beverages agreed upon, we eagerly awaited the day. Knowing how much thought they would put into this gift, we made sure to set the scene properly at our end, formal clothes (at least at Zoom height), a nice table setting and candles. Laughter and conversation flowed, along with the bubbles.

Distance and Covid circumstance make celebrating special occasions a bit more difficult, but we have only to try harder to overcome those difficulties to make the time special. That is the meaning of life.

FALLing in Love ©

From across the room, I met your gaze,

long golden hair shining in sun’s rays.

I wonder aloud “Now who is that”?

Walking by my desk, you stop to chat.

Weeks quickly flew by with work busy,

at Christmas party, you danced with me.

Gazing deep into your eyes so blue,

it was at that moment that I knew

that you were the only one for me.

Now to turn me and you into we.

After courtship, we were soon engaged,

one year later, our wedding was staged.

In mid September, I do’s were said

and mere moments later, we were wed.

Each year since in September weather

I’m so happy we are together.

Happy Anniversary to my Patty

First Dance – whose long blond hair was I talking about?
Wedding Day
Walking in the fall 1982
Still walking in the fall in 2021

Hell’s Inferno

All photos taken on July 24, 2021 in Kamloops, B.C.

We arrived at the Holiday Inn Express in Kamloops around 6:00 PM. I checked in, while the ladies got the luggage sorted at the car. When I came back out, the sky was an eerie orange and the sun was a menacing red.

But, I had luggage to tote and kept my photo aspirations on the back burner, for a while. When I went back out for one last item, I could not resist taking a few shots. I knew that two major fires and a few smaller ones were burning nearby, but the sight unfolding looked truly horrible. We would be glad to wend our way back East tomorrow.

From a distance, the scene does not look that bad.
On closer inspection, the early evening sun is partly obscured by rising smoke plumes.
Pulling back, the smoke plumes almost look like clouds.
The sun, still high in the sky appears to be consumed by the smoke
One last shot before heading into the “fresher” air of the hotel – the sun looks like a new planet being born out of fire

Scenes Through a Dirty Windshield #5 – Vancouver to Kamloops via the “Smokequahalla”

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken on July 24, 2021.

Our parking meter and visiting time both expired at 2:00 P.M. We said our goodbyes and headed back on the road, bound for Kamloops for the night.

Our path out of Vancouver went via Hastings Street and then over the Port Mann Bridge and onto the Transcanada Highway, bound for Hope. On the way, we caught a perfect view of Mount Baker.

We gassed up at Bridal Falls and continued on our way to Hope, where we would turn North on the Coquihalla Highway #5. This highway, originally opened as a toll road on May 16, 1986. The tolls continued until 2005, when the construction and maintenance cost were at last fully funded. The distance between Hope and Kamloops using this route is 203 km. Many portions of this road have a 120 k/h (75 m/h) speed limit, so the time between points is 1 hour and 56 minutes, rather than the 3 hours and 9 minutes it would take via Highway 1 or the almost 6 hours it would take to go via the Okanagan.

Signs warned about restricted vision on the highway due to forest fire smoke, so we wondered what delays that would bring, At the Southern end, the skies were clear and we rolled on to the Britton Creek rest stop (first slide). After that point, we could see the smoke levels increasing and start to feel the smoke’s effects on our throats and eyes.

We zoomed onward, up and down the passes and into and out of smoke zones. In places, we could see fire fighting ground crews setting up.

In other places, helicopters spun up and down overhead, loading their buckets from the nearby lakes in an attempt to douse the flames.

One last summit into the smoke and we were down into Kamloops. Forecast for tonight—-dark and smoky.


The West End – Vancouver

All photos taken July 14, 2021.

Our kids live in Vancouver’s West End, which we have gotten to know pretty well since 2010. We did not realize how much we had missed it, unto we walked back through the neighbourhood. It is a mixture of luxuriant greenery and flowers, as well as glass highrises and older character homes. Hope to be back there soon.

West End Vancouver ©

West End Vancouver,

in the heart of a city,

peaceful oasis.


Family Matters

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken July 24, 2021.

One of our happiest goals on this rushed journey was to deliver a portable A/C unit to son B and daughter K, who live in Vancouver and have some face to face in person time with them for the first time, since the Covid 19 pandemic started in March 2020. They had taken our order for banh mi and French bakery goodies, found us a parking spot, walked us to the perfect shaded seat at Sunset Bay and then through their neighbourhood. We even got to see Benji, the Wonder Dog. 2 hours and 15 minutes was not long enough, but we still had miles to go before we sleep and this would have to do for now.

Family Matters ©

How long has it been since our last face to face,

way too long, my heart says, as we all embrace.

Sure, there has been Skype, Zoom, E-mail, phone, letter

but, seeing you in person’s so much better.

Tears of joy, smiles, hugs, laughter, photos, chatter,

pandemic be damned, family’s what matters.


Different Point of Attack

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are viewing on your phone is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken during our July 5, 2021 walk in Tuckers Field/Bunchberry Meadows.

We missed a week here, due to the heat wave that made it too hot to even consider a walk in the forest. So, after the wave passed, we picked the first cool, dry day of the week and headed out. This time, instead of foregoing morning coffee to avoid the need for a washroom, Pat suggested we start from the Tucker’s Field parking lot, walk clockwise to the Bunchberry washrooms, then continue on clockwise back to Tucker’s and our lunch stop. It all worked out perfectly and left us only a 5-10 minute walk away from the car after lunch.

Distance hiked: About 10 km (6.2 miles)

Time taken: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Appropriate clothing: Hiking boots, long pants and bug jackets. The mossies were thick in the tall grass and we were quite comfy not being blood donors.

Our point of entry at Tucker’s Field

The first thing we noticed was how high the grass had grown. Early on, we thought it was tall at 5 feet, but in some places, it was over 6 feet. We opted to take the short cut to Bunchberry’s Tamarack Trail and immediately realized how overgrown this lesser used trail was (see last 2 photos in slide show)

Now in Bunchberry, we noted that the grassy trail had been mowed. It had been mowed poorly, but nonetheless, it was much easier going than what we had just bushwhacked our way through. The slideshow below is of Tamarack Trail. Again, the 2nd last slide shows how tall the grass along the side of the trail was.

Soon, on Aspen Parkland Trail, we alternated between shade and sun and could feel the heat building. The bug jackets, while made from mesh, blocked a fair bit of the breeze. Glad it was not a hot day. The mosquitoes were thick, but there were tons of dragon flies around as well. You can see them hovering like tiny helicopters in some of the shots in the slide show below.

We arrived at the Bunchberry toilets at the very same time as staff were cleaning them, but our delay was not significant. There were only 4 cars in the parking lot and one of those belonged to the cleaners, while the other was a volunteer, doing planting. We were quickly on our way through some of our favourite territory.

The shade was delicious and we soon arrived at the Grove, for our time lapse shot. The stark white trunks of the aspens were now overpowered by the green foliage.

Back on Tamarack Trail, we headed for Tucker’s Field beside strangely blue grass and shiny bleached log benches. To the West, darkling shadows of clouds gathered, but the day remained dry.

Back in Tucker’s Field, we opted to do our usual walk beside the marshy pond and again found plenty of tall grass and overgrown paths. Up on the field, the grey skies continued to darken.

Time for our 2nd time lapse location, before we headed…

…off for our lunch stop. The necks of our bug jackets had wide zippers to allow for food and drink access. This day, we opted to stick our sandwiches inside and dine “indoors”. Turned out to be a bit of a mistake and we both had some PB and J on the mesh.

Before we walked on to the car, I thought, I should take a photo of our lunch bench for you all to see. Here it is. If you look behind the bench and left of the big tree just right of the center of the bench, you will see the spindly tree that I attach my camera Gorillapod to for the selfie.

A short walk back out of Tucker’s and we were at the car just before Noon and driving home.


Road Block? – the choice of direction is yours

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken on our 40 km (25 mile) bike ride on September 5, 2021.

Labour Day! The last long weekend of the summer/first long weekend of the fall and we could not ask for better weather. From Friday to Monday, temperatures will range from +22 to +25 C (72-77 F). As hours of daylight get shorter, our outdoor time (cycling, hiking, gardening or just doing nothing) is getting more and more precious.

Meanwhile, Covid cases are on the upswing as the anti-vaxers and vaccine hesitant get even more determined not to get the shot. Enter our illustrious, long absent leader on September 3/21, to do the right errr, something. As usual, he was a day late (6 weeks) and a dollar short. Instead of rewarding those who have been vaccinated, he elected to reward the unvaccinated, as an enticement to get the shot. Psssst, if you get the shot, we’ll slip you $100. Well, don’t the 3,000,000 Albertans who already did the right thing feel stupid for rushing in too soon? Masks are back in for indoor spaces (about time – we never stopped wearing ours), liquor sales are curtailed after 10:00 PM and indoor gatherings have a “suggested” limitation of 2 families not exceeding 10 people from cohort families. All this, as cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions increase, causing delays in other hospital procedures, including my long delayed follow up colonoscopy.

Oh, and yes, even though the party in power does not approve of vaccine passports or their use in Alberta, they will be providing a printable proof of vaccination card and perhaps a QR code sometime…..soon….I hope. More and more establishments see that the only way to stave off further shutdowns is to limit access to those who provide proof of vaccination or a clean current Covid test result. In the interim, a few continue to protest, some even blocking access to the Vancouver General Hospital, where health care staff and chemo patients were hassled and roughed up as they struggled to get to their job and appointments. As well, a stabbing victim died when his ambulance could not reach the ambulance bay. I guess empathy and common sense are just not very common any more.

It is like the feature photo (also below). When we are presented with restrictions or barriers, we have the right to choose which direction we go, but we also must accept the consequences of that choice and we must realize our rights are only our rights until they infringe on the rights of others. I just hope we all choose wisely.

When oh when will they ever get this road back open…?

With all this stuff spinning, we once again set off for a rural ride and managed to take our minds off the Covid issues and the upcoming elections for a little while. It was just what we needed to restore our Zen.

The day was glorious and even though the winds were often in our faces, making our way over the roads was easy, once we got past the rider’s block.

At the barrier, we opted to turn left, as usual and see what was happening out in the country

Harvest is fully under way. These farmers were likely waiting for the morning dew to dry off, before starting back up.

Further along, some farmers had swathed their canola, others were doing their second hay cut and still others had already turned the soil over for the fall.

Approaching Airport Road, we had choices to make and opted to ride a bit further South to see what was happening on our favourite Prairie Pothole

Before proceeding, we watched a red-tailed hawk sitting on guard in a tree and another soaring, looking for dinner.

This prairie pothole was the largest along our route and still had plenty of water and birds in it, including a Solitary Sandpiper. I had heard a call that I thought was a Killdeer, but found out it was this sandpiper. Other potholes were so dry, even the stink was gone.

Blue sky and puffy clouds hung above us
This old cattle shed is hanging on
You may recall this pothole from my Pothole series. This is the one that was all covered in algae. Not much left now and no birds.

At one corner, we were met by stares from these curious bovines.

More crops in various phases of harvest and blue sky above it all.

Back at the barrier, we opted to go play on the yellow line. It was a pleasure riding along this smooth stretch of road with no cars on it.

Along the way, we passed fields where canola had been or was being swathed. Beaumont’s church on the hill stood tall above it all.

Here is a scene you do not see everyday in this part of the world

A new calf and mama looked at us in amazement.

One last prairie sky look

Nanaimo Excursion

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken July 22, 2021, during our visit to Nanaimo.

We took this day to travel to Nanaimo, so sister M could visit her daughter and grandson. The visits were spread out a bit during the day, so we had plenty of time to wander around the seawall and through Maffeo Sutton Park. We found a parking spot in the park, paid for 6 hours of parking and only explored as far as our feet would carry us.

Nanaimo is a city on the East coast of Vancouver Island, with a population of around 105,000 in the metro area. The name Nanaimo is an anglicized pronunciation of the name of the indigenous peoples of the area, the Snuneymuxw.

Source: Wikipedia

Nanaimo’s claim to fame is the invention of the tasty and delicious no bake Nanaimo bar dessert. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanaimo_bar My Patty makes a great version of these at Christmas and other times.

The day was hot and sunny, so we tried to stay in the shade, as much as possible. It was pleasant being in a waterfront park again.

Nanaimo’s photo op
My fashion plate wife is rockin’ her Covid mask look
Bridge joining the park to the seawall
Sayshutsun-Newcastle Island (left) – an island marine park and Protection Island (right) – a residential island are joined by a land bridge at low tide
Waterfront shopping and marinas in Nanaimo

Flowers and greenery were everywhere….

…as were all manner of watercraft and seaplanes taking off and landing.

We did walk downtown for lunch and our first family meetup…

…before walking back to enjoy ice cream cones in the shade. The reflections in the midday sun were stunning.

We paused to look at the clouds and greenery before our next meetup.

Just as our parking permit permit expired, it was time to drive back to Victoria and our hotel. Our lunch had been so large, we felt no need for any further serious food, but wine and Agent Orange (Hawkins Cheezies) were both on the pre-bedtime menu. A stressful, but informative day.

What places have you travelled recently to visit with family?


Scenes Through a Dirty Windshield #4 – The Malahat

All photos taken on our July 22, 2021 trip to and from Nanaimo.

‘The Malahat’ is the term commonly applied to the Malahat Drive, a 25 km (15.5 mi) portion of the Trans Canada Highway 1 running along the west side of Saanich Inlet and to the region surrounding it. The road was first cut as a cattle trail in 1861 and was then upgraded to wagon road standards in 1884. It became a paved road in 1911. Its name comes from the Malahat First Nation, whose ancestors used the local caves for spiritual enhancement. The Malahat Drive climbs to a summit of 356 m (1,156 ft), and the mountain is considered one of the most sacred sites on southern Vancouver Island.

Source: Travel British Columbia

After coffee and breakfast, we set off for the 80 minute drive to Nanaimo for a visit with some other relatives. Shortly after Victoria, the Malahat Drive rises up to present some great views of the Saanich Inlet. We were short on time, so did not try out the new Malahat Skywalk.

Not sure what this soaring bird was. Perhaps an eagle or osprey, but my photo was from too far way
Saanich Inlet
Saanich Inlet
Near the summit of Malahat Drive on the return drive
near the summit of Malahat Drive
Descending from the Malahat summit

Home is Where the Heart Is

As I mentioned in the first post in this series, the main reason for this trip was to visit with an ailing parent, a niece, grand-nephew and son and daughter-in-law. Without going into the details, our short time was fraught with many emotions. The home referred to is not any particular place, but just any place where you may happen to be at the moment.

Home is Where the Heart is ©

Home is where the heart is or at least a part thereof,

sure, there’s trials and tribulations, but there’s also love.

Covid’s kept us all apart, for far too many days,

so long without a handshake, hug, smile or loving gaze.

A long and tiring drive was surely worth the bother,

after all’s said and done, we only have each other.

The home in this case, was Fada’s.

Fada gives us the tour
Cool evening shade
Me with my glow in the dark hair style.
Celebrating family time
My turn to be in the picture

Making the Rounds

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are viewing on your phone is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken during our 23 km bike ride on July 3, 2021.

Our spell of hot weather was all but over and we were eager to do a longer cycle ride. We set off on our usual rural route, but quickly realized that while it was cooler, the NW winds gusting to 45 k/h (28 m/h) would be a problem on our return trip, even on an E-bike. At RR 234, we agreed to change our route and return home via SH625. A wise choice, as it turns out. Battling the wind resulted in us working up a sweat, something we did not wish to do after 7 straight days above +30.

Along 625, we spotted rural life in progress and paused numerous times to capture the sights.

Making the Rounds ©

At every turn,

there are many sights to see

as we make the rounds.

Typical June rural scene. All that heat had certainly sped up the haying process. From cut to bale in less than a week.
Round bales and round bins.
Great wall of round bales from last year, new round hay bales and round bins
Hay bales, just laying a-round.
Round the corner and what did we see?
Bovine herd just grazing round the pasture
Local want ads on round hydro pole
Each hay bale weighs around 454-545 kg (1,000 to 1,200 pounds.
New born calves just laying around.
Stop before going round the corner.
Now that the hay has been baled, it won’t be long before the farmer rounds them up into rows to get them out of the way for the fall hay crop.

Red-tailed hawk soaring on the thermals, trying to round up his next meal.

Hay windrows still lying around the fields.

Hay bales around the farm equipment.

Canola fields in bloom surround Beaumont.

There must be around 5,000 trees in this tree farm.
Canola blooms starting around a week earlier than usual this year.

This old barn has been around a long time.

Our round trip took us around 90 minutes to complete., allowing for photo stops.
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