Category Archives: Camping

Welcoming New Hiking Boots

I’m a rambling man. . . 

An early birthday present. Vibram soles, breathable uppers.

Thank you my darling wife!

Dunno how many pairs of hiking boots I’ve worn out over the decades, ranging from traditional full leather to modern weird stuff.

These seem to be a nice balance of tried-and-true soles and moderately high-tech uppers.

Merrell Vibram hiking boots

Camping at Ten Mile Lake Provincial Park

I tacked a few days on to my trip to Quesnel for SEP2017, the BC-wide streamkeepers workshop, so that I could relax and camp for a couple of days. Here are some shots from the road trip, and  a lovely stay at Ten Mile Lake Provincial Park. All of these photos were taken with my new Canon SX720HS.

Quesnel road trip Ten Mile Lake
Here’s an example of the amazing 40X optical zoom, from widest to the telephoto limit.


The view a few steps from my campsite


Killdeer


Loon

Ten Mile Lake
White-winged Scoter at Ten Mile Lake north of Quesnel, BC. This is the first time I’ve seen this bird.


One of humankind’s greatest inventions :-). The folding chair with built-in cup holder.


OK, so I got a pack of dogs at Wal-Mart for $2.99, but at least I paired them with a baguette!


At the campfire wearing my Vancouver Half-Marathon T from a few years back. Hot dogs and beer — the athletes dinner. . .


Lots of trout jumping in the lake


The view from the fishing-only dock


There were several frogs near the boat launch


I admired this cute furball — it didn’t solicit any treats from me, just happily munched away on a healthy natural diet

Ode to a Knife

OK, let’s get one thing clear off the top. I love this knife, but I’m not homicidal. I just have a long history with this sturdy implement, and I admire its durability.

It’s a US Boy Scouts sheath knife circa 1970. I bought it when I was living in New York City, and was active with the local troop in my ‘hood, so it’s at least 45 years old.

It’s all original, including the leather sheath.

It has been much used, and, for a knife, abused. As you can surmise in the scars in the detailed photos below, it’s pounded nails, stripped 14/2  wiring, split kindling when an axe was not available and a rock was used to pound the blade into the wood. . . In addition to more “knifely” duties such as cleaning fish.

And it’s still solid, still takes a good edge, and will long outlive me. I may ask to have it buried with me when I depart, just in case there are zombies on the other side :-).

If you check the BSA online store, it appears nothing like this is available anymore.

I still take it hiking and camping, though I’ve retired it from streamkeeping — I have an excellent, inexpensive, plastic-handled stainless-steel knife from MEC for that duty now.

Beauty, eh?

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1960s US Boy Scouts Sheath Knife

I used to be a car guy – Vancouver Auto Show beckons

In the days of my youth (sorry, no Led Zep here : -), I used to be a car nut. I did all my own servicing until solid state and computertronics put much of that out of reach for backyard mechanics.

I bought, drove, and sold nearly a dozen used vehicles between age 16 and 25 or so…

An AMC or two (anyone remember those? Think Hornets and Matadors — relatively smaller cars for that era with punchy V-8s : -), a couple of Euro Ford Capris both 4- and 6-bangers…

A rusting-out Jaguar saloon… A Pontiac Grand Am with a 400-4 V-8 and RTS that I drove across Canada and back once, if not twice. A superb highway cruiser…  A couple of trucks and vans (yes, the van was soon accessorized with big speakers and shag carpet, blush….)

Then I didn’t own a vehicle at all for the 14+ years I lived in Tokyo. We rented for weekend trips a few times, and drove my wife’s family vehicles when we visited up north in Aomori prefecture.

And when I returned to Canada, I matured into a so-called “environmental activist.”

So I/we have had one vehicle for the last 18 years, a solid, rather staid ’98 Subaru Outback.

But I feel myself wanting to go to the Vancouver Auto Show. I can check out the fantasy vehicles, the sports cars, the super trucks, and then bring home a few brochures on hybrids.

At this point in my life, I listen to my wife a lot. Wife wants a hybrid when we get our next ride. I won’t argue with that.

But I also want a truck for camping, fishing, canoeing, photography journeys, etc. A midsize one. A Tacoma would be nice…

Whidbey Island Camping October 2015

Squeezed in a couple of days off with Yumi and we camped for two nights at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island in Washington State. We love it there, and try to get down at least once a year.

Here are some photos from the trip:

blue sunset
Blue sunset

pink sunset
Pink sunset

orange sunset
Orange sunset

happy camper
Me looking forward to the sunset

heron in flight
Heron in flight shot from the Coupeville wharf

kingfisher in flight
Kingfisher in flight shot from the Coupeville wharf

harlequin duck
Harlequin duck off the west beach at Deception Pass. I think this is the first time I’ve “shot” one of these.

Otter eating fish
Yumi spotted this otter in the lake, and we saw it catch and eat at least three fish in ten minutes or so.

sea lion
Spotted this yawning sea lion way out in the ocean. Hi ISO, 450 mm lens handheld, so not a poster shot by any means, but still cool.

Fort Casey
Lovely sky at Fort Casey

Yumi tent
Yumi and our tent – playing with angles

Yumi log
Yumi at the end of this long log – playing with perspective

Paul breakfast
Making breakfast on the camp stove

wine fire
Relaxing by the fire with a glass of wine