Category Archives: Camping

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

Keeping Emergency Water Fresh

We completed refreshing our earthquake water supply kit tonight.

Here in Burnaby on the west coast of Canada we are in an earthquake zone. We don’t get them that often, and usually when we do they are tiny. But historically there have also been temblors  that (I love this quotation, though I don’t remember where I read/heard it) have “knocked cows off their feet.”

We keep 3 X 20L containers on hand. We also rotate through them for camping, so the water gets refreshed in the course of such activities, but we haven’t been camping in awhile.

So over the last couple of days we used a container a day to water our balcony garden and some shrubbery outside the front door.

We then refreshed the containers with a baking soda solution, let them air for awhile, and refilled them.

Whidbey Island Camping

Whidbey Island in Washington State has become one of our favorite camping destinations. There are several state parks on the island, which, depending on time at the border, takes about two-and-half to three hours to reach from our home in Burnaby, BC.

Deception Pass State Park west beach
Yumi scanning the ocean at Deception Pass State Park west beach

deception_pass_seal_pup_20140914
Seal pup on rocky outcropping near the west beach at Deception Pass State Park

deception_pass_sunset_20140914
Sunset at Deception Pass State Park west beach

deception_pass_lock_20140914 Interesting patterns on parks pass lockbox

deception_pass_grill_20140914
Love the grainy detail on the handle on a beach BBQ box

coupeville_wharf_20140915
The wharf at Coupeville, a funky town mid-island

Deception Pass campground
Our campsite at Deception Pass State Park.

We’ve grown to love Whidbey Island ever since we “discovered it” several years ago. Lots of nature, wonderful state parks, lovely beaches, a variety of wildlife, yet all accompanied by easy access to groceries, shopping, etc.

And the state parks are quiet. We marvel at how even on busy weekends campers are near totally silent by 9:30 and definitely by the 10:00 pm quiet time.