Category Archives: Travel

Thanks, Baba, for the Embroidery – Still Miss You

One of the themes at the recent Editors Canada 2018 Conference in Saskatoon, SK, was indigenous issues, and several indigenous writers and editors spoke about the importance of “remember where you come from.”

This is where I come from.

Baba Ukrainian embroidery cemetary

An aunt found this embroidery, obviously meant for a Ukrainian men’s shirt, and she thought Baba must have embroidered if for me. So my aunt insisted that I take it, and when Yumi and I later drove up to the family farm, we visited Baba’s grave and I thanked her.

She lived a tough pioneer life for many of her years, and yet she had love and comfort for all.

And in the packet. . . It’s like she just walked away from it minutes ago . . .

Baba's Ukriainian embroidery needles and thread

Camping at Lac Le Jeune, BC

I stayed one night at Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park on my way out to Saskatchewan.

cow calf black bear
This cow and calf were keeping an eye on this black bear in the southern interior, apparently without too much concern.


Road in to lake covered in high water


Dock


Setting up camp

camping lac le jeune
Night falls

loon
Early morning loon

OtterOtter?

Consequences of Car Crash Drag on for Weeks

A fellow ran a stop sign and T-boned our car nearly two weeks ago, and the recovery process is still dragging on. Thankfully it’s “recovery” as in getting life back to normal, not “recovery” as in being injured. I was fine, but our trusty 1998 Subaru Outback ended up being written off by the insurance company.

Dealings with the Insurance Corporation of BC have been great. Staff have been calm, courteous and helpful. While we’re not happy that it was decided to write our vehicle off, we understand there’s not much to be done for a nearly 20-year-old car, no matter how well we’d maintained it over the years. Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to get more than a few thousand dollars for it, but we’ll push for the most. I’m collating maintenance records, and bills of recent purchases of value like snow tires, new battery, etc.

Our insurance for replacement vehicle coverage will run out this week, so we have to get on with getting a new(er) car. ICBC extended the rental coverage by nearly a week because they’ve been inundated and haven’t provided us with a buyout yet.

So we’re shopping for a new vehicle, and while that’s exciting in some ways, it’s also stressful. All sorts of decisions to make like new vs used, cash vs finance vs lease, etc.

We’re pretty much settled on what we want. I want another AWD (all-wheel drive) vehicle. I loved the Subbie’s performance in winter conditions. My wife wants a hybrid, and unfortunately Subaru has none available in Canada.

You put “hybrid” and “AWD” together, and the result is Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, for the most part. There may be a few others that fit those parameters, but they’re too big  or even more expensive.

We test drove a 2018 RAV4 Hybrid yesterday, and it seemed huge compared to our old Outback.  Mind you a new Outback is also huge compared to the models several generations ago.

We’ve also considered used RAV4s, but it appears you’d save at most three or four thousand dollars if getting a recent “Certified Used” hybrid, so why not go new and get a full warranty, more financing options, etc.

Looking forward to getting this all settled as soon as possible!

98 Outback towed away
Saying goodbye to our faithful companion of nearly 20 years.

Lots of memories associated with this car.

Both of my late parents were still alive when we got it. It transported hutches, dining room tables, coffee tables, armchairs. . .

My wife and I did dozens of trips across western Canada over the years. Many camping and canoeing trips. . . North as far as Kitimat, west to Tofino and Long Beach, east as far as Brandon, south as far as LA and Joshua Tree. . .

Dangerous Driving Getting Out of Hand in BC’s Lower Mainland

I’d like to add a few observations and experiences to the recent conversation about pedestrian deaths and dangerous driving. More people are driving badly in BC’s lower mainland, and we need significantly stepped-up education and enforcement to modify behaviour.

In the last year or two I’ve experienced the following:

  • Nearly getting T-boned, not once, but twice, at T intersections in south Burnaby, when drivers blew stop signs. In both cases, they didn’t even slow down.
  • Nearly getting rear-ended on a regular basis all over the lower mainland because I am apparently one of the few drivers left who actually stops at stop signs.
  • In a follow-up to the above comment, I estimate that over 90% of drivers who approach the stop sign on Rumble St. in south Burnaby at the intersection with Griffiths Dr. do not come to a complete stop.
  • Coming to a complete stop before turning right on a red light? Oh, please, might spill the coffee, eh?
  • In the only accident that I’ve been involved in in the last 40 years, I was rear-ended when I stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian. The driver who hit me had time to blow her horn, but strangely not enough time to hit her brakes, though the pedestrian was well off the curb and onto the road.
  • I have been passed several times in school zones during school hours when I had the temerity to slow to the 30km/hour zone limit.
  • I have had folks honk at me when I have stopped and clearly indicated with my turn signal that I am going to parallel park.
  • What about speed limits? What speed limits?! I’d say the average speed in some 50km/hour zones in Burnaby like the Royal Oak hill, the Southridge hill, etc., is likely around 75km/hour. If you do less than 65km/hour, you’re a hazard.

Some time ago I noted in a FB post that I used to enjoy driving, but it’s becoming stressful. I’ve driven Canada from coast to coast, I’ve driven much of the US, I’ve driven in major metropolises like Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, Madrid,  Barcelona, Sydney, Melbourne. . . And never felt as unsafe as I now do here at home.

I wish folks would wake up, wise up, take responsibility, and realize that driving is a privilege that requires practice, skill, and concentration.