Sunday, November 30, 2008

"To Do" list.

I like making lists of things to do. I most like crossing things off the list once I've done them. I remember Jacek and I had an interesting conversation with the shuttle-van driver at the end of TransRockies about what was on our list of things to do in life. I realised that I do have quite a specific list of "things I want to do before I die", but they all seem quite mundane. You would think I should have "cure cancer", or "teach the world to sing" on there... but no. Also, there are a lot of the things I've done in the past few years that I think of as the best, or most significant moments in my life that were never on "the list". So, what's the point? Well, maybe it makes more sense for it to be a list of small things, things I might forget to do otherwise. So, as I've never really made the list anywhere other than my head... here it is, in no order at all:

1) Ice-skate along a frozen waterway of some kind (this is my favourite frozen waterway).
2) Play music in a band again.
3) Climb Mt Baker on skis.
4) Learn yoga.
5) Cook more interesting things.
6) Bake bread.
7) Brew beer.
8) Multi-pitch climb (I did in fact live this dream this summer... but it stays on the list).
9) Do a sea-kayak expedition for a long time, maybe in Alaska.
10) Do a multi-day whitewater kayak trip.
11) Ride my bike in the desert... Utah I think.
12) Go bike touring (I did this... but it's also staying on the list).
13) Get things right with work/home/community/life/love/domestic bliss etc... but that's a bit serious for a list of mundane things, so it's not on the list really. But it is... secretly.
14) Spend time regularly doing something I believe in (I am currently doing that here, and hope to keep that going and make it better).
15) Build bike trails (I've been helping these people off and on, but want MORE).
16) Teach the world to sing.

The list is bound to change, grow, shrink, get lost, be found again... but at least I wrote it down for a change. I'd better go and check if my banana bread is cooked...

Friday, November 21, 2008


On Wednesday I completed my epic drive back to Vancouver, without a hitch. My car perked up and the check engine light turned off again... so maybe it's happy to be home. It felt very odd walking back into my place. Despite only being away for 13 days this time, it felt like my return to Vancouver after my travels this summer. Luckily my plants were still alive, there were no horrible surprises in the mailbox, and I was able to catch Lina on Skype, unpack a little, and then head out for a nightride on the Shore with Jacek and Paul. Not a bad way to get used to being home again. I love riding on the Shore... and it was even dry.

After an amazing and fairly crazy few months I'm working on doing the things I need to do (work) and adding some things I want to do into my new routine. I'm hoping to carry on paddling on Thursday evenings from Deep Cove with Lina's paddling guys... and I made it out last night, so a good start. I also want to get back into Our Community Bikes regularly and start going to yoga. I reckon if I get all these things happening before the snow really comes I will be able to stick at it. Now I've written it on here, I have to do it.

So, the list of chores is long and the work as piled up... but I am keen to get on with it and enjoy some new things too. Of course I'm distracted by the fantastic experiences of (particularly) the past two weeks. I've put a few of my favourite photos from the trip into a Flickr slideshow... some are recycled from the blog posts and Lina's Flickr, but I wanted to put all my favourites together while the memories were still fresh. Good times...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homeward bound

All good things come to an end? Well... this trip has definitely been a good thing, and now I am on my way back to Vancouver. I left Santa Barbara yesterday afternoon, after two fantastic days of biking with Lina and Daniel. Driving away from Daniel's apartment and waving goodbye felt so sad... even though I will see Lina again when she returns from IGWA. Of course then she's off to South America until April, but I'll deal with that when the time comes! Lina's photo album of our trip is here.

I spent last night in Monterey at Damon's place (thanks Damon!) and got to meet not only Damon's son Ely, but also his parents. Good times. Then I called in to work with Damon to pick up some extra lighting for Lina to take to Peru for the Patagonia expedition race she's hoping to do. Between us we're pretty well illuminated these days. Damon also tinkered with my new Seca to waterproof it better. That's going to be a good thing for a winter of North Shore mist and rain. Then I got back in the car and drove a heck of a long way. Twelve hours, 3 tanks of fuel, 1 can of Red Bull, 3 mugs of coffee, 1 blueberry scone, and 1.5 pounds of pretzels later... I am back in Portland at Mike and Kristi's place. Tomorrow I'll make it to Vancouver, I hope. I wish the "Check Engine" light wasn't on in my car...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

California... it's true what they say

It feels like I've been in California for a long time... although of course I haven't. The place really is full of beautiful beaches, beautiful surfers, beautiful sunsets, and chihuahuas. Today we spent the whole day on the beach living the California lifestyle. I could get used to this. You can read about the past few days fun in the sun on Lina's blog. Yes, it's another lazy theft of someone else's work... but isn't that what the internet is for after all?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Dukes of Hazard (Bike Shop)

Last night I got to ride my bike around in the mountains, in California... with Californians. It was a very special time indeed thanks to Daniel (who's place we are also lucky enough to be staying at, even though he's gone away) and the folks from Hazard's Bike Shop in Santa Barbara. The pace for 3 hours (plus another 2 hours of "commuting" to and from Daniel's place) could only be described as fierce, and the trails were fast and dusty. It was even warm... in November. Crazy. My new bike light was amazing (thanks Damon!) and I ended the ride feeling like I must have dreamt it all. Me, riding my bike in California, in the dark, with  light that works? How did that happen...? 

We finished the night sitting outside with an obcene amount of mexican food and cold beer. Good times.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blog convergence

I've been very lazy and not kept the world informed of my antics on via my blog. Never fear, plenty has been going on. It's still lazy, but for now you can read about me via friends:

Paul wrote about the awesome Comox "mud" ride... where there was no mud but plenty of riding: here.

And now... Lina and I are travelling and playing in the US of A before she flies off to race in Guadaloupe, and then to Peru. You can read about our trip on her blog here and here.