The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

“Things,” as a general rule aren’t supposed to be the foundation for your happiness. Focusing on acquiring this or that to make your life complete leads to a shallow and venal existence of trying to chase the high of possession with the next possession and the one after that until all you have is stuff that you can’t remember why you bought it in the first place.

That being said, many, “Things,” in my life give me great pleasure and have been well worth the money invested in them. Like my camera which allows me to get shots like the one below.

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Or my V-Strom which has taken me all over the US and Canada to some pretty spectacular places and which has run pretty much flawlessly through some truly heinous weather and tough terrain.

And then there’s my love of the Mini Cooper S. While my love of Ferrari and Porsche have been strong my love of the Mini Cooper S has been enduring. I saw my first Mini in a rally in Scotland my Papa had taken me to when I was about seven. It was coming off of a small hump in the track all but sideways to make the hard turn into a sharp corner. It left in a shower of mud and gravel and the smell of Castrol and gasoline (to this day, still two of my favourite smells). I’ve been a fan ever since.

For some reason and certainly not one where I consciously planned it that way, the majority of my cars have been manual transmissions. I prefer a manual over an automatic. It feels more like driving to me and always has.

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Minis are a funny car. Even used, they tend to be high mileage. The reason is simple, they’re stupid fun to drive and people find themselves making up excuses to just go drive somewhere. So when I purchased the above 03 Cooper S it had over 200,000km on the clock and it would be my daily driver for the next three years. It weighed just under 2800 lbs and pushed 163 bhp out of it’s 1.6L Supercharged engine and yes, it was stupid fun to drive. Unfortunately, all complex systems move towards entropy. I’d noticed it was leaking a bit of oil from the engine. I knew it possibly had a leak by the valve cover but the word back from my mechanic was much worse. It had multiple gaskets that had failed or were in the course of failing and it was coming up on time to replace the timing chain in the motor. The bill for all of this exceeded the value of the car. Not good news at all.

I started to look through the auto ads to see about a newer replacement. I’d decided to look for a 2010 Cooper S. The prices weren’t bad and there was a decent selection to choose from in the market.

My wife was also looking for me though she was choosing a much more direct route through BMW. “What about this one?” She asked and showed me a 2016 John Cooper Works Mini being sold in Ottawa.

“Well yeah,” I replied. “That would be amazing but it’s well above what I was going to spend.” She then went on about some stuff to do with our finances but really all I had heard at that point was, “You can buy the car of your dreams.”

I fired off an inquiry to the Ottawa dealership via email and figured I’d hear back the next day.

There were a couple of other JCW Minis being sold in St. Catherines down by Niagara so I fired off an email to them as well. Bear in mind, this was about 8pm at night. I got a call from their sales manager twelve minutes later. Usually I only get this kind of response time when I’m buying 3D CAD software. An appointment was made to view their stock that Saturday.

Now I’ve bought a few cars but I’ve never been treated like I was at Mini of St. Catherines. Maybe it’s because they know you’re there to buy a specific marque of car but there was zero pressure and certainly none of the sort of car sale antics you sort of expect. They made it all very easy.

Colin and I took the 2016 JCW for a test drive (Yes, the one below, so you know how that turned out). I’ve never been in a car where it felt like I was holding it back like this one and I hadn’t even engaged the exhaust gate. By comparison, the 2017 I test drove next felt sedate.

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The JCW comes in at just under 2900 lbs with 228 bhp from a 2.0L engine. However with the performance package, the output is bumped to 240 bhp and when the twin turbos kick in, this thing launches.

Every time I drive it, it makes me grin. The next step is to get it out on a track to do some laps. It’s all a bit mad but man is it fun.

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It has been said, “No plan survives execution.” I can’t say I’ve ever encountered a situation where this isn’t true. It’s a chaotic and random world we live in and while the big picture plan always seems straightforward, things do get weird at the quantum level. You push for one thing and the universe pushes back. Sometimes pretty hard.

Three weeks ago, I had a job. Which in and of itself is an oversimplification because right now I still have a job just not the way I had before even though it’s still in the same industry etc., etc.

But things are really different.

This is not going too well as an explanation. I’m going to go back to the beginning… Well some of it.

I started out like a lot of young people going right out of school into a job. Further education wasn’t going to happen as I didn’t have the money and frankly, I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be and I didn’t see how spending money I didn’t have was going to change that. So I went into construction as a laborer. I dug ditches, I leveled basements and built forms for foundations. It was hard physical work and for the most part it was seasonal, Spring, Summer and a chunk of Fall. In order to fill the wage gap, I began working in a metal fabrication shop that made fireplace inserts and free standing wood stoves. I started out as a grinder, which sort of morphed into a bunch of different jobs within the company and through need and attrition, I learned how to MIG weld. As we were doing miles of it every day, I got pretty good at it. We were all young guys and the shop foreman was an ex high school shop teacher. I learned a lot. Eventually he moved on and a younger guy took his place. He taught me how to TIG weld.

It’s a weird fact that most of my early career in metal work was focused in a very small area of Langley, BC.

When I moved into doing aseptic welding the company I worked for was small so we were all expected to be multifunctional. In addition to the welding and fitting, I also began to wire control panels, eventually I ended up laying them out as well. This of course led to learning to program industrial SLC and PLC controllers. I had to learn ladder logic and electrical layout. Of course in order to properly program the PLCs you had to understand the processes you were controlling. Process drawings and understanding production process were next. All in all, it was a constant learning curve. It’s still a constant learning curve and it’s provided myself and my family with a decent and steady income because no matter what, people like to eat. The day job has had another cool payoff. I’ve always liked building things and at the end of the day, there is a plant or a machine that exists because of you and your team’s efforts. It’s a concrete entity in a way that my creative work isn’t.

So that sums up the last 25 years or so. I’m leaving out the tragic bits because while they might be part of my definition, they don’t push this narrative forward.

Back to three weeks ago when the company I was working from ceased operations. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t much of a surprise. I’d been through it twice before and the signs had been there. Plus there’d been a lack of chatter. You see on any given day, there’s a general amount of chatter in the upper areas of a company. Usually it’s bitching about productivity or meeting deadlines. It’s the background hum if you like. As long as it’s there, the engine is ticking along. Maybe not well but it’s running. The time to be concerned is when the chatter increases in frequency and intensity, which usually signals a change of some kin. Maybe a big job is being bid on or somebody is going to be leaving (though that has its own set of signals). The other side of the coin is radio silence. All chatter stops. Anybody in ELINT (electronic intelligence) will tell you, this is never a good sign. It means something is in the wind and it isn’t going to be good for whoever is on the receiving end of it and as I previously mentioned, there’d been other signs.

I’m 52 and not looking to going back to square one with another company. I’m lucky in the fact that the second the news got out people started to reach out to me to see what my next move was going to be. The easy thing (somewhat) would be to pick one of them and run with it. I could be in a new office or in the field at the start of the following week. The easy thing.

Instead, I decided to throw my lot in with another member of my previous employer. We created a lean cut down team and he and I purchased the liquidated assets of our former employer.

It was not easy.

It was not without fear.

It certainly wasn’t without substantial financial risk.

But on the upside, we’re the masters of our own destiny – whatever that may be.

I’ll be posting up more on this whole thing down the road and I’ll be mentioning names and places etc. but right now everything is still very fresh and a certain amount of distance needs to be gained before I can write those words.

 

In the meantime, please purchase my books and audiobooks, you’ll be glad you did.

No pics of me on my bike yet. I’m still working my way in on the thing and other than a continuing dedication to hi viz jackets, there’s nothing to see yet. Seeing a 50+ year old guy huff and puff his way up a small hill is far from an inspiring sight. Still, anything on two wheels right? When I get a bit whiny about it in my head, I just think of Guy Martin riding his way down the spine of America on the Tour Divide and I keep cracking on.

Things are getting warmer so I was able to finally ride my bike to work a few days this week. Though I did do a couple of practice runs prior to committing to riding to my day job. On days where I’m not working, like today, I took advantage of the break in the rain to get a ride in anyway. The rain has been a bit of a bonus really as it’s given me a rest day in between rides to let my leg muscles recover a bit. It turns out I had my seat too low by a few inches and that was overworking my thigh muscles. A bit of fiddling around with my seat height and I’ve got a much better riding position going on now (it always helps to talk to others with more experience).

Round trip to and from where I work is 9km. I know that’s not far for you lot who do this on a regular basis but for somebody just getting their body used to a bit more huff and puff than it’s used to, it feels like a good start. Riding in Mississauga on a peddle bike carries a lot of the same risk as doing it on a motorcycle, though I do have the added benefit of being able to take the cycle paths to avoid traffic, which are extensive enough I’m going to have to do some serious exploring to check some of them out.

As with everything, there are adjustments and learning curves. Some require me getting my head around some things I never even considered and others are of a more physical nature.

The bike path I take to work has a fairly consistent elevation rise on the way there. Though there are a few downward grades in places where I can coast and rest a bit. My current guide for what gear I need to be in is my knees. I simply gear down until they stop hurting. The down side to this is I need to peddle faster but as I work my way into it, it does seem to be getting easier and now on my return loop from work my leg muscles do seem to be looser and happier. One of the hardest things to get used to is how high my head is off the ground. On my V-Strom my seat height is about 31″ from the ground.  Seated, this puts my eye level fairly close to where it normally is when I’m walking about, so when I’m riding my motorcycle my position to the ground feels fairly natural.

On my mountain bike my seat is considerably higher . I’d say my eye height is closer to where it would be if I was 6’5″ and that’s taken some mental adjustment on my part. Plus my pedal bike weighs a fraction of my motorcycle and instead of my engine being the center of gravity, my body is. Plus the riding position is slightly forward, which puts me more over the front wheel. It’s an interesting sensation when you’re coasting downhill into a hard turn.

Then there’s the silence of it all, minus the rush of the wind in your ears, which I’ll freely admit, I’m not a fan off. Because of the coolness of season, I’ve been wearing the balaclava I wear on my V-Strom for those cold rides and it does a good job of creating an even flow of air over my ears. Earplugs will definitely be going in once things warm up.

All in all, I’m enjoying riding. I find myself looking forward to it and that’s a good thing. I think when it’s all said and done, I don’t want the bike to be a piece of gear collecting dust in my garage. Like most things with wheels, it deserves better than that.

 

If you enjoyed this blog post. Check out my long form fiction on Amazon or if you prefer to read with your ears, all of my books are available on Audible, with my new book, Devil’s Ante here.

The Lost 4

The Lost 4  – Abandoned Power Station – Belle Isle, Richmond, VA (2010) 

The above picture is one of my favourites. My friend Michael and I came across this abandoned power station as we were exploring Belle Isle in the middle of the James River in Richmond, Virginia. The place was full of teenagers and some of them were jumping off of some upper story windows into the old sluiceway below. They were nervous about the two, “Old guys,” who’d suddenly appeared in their midst but the second they realized we were just checking the place out and not there to cause them any trouble, we became like furniture. I actually think the camera in my hands made me even more invisible.

I haven’t had an opportunity to shoot anything like this since. Mostly because the URBEX locations around the GTA are mostly deserted and Lake Ontario probably lacks the friendly warmth of the James River.

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The Lost 6  – Abandoned Power Station – Belle Isle, Richmond, VA (2010) 

I do wonder about the kids in the shots though from time to time both of the above picture hang in my main floor bathroom and a lot can happen to a person in eight years. I hope they’re all doing well in life and that things are working out for them and that some of them are still jumping off of high windows into water.

The Lost

The Lost  – Abandoned Power Station – Belle Isle, Richmond, VA (2010) 

 

You can find out more about me and all of my books here.

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Arsing about…

Eighteen years ago, when I was still living on the West Coast I was involved in working with a lab that was creating a drug to fight Wet Macular Degeneration. I was the guy showing them how to set up a vital piece of lab test equipment called a microfluidizing homogenizer. From start to finish and by finish I mean a drug going to market, the whole process took about four years. My last involvement with the project other than the odd service call was to write up the servicing portion of their FDA submission. I was told that sixty liters of processed product was equal to one million USD. I’ve no idea how many doses 60 Liters represented but it always made me ask the question, “How much is your sight worth?”

Lucky for the majority of Canadians, our healthcare system keeps the bulk of these types of costs down for us. I’m a type 2 Diabetic and the drugs I use to treat my condition are covered fully by my health insurance and by my extended insurance from work. Right now because I’m still new to living with Diabetes I’m trying to find the right balance to live a decent life. My doctor who is a no bullshit woman (and I like that) wasn’t very happy with my last fasting Glucose numbers to put it mildly and she read me the riot act about getting regular exercise.

Now for me, the idea of joining a Gym isn’t appealing but I happen to live very close to my day job (4.4km). Google maps showed me there is a bike path and bike lane that literally take me almost to the front door of my building.

I’d been toying with the idea of buying a bike for a while. My daughter’s friend Cara who is really more of a member of the family is heavily into bikes so I’d been seeking her advice. I’ll be honest, the sticker shock is what held me off the first time. Usually for some of those prices, I’d want the motor to go with the frame. Still, with my Doctor’s rebuke still ringing in my ears I settled in to do real research. The bike style I finally decided on was a Hybrid Mountain Bike. I fully realize I’m currently in no sort of shape to tackle real human powered off road riding but a gravel path or two could certainly be in my future. Plus seeing as my main two wheeled ride is a V-Strom and I’ve ridden Enduro style motorcycles for most of my adult life, it was sort of a done deal as far as what sort of style I’d be settling on.

Last Saturday, I took myself over to Gears Bike Shop in Oakville to look at some bikes in the flesh. Friendly and knowledgeable staff walked me through what choices they had on tap for me to purchase. I even took a bike out into the parking lot for a spin and almost got hit by a cab (what is it with those guys?). The ride was a real experience as I hadn’t been on a bike in over thirty years. To say the fit, finish and technology have come a long way would be putting it mildly. The last bike I rode was a Schwinn 10 speed, the derailer was stuck so it was permanently in 10th.

The bike I purchased is a CUBE Nature Pro 2016 – 30 speed (though I think it’s going to be a while before I see those top ten gears). It’s German built really well put together. It was on sale and I got it for just under $1200 tax included. Twice as much as I paid for my first car.

But then, what’s your life worth?

Today was my first serious ride on it. Turns out a good chunk of the bike path to my work is uphill. My knees hurt until I figured out how to set the gears to keep the pressure more manageable. It was cold and my hands were freezing but the way I see it, as I get fitter, it’ll get easier and hopefully my next blood test results will be better. The silence of the ride was also a bit unnerving but the route will be pretty once things come into bloom.

Spandex though is still right out…

 

Sean Addison is up to his old tricks again in Devil’s Ante available on Amazon or if audiobooks are more your style all of my thrillers can be found through any audiobook retailer.

Technology to me has always been the great leveler.

Not in its inception but in its adaptation. As we have seen, this can lead to good and bad things. Still, it allows me to publish my books worldwide in both written and audio format. It’s allowed film I’ve written to be shot and distributed also worldwide (though limited scope).

I can format my book for any platform including print. I have a complete digital darkroom for turning my photographs into something worth sharing or at the very least leaving a memory for my friends and I in its best possible looking format. I also have a very powerful editing suite of tools at my disposal for creating video with some impact (more on this in a bit).

The programs I use in my day job allow me to build and test machine components for fit and stress before a single piece of metal is cut or welded into its final form and then do a cost analysis on that machine. Technology allows me to hand write notes that are then dated and stored for later viewing. I can take a 3D pdf model out to the production floor and show the person building the thing I designed, exactly what I am talking about.

Power.

The real thing, not a concept.

Still, for all of my work in the virtual, there is great satisfaction in doing things in the real. In fact the only reason I’m successful in the virtual is because I’ve spent many years doing things in the real world with the tools at hand and the sweat of my brow. There is great satisfaction in that. Knowing that when you talk about certain things, you come at it from a point of experience and past effort, not one of theory.

Which brings me to the bit about video.

I’ve been shooting on a Canon DSLR for about 14 years. Before that I shot on SLR Cameras and 35 photographic film. One of my feature films was shot digitally the other on Super 16mm. DSLR Cameras have come a long way since then.

Hell we shot my first short The Provider on Beta.

Compare that to my own efforts shooting my flight in a Lancaster Bomber and recently a PB5Y Canso.

The Lancaster was shot with a Canon 7D and a Sony action cam and the Canso footage was shot with a Canon 7D Mk2 and the same Sony action cam with some fill in footage from a Canon T2i.

Ironically though the video on my YouTube Channel with the most views is of the Fairey Firefly at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum folding its wings. Which I thought was strange until I recently learned it’s the only flying example of the aircraft left in the world. So now it sits at just over 64K views, which is cool because as a lifetime member of the CWHM, I really want to promote the museum and the great work they do there.

But it’s also got me thinking about adding a vlog component to this blog as well. Which I think is really more about me getting off my arse and adding more content on a more regular basis than I have been. It’ll also give me an excuse to get out to the CWHM and shoot some cool aircraft running up and flying over. After all, what’s the good of having a 500mm lens if you don’t get to use it.

Something else I discovered today is that a lot of the cooling issues we used to have with the sensors on DSLRS in video mode have been fairly sorted. So before when you could expect to get ten minutes of video before an overheated sensor would crop up, now you can get over an hour. Which is good news for me (though I sense a few 2TB portable drives in my future).

I’ll still be writing on the blog of course but I’ve got a few things I’d like to cover in a vlog including what it takes to put out an audiobook (or three).

You can find all of my books on Amazon and Audible.

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Better late than never. Audio production took a little longer than expected on Devil’s Ante, the sequel to Devil’s Gambit but it was worth it. Edward James Beesley did a fantastic job as always on the project and I’m lucky to have him involved. This is my third audiobook offering and I’m still learning the ins and outs of the format.

You can find the Audiobook at:

Audible

Audiobooks.com

Nook Audiobooks

Downpour

eStories

Librio FM

It’s also live with iBooks, Playster, 3M/Bibliotheca, Baker & Taylor and Overdrive!

So help a brother out and give it a listen and if you like what you hear, Buy it! And please, leave a review. Nothing can live in a vacuum and reviews are the air that keeps an author’s work alive.

Star Wars Helmet

I’ve been looking for an open face helmet for a while now and this year, HJC released a series of superhero and Star Wars licensed helmets. So yes, I bought this one (and it was on sale!). The only stumbling block? In the superhero helmets, the Ironman helmet should be a modular one.

Find joy anywhere you can and don’t read the comments section…

I’m still having a tough time being as productive as I want to be but that’s probably just my brain being an ass. I’m halfway through the reedit of Augmented and I’m trying to make it better fit the narrative I want to tell. “Fail, Fail more, fail better,” as the saying goes. At the same time, I’m doing the base work for Devil’s Due, fleshing out the character notes and such.

Devil’s Ante is finalized as far as the audiobook goes and is in the last stages of production prior to release. I’ll post up the date when I know it. One of the things that came out of the process is I’d like to explore some shorter novella length works specifically designed for release as audio experiences. These will most likely be dual narrated with a male and female voice actors (nothing against my current narrators and their female character voicing). It’s an experiment but I think it’ll be an interesting one.

So yeah, the joy thing.

I just went to Chris Hadfield’s Generator Toronto show on Thursday night. This is a show with music, poetry, science being presented by a series of speakers asked to attend. It’s produced by Chris’ son Evan who pointed out that with no advertising and no idea who would be showing up, we managed to fill, The Royal Thompson Hall. This year’s theme was creativity. The sub theme as always is – make the world a better place and the sub sub theme is – we’re all in this together. I’d also add that the sub sub sub theme is love and curiosity > hate and intolerance. You’re also encouraged to do something because even doing a small thing builds on all of the other small things to make a big thing in the end.

Social media was also not seen as a plus and yes, I do get the irony here but we saw how it was and is used to manipulate people. Imagine if Hitler had Twitter or a Facebook page? Mussolini would be bragging about making the trains run on time…

You get the idea.

I had hoped by now we’d be beyond judging somebody by the color of their skin, the clothes they wear or even what God they choose to worship or not but people keep banging on about traditional family values which is at best a social construct steeped in nostalgia and at worst an outright lie. This of course doesn’t stop a small vocal minority going on and on about it like the sky is falling because somebody’s family doesn’t look like Ward and June Cleaver.

I’d rather we look at people and see, they’re happy and if they’re struggling, maybe try to help out. You know like that one book everybody is always going on about says to (well at least the back half of it, that front end is pretty bloody). I know things seem pretty dire right now and they are, they are but constantly feeding yourself off of the bleed and lead news cycle isn’t going to help your head. Talking to your neighbors face to face though, that could make all the difference in the world.

There’s a joke I tell every now and then. “Hindsight is 20/20 and all you see is an asshole.”

I’m not a huge fan of New Years even though my wife and friends do have a pretty fun time at our annual get together at our friend’s house where they host a murder mystery.

I’ve always preferred December 21st otherwise known as the Winter Solstice because it means every day from there, will be slightly longer and we move towards the warmth and color of Spring, from the monochromatic grays and whites of Winter.

The holidays are hard. Still hard after all these years because there will always be an empty place at our table.

2017 was not an easy year. I don’t think it was an easy year for anybody with a heart and a brain.

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It may not look like it but there are hundreds of hours invested in this image.

My day job was pretty chaotic and that certainly spilled over into my creative endeavors. My own medical conditions  were causing me a lot of trouble as well, from just being worn out a great deal of the time to some pretty serious neuropathy in my legs which has faded but has not gone away.

For a bit there, it seemed like most of what I went after, just crumbled to dust in my hands. For the first time in a while, I felt like I had no purchase on things. Which when you feed that into your own self doubt, is not a good thing. See we forget how hard things are. Even when we’ve done them countless times before. I think your brain glosses over the details to protect your heart and by the time your heart figures things out again, you’re up to your neck in it.

Even this year’s trip ended up being a test of endurance in the end. Apparently, it’s a lot easier to endure in the desert than through torrential rainfall on a motorcycle. Hard rain even became an issue for me on my trip to Spain but at least on that day, I had the good sense to turn around instead of my usual pushing ahead and damn the torpedoes.

Still, I’m not whinging here. Yes it was a tough year but I still got to ride some amazing roads. I saw real Roman Ruins which were beyond my expectations. I got to travel with friends and see others I hadn’t seen in a while and catch up. Even after knocking four flavors of shit out of her, nothing serious on the bike was damaged.

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Halfway to Bamfield on one of the toughest bits of gravel I have ever ridden. We stopped here and tightened up everything would could see that had come loose on our bikes.

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At least I didn’t break my foot peg this time….

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Having a go at a natural peat bath after we got on the wrong trail.

 

I also got to fly in a PBY5A Canso, a long held dream of mine.

And I got to meet my cousin and attend her wedding in Spain, which is definitely a country I want to explore more of.

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My Cousin Lucy

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Her and Chano emerging from the chapel.

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The narrow and steep streets of Banos De Montemayor

Those Roman ruins I was talking about.

As it is with every year, I’m looking to get more of my writing out there. We’re just finishing up the final stages of the audiobook version of Devil’s Ante. Augmented my next book, a military scifi set in the near future is about halfway done and I’m chomping at the bit to get started on the finale to my Devil series – Devil’s Due.

A new year lies ahead. Lets make something good of it.

Talk about an aptly named post. I’m really sorry I haven’t gotten to the rest of the story before now but it’s been a tough few months mentally for me and generating the energy to complete this ride report or anything really has been tough. That being said, it’s not like some neat stuff hasn’t happened either but as usual, it’s the darker stuff that gets to you.

 

So after Mark and I left the Cathedral of Trees, we headed for Mark and Mya Turchyn’s place in the Cowichan valley. The day was nice and dry and even a bit warm the closer we got to their place. They live on the side of a hill and it was more than a few twists and turns before we found ourselves in front of their house.

It’s always a treat to see good friends and to be honest both Mark and I were a bit sore and tired from the Bamfield to Port Alberni section of the trip from the morning. So we shucked off our riding gear and set about catching up.

We even found time to blast some of the dirt off of the bikes. Later on we had a cracking home-made meal and when it was time for bed Mark grabbed the spare bed (by mutual agreement) and I racked out on the floor of the den on my sleeping pad. My leg was giving me grief and I was popping Advil like Pez to stay on top of it.

The next morning Mya and Mark fed us a great breakfast and we bid them farewell as we headed up to Nanaimo to see our friend Brad and his family. Kelly was due to join us in a couple of days and we’d resume heading towards the far northernmost  point of Vancouver Island. It was a short ride, something that I was okay with for a change and we found a decent hotel just off the main highway. We arranged to meet Brad later that day after he got off work.

Brad took us for a few pints that afternoon at a really good pub and I enjoyed a cider (Strongbow) while we caught up and shot the shit. Then we went back to his place for a nice bit of Barbecue.

The next day Mark went off to visit some family and I took a bit of time to explore Nanaimo and track down a 6mm nut and bolt to reattach my chain guard which had come loose during the trip out to Bamfield.

Lots of float plane activity in the harbour.

Some of the art installations along the waterfront were pretty cool.

I managed to find my nut and bolt at Tuff City Powersports, they didn’t even charge me for it. Mind you I also picked up an additional cargo net while I was there too. My fastener issue resolved I hit up the good will for a pair of swim trunks. My hotel had a hot tub and I fully intended to make good use of its warmth. Later that night we were going to join Brad for an open mike night he goes to at another local pub.

I always enjoy live music, especially when it’s your friend up there.

After the gig we went back to Brad’s place and Mike came over. He and Brad have been friends for a long time and literally live just up the street from each other. What I didn’t know is that Mike and Kelly grew up in the same area together. So as we were meeting Kelly off the ferry the next morning we decided to surprise Kelly at lunch with Mike as they hadn’t seen each other in a few years.

Waiting for Kelly to show up.

Yeah, we still look good.

After lunch Kelly Mark and I formed up and headed for Uclulet and the next phase of our trip.

 

 

Devil’s Ante my latest book is available in paperback and for Kindle at Amazon, if you enjoyed my previous work, please pick up a copy.

Building The Love Shack

This is the story of building a cottage , the people and the place. Its a reminder of hope and love.

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Memoirs of Taste

On Navigating the World, Life, and Finding Meaning in Everything // See, Touch, Feel, Taste.

VENTURE THE HORIZON

Motorcycle adventure travel

Destination Humanity

Chasing big dreams one photo at a time

The Shameful Sheep

shit storms, shame, and stories that make you cringe

ofEarth News

Useful information on natural disaster emergencies and ongoing global problems

Mind is Everything!

I'm not crazy. My reality is just different from yours.

Anxiety Alley

Musings of a 25 year old anxiety sufferer

Bank Street Blog

Welcome to Bank Street - a place to meet, chat, and book talk.

dabbottdotme

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Drew Avera, Author

ACTION, ADVENTURE, SPACE BATTLES, OH MY!

Adam Dreece's Blog

Author of The Yellow Hoods, The Wizard Killer, The Man of Cloud 9 and more

Hiking the GTA

Places to hike and things to see in and around the Greater Toronto Area

carolinepeckham

Bestselling YA Fantasy Author

Walking with a Smacked Pentax

A photographic journey through the North of England, Scotland and Wales

AdventureWithAutism

Mother and Daughter Adventures

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