Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roadtrip aka March Egmont Adventure Away! Part 2

When last we left our intrepid adventurers they were striking deeply into the coastal temperate rainforest of British Columbia. More specifically near the small coastal town of Egmont where my Mom's side of the family hearkens from. And yes, hearken is a grand word of sweetness.

We'd been hiking for around half an hour when I noticed that Timos was missing. I spun around and found him striding up a log towards the top of a giant stump.

Log to Stump

I don't think they have giant stumps in Greece.

Coming around the corner we entered a section of blowdown from a few years past. A very strong wind had come at the forest from another direction than usual and swaths of the forest hadn't the root resolve or resistance to stand the buffeting. Some may feel a loss at this, but forest dwellers know that it is the circle of life. These are opportunities and invitations to appreciation.

So we appreciated. And made like Ewoks.
Forest Pathes

Or at least tried to..

Though Timos did manage to scamper up and along until he hit the elevated end of a log. And then had to figure out a way down to the ground.

Marko was always identified out of sight by the steady thumping of the walking stick he was carrying along. *Thump*....... *Thump*...... there was a deep resonating goodness about it that still makes me chuckle. And also likely intimidates coyotes and other small woodland creatures.

Then he found a cozy stump to seek shelter in..

Which gave Timos an idea that started like this....

and ended like this....
Just Hanging Around

After all the foresty excitement we did make it to the Pacific Ocean and the Sechelt Inlet.
Ocean and Across

Where I then suggested they pretend to surf on rocks while pointing at me
"Pretend your surfing and pointing at the camera"

We watched the water flow through the inlet. We saw the sunlight glimmer on the water. We saw the police boat go cruising along. And then we turned around to retrace our path out of the forest.

We were ambling along just fine until we ran into what we had previously thought of as a creation of Lewis Carroll in "Through the Looking Glass". Yes.. we encountered a jabberwock.

Things got a little frantic. Timos used his tree scurrying skills to distract the beast as he jumped from tree to tree, scurried between stumps, and generally performed acrobatic amazements. Marko wielded oaken fury in the form of the maple pole he'd lumbered in for so long. *Thunk thunk thunk* he clunk clunk clunked the brute. The beast lashed out with bitey jaws and claws that catch, which we dodged with great aplomb, until I caught some jabberwock tail upside the head. Crashing through the trees I was stopped at the base of a gnarly old cedar stump. An eerie glow emitted through the sword ferns around the base and reaching in my hands clasped upon some odd firm grip. Drawing out of the darkness I held in my hand a vorpal sword! Well... One two! One two! And through and through the vorpal blade went snicker-snack! And that was it.

We shoved the jabberwocky head upon a pole and left it as a warning to all others of it's fiendish kind. Future travellers of the forest pathways may notice it still..
a beacon of safety in a murky dank forest.
The Jabberwock

We then headed off into the sunset.

Homeward bound where food, dark beer, guitar and singing awaited to hold back the darkness till morning.

The next day a new day dawned....
and still the adventure draws us on...

For more Egmont antics and adventures check out my shirttail cousin's blog post about the time a tug got stuck in the Skookumchuck Rapids!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Roadtrip aka March Egmont Adventure Away! Part 1


Last week I got a text from a buddy in Vancouver. It being spring break he had some time off and wondered if I was interested in an adventure.
Starting the next day.

I said sure and we tossed a few ideas around before settling on him coming across the ferry and nabbing me so we could head up coast to the small town of Egmont where my Grandpa was born and my family hearkens from. He also asked if he could bring a mystery friend who's identity he wouldn't announce.

I said sure.

Meet the team!

Marko was on a yearly spring cleanse and drinking only a maple syrup, lemon juice, and hot pepper mix. Timos and I however needed nourishment and stopped by a grocery store in Sechelt to provision up! Baguettes, olives, cheese, liverwurst spread, and a tomato and an onion also made it's way into our collection of consumables. We then ventured forth for a bit over an hour along the windy roads in the black VW Van I'm choosing to call the Markmobile.

Arriving at my relatives house, my friends were quite delighted to find Uncle Bob's Car.

Uncle Bob's Car

I gave the guys a quick tour of the layout and, taking advantage of the blue sky break in the weather, we drove to the parking lot of the nearby Skookumchuk Provincial Park.

I find many signs here in Canada to be quite comical. I've spoken about it before. This time we got a video ;)

Leaving our bemusement at the "No Teepee" sign behind us we continued on our way for around 20ft before we saw something neither Marko or I had ever seen before. Timos likely had.

The food was then consumed by the Timos.
Snack Break

And off we went along the road, joined for a little while by a young eager puppy on a lead, to the head of the trail where the puppy's owner came driving up and took the puppy away, and into the woods.

Sun in the Forest

Falling Water

Hiding Stone

What happened in those woods? What discoveries were made? What stories told? What memories forged?

Well the story doesn't end here,
not by a long shot,
but it does end for today ;)
so look for part two to make its way here soon :D


I hope you enjoy seeing a glimpse into one of our adventures and there are definitely more to come! :D (Uploading videos and pictures was taking a crazy amount of time)

Till next time,
grab your camera and have a look out your front door!
It's a place most of the world will never ever see ;)

Part two is here ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Story-time with Unky Jord requests

There's a fox in my office

I'm thinking up various ideas to write about for some upcoming blog posts.. if you'd like to hear my take on any of our past adventures send me a note and I just may type it up!

Random teaching adventures on Newcastle Island with author CJ Gosling and her future husband. May include an exploding sailboat and demon racoons.
Blogged here.

Climbing to the Cambrian Chief Mine with my brother.
Blogged here.

Trusting co-workers to pick one's Halloween Costume for a roadtrip from Vernon to Alberta w/ a Trick or Treating stop in Golden.
Blogged here.

Possible future topics include..

the time I was really ill climbing a volcano before a thunderstorm, that time I got in trouble for touching a great white shark, The Crazy Firestarting Challenge Years 1 and 2.

I'm now open for requests ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

West Coast Leprechauns

All photos taken by freelance photographer Justin Samson

With the recent population boom ever encroaching into the wild western temperate rainforests, the West Coast Leprechaun has been forced to become even more cautious in his daily ambles and adventures.

A little known fact: The West Coast Leprechaun's copper Pot of Gold works by converting wild fresh-picked mushrooms into gold.

These wily fellows are rarely found traipsing along well maintained trails, having a penchant for the deeper primeval forests and streams. It could be said that they are most at home in those mysterious and mystical environs.

So much so that they feel nervous and twitchy when out in the wide open. Any opening is approached with care and caution.

But do not fret for the West Coast Leprechaun. The forests are vast and the wilderness sprawls still for now. After his travels of the day he likes nothing more than to sit down and put his feet up with a good book and some tea.

You may be wondering what sort of book would a West Coast Leprechaun read? Wonder away for that answer is not yet revealed... unless you can figure it out I suppose ;)

And Happy St.Patrick's Day! May it be filled with warmth, joy, good friends, and many huzzahs!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Series of Four Letter Words - Fear

Water Containers


One simple four letter word with such a deep dark chasm of void and power behind it.

Fear is an interesting little pickle of a puzzle because it is almost a non-thing.

For me fear is the omission of an action, a not doing, a waiting. Fear is a dying.

It is a struggle that binds my actions and clouds my vision.

It stills my motion, stills my passion, stills my life... but...


Is the action in the fear. The action through the fear.

One keystroke a declared defiance to the fear of the suck, fear of unknown, fear of fear.

To throw off those damn shackles and shake the fuzz from the mind. To awaken and look beyond.

Courage to go on. Courage to stand up. Courage to move forward.


The fear freezes and can hold its sway through the mechanism of inactivity and lies for as long as we cease to remember that a single action, a single act of will, a single motion, will defeat it and send it fleeing.

But that motion can seem so much
when we are afraid.

A lie that the act must be big and momentous is framed in the thought that bind.
A keystroke, a brushstroke, a footstep out the door,
are miniscule actions and monumental choices.

For it is that choice that creates. It is that choice which impels.
It is that choice which is the choice to live.

I have known courage.
So I have known fear.

Everyday we encounter fear.
Everyday we encounter courage.

We just frame it so poorly and negatively biased in our minds.

Aw heck. We're all human. And as we know our own struggles and stumbles and fears so to we know those of others. We're really not all that different.

One act is courage in the face of fear. One step is the choice to move forward.
One keystroke pushes aside the fears and self-doubts and gives birth to an article.

A triumph of will.
To step once again into the flow and to allow creation to occur.
To live rather than to die.

and now, a story.

Spring of 2005. I stand on the edge of Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa.
216 meters below me runs the Bloukrans River.

I'm looking down.
My heart is thumping in my ears.
My palms are sweaty.
I am afraid.

There is a bungy cord connected to my ankles and the operators have years of experience.

I'm looking down.
My heart is thumping in my ears.
My palms are sweaty.
I am afraid.

A lie that the act must be big and momentous is framed in the thought that bind.
A keystroke, a brushstroke, a footstep out the door,
are miniscule actions and monumental choices.

One step lead to a bungy jump.
One keystroke led to this article.

One action to banish fear and death, to step once more into life.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I met Santa in the mall

Dapper Dave's car trunk is like unto Mr.Dressup's old tickle trunk
I've been told in the past I look like a young Santa, or Kris Kringle.

Q- Santa, how much do you weigh?
A- How much coal do you want in your stocking?

On Saturday I met Santa Claus.
This being the month of March he was in civilian clothes.
I commented on how nicely trimmed his beard was and how I always have a hard time once I start trimming or shaping mine because I can never get it even.

Of course I didn't start out by asking him who he was,
or pressing him for information or affirmation of occupation.
I'm told Canadians generally are pretty polite around celebrities.

He told me about a year he spent working in Egypt with the UN.
He said the beard wasn't much trouble at all. He kept it fairly short.
He asked me about my last name and I told him it was from England but derived in Scandanavia.
He said that sounded about right.

His vision wasn't the best and his hearing aids seemed to make conversation a little difficult in the crowded mall. I was working a table at a local health fair; answering questions about medical treatments, various effective modalities, and the new LED system that used blue and red light for reinvigorating a person's face by stimulating cell growth. He asked if it was ok to feel the length of my beard.

How can you say no to the kindly old elf with a twinkle in his voice and a quaver in his eye? Besides, we were having too much fun chuckling and telling stories.

Our conversation continued on to our various travels about the world. I told him about my time in Africa. He talked about spending some time during his youth in Scotland. He knew someone on a board somewhere with a last name like mine. Definitely Scandanavian.

He asked me if I'd seen which way his wife had gone as his eyesight wasn't the best. Then he asked me how many reindeer there are. To which I responded that I'd have to count them out loud.

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen
four fingers checked.

Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen,
four more..

Rudolph... and Olive the other Reindeer made 10 in all.

He chuckled and said I knew all his material.

He told me that his wife was going around to look at the other tables. She was looking for more information on diabetes. She knew all about it and was always keeping an eye out for new information; new methods and modalities. He himself didn't pay any attention to it. Between the two of them and their attitudes he told me there was a healthy balance.

She came up alongside and announced that it was time to go get some lunch to eat otherwise she'd get cranky due to low blood sugar. Said she could feel her hands starting to shake a little bit.

He leaned over and said that if a kid asks why they didn't get a certain present they asked for last year that it was cause they ask too many questions.

Then they were gone.

I continued greeting people from behind my table, passing out information, and smiling and collecting entries for the LED Facial draw. I drank my tea and played with one of the helium balloons tied to the bench nearby. I'd balance it under my hand out to my side while looking forward and keeping an eye on the crowd. I discovered a downdraft from the internal heating system and put the balloon in it to dance and play. It looked pretty neat. One of the Naturopaths thought so too as she caught my eye and smiled. Or she thought I was an odd fellow. Maybe a bit of both.

Then he was back. "Kids can tell a fake Ho Ho Ho.. it needs to come from down deep. It comes from one's inner joviality. It can't be faked." He covertly reached into his pocket and pulled out a business card. He handed it to me face down and said it was his job for part of the year. I turned it over and it was my business card I'd given to him earlier. He took it back and showed me a different one. I didn't need to ask him for confirmation. I didn't have to ask him if he was, ya know, Him. I didn't bring it up. He dropped the card right in my hand.

What do you do the day AFTER Christmas?
Play with the bad boys and girls' toys of course!

Before he left again he leaned in and, placing his hand on my arm, told me that one day I'd be a good Santa. Then he asked me if I could see his wife anywhere. She pulled up alongside with a shopping cart and off they went.

And I know it sounds more than a little corny but I swear, as they were moving away, he turned around, looked me right in the eyes, and winked.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


A Man and his Dog

Outside your door is an exotic place.
One step outside and you're at a spot that the vast population of the world
will never see.

All who have been born before,
and all who will be born after,
will never have the opportunity to be where you are right now.
Look around and see what they won't.

Take a few more steps beyond your doormat
you will likely have passed any vehicle you own.
You're now walking out on an adventure.

Many people drive.

But you are foraging and wandering like our ancestors long have.
You are trundling by things that many will never see.
You are smelling smells that many will never smell.
You are hearing sounds that many will never hear.

And you'll never be here again.

Our world is hurtling through the cosmos at vast speeds.
A person laying in a hammock at the Equator rotates around the Earth's centre axis at around 12 kilometers a second.
Our planet orbits the sun at a speed of almost 30* km a second.
At our place in this arm of the Milky Way Galaxy we move around the center of our galaxy at about 220km per second.
And our galaxy is in motion too...

We'll never be here again.

Somewhere in the world a life breathes it's first breath as a life breathes it's last.
People are arguing as
people are making up as
people are breaking up as
people are sitting to watch TV.

I'll never be here again.
and outside my door is an exotic place.

*figures were found on the internet.. I'm not a space scientist.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Gift of rain, Cup of life

Natural infinity pool at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Oh gift of rain
Cup of life

From the sky to our lips
Trees drink deep
Searching routes roots shoot to savour

Damp drips in the mossy mushroom festooned
draping of forest old and full

Oh gift of rain
cup of life
fall from above
bestow life

On roofs and roads
Leaves and legs
Washing, wending, descending
by gravity's constant call

To return to return again
Evapostranspiration calls you up
Precipitation so very precipitous
can bring you down..
Run off now to the sea
Rejoin your vast family
Wherein therein dwell we and she
and he and me.

Conveniently covalently bonded
attract repel chargedly
Universal solvent
I need you.

Where did you come from?
The sea? Look further
The sky? further still...
Water born of stars' birth
born as outward wind
collides and compresses
heats and emerges transformed.

Such is the reality of water
to nurture and destroy
to bear life and bring death
anew and again and again and again

The means of life
and the greatest active destroyer of it

The nurturing trickle
and the ravenous torrent.

The delicate symmetry of snowflakes
alighting so softly on skin
and the hailstones that hurtle
down to dent cars and skulls.

All life needs water
Where there is life there is water
Where there was life there was water.

People fear and respect fire
which is extinguished by water
The fire quenched while the water evaporates
to condense and fall again.

Neptune, Poseidon, Naiads and Nymphs
Baptism, Purification, Oasis, Paradise.
Water honored and revered
by those that came before.
Those that understood.

Be careful, you who disparage.
Take heed, those who disdain
the rain is life and death.

It is tinkling and crashing on tin
musically falling in still ponds to ripple
Thunderingly carving through rock of ages

Cocky we who hold the hose and claim dominance

Growth and destruction
Respect the rain
Welcome the waves

Be thankful and do not fear
For as much as it is us
more so are we not it?

We follow in the example of water
We nurture and destroy
we foster and create

What we do to the water
We do to ourselves.