Monday, June 13, 2011

Places I've Wandered - Gonzalez Hill Sunrise

The Shorts and Gaiters Inaugural Adventure took place on June 5th and 6th of 2011. Karsten Klawitter and I have been on many wild and wonderous photoadventures and decided to take two days to explore the heck out of several sites around Southern Vancouver Island.

June 5, 2011
Places I've Wandered -Gonzalez Hill Sunrise

My blackberry alarm went off at 3:30am letting me know it was time to rise, pack, make tea, and get outside. So I turned it off for another 15 minutes before rising and quietly scurrying around my Father's Victoria apartment. I fired off a text to Karsten letting him know I was awake and moving. From the course of our numerous past photoadventures I've learned that early communication with Karsten is a good course of action.

With no response to my first text I got my kit together and headed out to the side of the road to enjoy the predawn and muse as the seagulls flew overhead and their calls echoed in the apartments' canyon. I then got a text informing me of a delay due to the need for making coffee but that he'd shortly be on his way, as is fully normative for our adventures. I savoured the pause as the next two days promised to be very full indeed.

Awaiting Adventure or already begun?

Time passed peacefully when in the distance I heard the loud rumble of Ruby the Red Subaru and a single headlight's beam turned the corner onto my street. The engine cut out as Karsten entered StealthMode and rolled to a stop in front of me. I put my two backpacks in as we quietly grunted an early morning greeting, awoke Ruby the Red Subaru, and headed off towards Oak Bay and Gonzalez Hill.

We drove up the hill. We got out and scrambled up. We looked.

In the eastern predawn light Mt.Baker continued its quiet
sentinel duty as a ship traversed the waters below.

Mt.Baker asleep (that dormant volcano)

Celestial motion continued and the Sun slowly peeked up above the mountains
Looking east from Gonzalez Hill, Victoria, BC

I saw a memorial plinth on a close peak and asked Karsten if he felt like climbing it. So out came the climbing shoes and up he scrambled!
Rising to greet the sun on Gonzalez Hill

Ships continued to travel the Salish Sea and I pondered upon the fact that for millenia the sea have been such a place of work and trial, of progress and danger.

Don't wake the sleeping giant..
of the Sea and Dormant Volanoes

Mt.Baker is gently active. When I look towards it I always remember the fact that one day it could get surly. Much like how the whole region here is due for a very large earthquake today, tomorrow, or sometime in the next century or two. For me this doesn't inspire fear but rather an awareness of the moment's beauty and the tenuous wonder of life.

The major Trial Island's lighthouse has been automated for a number of years now but it's flashing beacon still alerts ships traveling the Salish Sea.

Trial Island Lighthouse

The Trial Island's are protected in the Trial Islands Ecological Reserve and protect the greatest number of endangered and vulnerable species in one ecological reserve (according to Wikipedia!)

Trial Island Sunrising

with a final look towards Kulshan (the White Sentinel) aka Mt.Baker we left Gonzalez Hill stoked for the impending adventures and sights of the next two days. We didn't know what we would encounter but we knew it would be wonderous.

Onward to adventure! This is what two photoadventures on the road at 5:30am look like while listening to CBC (The official post-sunrise morning music of choice in the red SubaRuby bereft of other audio abilities)

What's Oak Bay like at 5:30 in the morning? Well... the deer prefer eating in only the finest of gardens...
Oh Deer

Here's some video footage of our deer encounter..

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for the next stop in our Shorts & Gaiters Inaugural Adventure when we visit the Sooke River due to an unanticipated obstacle ;)

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