Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gotaway


So yeah, remember when I was feeling down and peopled-out, so we went to stay in Vancouver, and ended up being a total grouch? This week I went back for more. In my defense, I set things up differently this time and Tannis agreed to hold the fort (containing our entire tribe of children) here while I headed down there with Myron for a few days. He was going to SFU to mark provincial exams and invited me to tag along. Some cool things about SFU that I didn't know before: despite being in the middle of the city, it's on the top of a big mountain that has biking trails all over it, at the bottom is the most fun bike park I've ever ridden...and there's a gorgeous park with a beach beside the skills park. Also, salmon berries grow wild everywhere and they've got a decent campus pub, both of which kept me alive when my blood sugar crashed from riding too much.

Myron graciously let me stay in his closet...err, dorm room. Even though we live close to each other, we don't get to hang out one-on-one like that, and it was excellent. We got to ride together and head out to Commercial for a couple of great meals, including the second night with Angelo. He took us to a good pub and we talked until they closed. Even met Esther and Imogene on the walk over, which was a nice bonus. The only bummer of the trip was that I didn't get to connect with Bill or Cass, but both evenings filled up fast.

I finally made it out to Bowen Island, where my old blog friend Chris Corrigan hosted my wanderings. I've been wanting to go for at least five years, and found that it really couldn't be easier -- park at the ferry terminal, pay $8.70 for the round trip and walk on for a stunning 20-minute cruise. The island itself was even more beautiful and mellow and fun than I had imagined, with a fantastic village that appears to bat above its weight in good restaurants (and organic chocolate), walking and biking trails that criss-cross the mountains, and gorgeous beaches. It certainly helped that the weather was incredible and we even got a stellar swim in warm saltwater (pictured at the top of the post, and under threat of water-pistol sniping from above). Chris and Caitlin and their kids have created a wonderful life for themselves, comfortable and connected, both to the magic of the place and the community they've embraced. It was such a treat to experience a bit of it firsthand. Thanks again, Chris.

I had some fun with the photos and bits of video I took mountain biking on Burnaby Mountain. I know the melodramatic music almost seems sarcastic when played over a couple of guys farting around in the woods, and yes, any 11-year-old kid could ride harder and edit better video than this...but it's fun for me to watch anyway, and the last time I checked, this was still my blog. It starts with some clips of Myron, then of my riding, both in the trees and at the bike park, which had a brilliant set of graduated tabletop jumps that let me learn slowly and work up to the big ones (that scared me silly):



Update: Just went for a ride this morning and it couldn't be a more opposite landscape to the rich, humid, tropical green of the coast -- here the air is so hot and dry it scratches the back of your throat. The baking vanilla of hot ponderosa pine, spicy sagebrush and spiky dry grasses that have all turned brown for the summer already.

It was great to get back to the kids and Tannis. Ezra had me silently (sometimes not so silently) swearing within 24 hours, but this too shall pass. We hit the library and beach in the afternoon, munching fresh cherries and feeling thankful.

2 comments:

Caitlin said...

Dude! ANY freaking time...!

Hope the chocolate made it home!

Jeremy said...

The chocolate made it home in surprisingly good condition, and it was enjoyed by all of us. Thanks again to you and your crew for the hospitality.