Archive for the ‘Attempted humor’ Category

Galena Trail   1 comment

We have now left our furry friends to the north and have driven along the north shore of Lake Superior, a very apt name.  I will talk about that in another post but things have moved faster than my ability to post lately so I will have to work backwards sometimes.  Like this time.

A couple of months ago, Nana mentioned that she wish she could bike ride sometimes.  I had been waiting 25 or 26 years to hear that but could never on my own justify spending the money.  What a waist of time.  Yes, I know I said waist.  I’m not stupid and meant exactly that.  We could have been burning pounds around the middle all of that time.  And by the way, it was also a waste of time.  So within two weeks we had two spiffy more-than-I-meant-to-spend-on Treks.  So before our journey we had made a number of outings and built up our feeble miles a bit and learning to control our balance on mostly paved or very smooth greenways and such. As I have previously mentioned, for both of you following this thing, we brought the bikes on the trip and have had several really good rides.  But as so often is the case, I may have over reached on our last ride.  Just a bit.  No injuries but frayed nerves.

We had left the Okanagan region for Kaslo in British Columbia.  We had seen many creatures such as rabbits and squirrels.  Oh, I know that doesn’t seem like much but deer were far less rare.  We’ve seen a couple of bears on the trip as well.  These weren’ t the Jellystone type that are mostly tame and come to your car hoping for Hostess Cupcakes, which I would never give up even if the bear had its teeth wrapped around my skull.  I might share some if he asked nice.  But not the filling.  We never did, to our disappointment, see a moose, Nana’s favorite, I think.  We did see beaver, eagles and lots of other creatures.  Had we come upon a grizzly, which frequented the areas around Kaslo, I reassured Nana that after I out ran her I would be sure to get help back as soon as possible.  She said that wouldn’t be a problem after she threw some ground meat on me, maybe a little bacon, and just sat there until the bear moved on.  Neither thought these were very good ideas.  As scary as this would have been, nothing was scarier than our ride on the Galena.  (insert Kettle Drum rumblings here).  The Galena Trail is a trail just outside of New Denver, British Columbia, along one of the many linear lakes that can be 100 miles long but only a few miles across or less.  Absolutely stunning country.

Now for younger or more experienced riders this might not have been a big deal but we were Nana’s and Papa’s.  I think it was on Monday, Monday, or was I just California Dreaming?  Whoops! Wrong Papas!  Anyway, this is not a very long trail as some go but it was no greenway.   Basically, we were doing single track much of the time.

Start of the Galena. Happy in our ignorance.

The beginning of the trail is flat but only about 5 inches wide, just have to work on balance, which neither one of us have in spades by any means.  So on we go.  Soon we can hear the roar of the river to our right.  Well, not exactly, you also have to look down about 700 feet and to the right.  The trail is on the edge of the drop.  Again, no big deal if you are confident.  I wasn’t too bad but Nana was really confidant.  Confidant that she would soon be dead.

Nana contemplates the afterlife. Not the narrowest point on the trail with cliffs.

 

Not all of the trail was this way.  Some was worse.  There were some very narrow up and down hills with curves and no run-outs if your brakes were wet and it was slow to stop.  This whole region had been flooded so there was much aqua on the trail.  This equals wet brakes.  So there were times it was prudent to walk it.

Sections of trail not Nana and Papa proofed.

 

With long drops, sometimes better to walk if not confident as newbies.

Not all was terror, however.  It was a beautiful trail.  A fine place to die if there ever was one.  Unfortunately, no one might actually ever find our bodies.  But there were some fantastic scenes along the way.

The river far below.

Waterfall along the way to the moment of terror.

 

Little did we know that these moments of beauty and joy, coming like a roller coaster, alternating with mild to extreme discomfort and wondering if the insurance was paid up, were mere distractions as were the most peaceful times along the trail.

Nana, go!

 

And then we arrived.  Finally, we approached the river itself, having risen up through countless cataracts and waterfalls to our level.  But were was the trail?  No, not to the left.  Only forest and briars.  Not to the right!  Rocks and more trees screened the view to the river crushing around the bend, swollen and roiling like water boiling on the stove.  And what was this contraption ahead?  Well, it was the way across.  The only way.  One needed to load the bike, unhook and pull yourself and the bike across the river, dangling just feet above the maelstrom.  And it was so.

Now for me, it was like being 10 again.  For Nana it was like all of her kidney stones and childbirths rolled together with every scary movie she had ever seen.  But she was brave.  And she did the deed.  Our version of Amazing Race.

Mounted and ready to unhook.

 

Papa having a blast!

 

Victory!

 

That is not joy on Nana’s face. But she is brave!

 

Nana’s fear overcome. This because she is thinking how many pieces she needs to chop Papa into so that no one will find the evidence of the deed she contemplates.

 

And so we completed our journey with no significant injuries.  Though many were considered both accidental and purposeful.  Nana is braver and Papa is wiser.

 

Posted July 12, 2012 by papaandnana in Attempted humor, Roadtrip

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Deadly Changes in Canada   Leave a comment

Not so long ago I had great respect for Canada.  You could go to their largest cities and feel perfectly safe. Children could roam free and your pets rarely got run over by distracted drivers as no one even drove up to the speed limit.  Terrible things just didn’t happen in our neighbor to the north.  Canada, then part of the British Empire, fought to remain so, resisting efforts by Americans to annex this region in a war fought in 18-something or other.  Americans in the north of our country wanted to have someplace they could say was colder than they were and where they could get top quality hockey players.  Now I can understand these peoples’ reluctance to become part of the US since every other new state might have to have slaves.  They already had a lake that was a slave, Slave Lake, but this would have been going too far.  They also didn’t want to have the Northeasterner reputation of being kinda nasty to other people with mean spirited carriage drivers that spoke a language they couldn’t really understand.  They wanted to stay, well, nice!

Oh, yes, they did get involved in some of those pesky wars, like World War II, but generally try to avoid such events t hat involve shooting at things except deer or moose, that don’t shoot back, this found to be far more preferable and only occasionally risky.  There is the rare large animal, such as the aforementioned moose, that becomes rather threatening when amorous, either trying to get to a female moose or if none is available the closest available larger creature, even if on two feet.  Katy bar the door!  Not a pretty picture.

But things have taken an ugly turn in the country whose motto is the “land of not much nighttime in the summer, but, eh! who needs sleep anyway?”, but which has an alternate motto, “land of not much daytime in the winter, but eh! who needs light to sit in the pub and drink beer”.  Whilst traveling about, in an area known for its wilderness, a provincial park, where the animals are suppose to be safe and can even expect food from strangers in automobiles, kinda like asking for tips for just showing up, the following poster was seen:

Threatened baby bears, is this the solution?

I hope you will now join the ranks of those that are “Bear Aware”.  I hope you find this as disturbing as I do, that you have the humanity to stand up for what is right and fight this scourge!  Who is it that is attacking a momma bear and her beloved baby such that they need pepper spray to protect themselves!  It is an outrage!  Even this effort seems rather short sighted, it is only a temporary solution and does not solve the basic problem, though I’m not sure what that is.  But perhaps this is what we must do until a better solution is found.  I am curious, however,  how do the bears actually use the pepper spray given their lack of opposable thumbs?  But if this is what they need for now I think we should all pitch in to try and save the bears.  You can do so by sending your checks and money orders to Pepper for Bear Juveniles (PB and J), Post Office Box 12345, Yogi, British Columbia, Really Cold Country to the North.  Don’t wait until it is too late!

Posted July 6, 2012 by papaandnana in Attempted humor, Roadtrip

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From soaked to soaking.   Leave a comment

image

Naturally, the sun came out the morning we left Vancouver. Today we saw beautiful waterfalls, eagles, big horn sheep, and a young bear cub. But life is hard. As you can see in the photo we were so tuckered that we were forced to take advantage of the hot tub at our B&B and watch the sunset. Can we survive? What agonies await us tomorrow? Oh,yeah, wine tasting in the Okanagan ALL DAY! Will there be no mercy for the weary pilgrims? NO! More wine tasting the next day! Make it stop! Wait…Never mind!

Posted July 5, 2012 by papaandnana in Attempted humor, Roadtrip

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“Killer” Killer Whales   1 comment

Some years ago Nana and Papa traveled the circle route from Vancouver, inland along the Frazier River, up and over to Bella Coola and did the cheap version of the inside passage on the ferry that runs from there down to the tip of Vancouver Island, ultimately working our way down the island and back to Vancouver.  We didn’t pay for a place to sleep as the whole journey was during the day.  We were particularly lucky to see a wedding on the cruise ship followed by the entire wedding party gathering below, boarding their kayaks and embarking on a week or two trip through the islands above Vancouver, camping and paddling from place to place.  A rather unique wedding experience for sure.  They had to be to a certain point at a certain time to catch the ferry back to civilization. Not my choice but rather cool, nonetheless.  First night officially together, on a rocky beach?  I don’t think so!

When cruising along the inside passage in a cruise ship  or even the ferry, there are certain limitations of schedule.  Why does that matter?  Because there are other things to do that just ride along looking at the ocean, or straits and passages, the rocks and sky.  If you are fortunate you will also see some interesting wildlife.  I’m not talking about people going wild, throwing off their inhibitions and doing the Macarena…well maybe that is not so wild.  But that is not what I am talking about anyway.  I am talking more about the watery variety.  Mermaids would be nice but I have not yet spotted any of those up here except when the combination of wine and beer has exceeded recommended daily allowances.  No, what I am talking about are also mammals and almost equally alluring as some of those mythological types.  Whales.

Now occasionally one might see a humpback or grey, and there are other varieties that show up in these chilly waters, waters that I probably watched on the Deadliest Catch that crashed up and were shivering the booties off of really tough guys who smoke a lot, catch crabs on land and off, and say *bleep* *bleep* *bleep* almost continuously because they feel like they have a right since they are doing the most dangerous job on earth outside of changing the diaper on a diaharretic, green-fluid ex-pulsing 18 month old which is  hazardous far beyond mere physical danger like drowning in freezing water.  No Coast Guard helicopter is going to show up for that one.  There are limits!

In addition to these relatively rare sightings there are also the Killer Whales, Orcas.  Not to be confused with the killer clowns, well, as everyone knows, all clowns are killers which is why we take children to circuses so that it is perfectly clear that they are mortals and will someday leave this earth, sooner than later if they don’t behave.  This scars many right into adulthood.  Such as my daughter, Robin, who was foolish enough to read Stephen King’s It.  To keep her in line all  I had to do was put on one of those funny red noses and grin and, boy! did she toe the line!

Killer whales come in pods.  No, they are not aliens dropped down from a mother ship filled with seawater, traversing the stars, stopping every now and then to deposit their little Orcinus Orca spawn across watery worlds all over the galaxy.  Though that would be really cool.  They would certainly not be at Area 51 since it is a tad dry out there.  But I digress.  The resident pods stay more or less in one area and while not exactly vegetarians they mostly eat salmon.  Now there are those transient orca, that are kinda like gangs or assassins, that travel about and eat almost everything, like John Pinette.  There is another type of orca but you can look that up on your own.  It will do you good.  But you don’t see much of them around here.  The different pods have letter names.  They are like extended families.  Each individual in the pod can be identified based on the shape and size of the dorsal fin on their back. I am really glad I’m not identified based on the size and shape of my body parts.  That would be embarrasing.

Now around Pender Island there are a few pods that wander about looking for salmon.  Rarely, these pods come together.  Maybe to exchange greetings, share gossip about what is happening in L pod, discuss the latest sports results, knock back a few at the local sand bar.  Now speaking of bars, some of the northern pods like to head to bars of the rocky type and rub their lower sides up against the rocks.   I think we know what that is all about.  Wink ;).  The others just haven’t caught on yet.

Several of our tribe went on a whale watching trip while here at Pender.  Nana and Papa had already done this at Telegraph Cove on that previous journey down the coast.  For this you go out in small boats.  Sometimes really small boats.  We were fortunate enough to see two pods come together on that trip, but Daryn, Robin and Megan trumped us by seeing three pods unite for fun, frolic and f…um…mating!  At least that is one theory.  Supporting this hypothesis is the breaching they were doing during their little get together.  Flipping and flopping and acting silly.  Had to be the guys trying to impress their girls.  Look!  I don’t have to be in the water, I’m so cool I can float like a butterfly, albeit a very substantial one, in the air.  Briefly.  Very briefly.  Except I don’t really know what a butterfly is but I think I saw something on Wikipedia.

So J, K, and L pods came together in a superpod for this little family reunion.  And our guys were there!  They were in a Zodiac that probably held about 14 or 15 people. Zodiacs are so named because they make you throw up in all twelve directions of the constellations.  But this was a rare moment where even that did not matter.  Irritatingly, while Nana and Papa and little Nora were out running around the islands, this all happened some few yards right off the cliffs where our rental house is located.  And WE missed it.  Little Nora didn’t really care much, she was more interested in when she would get her next serving of avocado.  Her favorite food.  Go figure.  So documented below are a few of the images of this encounter.  Following said images are a few more that were totally serendipity do dah!

We were down at Gowland Point on South Pender Island picking up pretty, pretty rocks, taking artsy photographs and clearly looking like tourists when lo and behold a family of Orcas, just minding their own business, came strolling by, sometimes only 20 or so yards from land.  This was so cool since Nana and Papa had missed out on the excitement of the previous day out on the water and also since we were so P. O’ed having missed the show from the deck at the house.  But there they were, clearly with some juveniles.  Not the delinquent type because they stayed right there with their parents as good children should.  They moved slowly around to Brooks Point and beyond.  About this time the whale watchers of the commercial type showed up.  The whales moved on, feeling violated by the brazen exploitation.  And so there it was, another exciting day living The Life in the islands.

Preparations.

Near Swanson Channel, just before the action begins. Mount Baker, 75 miles away in Washington, in the background.

Out to the sea, she be a cruel mistress…and you wear funny clothes.

An arriving pod, probably J.

Next day, family unit passing Gowland Point.

Sailboat violating the rules of maintaining distance to the Orcas.

Slowly moving away after the show.

Arrival   2 comments

Daryn, searching to rescue his soul.

Daryn, alone in the wilderness, destitute in spirit and soul.  Lost amongst soaring fir and spruce.  What fate awaits him this day?  Starvation? Slowly freezing to die a solitary death in the icy waste land below soaring Mt. Baker.  Survival uncertain, he staggers onward.  But lo, on the horizon, rescue!  His family has traveled over 3000 miles to find him.  Given up everything to bring him to safety.  They slowly move closer together and in a moment of poignant reunion, break into cheers, giggles, joyful exaltation!

Reunion at last. Who knew he could survive 30 days in the wilderness eating nothing but his underwear and pine cones.

In their joy, they break into playful song and dance.  They soon begin a snowball fight in the freezing lofty heights.  They ARE somewhat surprised at his condition after such an ordeal.

Little Nora gives a snow-splash to Nana. This is an important religious ritual in the far northwest among the natives that once roamed here signifying love and celebration.

The family, having only donkeys for transportation, fine, sturdy animals traversed snow mounds and glacial streams, themselves struggling to return to civilization.  At one particularly dangerous crossing they thought their way was fully blocked but all made it safely jumping from boulder to rock and boulder again until safely beyond danger.

Dangerous traverse for Papa, Nana, Daryn, Robin and tough little Nora.

After many days, with swollen feet and empty stomachs the family finally made the coastline.  Pressing northward along rocky shores, jutting high along the coast, around gently curving bays and fording rivers and streams flowing out to the sea, the family arrived at a seaport.  There they boarded their tiny sailboat and set forth, gerning the jib and flousting the foremast, across the stormy passage to their destination, Pender Island.  There the natives are thought to be kind, gentle and often appear to find certain herbs useful in improving their mood.  A place of peace and respite for the tired and struggling family.

Land ho! Pender Island comes into view after the family’s journey across the Strait of Georgia. After weathering stormy seas, great white whales, killer squid and packs of gangster Triggerfish, very aptly named, landfall!

Arrived in their Canadian paradise they were warmly greeted by traveling troubadours. A festival of food and crafts was presented for our benefit.

The Stella Sol troubadours celebrate our arrival along with the natives of Pender Island who brought forth their crafts and food for the family to enjoy.

Little Nora makes an offering to the Stella Sol troubadours.

Accepted by the natives, the family, famished from their epic journey, begin to enjoy life again purchasing the bounty of the deep blue sea to consume in their humble abode.  For additional documentation and images of their journey please see the Roadtrip 2012 Part II page.

Posted June 23, 2012 by papaandnana in Attempted humor, Roadtrip

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Big wheels keep on rolling   Leave a comment

What a wonderful day in the Black Hills.  Nothing black about it.  Bright beautiful skies most of the time, perfect temperatures, a downhill ride.  Makes 18 miles easy.  Saw a kingfisher fishing, cows mooing, water gurgling, wheels pressing crisply into the fine gravel and sand.  Raptors soaring overhead.  At times we were totally alone in this world, this magnificent creation.   We shuttle up with a couple of gentlemen from Florida and Georgia.  We started talking about a restaurant in Georgia and turns out he lives in that same town.  His family has a house in Maggie Valley.  Small world sometimes.

Papa, Nana preroll picture. Please see the photos on the separate page for the Mickelson Trail.

We rode on the Mickelson Trail.  Its 100 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont but we only had time for 18.  I may have to come back for the rest.  Tunnels, rushing streams but gentle brooks through meadows.  Utter solitude and beauty for much of the trail and best of all it was down hill most of the way.  We then drove to Billings, Montana and finally had time for a swim.  Along the way there, though, it is so hard to describe the vistas that seem to stretch completely around the world back to the other horizon.  Showers in the far south, brooding, rolling clouds to the west and blue skies to the north.  As we passes the Little Bighorn Battlefield, with all this regions emptiness, probably depressing to many, it is easy to see why wars were fought over it.  Since it is indescribable I guess I better stop trying.  However, we did detour to a famous landing sight for aliens.  If you remember the superb documentaryClose Encounters of the Third Kind, the events of which somehow were never reported in the new media, about the crazy many who made mountains out of mashed potatoes ( I new potatoes had eyes but “toes”?  Shouldn’t they be potateyes?) because he had been contacted by the alien landing party.  I wonder if that guy will every come back.

Famous Alien landing sight. Though only the ramp actually touched the ground with a bunch of anorexic nudists from another star system.

 

 

Headline: Donkey Ass-erts Him Self for Free Food   1 comment

Unwilling to accept no ass an answer, Donkey in Custer State Park, South Dakota, attempts to enter the car! Could Shrek be far behind?

Posted June 17, 2012 by papaandnana in Attempted humor, Roadtrip

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