Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exploring Vancouver Island: A Photo Journal

For twenty-two days in July and August, Ferit and I explored Vancouver Island. Located in the southwest corner of British Columbia, Vancouver Island is the largest island in the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand. This is a photo journal of our trip.

Some days we camped in campgrounds.
Other days we claimed our own "Private Idahos" in the forest.
This is our bush camping site at the end of a logging road near Port Alberni.
We spent two days/nights here, in our own little heaven.

As one who has always slept in tents mounted on the ground,
getting used to climbing in and out of a car-top tent took a little getting used to...
especially for mid-night tea-pees.

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Shadow Memory

I'm a firm believer that we have an obligation to ourselves (and to the world) to give life to our artistic creations. If we fail to do so, those creations will never exist, and the world won't be nearly as rich for it.

While sitting aside Muchalat Lake, on Vancouver Island, a poem came to me. While I certainly don't consider myself to be a poet, I felt the need to commit the poem to written form. And so I ran back to the campsite to grab a pen and paper. I returned to the lake and quickly scribbled the words from my mind.

While I don't foresee that anything "outwardly monumental" will come of the poem, I do know that the act of bringing the pen to paper enhanced my focus on the present moment. With that focus came a flood of joy and gratitude. For these reasons, this poem is deeply meaningful to me.

Watching the sunset at Muchalat Lake. (August 4, 2014)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's Next?

"So, what's next?" you ask.

My plan was to spend a week or so chilling in Seattle after I returned from the Sierra-Cascades ride. During this time, I would relax, swap out my tires, throw some additional gear into the panniers (bear spray and the such), and then head out for the next adventure -- a few months riding the Icefields Parkway and The Great Divide.

My route for the Icefields Parkway and The Great Divide.

For those of you not familiar with these rides, the Icefields Parkway runs from Jasper to Banff, in Alberta, Canada. The ride is 140 miles of flippin' gorgeousness, with picture perfect lakes and icefields as far as one's laser-vision-corrected eyes can see.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Video Montage: Sierra-Cascades

I finally found some free time in my busy, R'n'R-packed schedule to create a video montage for this summer's Sierra-Cascades bike ride.

For those of you who have loyally followed all of my posts from the trip, you'll recognize a majority of the photos in the video. However, I added a few never-before-seen-by-the-public photos to encourage you to watch the video...

...and maximize my views count! Clever, eh?

The first song is called "You're the Only Thing in Your Way," by Cloud Cult. You may recall from my Day #21: The Soundtracks of My Mind post that this song cycled through my mind every time my I-am-loving-this-bike-touring-thing smile crossed my face. It thus seemed appropriate that this song serve as the opening tune for the video montage.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Pleasant Surprise, When Least Expected

I had been single for about a year. Knowing that I'd be away most of the summer on bike trips, dating wasn't high on my priority list. For one, it's difficult to find a potential suitor who is near my age and who has the desire and the means to be able to break free from the work world and explore all that life has to offer. For two, I wasn't terribly interested in entering a relationship that would distract me from my upcoming bike trips.

With the encouragement of my friend, Cedar, I reenabled my online dating profile a month or so before I left for the Sierrra-Cascades ride. She had convinced me that if I didn't put myself out there, I'd never find anyone.

There were quite a few email exchanges with various potential suitors as well as a few first "dates" (oh, how I hate that word). Alas, none of the gentlemen excited me. I came to the conclusion that I was neither mentally nor emotionally interested in dating.

Nine days before I left for my summer of biking, I logged into the online dating website to disable my profile. In the upper left-hand corner of the webpage was this photo:

The photo that caught my eye.

This was a fresh face -- one I had not yet seen. I thought to myself: "Self, you might as well enjoy some calorie-free eye candy before you voluntarily remove yourself from the online dating world." And so, to appease my taste for sweets, I clicked through to the guy's other photos: