Sunday, September 23, 2007

Crown Mountain 22 Sept 07

I did the unthinkable today climbing both Grouse and Crown. My muscles are feeling it now at 12.02 am. Is that really the time as I swig on Nelson Old Brewery beer and boil pasta noodles. I am eating dinner at this hour! Mad! But I am super hungry having lounged in the bath reading 24 Hours and drinking tea. The tea, that's why I am so awake. It could be some post hike shit too. I think strenuous hikes have that effect on me in the sense that I am invigorated.

I didn't do the Grind. Instead after waking later than I really should have done to do the hike in a proper fashion. However it wasn't that kind of day. It wasn't orderly. It was random and I am thankful for that. A second beer? It's Saturday night. Why not? No work till Monday. I am listening to francais radio, Espace Musique. How are those noodles doing?

They're done and now with the odds and ends sauce I made last night, zuccini, brocolli and spinach not forgetting recycled mung beans, tin of tomato paste, ginger, red onion and yellow pepper. Good feed. Seconds tonight. I got up late and tune into to 102.7fm Co-op Radio to hear the end of the Polish radio show, the name of which escapes me right now. The jingle for Redeye on same frequency starting sooner than i expected. Can't be 9am already? It was. I listened to one interview and the start of a second as i made porridge with grapes de Okanagan.

Quidk w5ir of the sacue o u know what i mean. I thoguht the grapes were blueberries when I picked them up in Santa Barbara. Nevermind. The sacue olso contains some potatoes and at least one carrot.

As I walk into the kitchen kicking over the Vim, what ever happened to Jif?, I look for the mystery pisser but realize it's my fridge defrosting. Damn this dinner is good. So after a pit stop at Blakes coffee shop to pick up a chicken wrap, a vegan breakfast bar and a cookie I walked to the Waterfront where I boarded a sea bus to Lonsdale Quay, chatting with a returnee to Vancouver and his partner. They were grateful for the tourist info I gave them. I boarded a 236 bus to find conversation with two English blokes of Bournemouth and Axminster origins. My parents age group we talked politics in Britain, the price of gas, painting, and generally passed the journey.

Fall is most definitely here. I can feel the chill in my place. Where's that fleece? I soon found the Baden Powell trail a wee way up the Grouse Grind. I followed for a while passing the BCMC trail and about thirty minutes in found the Larsen trail, my chosen route for the day to climb Grouse. I had the opportunity to climb this trail a few week ago in a Meet Up hike. That day after following the Larsen trail to the chalet I went on to do Thunderbird Ridge with a fellow Meet Upper. Today somehow after following the Larsen trail and almost losing the trail at least once I ended up on the BCMC within earshot of the chalet, and then bizarrely I lost that trail and found myself heading towards the Cut (the ski slope). I eventually surfaced at the ski rental building.

Shortly after I perused the Grouse Mtn map and found conversation with a guy who wanted to get to Goat but didn't know the way. I said I would show the way. I did and he hiked with me until I guess he found his way, no goodbye, no thanks. He just sped ahead. A larger group of hikers also headed to Goat were a little distance behind me but never caught up with me. I made the turn off to the Hanes Valley/Crown and discovered a chained descent and mud. Probably the hardest bit of the whole day. Not long after this I crossed paths with two hikers who had come along the Hanes Valley trail and they informed me a group of six were ahead of me en route to Crown. Excellent. It took me an hour to catch them up. They were lunching at the Hanes Valley/Crown junction. I said hello and continued towards Crown, now climbing. This part of the route some four hours later in reverse was also difficult. The time now was close to 2pm. About half an hour later two of the six passed me. It was only later I found out from them, Cang and Mark that the others in their group were struggling and turned back. Not long after they passed me I heard a great whooping from them and then a distant hello further back. Cang and Mark had seen their friends on the trail back to Grouse.

I only caught up with Cang and Mark at the peak of Crown. I lunched about ten minutes from the peak staring at a slim piece of rock that stretched eastwards in the direction of Goat for about 20 metres. However the end was hidden by the gently moving clouds. The spot was so peaceful. I only discovered after eating that on the opposite side of the ridge from where I sat was an amazing view of a valley and sunshine. The clouds were caught in pockets. Very different on the way down when the clouds were everywhere apart from a few respites offering glimpses of Vancouver, Tsawwassen and beyond.

I passed a German hiker at this time and I sensed his concern for my late arrival and large pack but he didn't say anything more. I could by this time hear Cang and Mark but could not see them. I continued to climb, the route getting ever more perilous. Then I saw them sitting atop the peak. Oh my god! So narrow. Mark straddled the rock while Cang leaped around with confidence. I put down my pack and climbed to where they were. I took some pics for them and they returned the favour. We then assisted each other in getting off the peak. Camel was threatening to make an appearance through the clouds but never quite did. Goat was also absent as was everything else. Helping each other we introduced ourselves in order to ease our descent. I lagged behind the whole way back to Grouse, but my new found friends were curteous and waited for me. It took us more than an hour to get away from the peak of Crown back to the uphill for Grouse. From there we made better time and even better time once we got back to the ridge linking Goat to Grouse. We got back to the info kiosk at 7.30pm, 18mins shy of my predicted time of 7.48pm. I had simply added seven hours to the 12.48pm check in time.

Back at the chalet we exchanged contact info and I grabbed a coffee and a Nanaimo bar resting briefly before heading for the gondola where I got chatting to a young couple. At the bus stop chatting with two Brits, the couple walked by and offered me a lift which I gladly accepted and we had a laugh driving back over the Lions Gate Bridge and through Stanley Park. I felt comfortable with them and so we exchanged contact numbers and talked of beers in the future. Not ten minutes later I passewd, oops the glacier that is my defrosting fridge, snagged. The cops siren by at 1.05am. Cheers VPD. I am sure the roads are really busy right now, not. I passed a work buddy. Then walking east on West Georgia I look down and see my boots cracked and looking very much set for retirement. They lasted the summer. That I had hoped.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Using Clara's needle gun

In recent weeks I have been using the wonderful industrial tool that is the needle gun. How does it work? Well it is powered by compressed air which in itself is worthy of description but I diverge reader. What does it do? It gets rid of rust and loose paint to create an even surface prior to power washing and finally painting. So much prep!

Clara continues to take me to delightful settings in BC. I have migrated up the Burrard Inlet to Port Moody where I get to stare at the mountains beyond Ioco. It is just wonderful. A seal and a heron are just some of the locals. But boy does the sulphur get everywhere and no I didn't cut the cheese - it's the sulphur.

School and travel

Hello all

I will be going back to school in mid November for five weeks to achieve second year apprenticeship status for painting.

Also just 8 days shy of Christmas I shall be travelling to England.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Camping on Mayne Island Labour Day weekend

I made my virgin voyage let's call it to Mayne Island early Saturday morning for two blissful days and nights of camping. What a beautiful island and I have to say that Salt Spring has now been relegated to second place in terms of my favourite west coast islands. There isn't many other islands that I have visited.

Vancouver Island stands in a different league due to its size and sits better with my imagined league containing rivals - The Lower Mainland and the Okanagan.

As for the west coast islands, Galiano is 3rd and tiny Bowen is 4th. There, now you know all the islands that I have visited.

Having got up at a very early hour, close to my work alarm, actually earlier than my current work alarm I walked with S to Howe n Pender to board a bus to the Ladner Exchange and from there to Tswwassen for the ferry to Mayne with a stop for fellow Labour Day weekend travellers at Galiano Island.

From the ferry terminal on Mayne we hiked the few kms to the campsite which commands an amazing sea front location. Don't tell anyone! Miner's Bay was less than 20 minutes walk from campsite and thanks to True Value and the Miners Bay Post company it was possible to buy cheap grub and alcohol respectively.

On the Saturday under a hot sun we walked to the dockside and bought sockeye salmon. With a bottle of red and spuds and brocolli we dined in style beside our tent and the very stinky outhouses. Oh well we were last to arrive without a reservation. A fact for which I nearly paid with my life. Only joking.....

On Sunday we explored as far as Georgina Point and saw the Lighthouse before venturing back for our last night under the stars and a pasta dinner and two bottles of vino. Labour Day we hiked back to the ferry terminal and caught an earlier ferry back to Tswwassen.

True Value operate a Community Spirit initiative whereby when you shop at the store you tell the cashier which local organization you would like the grocery store to donate one per cent of the value of your purchase to at the end of the year.

Power washing with Clara

How did I get to here? After an intro to unionized painting, mostly commercial stuff and an interesting couple of weeks with last employer work, no work, work, no work, I have now entered the fold of industrial painting and I have to say so far it has been a very pleasant experience.

We work hard but have laughs along the way. There wasn't much laughter with the last two employers in the commercial painting sector. With Clara I am heaving weights around and preparing swing stage riggings and then working on the swing stages power washing and today painting.

For residents of Vancouver and those familiar with the UGG logo on the grain mill in the port, it will soon have a new logo. My part, I washed the UGG and painted over it with co-worker in readiness for sign writer to do his stuff next week.

There was more to write on my exit from oil but it can wait, or may never be written......

and for those interested in the grain mill itself

the following comes from

In 1913 the Company acquired a small elevator at New Westminster to handle feed grains from Alberta. This elevator had fairly good business opportunities until the depression. During the depression the feed business was temporarily disrupted and the elevator was sold. In 1925 United Grain Growers Limited purchased a controlling interest in the Burrard Elevator Company. At the time, Burrard operated a terminal in Vancouver which was under lease from the Harbours Board. UGG bought out the remaining shareholders of Burrard in 1980 and operated the terminal under lease for 36 years. In 1966 UGG acquired the 500,000 bushel terminal outright.
In an effort to become more efficient and increase throughput, several upgrading programs have been undertaken. The capacity of the Vancouver terminal was increased to 1,500,000 bushels in 1932, 2,500,000 bushels in 1959, and 3,600,000 bushels in 1972. In 1980 a central control panel was installed which semi-automated the terminal. 1984 witnessed a new oilseed cleaning section, increased trackage capacity, as well as the installation of shiploaders. Land acquired from the port of Vancouver will allow for increased storage on the east side of the elevator.
On 6 March 1989 the Vancouver Terminal ceased all operations in preparation for a major upgrading of the trackshed area, cleaning facilities and the distribution system. The terminal commenced unloading cars approximately ten months later, in December 1989.
The trackshed area has undertaken a new unloading concept, allowing only hopper car unloads. The track scale has been replaced by a batch weight scale, and car progressors are utilized for spotting cars.
Existing barley and wheat cleaners have been replaced with four rotary barley cleaners, and three new wheat cleaner sections increasing the cleaning capabilities immensely. The new distribution system will allow for a more efficient movement of grain within the terminal.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer song request played 22 August

Wednesday August 22 2007
Summer request from Angela Title: Come Here My Love, Artist: Van Morrison, Album: Veedon Fleece

Title: Velvet Green (live) Artist: Jethro Tull. Album: 20 Years Of Jethro Tull

Summer request from Gary Title: Rain In The Summertime, Artist: The Alarm, Album: Eye Of The Hurricane

As played on CBC The Early Edition with Lee Rosevere of date above.