Sunday, August 25, 2002

Please excuse the long post, but I can't see the point in breaking this up into multiple posts. This my journal from my vacation, recorded on my Visior, or as I refer to it, my palm. as it runs the Palm OS. Times are all Pacific Time, as opposed to Mountain Time normaly used on IdeaJoy.


02.8.20 18:00 is there a category for entering blogs on vocation, via your palm? Yeah, Addicted.

Had to kill a cockroach in the teepee when we got here quite the bit of excitement for Kim & Sarah. Teepee is more rustic than pictured. Plus 1 adventure -10 with Kim.

02.8.20 20:09 Sarah & Kim are playing cards, I'm tending the tail end of our camp fire. There is a tree covered mountain to the east of us. As the sun sets a shadow climbs the mountain making a giant sundial.

02.8.21 7:51 I wonder if Mean Dean got WLW up? I wonder if Bene is going
through WLW withdrawal?

Sunrise here is dramatic event. It starts up at the top of the mountains to the west. The mountain tops are the first thing to be bathed in the sunlight of a new day. Then the light sweeps eastwards down the meadows of the valley. As it light moves closer, you can watch it advance in real time.
Like watching the second hand sweep the face of a clock. Everything bathed in the light glows, becomes more distinct. The appearance of individual shadows makes things stand out.

I have a nine year old begging for breakfast. Got to go.

02.8.21 11:20 after break fast Sarah and I took the trail down to Box Canyon. This is not a government park, with easy paths and safety rails. The path from the camp ground takes you over a steep bank and next to the railroad tracks. Freight trains pull through here every couple of hours. In fact one is pulling through as I write this. We crossed the tracks and climbed down a path to rocks over looking where the water exits the canyon.

It's a scene of majestic beauty, aqua green rushing water, rocks faces and boulders rising to evergreen forest covered slopes that finally give way to peaks of rock and snow. Of course Sarah was bored in under a minute. I asked her if she knew the verse 'be silent and know that I am God.' She asked what it meant. I explained about just being quite and listening for God. I think the connection to the beauty around her was lost in translation. She hummed for a minute and said 'so are we going?'

02.8.22 17:25 this morning we went back to the canyon, snapped some pictures. This afternoon we went into the national park and did 2 board walks.

Giant Cedar Boardwalk was first. We walked between great cedars and their fallen comrades. The sun is filtered out high above our heads. It breaks through in places, highlighting a fern here a fallen cedar there. It is a natural cathedral: quite, reverent and full of awe.

Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk is a couple km west and closer to the river and goes through a marshland. The marsh is full of life. Much of the life is out of sight. Twice the skunk cabbage leaves rustled violently as some creature retreated from under the board walk to a location, I wasn't walking over. Birds called to other birds, all hidden from view. Some thing was causing bubbles in the water.

The exception to this stage fright are the dragon flies that zipped around us. The way the move in the mash is amazing. Lot's of short strait line connected with sharp angles. They move more like a sprite from an 80's era video game than anything bound by Newton's laws.

One dragon fly placed himself directly in my path. He hovered there staring at me. He was side swiped by another dragon fly. Whether it was an act of mercy or a territorial dispute I'll never know.

02.8.23 8:07 just sipping coffee before going to do some riding. Late last night as I returned from using the facilities I noticed the mountain to the south east was back lit by the moon. The moon was completely hidden by the mountain, but the ridge of the mountain had a pale blue glow. Light wispy clouds over head traced abstract designs in reflected moon light as stars twinkled through them. I was spellbound. When I recovered, I had walked several meters past the turn to our camp site.

02.8.23 8:33 just bumped into a guy who warned me off my chosen trail this morning. He just saw a cougar. I think I'll find another trail. Update: reported what happened to the folks at the park gate. Turns out cougars are very rare in this area due to a lack of game. So had I encountered cougar it would have been hungry.

02.8.23 11:16 back at the camp sight now. I did 5km loop in the Mount McPherson demonstration forest & x - country ski area. According to the map, in 2.5km I climbed over 100m above where the car was parked. For the most part I stuck to the dirt roads. I didn't see any one else on the trails. The only sign I saw of other trail users were horse shoe tracks.

02.8.23 16:43 just got back from the Revelstoke Railway Museum. For under $11 CDN we got to spend an hour and a half indoors with air conditioning. We've been blessed with very hot weather, so the challenge has been how to beat the midday heat. Luckily it cools off at night so sleeping has been quite comfortable.
The museum was very interesting. Canada being the 2nd largest country in the world, we're pretty proud of building a railway all the way across it. There is a big steam engine where you can sit in the cockpit. Yes I'm just big kid. The engine was staffed by a working train engineer who works with Canadian Pacific. We talked about various bits of train tech for about half an hour before Kim & Sarah pulled me out of there.

02.8.24 7:28 sipping coffee again. I'm headed back to the trail where the cougar was yesterday. Checked with the staff at the park gate yesterday afternoon and there were no other sightings, and no missing hikers. So I'll give it a try again today.

02.8.25 7:13 one last entry before we go. Yesterday was a full day. I did 6km of mountain riding on a great trail just outside Mount Revelstoke National Park, the cougar trail. Lots of rocks and roots kept me bouncing. There is one section I was told every one walks up. I had to walk up more than that and there was one section where I chickened out and walked down. Seems like a popular trail saw 3 other riders and an older couple on foot. I'm not sure that hikers should be on that trail but they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

We went to Revelstoke Dam, it's 175 meter high concreete dam on the Columbia river. The CN Tower is about 350 meters, so that's pretty tall. 25 years in the planing before they started work. It's a career project. After they build the dam Revelstoke started getting bad dust storms when the reservoir got low and exposed silt to the wind. They had to plant fall rye to stop the dust.

We bought lunch and took it to the top of Mount Revelstoke (by car). The lunch didn't work so well, lot's of bugs near where we were eating. We then did the 30 minute hike up to the summit, what an incredible view. Not nearly as many bugs at the summit, so we should have carried our lunch up.

Took the bike up with the car, so when we returned from the summit (by shuttle bus) I rode the 21.5 km back down to the park gates. In that distance you drop about 1400 meters. What a rush. My maximum speed was 61 km/h, I averaged 38.9 km/h, had to slow down for turns and stopped at the look outs to snap some pictures. I also refilled my water bottle in a mountain stream. Going that fast dries you out even if you are just coasting most of the time. It was a total endorphin rush, what joy to just fly down a mountain road. I've gone faster on a bike (just over 70km) but never that fast for that long. Kim said they only waited five minutes for me at the bottom, and they didn't stop at as many lookouts.

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