Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Good Day For A Walkabout

Hello friends and neighbors. I feel like a bit of a heel having gone this long without dispensing a bit of wisdom, or at least some useless but entertaining bit of information so here goes...

The afternoon was long and sultry, too long in fact. Since action is my middle name, I decided to live up to the moniker and lace up my sneakers. Bidding a fond farewell to my beloved, I set out in a northerly direction.

Squamish's maritime history is evidenced by the chip conveyor ( that reddish thingie) visible on the far shore where Mac& Blo's  lumber mill occupied this site starting in the late 1920's. Who knows how many board feet of lumber, how many miles of timber shipped from here throughout the years to the four corners of the globe.

The maritime tradition continues although it is mostly pleasure craft instead of industrial marine traffic these days.

As always the Stawamus Chief rests in the background. From this vantage point it is easy to see his head/headdress and his chest as he continues his perpetual

A little more difficult to see is this art installation. If you look closely you can ascertain the intention of the artist.

Hint: It is a wolf, standing between 2 trees.

I only knew what to look for because I had glanced at the description at the bottom of the display. There was some effort required on my part to participate however.

One must needs climb this creaking rattling contraption that swayed gently in the wind with each additional step ascended. Even though we are only talking about 30 feet or so the noises were disquieting as one ascended, and the platform at the top seemed insubstantial adding to my dismay.

Once back on terra firma, I thought it my civic duty to check out the Farmer's Market although the artisans and merchants, (nary a farmer in the bunch) were packing up for the day. A quick cruise of the stalls was all that was required since I brought no money with me on purpose, so I would not return to the rig laden with fresh baked goods and other comestibles.

Just south of the market is Block 19, which was set aside as parkland when Squamish was a fledgling burgh. Many civic events take place here over the summer. At some point about a decade ago, someone decided some art would enhance the plot, and they invited local sculptors to submit work.

I think the carvers were under the impression that there might be at least an honorarium involved, and civic acrimony abounded when this turned out not to be the case. The artists went away empty handed, bad mouthing the Municipal authorities in the process.

This is some sort of thing. I cannot make heads or tails of it. It ha s some sort of meaning attached to it which completely escapes me.

This is the obverse side...or perhaps the face of the aforementioned "thing". I imagine at least that this could be used as a bench if one were so inclined.

Here we have some other sort of thing. Perhaps one of you could enlighten me? I am at a loss to even speculate.

This particular one has some design carved into it, and the rest is left unfinished. Perhaps it was at this point that the sculptor realized no cheques from the Municipality were forthcoming.

This last is equally mystifying to me. I am neither offended nor enlightened, uplifted or depressed upon viewing it. It does make for some darn good head-scratching though.

As I continued down the block I though to take a picture of this mural. I can see this one quite clearly. Thanks and kudos are due the artist for that.

Even though the Rhododendron are fading, you can still come across pockets of them in full bloom. I thought the Iris at it's feet were a nice touch.

It is nice to know that former BC Ferries which have been pensioned off are finding new homes by being repurposed. I think this one had a life of service on the MacMillan Island run or perhaps Fort Langley to Albion or some such 5 minute run. Someone has obviously put a lot of thought and effort into making it their home.

Another view of the vessel, shows that they are not finished yet.

Across the narrow channel is a building that was built by a local architect Peter L., who only started to construct this 3 story edifice, which is his office and home, as well as local artist live work space, after he broke his back crash landing an ultralight plane. Quite the individual.

Nearing the end of my walk I offer this picture of myself with my arm upstretched. I am merely using this as a yardstick, or Chris stick if you prefer to give scale to the next picture. If you notice the pattern of rust behind me you will be easily able to extrapolate dimension.

Here is the long view. This machine lifts a load of logs weighing somewhere between 70-100 thousand pounds from a truck when it arrives at the dump to be classified, sorted and scaled.

Here's another "Chris stick" view. I can reach to about 8 feet. This tire is a little taller.

This is the view from about 20 feet back of the same tire.

The machine is quite imposing from a distance, and even a little eerie from close up. I would have been "freaked all the way out" if it had rumbled into life while I was standing there.

I paced the distance back in until I reached the closest part of this behemoth. It was fourteen full paces so 60 -65 feet until I was at it's side. Here is an "art shot". The sign adjures me to KEEP BACK. Yeah...too late.

I return again to Grace, resting in her marinaside spot, and to my beloved who was waiting for me. I understand I must refer to her now as "Trippin Sista". For those of you who want to see more you can find the videography at Patricia Carpenter

I will leave you now with two additional photos. The first proves that even a "roundabout " sign can be pretty in the right circumstances.

My parting shot is of the "Alpenglow" which comes when the valley is already in the shadow of the evening and the mountains still retain the fading light of day.
This is an always pleasant if ethereal moment which is easy to catch if you are patient and fleetingly gone if not. I always appreciate God's handiwork at these times, since He paints the world with a fine hand which man's cannot counterfeit.

I will bid you all a pleasant good evening and look forward to the next time we have together.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Our Adventure Continues

Hola amigos!  It's been a while since I talked with you. We have been very busy of late. What with the big cleanup at the condo, and spending our time at "the beach house", I finally got a few minutes to catch you up.

I pushed myself back from the table after one of ScooterChick's tremendous dinners and decided to stretch my legs for a couple minutes. I present a picture of the log booms on the channel, with Mount Garibaldi in the background.

Looking eastward from our spot, we get a clear view of the  Stawamus Chief. This  massif rises almost vertically from sea level 2,297 feet. The link has more information than you'd care to know.

Here is a view southward, down the channel and out int Howe Sound. The upper reaches of the Sound are world famous for Windsurf and Kitesurfers. If you want to know more, YouTube Squamish Kiteboarding for a better look at these lunatics in action. They are "All the way off the chain.."

There is still some decent sized timber coming off the hill. It seems almost hard to believe now but when  I first moved to this area it was not uncommon to see something like this:

One log was the whole truckload, and he was probably running it in after 4:30 when any inspectors had knocked off for the day, since he was probably seriously overweight. Road legal GVW in those days was 88,000 pounds.

These logs are probably a little better than a load, lets say about 100-125,000 pounds. They will probably go as peelers for plywood since they are so clean.

As I walked out of the Dump (dry-land sort), I found the remaining roadbed of the Merrill and Ring railroad. This road was built to haul logs to the mill, and lumber to the ships carrying it out of Howe Sound.

The Merrill and Ring Families had been lumbering in Minnesota before coming north. Turned out to be profitable for them. Turns out they still own and manage a little better than 75,000 acres or a little better than 117 square miles of timber in BC, WA, OR and NZ.

Here is a load of Cedar, heading to a mill about 8 miles up the road. There is a strong market for Cedar for fencing, decking and siding. This is due in large part to it's properties. It is strongly resistant to pests, rot and cracking. It has a high oil content and is very aromatic.

After my little "walkabout" I returned to Grace, having had an opportunity to stretch my legs and get some air. The walk did me good.

This morning we made a trip to the city, and while there stopped at Earl's for a bite. This is our first time here, and we only came in because we had a gift card we needed to use.

The plantings are lovely this time of year. The bloom has arrived and things will be blooming in sequence from now until late June.

They have done a good job with the landscaping here, striking the right balance between variety, specie and color.

With the temperature hovering around 70, we chose to eat on the patio. This is the first stretch of really decent weather we have had this year, and temps will be in the 70's for the next several days. YA-HOO!!!

Earl's was the first company I know of to plant Fan Palms. This was around 1978. For the first couple of years they wrapped the trunks in burlap over the winter for protection while they established. I thought it a risky venture, but they seem to have survived, and in fact thrived. They are now about 20-25 feet tall!

The patio was filling up with diners, but we got a good spot. I sat in the shade, and the Trippn ' Sista soaked up the rays.

I went with the Tuna Tostadas. These were comprised of  a Tortilla Chip, a slice of Avocado, Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna slice, Shaved Jicama, a slice of Radish and a garnish of Fresno Pepper. They were based with a Garlic Aioli and were very tasty. A delicate but scintillating combination of flavors and textures. Fun Food!

I also went for the Yam Fries, well done of course served with Garlic Aioli and Truffle Oil. These were crispy and well presented. I had no trouble finishing them.

Trippin' Sista decided on the Chicken and Mushroom Fettucine. It was creamy and served with a slice of Garlic Focaccia. She was unable to finish. I helped.

For additional credit follow this link to the Trippin Sista's YouTube channel. There are a number of videos there. Take my word for it, you'll enjoy them.

I'll look forward to chatting with you later. Ciao.