Monday, June 30, 2008

Gotta to GET to Gunn ...

GUNN LAKE that is !!
And today I did ...
16.5 kms in,
16.5 kms out,
with a couple of kms of exploring ...
IT was beautiful,
and well worth it!!
(I decided the trail from Lake Audy
through Whitewater and on to Gunn
was a bit to daunting,
so I took the Baldy Lake Trail instead ...
a longer drive to get there, with a shorter trail to bike)

Images of the trail ...

Some of the critters I met along the way ...

(and it was close enough that I didn't need to use the zoom !!)
(these two used a very slight zoom)

Scenes from along the way ...

A few glimpses of the place I visited on my way back from the bike ride ...

Marconi School, a gem tucked in a hidden corner:

The road stretching to infinity:

An abandoned house:
The Church at Olha:

Another look at the Church at Olha:

The Centennial Marker for the Ukrainian Settlement near Olha:

The Mass Grave from a Scarlett Fever out break that claimed 45 lives:

On a quiet hill, a place of deep memory:


Sunday, June 29, 2008

My perfect job ...

If I could find a way to be paid
to ride my bike, write,
and post the occassional blog entry,
I would be delighted ...
any suggestions???
My resume is ready ... tell me where to send it !!

Today's Adventure:

Initial destination: Whitewater Lake where the German POW Camp was in the Second World War ... if my legs hold out, I'll carry on past it ... my ultimate goal is to reach Gunn Lake which lies 16kms PAST Whitewater ... I know I can get there in one day ... it's the getting BACK that is a bigger challenge ...

And so, I began pedalling at about 2pm ...

I took only one brief stop for water and an apple during my 35 minute trek to Whitewater:
After a fifteen minutes exploration of Whitewater (the pictures are below), I hopped back on my bike and pedalled another 20 minutes west towards Gunn Lake ...
By my reckoning, the total distance out was at the minimum 16 kms (9 miles). I stopped, had some cheese, an apple, a BIG drink of water, a granola bar and began pedalling back ... the entire trip took three hours, with over 2 1/2 hours spend pedalling ...
Back at the car, I enjoyed my lunch:
Water, chocolate, an organic peanut butter granola bar and a few pieces of Shluq (shh-luck), which is dried smoked salmon - a specialty of the Nuxalkmc of Bella Coola, and the last of my cheese (I wolfed back the cheese before I took the picture - I was hungry and it tasted GREAT!!). It was all things considered, a lunch fit for a King !!!
Not a bad way to spend the afternoon !! Anyone want to join me the next time ???

It's NOT just the grand vistas ...

I first spotted a flash of orange on a distant hill ... then shortly thereafter, I pedalled past a small patch of bright orange lilies ... I HAD TO STOP and enjoy their beauty ... they along with the red Indian Paintbrush and the rich yellows, whites, pinks and purples of the other wild flowers made the bike trek extra special today!!!

One of My Favourite Spots on the Planet ...

The site of the Prisoner of War camp at Whitewater Lake within Riding Mountain National Park is one of my favourite spots to pedal to when I'm out and about in the park ...

I don't know much about it, other than it was there, and there are few foundations and footings still visible even after 60 years:

A highlight is to tromp through the brush towards the river that flows out of Whitewater and find nestled beneath a grove of spruce trees the dug-out canoe where it was left over 60 years ago by its creator when he was sent home at the end of the war:

The 10 kms bike ride in is beautiful ... the setting is gorgeous ... but with each step over the site, I feel the richness of history ... and if I sit and listen I can hear the whispered echoes of the men who called this place "home" far from the battles that brought them here, and far from their families who missed them ... It's a powerful place with an interesting history ... one I want to learn more about ...

For now, I'm happy to pedal in once in awhile for a visit ... and to walk through the grass meadows that once housed strangers in a strange land, waiting for the end of a horrific war ... in this time of peace, Whitewater reminds us of the power of new beginnings and fresh starts ...

Crossing The Jordan ...

Forty Years ago today, at the age of 40,
his earthly journey ended in a tragic accident ...


in the 40th year of the infant son he left behind,

That son begins a NEW chapter,

he crosses his Jordan River from the wilderness

that for too long he wandered in ...

... things won't suddenly be 'ALL BETTER',

but today he stops being a

doormat for both 'friends' and family,

today he straightens his back,

stands upright,

Today he will begin to live aware and present

to the wonders of THIS MOMENT.

Today that infant son, now grown,

becomes present to THE NOW

that exists around him

and instead of spinning stories,

focuses on the facts and the truth.

Today is a new day ...

... the journey in the wilderness has ended !!

The journey into the Promised Land has BEGUN!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Guess What I did today???

Today's Trek:

Today, just after lunch I loaded my bike into the back of the car, and headed up to Riding Mountain National Park ... 2 hours - 30 kms - 3 litres of water - 2 apples - three granola bars - two chunks of cheese and one chocolate bar later ... I arrived back where I started, having mud bogged through the first third of the Grasshopper Valley Trail:

Then I thumped my way along a very rough and tumble trail that would have shaken my fillings loose if I had any ... thank GOD for the shock absorbers on the front of my bike!!!!

I stopped for a drink of water and the first of my snacks after about 35 minutes before continuing on to the Central Trail Junction:

Half an Hour later, I stopped again to drink more water, dig some mud out of my gears, and rest a bit before continuing on to the Central Trail:

After the mud and the boggy bits and the uneven surface of the Grasshopper Valley Trail, the flat gravelled surface of the Central Trail was a dream ... I practically FLEW along the trail back to the car:

Can you see why I LOVE biking into the heart of Riding Mountain National Park??

My tired, muddy legs after approximately 22 kilometres of very intense wilderness biking:
I think I'll go back tomorrow !!!