Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I guess Justin Craig is not going to call and I am not sure what to do. I guess I would like to perform again but dealing with Justin may be a problem. He acted in such an arbitrary way that there is no way to tell where his head is.
My classes have started and I am comfortable with them so far. It will be a busy semester but I should be able to handle it. I have finished my FAR and the house is in good shape (Mike helped me with attaching the generator box). I have planted some lettuce and by the weekend I want to plant spinach and sugar snap peas. I have to be careful since there are wasp nests in the green house and I have to get rid of them before I can clean everything up.
I am still too tired so I will get the bloodwork done later this week to see if something is wrong. I think it is probably the medications which are causing me to be so tired.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This will be a catch up entry since so much time has passed since my last one. I drove straight home from Richmond and things at the house were fine. The water was clear and at full pressure. I had to use the trimmer around the house but the grass has stopped growing because of the heat and the drought.
Gloria was supposed to arrive last Thursday at 7:30 pm, but she didn’t arrive till 3:00 am. It was a real ordeal for her and for me. I ended up sleeping at the exit 128 truckstop and then at the airport. We finally got home around 4:00 am, both of us exhausted.
Gloria’s visit was very good and we had a lot of fun drinking coffee in the morning when she got up and then having a late breakfast. Rob liked her a lot and cooked an excellent dinner for us. I took Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin out to the Indian restaurant in Roanoke and they also liked Gloria. I took her up to the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Peaks of Otter and the views were very good because there was little haze. She was supposed to leave Sunday but with Hurricane Irene coming in, we both thought it best—especially considering her flight out—that she go back Friday, which she did and got home that evening.
On Thursday I went to the meetings and after Kate mentioned me to the new Provost Sam Minner, I was invited to read a poem at the convocation. I was pretty nervous but I did a pretty good job of reading “Directive” and I am so glad that’s over.
I will start teaching on Monday so I have one day of summer left and I am ready to get back to work. I am still a little more tired than I would like to be, but I am getting things done. I will have bloodwork done now that Gloria has returned to California. I think teaching three courses in a row is going to be tough.
David King came out on Friday and cleaned out the septic tank (and said I should be good for five years), raked the peat moss tank, and checked the controls for the drip irrigation. When I got back I got Mike to come up with his co-worker and they got the dryer out and the vent cleaned so that is done. I dug out the cattle guard this morning and I am rebuilding the generator box and that should be done by Monday.
I saw one of the waitresses I know at Gillies and I asked her to mention to Justin Craig that if he calls me I will be glad to play with him again. No word from him today.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thursday brought me to Whitefish after my morning yoga and Kripalu stuff, and I decided to do the bike ride first. I was able to get the bike shop to put on my good seat (which cost 10 extra) and the recommended ride along Whitefish Lake was really a ride along the road next to WL with almost no views of the lake and pretty heavy traffic. Still, it was a very good ride of at least 6 miles and after returning the bike I checked into the Downtowner and took a needed nap. After that I had to head out to the UPS store to send my stuff back to Virginia and that took over an hour (and I still ended up with a jar of fish oil). Next I vacuumed the Traverse and washed it and it looked much better after I was done. I set up a tee time on the Whitefish course for 6:36, but when I got back to the rood I wasn’t feeling 100% so I lay down again and figured I could cancel if I wasn’t feeling better later. When I awoke I was fine so I headed to the course and after waiting for a good half hour to start, I teed off with John and Aaron and Dan. Dan was very good, close to scratch, and Aaron wasn’t bad but John was not much of a golfer though we all had fun together. I shot a 47, even while shooting 7, 7 on the last two holes when I teed off from the blues with the other 3. We then played two more holes and that was also fun. It was now time to drop off the SUV and I did but I had forgotten to fill it up so I am sure Hertz will charge me plenty to fill it up. I then had a mediocre meal at the Mackenzie River Pizza restaurant and walked to the Downtowner to drop off my stuff and then return for a brief walk around town.
I called Amtrak at about 10:30 and they said the train was already 3 hours late and that if I called after 11:00 I would be given a better idea of when it would get to Whitefish. However, when I called I was told by Melinda, the supervisor, that they could give me no guarantee of when the train would be in Whitefish, but she was pretty sure it wouldn’t be there until 10am. I was very restless so I took ¾ of a valium and I slept pretty well until 7:30. I did my yoga and Kripalu stuff, then walked around town for a few minutes and was finally told by the station master that I needed to get to the station by 10:30, which wasn’t far off since we left around 11:30, over three and a half hours late.
Now my real concern is whether I am going to make my connection in Chicago. If the train stays 3 and a half hours late, then we will arrive in Chicago at 7:25, which would miss my connecting train by an hour and 15 minutes. I’d imagine if we were only that late they might hold the Capitol train. I was told by the room attendant that we will have a pretty good idea at Winona, MN. I really don’t want to stay in Chicago overnight, especially if they have to bus us to some motel in the suburbs. Staying in town has some attraction, but I would still rather be home on Monday.
I had a good talk with Rob yesterday and he talked with Fay and told her she wasn’t going to win (which I agree with fully) but he was upset because she said a ton of negative things. He has been doing things with Raechel and last weekend Noah stayed over so things are still pretty fluid. I hope to go for a walk with him on Monday.
With the stock market tumble (roughly 2000 points in two weeks), I thought about started Fear II, but the summer is almost over and I don’t think I want to commit to a project this late in the summer.
Overall, I had a lot of fun this trip even though I do feel a little guilty spending so much money (over 6000 for a three week trip) while others are having to cut back. I was happy that I was able to do a lot of biking, a lot of walking in cities (Vancouver was first with Victoria a close second, then Spokane and Coeur D’Alene), plenty of golf and a little fishing. I don’t think I will go back to Freda or the Eldred, but I did enjoy Kerr Creek and the St. Regis. I do love the West very much and I hope that I can travel out to Colorado next year, especially if Amtrak gives me a big voucher (I am really hoping for 1000).
I have been alerted by Josh Gibson that there are several questions remaining but most involve Jim Shortt, the lawyer. I should be able to take care of things rather quickly when I return. My big concern is whether the much more restrictive easement will really affect the price I sell the hollow for. I know I am going to lose more money but I do hope that the increased tax break will compensate for some of the loss.

By Saturday morning the train was 6 hours late so there was almost no chance of making my connection. I napped quite a bit since I didn’t sleep well the night before, and had some fun conversations with people at breakfast, lunch and dinner. By the time evening arrived, the train was almost seven hours late and a little later the staff told us that we not going to make our trains. I asked but no one could tell me if I was going to be bused out of town or given a room in town.
When we finally got into Chicago, I didn’t rush out but I ended up being first in line and got my voucher for a room in town at the Crowne Plaza Metro and 48 dollars in cash for taxis and food. The Crowne Plaza was fancy and the bed was wonderful, and I slept till almost 8:30.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This is the bear I photographed up on Freda Creek.

On Wednesday morning after my yoga and Kripalu stuff, I drove to Coeur D’Alene and rented a bike and rode a number of times along the lake. It was not very crowded so the biking was easy and there was a stiff breeze on the lake so it was cool. After my ride I decided to head on and when I got to St. Regis, I was going to fish but I went to play golf at the local course. I struggled, particularly since I had rented some pretty bad clubs but with a great putt from off the green on 9, I ended up breaking 50. Then I went and got my license, drove to the next exit (2 mile) and drove to the left after I crossed the small bridge. It was a lovely spot and I caught 2 nice cutthroats, one on a spinner and one on a stonefly. It had been just a perfect day and I decided to drive on, and eventually I got to Kalispell, then ate at a recommended restaurant, Scottibelli, but it was not that good.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yesterday’s visit to Spokane was terrific. First I rented a bike and rode for many miles along the river. I also got a look at Gonzaga’s campus. After that I drove downtown, parked under the mall so I didn’t have to worry about meters and went to have a quick bite at P. F. Chang’s. The shrimp dumplings and the hot and sour soup were wonderful. After that I went over to the Riverfront Mall and watched the new Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it did make me think about what period I would like to live in. I would guess the 60s and early 70s. Today with the economy and the bickering in Washington the US doesn’t seem such a great place.
After the movie I walked down to the falls, took some pictures, then walked through the park. I really enjoy downtown Spokane. I then had a chicken and broccoli dish at P. F. Chang’s along with a couple of spring rolls and then headed to the Motel 6 I had already made a reservation at.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Eldred was a disappointment and the drive up there—thirty five miles of logging road, with the last ten full of big potholes—was no joke, particularly in a Chevy Traverse without 4WD. I had to drive real slow the last ten miles but finally I got to an accessible spot after having to turn around at a big dip in the road. I fished a very impressive spot but nothing really happened. I started with a rooster tail, then a rapala, then a big bass rig and nothing. I finally got a few hits on a big stonefly and then I caught three cutthroats with a small nymph. Not what I expected. I did see two more bears but I think my days at Freda and the Eldred are probably over. Too difficult and not very good fishing for my limitations.
The next day I got up, had coffee at Starbucks then packed and decided to get the 9:25 ferry and spend more time in Sechelt. It was a good plan because the 9:25 filled, and the 11:40 would have been iffy. The ride was very beautiful. Just after I got off at Earls Cove, I stopped to play golf at a spectacularly hilly course with a father and son from the Netherlands. They were fun and despite an 8, 8 start, I ended up posting the best score (55) and we all had a drink together. I then needed a nap and after that I had a late lunch at Daphne’s in Sechelt, then went for a swim and a walk at Davis Bay. I got to the ferry about an hour ahead and fortunately my reservation allowed me to get on the 6:55 boat and many people in the non-reserved line didn’t get on. It was a very scenic voyage, and when I got off I decided to try for the border since my GPS was now working and the border wait time at I-5 was supposed to be 10 minutes. I got there just before dark and it took almost an hour to get through. Fortunately I made a reservation at the nearby Anchor Inn and got there a little after ten. I ordered a domino’s pizza and watched TV until 11.
Monday morning, after Kripalu and yoga, I drove to Seattle and rented a bike at Recycled Cycles and had a very scenic and fun 6 mile ride. I drove through the cascades and saw a golf course so I figured why not, and after opening with an 8 and shooting a 7 on hole 4, I played very well and ended up with a 48. I drove to Ellensburg but Lisa Norris was out of town, so I had dinner at the Valley CafĂ© after doing my laundry. I checked in to the Quality Inn (free room night with my points) and then walked around the very decent campus of Central Washington University. Tomorrow Spokane and the day after Coeur D’Alene.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I woke up pretty wiped out so I decided to take it pretty easy today. I did my Kripalu stuff, my yoga and then drove out to Comox lake to see if I could find some of the rivers and streams on the other side of it. When I got there I found that the road was closed due to logging, but I could fish the river below the dam. There was a hefty release going on, but I walked down about 400 yards and found a decent spot to cast my spinning reel but had no hits. I was not too interested in going swimming (though there were several people in the water) so I drove back to town to take a nap. When I awoke I decided to play golf and called the Crown Isle golf course and they said I could come after 5 and it would cost me 60 bucks. It sounded okay but when I got there the snotty worker said it would cost 82 and that was just too much. I drove over the Glacier Greens and although the guy said he was going to charge me 60, he only charged 45 and it was a fun course. Because I was behind some real slowbos, I played two balls and did very well. I mistakenly thought I had a chance to break 90 (after I had a 45 for 4 and ½ holes, so I kept playing two balls through hole 8 and I realized I would only break 100, so I quit then, but well satisfied with my play. The proprietor suggested Billy’s tavern in town for dinner and it was very good for bar food. I went back to the room, dropped off for a half hour and then went to see Cowboys and Aliens, which I enjoyed quite a bit.
In the morning I did my Kripalu stuff and my yoga and then loaded the SUV and headed to the Ferry to Powell River. I was there in plenty of time, and the ride over was uneventful. When I got off I wanted to camp right away but the first place I stopped at had a decent room for 65 dollars so I figured I would just stay there for my two nights. I napped, drove into town for lunch, then went back to the room so I wouldn’t get on the logging road until after 3:30. That worked and I saw no logging trucks but I did get lost briefly twice but eventually I got on the Freda Creek road and drove just past mile marker 20. I was just crossing the bridge when I looked over and saw a black bear trying to cross the swollen stream. I took several pictures and finally got the bear to look up at me and once he did he took off up the hill. I parked, very excited to be the only one here, and got into my gear without rushing. I went upstream toward the bear for a couple of pools but then it would have been very hard to wade up further so I worked downstream and had a lot of fun, catching 12 cutthroats, mostly 6 inches long but with a couple of 8 inch fish. I worked down about 150 yards and I know the fishing would have been better if I could have gone down a few hundred more yards. My knee wasn’t too bad at all so I should be able to fish the Eldred tomorrow, a least a hundred yards or so. I drove back slowly since I didn’t want to ruin a tire, and had a decent meal at the Eagle’s Landing bistro. Following that I drove to Tim Horton’s for my first cup of coffee and a couple of cake donuts.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On Tuesday I drove back into Victoria, found a good parking spot and then updated my blog at a Starbucks next to my SUV. I then walked over to the floating houses, expecting that the water taxis would be running by 9 but they weren’t going to start until 10 and the Museum didn’t open till 10, and my parking time ran out at 10:30 so I really couldn’t do much except head back to the SUV. I walked back, my knee hurting quite a bit and decided to head off since I have done the water taxis before and I have seen many Imax films. I drove to Goldstream, took a nap, then drove on to Nainimo which I had a falafel lunch at the Thirsty Camel, voted the best vegetarian restaurant in Nainimo four years in a row. Lunch was good, not exceptional. I spoke with Rob and he was doing okay, and then I called Marie and she told me about her trip up to Vermont with Patty. I told her I would try to come to Thanksgiving dinner at Patty’s in Delaware. I will drive down on Thanksgiving morning and see my friends on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. After lunch I drove to play golf at a decent course near Parksdale, and I had a chance to break 50 up to the 8th hole, a par three, where I hit my tee shot on the green and 4 putted. The next hole was a disaster but overall it was a fun time. I wasn’t sure what to do but I drove on to Port Alberni, stopping to take a very needed swim in the icy cold Cameron Lake. After that I drove to Sproat Lake Provincial Park but found it filled so I drove back to a private campground that was nice enough. After setting up my tent, I drove into town for supplies and for dinner at the Clam Bucket, a recommended restaurant that was pretty good. I went across the street and was instantly alerted that a black bear was across the river walking along the shore and later I saw another one. It seems fairly common to spot them. I learned that the Lady Rose, the boat I took from Bamfield many years before, had been sold and was going to be used as a floating restaurant near Tofino.
On Wednesday I was driving out to Tofino and Long Beach when I spotted several lovely little streams running into the Kennedy river. I stopped at one but it was too steep but I could get down to the second one, Kerr’s Creek, and I decided to fish it. At first I got a couple of tiny parr, but then I brought in a 9 inch native, then another parr, and then three more natives. It was very much to my taste even though my knee was shaky when I finished. I drove on to Ucluet, but it was foggy and misty and then rainy and after stopping briefly I drove on to Tofino to do my laundry and have lunch. Tofino was packed and while I did my laundry and ate a decent sandwich I just wanted for get out of there even though there were a couple of bike rentals shops. Fortunately, I found another one and rented a beach bike (large tires) that allowed me to ride on the beach (the weather still foggy but no rain. I then rode a couple of miles on the bike path and then quit with my knee hurting pretty much. I drove back to Port Alberni and had dinner at the Clam Bucket (again quite good) and then drove to Courtney and took a room at a Travelodge. I was going to go back out, but after my yoga and stuff I was too tired so I just watched some TV and went to bed. I will not be able to go on a whale watching tour since it was sold out for today.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I drove in to Vancouver with no problem, the signage being fine, and I stopped at the River Rock casino to park for the Sky Train. I was in town in a few minutes and I decided to go to Stanley Park and rent a bike first. There certainly were no scarcity of bike shops over on Denham, and in a few minutes I was on a very comfortable comfort bike and pedaling along the eight mile bike trail through the park. That was a real treat even though some cyclists were fast and few announced themselves as they passed. I then had a terrific lunch at a Thai place recommended by the bike shop. I stopped at a Telus store and the fellow there helped me get the GPS and the internet working. I then went back to the downtown Sky Train station, headed back to my SUV and then drove to the Comfort Inn, one Tracy and I stayed in. I was able to check in early¸ and after a nap I had the pleasant surprise to find that Tracy had e-mailed me a kind e-mail thanking me for showing her how to drive through a boulder strewn road. I unfortunately took it too positively and sent her a long e-mail telling here what I was up to (and wishing she could have joined me on the Elk) and also detailing the hollow easement. I ended with a strong apology for ruining the relationship, but when she e-mailed back the next day she just wished me well in my travels.
I went into town my nap and yoga and I ate at a very nice place called Whet, then walked around Granville Island for an hour, particularly enjoying that amazing market they have. I took one of the aquabus tours of False Creek and then had dessert and coffee at a place on the water . I returned to River Rock and played the slots for an hour, winning 25 dollars.
On Sunday I decided to head back to Stanley to go bike riding and that jaunt was even more fun since I went a little earlier and it wasn’t as crowded. I had bunch at a little French restaurant (first rate) and then headed back to my room for a nap and yoga.
After that it was time to head to Yaletown for my dinner at the Fodor recommended C restaurant. It was very good but not top tier.
I then took the train to waterfront and walked around a little but I was too tired to walk much. I went back to River Rock and played some slots and broke even this time after played for 45 minutes.
The next morning found me very restless to get going to the ferry and despite calming myself I ended up near the terminal at 10:30 but fortunately they let me catch the 11:00 boat so that saved me an hour. I wanted to play golf and then get a campground but that plan wasn’t working since the golf courses were crowded and the RV parks wouldn’t take tents. Finally I drove to Goldstream Provincial Park and got a lovely campsite, set up my tent and then went to play golf at the Bear Mountain Resort. The Mountain Course has to be one of the most beautiful and most difficult courses I have ever played. I started from the much easier red tees for the first four holes but after that I tried to hit from where my three partners were hitting from and I ended up with a 9, an 8 and two 7s. Still Sid and his nephews were a lot of fun and though the whole enterprise (with clubs) cost me 90 dollars I did get a sleeve of balls, a few extra practice balls, and some tees to cover me on my next course. I drove into Victoria after that, but it was pretty late and I was tired so I decided to come back tomorrow morning so I can really enjoy the town. I had problems locating a good restaurant but I finally ended up at a highly recommended one, Il Terrazo and had a wonderful diinner of halibut, pasta and mixed vegetables. I walked around for fifteen minutes but I was worn out so I drove back to Goldstream and slept reasonably well in the fresh air.