After an intense week of cramming knowledge into my brain and trying it out in pretty realistic scenarios I have my Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification. I have only good things to say about Wilderness Medical Associates who put on the course, MEC who sponsored it, and Nicki who was an amazing teacher — thanks!
About a week ago I had the opportunity to take a Paddle Canada Moving Water Canoe Course. I learned a ton and had a lot of fun. I’m just starting to go through the photos, but I found this entertaining and I had to share it with you. Although Reg seems quite calm in the stern, I’ve got a slightly insane glint in my eye and I’m working really hard. Thanks to Michael for taking the photo, and to Priscilla and Ryan for being awesome instructors!
We were surfing a wave here, and we had started to slip off, so I’m doing a draw to try to get us back on the wave. Reg probably had it all under control, but apparently I’m good at panicking.
Actually, it didn’t turn out to be too adventurous. No one dumped, no one froze, and although we got a fair amount of rain it was pretty nice weather. I went on a four day canoe trip on the North Saskatchewan River with a bunch of awesome people from MEC. We put in at the Forestry Trunk Road Bridge and took out near the Brierlies (some popular rapids) at Rocky Mountain House. We ate amazingly well, had a few campfires (thanks to no fire ban) and paddled through some small rapids (some paddled through larger rapids than others). I’m still going through the photos, but here’s a little preview.
Erin and Chris ran Devil’s Elbow on a cold drizzly day in a Starbust all outfitted with float bags and thigh straps. We were all set up at the bottom of the rapids with a couple throw bags and a rescue boat, but they made it through.
Sandwiches. This post could be that single word. But I’ll elaborate.
I go on road trips regularly, and I don’t have a lot of money. So I’ve had a lot of time to perfect this.
When I’m on a road trip I don’t want to spend lots of time eating — there’s much to see and places to go. Energy bars are quick, but they’re dry and not exactly a meal. Jerky tastes good every once in a while. Yogurt, fruit and fruit cups are great, but they’re not meals either. Lipton packs or other quick pasta packs are a hearty meal and taste good, but they require finding an appropriate place to set up a stove and a fair bit of time. Backpacker’s pantry and other add-water type meals are alright, but they’re outrageously expensive, and they still require that you get out a stove to boil water. At least you don’t need to wash dishes afterwards. And fast food, while convenient and occasionally yummy, is unhealthy, expensive, and requires you to be in a decent sized town when you’re hungry.
Sandwiches, however, are perfect. Every small town has a grocery store where you can pick up bread, cheese, mayo or miracle whip, and veggies (I like tomatoes and cucumbers). Generally, you can pick up enough for quite a few meals for not much money.
You can make sandwiches with very little preparation. A knife (and maybe a plate) is all that’s required. They only take a couple minutes to assemble, and they’re much healthier than fast-food. Clean-up afterward only requires wiping off the knife.
One little caveat. Sandwiches are great for road trips where you have a cooler — in summer it keeps everything cool, and in winter it keeps things from freezing. For backpacking, I’d worry about the mayo or miracle whip going bad. If anyone has suggestions for how to avoid this, that would be amazing. I’d leave out the spread, but then the sandwiches would be quite dry, and I can’t stand that. But when I’m backpacking I usually don’t mind taking longer to make a meal, and the Lipton packs are great for that.
Sometimes on roadtrips it can be hard to find a quiet place to sleep. My trip to BC was quite the opposite — there seem to be old abandoned logging roads branching off every few kilometers. This was my home for one night on the way back from BC. The train went by once in the night and woke me up, but I love the sound of trains, and it lulled me back to sleep with dreams of far off destinations.
On a related note, I’m sad to be parting with my old Ford Escort wagon, which has been my home on many a road trip. The transmission went, and it’s an old car, and not worth repairing. I’m now on the hunt for another cheap, old, reliable vehicle that can haul my photos and display to shows, and that can sleep two.
On the way back from Manitoba, Anna and I stopped by the place she lived for a couple years when she was really young. It was strange, for me there were no memories, but I could watch them flooding back over her. She showed me around, not totally sure of places — some things had changed and some just seemed on a totally different scale than when she was five years old. The apartment where her family had lived was unlocked and uninhabited, so we looked around for a bit. Almost everything has changed so much from back then, but there are places where the past is much closer than normal.
Anna and I just got back from Manitoba where we were visiting family. Family trips are not exactly conducive to photography, especially when they are rushed, but I managed to take a few photos. I’m almost looking forward to winter, when everything can slow down a bit, and I get a chance to go through my photos.
My trip to BC was a glorious success — I survived, the car mostly survived, and I had a blast. It started out with a four day road trip, riddled with stops and hikes at random places. Then I got to go camping for a couple days with a good friend, and I ended it off with a couple days driving to get back. I mostly slept in the car, which was pretty comfortable until my sleeping mat decided to deflate.
I have a bunch photos to post over the next couple weeks, but I thought this was an appropriate start.
My friend Will swimming in a cold lake in the mountains in BC.
Normally I don’t take photos of people. I make two exceptions: when I take photos at weddings (only as a second photographer, talk to Curtis if you want a wedding photographer), and this.