About campbellkat

I'm always trying out new things and here's my newest space to do just that. DorDar made me do this, Just blame them if this turns out all wrong and goes sideways somehow. I plan on using this space to show my photo's and share my travel stories. I'll throw in random daily thoughts and observations that make me happy, entertain me or lighten up my day. We'll see how it goes.

Hornby Island – May 10-12, 2019

I finally made it over to Hornby Island with my camera after all these years of living on Vancouver Island.  My sister and I were there probably 20 years ago.  We did a quick trip over to Tribune Bay on Hornby, a quick stop at some pottery shops on Denman Island and called it a day.

This trip was different.  Our camera club members stayed at Hornby Island Dive Lodge for 2 nights and spent 3 days photographing the Island.  We photographed Ford Cove & Marina.  Helliwell Provincial Park.  Grassy Point.  Tribune Bay.  Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park.  Tim Biggins Anvil.  Heron Rocks.  There were spots we missed of course, but these are the ones we made it to.  The weather was dry and sunny, the weekend was awesome!  Here are my photo’s.

Heron Rocks 9415
Heron Rocks 9415

 

 

Pub to Pub Trail – May 5-2019

Tree 8840

This is a link to a group of photo’s on Flickr which I took while on the Pub to Pub Trail here in Campbell River.  It’s called the pub to pub trail because at either end of the walk (45-60minutes) was a pub.  BUT, now there are no pubs.  Salmon Pt Pub burnt down recently and The Fishermans pub closed down last year.  Regardless, there are scads of people out there every day enjoying the scenery.  The walk takes you along the Oyster River thru Old Growth Forest and then along the Ocean where the trail ends at Salmon Pt RV Resort.  The walk is mostly level, but beware of roots!  I’ve seen people pushing strollers and wheelchairs, so it can be done.

Randoms: April 30 – 2019

I haven’t been very diligent about updating my blog.  Here’s what I’ve been up to.  We’ve been back in Canada for 3 weeks now.  We’ve cleaned out the RV, got caught up on all the laundry that needed doing, reconnected all the electronic doodads, hung our clothes in closets and dresser drawers.  I’ve got over the sticker shock of buying gas, vegetables and beer… (not necessarily in that order)…my my my!!

That’s not the hard part though – the hard part is it’s cold here. Not “Canadian Cold”, but “We’ve been in Arizona too long cold”. I’m happy to say that after 3 weeks I’ve kind of stopped being a “weather whiner”.

I’ve reconnected with some of my friends and attended my first camera club meeting since last fall.  I drove away from the meeting re-inspired.  What a talented group of photographers we have.  So many styles and ideas to try out.  Here’s a few photo’s that I’ve worked on this week.

Tree K75_8508IN

I called this shot:  And behind this tree stands the sun.

Branches K75_8518INThis is a photograph shot up and thru the canopy of the trees.

Branches K75_8519IN

This years new growth!

 

Grass K75_8533IN

And finally I’m laying in the weeds for this shot!

One Year

 

You passed away one year ago today.  That’s one year of sadness, loss, pain, sorrow and regret.  We’ve tried really hard to not be super sad.  You would tell us to ‘get over it’.  You would tell us ‘it is what it is’.  We don’t get to hear your blunt matter of fact voice that held more than a tich of sarcasm most days.  We can’t phone you up whenever we want to tell you how are lives are going, or discuss the things we found funny, ridiculous or interesting this week.  You’re not here to share what you know about family recipes, family history and family stories.  You can’t try to explain how to fix things or drag out your sewing machine and miraculously repair a broken zipper or torn seam.  There are these reasons and a 1,000 more why we have spent the last year with sadness, loss, pain, sorrow and regret.

BUT, (there’s always a but), it has also been a year that our family has worked together, supported each other and got each other to today.  We’ve had a long year!  We’ve laughed.  Worked.  Moved.  Vacationed.  Travelled.  Lived.  Survived.

Becky sat us all out in the sunshine in your yard and dyed bits and pieces of our hair teal blue. We drank more than a few adult beverages and told funny stories about you.  We had our family reunion in July and all those faces, noses and feet that remind us we are related, celebrated our family ties.  They came from everywhere across Canada and gathered to laugh and have a good time and talk about their lives and remember those we’ve lost.  Your son has started a new career on the rails with CN.  He works lots, but he’s home more than he was before.  You would like that.  Your daughter has managed to juggle looking after your house, working from home, and spending time with her friends.  You would like that.  Your brother and sister and I met in Vegas and spent a few days hanging out buying $$ drinks and laughing at how ridiculous things are priced in Sin City.  You would have liked that. Your Powell River family really miss you.  Your friends miss you, but they remember you with a laugh, and they all have shared stories with us.

All our stories and memories that show what a character you were, how you always said what you were thinking, even when you might have been better off to have sugar coated it.  OH WAIT.. THAT was SUGAR COATED!! haha.  Your face gave you away anyway, so no worries, we all knew what you were thinking.

I’m going to start this next year remembering and reminding myself that you lived, not that you died.  I’m going to remember the good times and not the bad.  The laughter and not the sad.  You would like that!

“Drunk Me”

Disclaimer: I have an eye infection.

Result: I am trying to be super vigilant about having clean hands.

After a few beers and wine at Happy Hour, followed by more wine around the fire pit at the trailer… we head inside. I wash my hands in smoking hot water, shut the hot water off and proceed to make a snack for dinner. It’s now 9:30 PM.

Make a snack (which results in a blow up in the microwave).

Clean microwave.  Eat snack.

Decide it’s time for bed. Get off the couch and discover wet rugs, pooling COLD water EVERYWHERE!!

What the hell? Confusion reigns!

ahhhh, the bathroom sink still has the plug in it and although I shut the HOT water off awhile ago, “drunk me” left the cold water tap ON…

Result: bath towels used for clean up are now soaking wet, bath mat is soaking wet, and carpet runner is soaking wet. All are outside and should be dry by mid day tomorrow. And Drunk Me is telling her tale so all may snort, laugh and have a good chuckle to end/start a new day!

Bull-Riding, Beer and a Bar!

Image result for pictures of bull riders clip art

We were looking for some local activity.  Something different to do.  Something fun!

We found just what we were looking for:  Bull-Riding, Beer, Bar!

There’s a bar in Coolidge, Arizona called The Galloping Goose.  Attached to the bar is a bull riding ring, and on the first and third Friday nights they have a local bull riding competition.  We drove over there, parked, paid the admission fee, grabbed a bleacher seat and waited for the show to begin.

It was Ugly Christmas Sweater night.  Spectators, Employees, Bull Riders – all wearing sweaters with loud colors, bows, baubles, flashing lights, garland, you name it, they were wearing it.  Young ladies making goo goo eyes at the young men and little boys making goo goo eyes at the young men who were riding the bulls.

No gathering would be complete without a 50/50 draw.  We purchased a strip of tickets and we and the others who gathered waited in anticipation for the draw.

Earlier in the day there was a horrible freeway accident near Marana, Arizona.  Traffic was backed up and delayed for most of the afternoon.  The trailer hauling the bulls was caught in the backlog as were some of the bull riders that were trying to make it there for the event.  This resulted in a shortened program and general confusion for the organizers.  You could tell that they were doing their best to put on a show for the crowd.  It was announced that the 50/50 draw would be delayed and drawn in the bar after the bands first intermission. In to the bar we went.  It was fun watching the people dance, sing, playing pool, laughing with their friends.  Lots of flashy belt buckles, cowboy hats and well worn jeans.  We were definitely part of the local crowd.

Then IT happened!

THE 50/50 DRAW!

and WE WON!

Here we are, the happy winners!  It’s noisy in there, it’s dark in there, and it’s getting late.  We have to drive back to the RV Park, so we delightedly accept a Christmas Sock of $$ and head out.  We leave the bar, start the vehicle and head out.  As we are driving away we pull the $$ out of the sock…

THERE’S $12 IN THERE!

YES – TWELVE DOLLARS!

12!

We can’t go back now!  We’ve walked away!  We’ve driven away! No one will believe us!

We dejectedly drive home.  The glow from the sweaters is just a memory for us now.

The smell of the bulls is fresh in our minds… we feel like they smell!

What can be done?

A ha – I know – I will contact the organizer and explain our situation.

It’s close to midnight now, it’s been a long day for the organizers, they’ve obviously been under a lot of stress all day.  I found them on Facebook and sent them a message:

We were at the Bull Riding tonight. We won the 50/50.  When we got home we opened the envelope. There was $12 in there. There is no way that this is 50% of the amount raised.Can you help?We don’t mind supporting local events but this seems kind of crazy 🙂

NOW THIS IS WHERE THE STORY GETS SO AWESOME!

Within 18 minutes they replied that there had been a mix-up with the envelopes and that they would make it right for us!

After a day that I imagine they just want to forget.  The stress.  The waiting.  The stress of waiting.  They dealt with it.  They fixed it.  They made it right!

DirtWidow Bull Company – Casa Grande –  Making it right!

YOUR BULLS ARE MEAN BUT YOU ARE SO FREAKIN AWESOME!

 

 

I’ve met some new friends and I think they are trying to kill me!

Image result for hiking picture

We are spending the winter in Arizona at a RV Resort.  Lots of activities to keep you busy.  You wanna play crib?  Cross crib?  2500? Bridge? Majohng? Poker? well do you?

I’m not much of a card player so to insert myself into the group here and get to know some of the fine people that surround me I decide to join some of the more physical activities that are offered here.

Pickle Ball?

 I’ve played badminton in my younger years, I can hit a ball with a paddle, I’m pretty sure of that..  Off I go and sure enough I can hold my own out there with the others.  What else can I join?

Billiards?

  I’ve played some billiards in my younger years, I can hit a ball with a cue, I’m pretty sure of that… Off I go and sure enough I can hold my own in there with the others.  What else can I join?

Hiking?

I can walk a mile or two or three, I’m pretty sure of that.  It’s the desert, it might be kind of warm out, but we are leaving early.  I’ll wear shorts and bring a couple bottles of water.  I’ll be fine… Off I go…

Me and 12 of my new friends meet at the clubhouse at 8AM.  They look innocent enough, they have white hair, grey hair, dark hair and are a cross section of your typical winter snowbirds.  Tall, short, medium, stout, skinny, wood walking sticks, titanium walking sticks, fanny packs, bright orange hiking shirts, durable footwear, smiles everywhere.  Looks harmless… right?

My assumption is that we are going to all go to the site of our hike and then break into our “easy” and “arduous” hiking groups and all will be good.  One group jumps into a van and off they go.  The rest of us separate in to 3 trucks and away we go.  We drive in the direction of The Wild Burro Trailhead in Marano, Arizona.  When we arrive the 3 trucks park and we disembark.

‘Where are the people in the van?’ I ask..

I am told: “They went on the “easy” hike on Casa Grande Mountain.  But don’t worry you’ll be fine!”

We begin our walk along a flat trail.  It’s beautiful.  My new friends point out different flora, fauna and cute little sing song birds that we can hear and see all around us.  We walk for 15 minutes and stop at the kiosk.  The kiosk is where you sign in to the trail system ( I found out later it’s so they know how many bodies they may need to retrieve if you fail to survive the Wild Burro Trail…).

We casually continue our walk along the wash towards the Tortolita Mountains and pass the lovely Ritz Carlton Hotel and Dove Mountain which you can see up the rise and off to our left after walking about a mile.  I’m having a great time, I’m seeing chain fruit chollas, saguaros, ocotillos, ironwoods, agaves and jojobas.  This is fantastic!

Image result for smiley face clipart

We have now reached the end of the wash and my new friends have stopped for a break, we drink some water, discuss the hawks, bunnies and birds that we’ve seen so far.  Then our fearless leader points to the purple sign post that says “Wild Burro Trail” and the climb begins..  Are we really going UP THAT MOUNTAIN? … well yes we are.. OMG and before I know it, the 7 brightly colored orange shirts are off and climbing with ease.. It doesn’t take long before me and one other skinny guy wearing jeans are bringing up the rear.  My new friends are being pretty polite, they holler down the trail to ask if I’m ok… I weakly wave and give a thumbs up that yes, I’m OK.. (can’t they hear me and Mr. Jeans gasping for breath from where they are?).. This torture continues for at least an hour as we climb, stop and gather our breath, climb, stop, climb, stop, stop..  We finally arrive at our intended lunch break spot at the basin of the Wild Burro Trail.  We have a beautiful view of Marana and the valley.  There’s an old ranch site, stone walls and round depressions in the rocks called morteros.  They are thousands of years old and it is hard to imagine how many years of grinding it took to wear an 18 inch deep hole in a granite rock.  Were they grinding acorns? nuts? beans? Maybe all of those things?  Archaeologists aren’t really sure.

After catching our breath, battling the little gnats and flies while eating our lunch, we begin our return trip.  I’m relieved when I find out that we are taking an easier route back to the truck.  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you I’m thinking.. then away they go.  We begin to climb a little more (I’m officially horrified to learn that we have to climb around this little mountain before we begin our descent).  The view was incredible, there was a nice cool breeze, and we saw a batch of colorful flowers along the trail.

The name of the return trail is called… wait for it.. The Alamo Loop.. (you know what happened to the guys at the Alamo right?).  But there’s not much I can do now, here we go.. down, down down, switchbacks, rocks, ledges, head down watching every step, don’t trip, don’t fall, don’t grab a cactus for support (Mr. Jeans learned that on the way up when I stopped suddenly and he had no choice but to grasp at the nearest thing to support himself).. poor guy, I felt bad for him.

We safely negotiate our exit, arrive back at the wash and trudge our way back to the safety of our vehicles.  All in all our hike lasted 5 HOURS and our distance travelled was 7 MILES.  I had survivor’s euphoria when it was completed.

 All in all, I enjoyed my hike, it was longer than I thought it was going to be, it was more exercise than I thought it was going to be, but my new friends were very supportive, made sure I had water, didn’t leave me behind and didn’t manage to kill me or Mr. Jeans.  I will definitely join them on another day!