Hi Bloggers. I had a late summer bike ride today. I was taking pictures down by the river. There are a number of painted rocks there. Lots of feel good affirmation type of quotes and sayings. It’s very colourful. One of the rocks had painted on it ‘accept yourself as you were designed’. Yes, I think that makes for a nice title for today’s photoblog.
If you know anything about me from following my blog, you know I like nothing more than pulling on my lycra shorts and riding on the trails around the city I live. Its fitness, its fun, and it feels wickedly kind of nekkid ;). No underwear, as per usual.
Ok, so I went out the front of the house this morning. The sun is shining, its not yet too hot to enjoy the day. There is no breeze at all and its a super comfortable 20C or about 70F. ‘That’s perfect for a bike ride’I though to myself. Even the bugs are having a day off. Unbelievable.
I started my ride after pumping the tires in the shed. 50 psi, I like them kind of hard. As I pedalled off I thought about how damn nice it feels with no shirt and just a thin layer of spandex between me and the world. There was very little traffic, I took the back streets. My mission today was to ride from the south traffic bridge all the way up the river to the north traffic bridge. It probably took me about 1-2 hours, but I had no agenda, no where to be and only myself to answer to. Awesome.
The air had a mild coolness about it as I rode onto the river trail. I stopped to grab some pictures at the area with the bench seats. A sweaty jogger came up the trail and stopped to check her watch before making the arduous climb up the steps to the parking lot above. The river level has come down a bit. It snakes its way gracefully alongside the city. In a way it divides the city, yet provides a focal point that brings us together.
I crossed the first bridge and rode along the river trail on the far side of the bank. A lot of people are out enjoying the mid summer weather. There are families and joggers, and bike riders, and everything. I rode by the skateboard park. A surprising number of people are using the park so early in the morning. I rode past the area that later would host the yoga in the park.
I continued on through the pathways at the city centre. I continued north, and rode past some bicycle cops. Eventually, I found myself at the far north bridge. I crossed over it, taking some pictures as I crossed. Some people were fishing in the river. As I went onto the trail on the other side, I passed by a guy on his bike, out with his kids.
The trail winds in and out of river bank tree stands, and occasionally opens up to panoramas of this beautiful city. A small furry mammal crossed the path and entered a burrow. ‘Was that a ground squirrel?’ I thought. A bee buzzed its way across my path. At the University crop area a harvester was collecting what looked like grain, loading it into trucks that drove along side it.
Soon enough, I was back at the Broadway area. The last piece of the trail that I took on was a windy dirt side track. It was a real rush scooting along and taking the turns and rises and falls among trees and bushes. I passed a couple of joggers, and had a close call with a bike rider coming the other way. It was a great day for a ride, and I’m happy to share it with you all, enjoy!
Hi Bloggers, disclaimer. I’m not gay. There, it’s said, we can all move on, right? Ok.
What I do appreciate is open minded people, as I am one of them myself. A little while back the Pride Parade boldly sashayed through the city streets. It was a fabulous celebration of colour and lifestyle choice. The parade was big!
One of the things that I really appreciated about it was that big business and organisations participated too, in order to show their support. I think this is wonderful. there was the fire brigade, the police, the navy, the school board, the TD banking organisation, first nations, and a whole lot of other community groups that were out there saying “it’s ok to be you, to be gay, or bi, or trans, or fucking straight or whatever.”
So I’m happy to say, I took my kids to the parade. My wife/ex-wife whatever as well. We all hopped in the car and drove down together to enjoy the spectacle. It was a fun day out.
I’ve included some pictures to show you how cool it really was!
So last week I was camping. It was pretty cool. We drove to a lake. It was several hours from Saskatoon, so by the time I picked up the package from the airport and drove north it was about 2 am when we rolled into the campsite. I had never been there before so it was a whole new experience.
The ride up was kind of nice. We were on provincial back roads. Almost no traffic at all at that time of night. We caught glimpses of northern lights – a green curtain of misty fog that dances slowly in the sky. It was also almost permanent twilight with the summer solstice just the day before. It never gets completely dark at this latitude and time of year, its as if the sun has gone down and won’t go away completely. It’s quite nice.
At the lake we did some crazy shit. Found a private dock thing to lay out in the sun. On the way back to the main camp area we traversed the lake ‘shore’ but it became a bit of a battle of sticks and wire and other obstacles because the lake water level was very high. I had found a paddle on the lake shore earlier in the day, and I scored another one up in the tangle of branches on the obstacle course getting back.
The good ship lollipop – she was a bit of a wreck. Half submerged and covered in sand and other lake debris. It looked like a hopeless case. Like us really. We tipped the crap out of it and bailed a bunch of water out. There were leaches in there and we had to scrape a shitload of what looked like fish eggs off the inside.
Once we got that done we realised, we had righted the ship, and she appeared seaworthy! We came back loaded up with towels and bags, and snacks and sunscreen. I was wearing my black man thong, because really, there’s no need to overdress for something like this. We took off and did a sort of oar paddle and peddle (because she is a paddle boat with peddles). It was fairly efficient but she was lacking seats so my arse slid back a lot and sometimes she went in circles.
But it did provide a fairly stable and even relaxing floating platform on which we could enjoy the lake!
Hey Bloggers, here are some photos from my camping trip last week. We were looking for somewhere to pitch a tent. Wasn’t too fussy – could have been in an open field, a rail siding, or whatever. The main criteria was that it was to be away from anywhere people would come by, and cost nothing.
So we found a spot. Its part of a village museum. Technically not supposed to camp there but, whatever. There was no one else around, except for a farmhouse on the other side of the grid road. We drove for about 20 km up a grid road off a lonely stretch of provincial highway to get to this spot. It was really out of the way.
We debated for a while where the tent should be set up, I wanted tucked in behind the church, we settled on a spot in a kind of depression in the lawn bbq area. It was really nice. We even got a fire going and cooked some dinner.
I got some great photos of the old church and graveyard as the sun was going down and again in the early morning as the sun rose. It was the most epic camping spot, because we took a gamble and broke a few rules!
Driving on the highway today, we noticed an old barn in a farmer’s field. The crop is new, and we were able to step between the seedlings of soy to work our way across the field to access the old barn. I was kind of tentative, because this was a farmers field, and I didn’t want to be disrespectful or trespass, but it was an awesome looking structure in the middle of a crop field with no other buildings around it.
I’m not sure what type of architecture or construction you would call this. I’m tempted to think that this might have been built by Hutterites, but that would be flagrant speculation on my part. I estimate that the structure was probably 100 years old or so. It might have been for livestock because the internals had some segregation that was hinting at stalls or something.
Inside was amazing. Looking up into to the internals of the roof structure it was absolutely beautiful. The roof lining had rotted off in many places and the sunlight was filtering through in a very nice display of filtered light. You could really appreciate the craft work that had been put into the construction.
I have been out of town camping for a few days. We have been to some nice locations. The bugs are out in force, and there is a lot of standing water. I have no doubt that Saskatchewan is most likely the mosquito capital of the world. At some spots we have been literally swarmed by the little bastards.
As we are driving around, I am always looking out for these majestic structures that stand proud on the flat prairie that surrounds them. They serve as beacons in the fields. There is some real history here. These old wooden structures have been around a very long time. These days the modern era has ushered in bulk grain storage in concrete silos that are very impressive, but really lack the aesthetic beauty of their predecessors.
They are almost always labelled with the name of the town in big capital letters on the side. These structures are located by a rail line. Depending on the location there may be one, two or more of these elevators in a row, and sometimes you see the different eras being represented in one site, perhaps timber, iron and concrete.
Its hard not to feel a sense of romantic nostalgia with these buildings. It makes me imagine the times the district has seen. Normally, they are located in each town, so there is a lot of them. Before bulk storage and bulk transport and bulk everything else, the local farmer would perhaps transport their grain to these elevators to be railed to the market, where ever that might be. A group of farmers would likely form a co-op and perhaps even fund one of these facilities to service the district.
Some of them are in good condition – especially those lined with sheet galvanized steel, but some of the old timber ones are really starting to deteriorate.
We came by one that just begged to be explored. The town was small and quiet. There was no one around to tell us not to explore. I sided around the building and walked along the rail line to access the back of the elevator. There was a service platform with a rickety old ladder attached to it. I hoisted my weight onto the rotten boards and gingerly crept along the edge. I tried the sliding timber doors, and viola, they opened!
Inside I could make out a room with a number of handles – to control the chutes I suppose. There were side openings and timber chutes etc. Birds had taken over the interior and droppings were everywhere. There was a mildy dusty and musky smell. I continued into the building and was able to walk around inside and even access an upper level via a set of internal stairs. Out of the weather, this old elevator was in really great shape.
We found another one, perhaps a bit more modern, but all the same beautiful. We could see it from the nearby highway and it drew us in, following a turn off and some back roads to get right up close. When we were there we took a bunch of photos and messed around on the rail wagons. Simple, country fun!