Walking on a November Day – a Photo Essay

Hi Bloggers, its been a while since I posted some pictures. Yesterday it was about -11C in Saskatoon. That’s actually fairly moderate as far as cold weather temperatures go. I decided to go for a walk. I walked all the way up Broadway Avenue, including a few back lanes on the way.

I ended up arriving at a church. Two of them actually. One was advertising an art exhibition. I walked in as mass was about to start. It was a older crowd, maybe 65+ age group. It was a very catholic traditional scene. After sitting for a few moments I went to have a look at the art show.

A bit later, I walked onto Broadway avenue. I was looking at some pictures of Canadian servicemen from the wars. A guy pulls up in a Mazda 6 and after checking his cell phone he dashes across the road and into the theater. I thought to myself how different the times and culture are today. Guys his age were getting trench foot and being shot at. It’s important to remember those who served in all the wars from all nations for the peace and privilege we have today.

I ended up following the guy into the Broadway theater. Seems that there is a church gathering there. I was greeted by a few enthusiastic pastor-type people with a hearty handshake. I took my seat and a band played. They were very, very good. You can appreciate the real passion that they have for their faith and their music.

Hope you enjoy my photos!

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Tumbler Ridge Road Trip, and Catching Up With My WP World.

Hi Bloggers, I went away for a week or so, and have been so busy that I haven’t had much time to catch up on my blogging obsession. But, I’m back.

Last week, I went out to visit my old home-town-in-Canada, Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. I say home town in Canada because it’s the place where my family and I lived for 5, 1/2 years after arriving in Canada. The place is awesome and beautiful. It’s very small – a town of a few thousand people. Having lived there for so long, I got to know everybody in town, and they got  to know us.

 

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Somewhere in Alberta….. 

 

Its a long and fairly uneventful ride from Saskatoon, across the prairies of Saskatchewan and Alberta. A stop in Edmonton. On the road again. It starts to get interesting once you cross into BC and the terrain gets more hilly and scenic. Alberta has lots of awesome scenery, but in the north the mountains are more into the BC side of the border.

 

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Tribute to a young girl who has a cross of remembrance near these teddies on the road side. 
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The wind farm project – there are a lot of these turbines around TR now. 

 

It’s in the north of BC. Largely away from any major centres, relatively remote. It’s tucked into the mountains and foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a refuge from urban living, and even farm land as much of the country is bush. It’s a centre for mining (coal) that is exported to markets in Asia. Being that it’s tucked away, and not on any major thoroughfares, its kind of like a world unto itself. There’s no traffic lights, no Starbucks or Tim Hortons, no Walmart, or anything else for that matter.

 

 

 

 

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On the road from Dawson Creek to Tumbler. 

 

What it lacks in services, it makes up for in natural beauty, and the people are truly wonderful. After being away for 4 years, I was surprised to run into a LOT of people that I know from my days living here. It was really nice to see people at the hardware store, and the grocery store, and the community centre that I knew and worked with.

 

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View from the town. 

 

I got back into the gym there. I put in lots of workouts at the community centre gym. Its small-ish, and quiet, but has all the equipment you could need, and being small its quite social so people are inclined to say hi and chat a bit too.

 

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I hiked up to the Bald Spot overlooking town. 

 

 

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View from the cabin I camped at. 

 

 

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Endless trails for hiking with views like this. 

 

 

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I camped overnight at this cabin. 

 

 

Accept yourself as you were designed – a photo essay.

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.

 

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Accept yourself!

 

 

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U of S grain elevator. I didn’t even know they had one… 

 

 

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University cows. Smartest cows in SK. 

 

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Feed bins at the U of S dairy lands.
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Don’t look into the sun!
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Soon these lovely walking avenues will be frozen ice rinks…. 

 

 

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That’s pretty gay… 

 

 

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The observatory. 

 

 

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Broadway bridge, I love you, man. 

 

 

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I’m Canadian, and I’m ok! 

 

 

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I was NOT meaning to be all dramatic in this shot. It was done with the timer and I had to straddle two rocks. That awesomely composed cool look is co-incidental, I had sweat stinging my eyes pretty badly at this point! 

 

 

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Give me my bike and some good weather and I’ll see you in a few hours, maybe. 

 

Floral Arrangement – a Prairie Photo Essay

 

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Prairie wildflowers in a take away coffee cup from a gas station. Notice the elevator in the back ground. 

 

 

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Where the f is Manitoba anyway?

 

 

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I caught this little birdy at an elevator. It flew, I ran. It flew again, I ran it down. I let it go unharmed. 

 

 

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Keeping it Canadian, eh?

 

 

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Yet another old barn… 

 

Today’s bike ride…. a photo essay.

Hi bloggers,

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. 

 

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Self absorbed selfie. 

 

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.

 

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The south traffic bridge. 

 

 

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Sweaty jogger. I wonder if it was a personal best?

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.

 

 

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Saskatoon Shines. 

 

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.

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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.

 

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I wonder what a police pursuit would look like on bicycles? I wonder if I could out ride them? I don’t want to find out. They have Tasers and shit. 

 

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!

 

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Some tai chi ladies posing for a photo, with their fans. 

 

 

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The north traffic bridge. 

 

 

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Mural on the north bridge underpass. 

 

 

 

 

Saskatoon Pride parade – that’s sooo gay.

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!

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Saskatoon, I love you, man. You’re kind of open and accepting and a bit queer and artsy and you just kind of let me be me! Thank you!

 

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!

 

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Showing the love. Wonderful.

 

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Here’s our dog ‘Jack Black’. That’s my son in the picture. The kids enjoyed the parade and I think its nice to demonstrate tolerance and acceptance.

 

 

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Where can I get a maple leaf flag like this? Ohhhh Canada, you’re so gay!

 

 

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Saskatoon furries. A breed of their own.

 

 

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Native Pride. I talked to this guy. They refer to themselves as ‘two spirit people’.

 

 

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I can’t be sure but I think this lady was flirting with me.

 

The Story of the Good Ship ‘Lollipop’

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.

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She was in poor shape when we found her, with no captain or crew.

 

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.

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But it did provide a fairly stable and even relaxing floating platform on which we could enjoy the lake!

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Lets go sailing!

 

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Out on the lake late at night it was so still, so serene.

 

 

Most Epic Campsite – Ever.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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! 

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“Here comes the sun, little darling…. “
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This is the basic travel/camp kit. You really don’t need any more than this, really!

 

An old barn in Saskatchewan, a photo essay….

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.

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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.

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