After hitching a 2 hour ride down the logging road out of Port Alberni— full of potholes, narrow bridges, and enormous trucks— I arrived in Bamfield East. I had no good reason to go there, other than how I didn’t know a single thing about the place. I had even failed to realize that the road I would be taking wasn’t paved. All I knew was that it was there, at the end of the road, and that I wanted to be at the edge of the world. Also, there was only a 40% possibility of the precipitation, compared to the 70% in Ucluelet. That’s mostly why I went there.
I stepped out of the car under gloomy grey skies and wandered down to a park. The streets were empty, lined with boarded up buildings and boat trailers, and the park was not exactly worth the trip. It came as a shock when I ran into a woman getting the campground ready for summer.
“You can’t just come all this way and not see Bamfield West,” she said, as she poured gas into a generator. Bamfield West, she explained, was definitely the cooler half of town, but it was on a peninsula with no over-land access. The water taxi was 5 bucks, and once I was there, I could apparently walk wherever I wanted to go. She handed me a map and told me to go to the general store and ask them to call the guy who owned the boat for me.
All the familiar feelings came back— sore hip bones from the backpack, the paranoia about every tiny sound while I wait to fall asleep, the orgasmic release of satisfying my curiosity, and the inevitable craving for something to eat other than the food I packed.Read More »
After more than 3 months, I’m ecstatic to report that I have gotten back on the road! At least temporarily. Adrian and I took a week off work and got in the car like normal people going on a normal vacation and still managed to have one adventure after the next all week long. Thanks to the reciprocal passes we get for working at Red and the awesome people we stayed with, we hit 5 mountains in 5 days for only the price of gas and Tim Hortons. 3 powder days and 1700km later, I’m sitting down with very sore ankles to share my thoughts about everywhere we went.
I spend a hell of a lot of time going on about how I feel trapped by routine these days— going to work, coming home, frequenting the only bar in town, occasionally grocery shopping, and doing “what everyone else does” for fun. But really, I’m selling poutine to tourists over small talk about travel and snow, hanging out with awesome people all the time, and on my days off, shredding the pow, as they call it around these parts. I should really shut the hell up, so after almost 3 full months of skiing Red, here’s my proper travel blogger review— Some reasons why, when I think of my mountain, I get butterflies in my stomach.
Once the honeymoon period faded (about 2 weeks in), my relationship with Rossland got a little complicated. The last time I posted a blog, I was feeling super good about how things were going and was all gung-ho, ready to write you a never-ending list of my favourite things about this place. But then I started to hate it.
It’s official! We have a place to live that can in no way be considered squatting, camping, crashing, and/or freeloading. There’s a stack of post dated cheques with the land lord and a sweet Aussie dude in the other bedroom. We’re valued customers of Fortis BC, Shaw Cable, and the liquor store that’s just two doors down.
After 5 hours of standing in the sideways rain, trying to get out of Olympia, we caved and bought a pair of bus tickets to Bellingham, and for the first time in 6 months of hitch hiking America, I felt like Jack Kerouac.Read More »
On the worst night of Burning Man, I stood alone in the deep playa, looked out across the fluorescent landscape and said aloud to myself, “It’s over.”
I thought of myself back in May, telling anybody who would listen “We don’t have a single plan after Burning Man!” I was so proud of my own fearlessness and so excited to see what would become of the unknown. But in that moment, the unknown suddenly took on an entirely different meaning. Burning Man was no longer the distant future. It was undeniably, entirely and obviously the present. Everything the future held— the endless unknown— scared me deeply. Read More »
It’s common knowledge that it takes everyone, especially virgins, a day or two to hit their stride and really start enjoying Burning Man. Adrian and I were no exception. The turning point for us, oddly enough, was when the dust storms started (they were pretty much constant all week). We returned to our tent to find it looking like this:
We hadn’t left the door open or anything stupid like that. The dust blew up under the fly and in through the mesh ceiling. We considered taking everything out and shaking the dust off, but the wind was still blowing and we knew that it would be a futile effort. So we decided that we would not be sleeping in our tent again. Where would we go? Well, we certainly figured that one out.
Here are the 12 best things that happened to us after we stopped returning to our tent:Read More »
Adrian exited the telephone booth and returned to the party. There were bright lights, flashy costumes, loud music and free alcohol pouring out from every orifice. Against all odds, we were at Burning Man.