Sunday, July 31, 2011

Port Townsend Jazz Festival

I met up with my friend David in Port Townsend for the jazz festival the weekend of July 29th - 31st.  We went to the Friday and Saturday night stage shows and David went to the music in the clubs on Friday and Saturday nights.  (I'm kind of a stick in the mud about fighting for seating in the clubs so didn't go.)  You can read more about the festival at:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dungeness Spit

The day after I took the ferry from Victoria, BC over to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula I spent the day hiking out the Dungeness Spit and on the nearby  beaches and bluffs.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Victoria, British Columbia

After biking the KVRR  I met up with my friend Jeff and his family in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island.  From Hope, BC I drove to Tsawassen, BC to catch the ferry, about and hour ride on the ferry.

My friend Jeff and I worked together at the Army Corps of Engineers in Alaska in the early '80's.  I was so happy when I found out that it would work for me to meet up with him and his wife Mai and daughter Audrey in Victoria for a couple of days.

These little tiny boats-- they held 11 passengers--  were giving hour long tours around the inner harbor in Victoria.  It was a very cool tour and I think Audrey even thought it was OK.

This is a street musician we saw-- he was pretty terrible...  I gave him a dollar though.  He really needs to look for a real job.

OK, I don't go to church but if I did I'd want it to look like this one...

I went out for a bike ride the night before I met up with Jeff and family and saw this old Checker Cab parked on the street in downtown Victoria.  Checker cabs were manufactured in Kalamazoo, MI-- an hours drive from where I grew up in Lansing.  (pretty cool if you like old cars... and it was a beauty.)

In the afternoon we toured the British Columbia Parliament Building and learned a bit about their provincial government.  I really liked it-- Audrey thought it was pretty boring but she's just eleven.  This picture is of the central capital dome.

I took the Blackball Ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, WA.  It's a privately run ferry and was the most direct way for me to get to Port Townsend on the Olympic Penninsula where I met up with my friend David for the weekend jazz festival in Port Townsend.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Dewdney Trail

One of the things I like about traveling without a plan is the surprises I run into along the way.  The Dewdney Trail was constructed in the mid-19th century and was a major trade rout across British Columbia.

This surviving segment of the trail was just next to the road at a campground I stayed at near Princeton, BC.

(Click the picture for a larger view)

It would have been a great place to camp right on the Similkamine River except for the major highway just on the other side...  at least it was a free campground.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Biking on the the Kettle Valley Railway

 I left Darrington Bluegrass Festival campgroud on Monday morning and drove to Hope, British Columbia to bicycle the section of the Kettle Valley Railroad located near Hope. 

I stayed at the Coquihalla Campground on the outskirts of town-- an easy bike ride to the store, library, and bank.

As it turned out a section of the Kettle Valley RR goes right through the campground.  And as you can see there's a campsite right on the old roadbed.  That's not where I camped though.

There's a portion of the Kettle Valley RR (KVRR) that goes through Coquihalla Canyon outside of Hope.  A series of five tunnels had to be driven in order to construct the rout-- here are two of the tunnels.

 The weather took a turn for the worse on Wednesday so I headed for the Canadian Okanogan on the east side of the Cascades and hoped for dryer weather.  I ended up in Coalmont, a little town on the KVRR, that was originally settled because of a nearby coal mine.

I spent two days in Coalmont.  The first day I biked the KVRR south towards Princeton, BC and the second day north to Tulameen.
The last time I biked on the KVRR was about 10 years ago.  When I was there this time I found the trail to be REALLY rough to ride.  I don't remember it being that way before.  Ten miles or so per day was about all I wanted to ride on the KVRR.

 My campsite on the Tulameen River.  According to the locals climate change has arrived in the Canadian Okanogan.  The mosquitoes were pretty thick-- unusual for July-- and the pine beetles are wiping out the forests.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Train Wrecks and Mamas Dyin'...

In spite of the fact that bluegrass music is often about train wrecks and mamas dyin' I tend to think of it as happy music.  Maybe that's because I was having such a great time while I was at the Darrington Bluegrass Festival from July 15th through the 17th.   Here's a video I took of my favorite group, Deadwood Revival:

... I love these guys.

You can read more about them at:

The performances were all terrific but the part I like the best is wandering through the campground in the evening and dropping in on the jam sessions.  It's a just feels like a privilege to play along with people when there's someone in the group who is playing a song because they love it.

Here's my new/used  van that I bought about a month ago camped at the festival campground.

Here's what I wish my van was but will never be...

... and here's my favorite car seen in the festival camp ground.  I think it's a 1932 Ford.

Now, don't you wish you'd been there?