Quick late night post to say I’m off on another bike adventure! Not as epic as last year’s European trip but more adventurous than going out to Salt Spring Island yet again!
My brother and I leave Saturday the 25th of July for Portland, OR, taking a long route, up and over the Cascade Mountains via Snoquomish Pass, to Yakima, then down to the Columbia River and back to Portland via the Columbia Gorge. We’ll end the trip with an Amtrak train ride back to Vancouver, BC to get home.
Posts from the road as I have wifi or pay the extra for a day of data usage on the phone, but here’s some maps:
First Half – Victoria to Yakima – overnights on Whidbey Island, Tolt-McDonald Park near Carnation WA, Lake Easton State Park, Ellensburg, and Yakima.
Second Half – Yakima to Portland – overnights in Yakima, Brooks Memorial SP, then several days of wandering down the Columbia Gorge with lots of camping choices.
We’ll end in Portland sometime around the 5th of August, spend a couple of days there drinking beer, eating donuts, and poking around, before taking Amtrak’s Cascades run back up to Vancouver, BC to meet our respective girlfriends and end the whole trip there.
Starting to look at the several dozen photos I took at the Saanich Bike Festival back on April 19th. I’ve been given a Canon 50D DSLR by my father, who has upgraded himself to a very, very shiny 7D, so I took the new-to-me camera out to the Festival to fire off a few shots. I’ve never used RAW before, it’s been years since I handled an SLR, and I’ve never really used a DSLR, so the learning curve is fairly steep. It’s nice having a full-size camera again, though, and even though I’m still at the “no idea what I’m doing” stage the difference in photo quality is pretty obvious.
The Saanich Bike Festival itself was a lot of fun. The weather was gorgeous, I only dealt with a couple of dumb aggro drivers while I was being a volunteer road marshal (ie, human road barricade) during the bike parade up Shelbourne Street, there was a great turnout, and it was just nice to see so many people enjoying bikes!
Here’s a couple of photos; there’s a lot more waiting to be processed on my computer as I get to them and figure out RAW file processing. I still don’t have the colour and contrast quite right, and I’m honestly not sure if that’s because of the camera settings or the RAW processing settings I’m using. Further experimentation will have to take place.
I should also actually read the 50D’s manual sometime…
Still getting photos up onto my Flickr account, although over there I’m actually up to Nantes and nearly at the end of the trip, especially as I took very few photos in Paris right at the end of the trip.
Above, group photo at Digion where we met the Loire, the last of this trip’s great rivers!
Stain glass in Nevers.
Gutter running in Nevers, two or three stories above the street.
Looking south from Sancerre.
Our five-star accommodation in Sully-sur-Loire.
We can’t stop now, we’re in chateau country! The first of the famous Loire chateaus in Sully-sur-Loire.
Our lunch stop somewhere along the Loire, near Orleans.
Me, with the awesome Chateau de Chambord in the background.
Chateau de Chenonceau – the famous “bridge chateau” over the Cher river.
More to come, we had several more days in the Loire, then Nantes itself, a trip out to the Atlantic from Nantes, and then Paris!
Just before Christmas I got up to Merritt to see my father and stepmother, and took the camera along, naturally.
We took a walk along a section of the old Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way. I’d love to see this restored as a fully accessible multi-use trail and be able to do a multi-day bike camping trip along it. Maybe it’ll happen one day!
We also went walking one afternoon in the ranch area up in the hills, and got some awesome winter sunlight.
Closer to home, right at the end of January I got away overnight to Salt Spring Island to camp out at Ruckle Provincial Park. I went there in mid-October and decided to return again for another one-night escape.
Ruckle is about 45-50km total road distance from downtown Victoria, with a 30 minute ferry ride over to Salt Spring Island from Swartz Bay giving a bit of a break.
Just a note if you do go out to Ruckle in winter, though, there’s no drinking water in the park from November 1st to March 1st — they disconnect the drinking water taps. Bring an extra water bottle or two.