Friday, August 30, 2013

Turns Out I'm A Total Chicken Shit

When people went on and on about the rain in Vancouver, they left out the part about the thunder and lightning storms.  As I was laying in bed last night watching hours of the live feed from Burning Man (you knew that was going to make it's way into this post), a massive storm came through.  I grew up in Southern California where it rains four days a year and maybe you'll get some thunder here and there.  Turns out I still hate thunder, I hate lightning even more and I totally believed the house was going to cave in from all of the rain.  The dogs came running over to my side of the bed for comfort and all I could do was hide under the covers.  Yes, I'll admit it, I was hiding under the covers like a big baby.  And my Husband?  Snoring away. Where he grew up they had massive storms just like this everyday in the summer as well as hurricanes.  Well, that's reason #404 I would never live there.  I always love the next day after a storm though.  I love the way the air smells.  Its damp and cold outside right now, just the way I like it.  I love summer, don't get me wrong and we had amazing weather this year, but fall is just around the corner and that is without a doubt my favorite time of year!  Fall in Vancouver! Time to throw on your boots, grab your camera and capture the beautiful colors of the season.

Speaking of weather, I watched a massive dust storm on the live feed that engulfed the playa yesterday and it made me miss home (my Black Rock City home that is).  I always loved a good dust storm out on the playa. When it hits and you're away from camp you take cover wherever you are and just wait it out-it's always an adventure.  Again, you knew I was going to try and find a way to talk about Burning Man!  Yes, the man burns tomorrow and I cannot wait to see all the photos and hear all of the stories from my dusty friends! I'll try to post tomorrow in honor of burn day, but for now I'll leave you with some dust storm pictures from my past years!  Following the pix, there's a link to the Ustream site that is showing the burn live for the next few days...

The hair really says it all.  Covered in dust since 2004!

My playa partner-in-crime for many years!

Tamiko riding through the storm.

My pops: AKA as the Big Cheese dancing in a storm.
This was one of the worst dust storms I had been in.  I love this shot because after hours of waiting it out we saw a double rainbow extended over the playa.

In case you want to see what it's all about, here is a link to watch the live stream:

~Mrs. G

Monday, August 19, 2013

Camping Adventures

Just so you all know, my posts this week will somehow involve Burning Man.  Since I am not going this year, I will find a way to talk about it or things that have to do with it.  Since this story is about camping its perfect for this week!

When we moved to Vancouver we knew one of the places we had to go to was Vancouver Island, specifically Tofino.  We were lucky enough to have friends that already had an awesome place to camp so we set off on a four day weekend of surfing, camping and exploring this beautiful island.

Getting to the island takes a little bit of coordinating, which we didn't do so we had to wait three hours to get on the ferry. When people kept asking if we made reservations, I said "No, but we'll be OK."  I would get a look like, "Oh you wait, smart ass, you just wait."  Needless to say we'll have reservations next time. Once you get to the island you make your way to Tofino, which is about a three hour drive passing through lakes with the most amazing views. We got to Green Point, which was right above a beach, so close you can hear the waves crashing as you fall asleep. Tall majestic trees provide shade and a coolness in the air.  I can see why this campsite gets booked a year in advanced. After we set up camp we made a fire and relaxed under the stars with a well deserved beer.

No sleep for the weary.  Our first night was a little rough, I didn't hear waves crashing so much as I heard Maggie growling at every noise she heard, oh and then there's Cody who was snoring away without a care in the world.  Yes, we had our dogs with us in the tent.  I think their bed took up half the tent actually.  Anyhow, when you camp with people that are solely there to surf, you get up early to stake out your spot at the beach.  I wasn't sure what was happening, I saw things getting repacked, dogs getting loaded into the car and I still didn't have coffee. WTF?  Once we got to the beach, my Husband set up our little stove and had the french press going stat.  Yes, french press while camping.  I like good coffee.  Our first beach was Long Beach and it was beautiful.  The water was pretty cold as people kept warning us So Cal kids and the waves were pretty flat, but Kyle was happy to be surfing no matter what the conditions were.  We ended our second night with dinner at a restaurant called Shelter - which was amazing.  Good wine, good friends and fresh crab. I love his town.

By day three I was ready to roll, Kyle had the coffee going, I had the dogs fed and we were out to stake out our spot at a new beach, Cox Bay, hoping for better surf.  Once we got to our spot and checked the surf we headed back to our cars, set up our kitchen and chef'd up breakfast. The waves were better today, but the water was still so cold.  We all had full suits on, gloves and booties.  We had such a fun day, and I have to say that our dogs are so rad, they chilled on the beach while we surfed, actually the whole trip they just chilled, always happy to be wherever we were and never strayed too far.  We ended our night with dinner around the campfire and Allie teaching me fun tricks with my camera, which lead to a full-on camp photo shoot, naturally.

It was time to head home and I was feeling pretty sad.  The beaches here are so beautiful, the town has this hippy vibe to it that I love, it reminded me of living in Mammoth in the summer time.  We are already planning our next trip back, but we'll call that resort adventures!

Here are some pictures of our awesome weekend.
Isn't she a beauty?
My camping essential.
It's sorta like being at Burning Man, but way too much clothing.
A girl and her dog: Cox Bay
We did this for a long, long time...
Beautiful BC

In-between sets you have to have a little food and wine.
Cody and Maggie waiting patiently for breakfast, while we wait patiently for the surf to pick up. 
Long Beach

Fun with photography.
My loves...