Sep 28 2009

Day 170: Sledding in the 70s

by andrew

A couple days ago we made the short trip up to my grandmother’s cabin in the mountains to turn off the water (before winter brings the threat of busting pipes) and take care of a couple other chores (like eating the chocolate zucchini bread Renee made and drinking coffee on the deck overlooking the meadow and the Rockies). When we got there we discovered that there had been a decent amount of snow a few days prior, because all the meadow grass was matted down and there was still a bit of snow left despite a couple warm days since the precipitation.

Turned out to be the perfect day to go sledding in warmer than 70F!

Speaking of photos, here are a bunch more as I am catching up:

A few days ago I headed into the mountains with my dad and mom in search of some fall colors to photograph. We found some, but not as many as we’d figured would be up there already. Still, we got some amazing shots and had an incredible time. It was the perfect weather and lighting all day long:

Working my way backwards, we had a wonderful time celebrating our niece’s 2nd birthday in Winnipeg before we headed west and south again (I know I already sent this to some of you):

In the “hey that was a long time ago” category, here are some shots of The Dredge I explored back in August if you are even remotely interested in the exploration of the old, decrepit, abandoned, wrecked, decaying remains of human endeavor and technology:

Also in August: the Rempel Family Gathering near Dauphin, MB:

So, there… that gets things a little caught up photographically speaking.

Yesterday Bennah and I broke out the mountain bikes and had some awesome trail rides… we had been planning the adventure for weeks, and it was a blast to finally get on the dirt. There are some long and excellent trails that weave through the city while managing not to feel like the city. I am definitely going to have to take the cameras back there and get some shots and video.

Sep 20 2009

Day 161: Recovering in Colorado

by andrew

Well, we made it… safely I might add. 1200 miles (1900 km) in three days… 515 miles the last day. From north of Calgary to south of Denver, climbing and falling and re-climbing hundreds of feet each day – it felt like 2/3rds of our time was spent chugging 40 mph up long hills and often even slower by the top. Our 32′ trailer is definitely going on a forced diet while we’re here, and we will most certainly have the Second Great and Ruthless Purging of 2009. We weighed all three axles somewhere in Alberta again but haven’t run the conversions from kg’s yet to figure out where we were at in terms of lbs. But we’ll know soon. And then we will purge some more.

Sorry this is so random. Not quite as obscurely flowing beautiful obtuse beatnick as I’d like, but certainly not orderly or carefully constructed either. Sort of shot from the hip. Like the status of my sleeping. Or checking items off the massive to-do lists we’ve accumulated over the last 5 months.

The last two hours into Denver as the sun set and everything got dark and the friday night traffic became possessed / obsessed with diving insane margins between speed and safety thinner and thinner like sheets of onion paper while I lumbered on at the speed limit or GASP often slower using every ounce of willpower to stay between the same set of dotted lines and Renee kept the peace in the truck like a sheriff out of the wild west was something that rivaled our infiltration of the downtown Chicago construction wind toll madness fortress. Was that on a friday night too? I don’t know why I insist on striking straight into the heart of crazy cities in the dark on friday nights. I always say next time I’ll go around. But I guess I chafe at routes that are longer and might be just as bad for traffic anyway and so on… oh, that and the fact that my GPS couldn’t come up with a route that intelligently balances time of travel with distance and rationality to save its life. In fact, I am quite vehemently frustrated with my GPS, but it’s a squall that has been building for some time. I had already started shopping to replace it, but when it tried to prepare me for a left lane exit – and I dutifully got over early – when the exit was, in reality, three lanes over to the right and the only way I made it without causing a massive crash was YHWH’s grace in the timing and an understanding driver who gave me the all-clear hi-beam flash the same split second I had to decide whether to stay on or get off.

It was a narrow escape, but YHWH answered our prayers as we pray every day and put our trust in His protection and provision on the road.

That GPS is definitely done. Personal opinion: TomTom bad. Garmin good. TomTom was a compromise because that’s what came built into the HP Travelmate I got on an irresistible company discount 2 years ago. After the maiden voyage on that summer road trip I wen’t back to my much older Garmin that was superb (if a little slow). Before we pulled away in April, that old trusty Garmin took a spill and didn’t make it out alive. The TomTom was all that was left, and at the time I couldn’t justify spending money on another new unit. Now, I’d pay good money for anything else. Replacing the GPS is definitely on the massive to-do list.

Sleep is too… but somewhere beneath the item labeled “Processing and editing the 1400 photos and stitching the panos that Josh and I took in Kananaskis Country on our backpacking / camping trip.” Went with a great bunch of guys. Many stories in all of that. Tackled some seriously crazy trails (at least for this out of shape body… I’m in decent condition overall, but these trails kicked my butt). Felt SPECTACULAR! I could barely walk and basically stumbled to the shower and bed that night we returned with a belly full of Irish Stew and a pint of Alexander Kieth’s from an amazing little place we hit in Canmore upon returning to civilization.

So, here we are parked beside the house where my wonderful parents and awesome sister and brother(-in-law) and their 2 kids live. We’re excited about the next couple weeks… Tomorrow Reayah turns 6 and the Feast of Trumpets – Yom Teruah – kicks of the Scriptural fall celebrations that are shadow pictures of things to come – Messiah’s return and the fulfillment of all things in the Bible.

Then we’ll have some adventures riding out the onset of winter here and figuring some things out before we head east and then south again eventually.

So many memories from the last few weeks… Had an amazing wonderful time with our cousins near Calgary and their family. That kind of time is always too short. Even squeezed in IKEA and MEC trips in Calgary… that’s why our travel was compressed into 3 days instead of 4…. originally planned to take 4 days to get here. Lots of good scenery on the road. Lots of other things…

Ok, back to Kananaskis photos.

Sep 9 2009

Day 150: Adrift in Alberta

by andrew

Day 150: Adrift in Alberta – no internet perhaps for days – updating via txt – only 1 other camper here – darn – not the only crazies.

Day 152: Update – finally have a connection and this entry was stuck pending review… so, what’s the point of being able to publish via e-mail when the post still has to be approved… need to investigate.

Uploading loads of vids to youtube… explanatory notes with fancy playlist embedded objects coming soon… If you can’t wait for the official entries, go get them on my channel:

Sep 3 2009

Adventures with Andrew

by andrew

Introducing one of the media threads I hope to maintain periodically: Adventures with Andrew.

I was in REI a couple months ago in Missoula, MT and this little guy caught the corner of my eye – the HERO camera ( It caught my eye because my dad had told me about it just a few weeks prior and sent me the link. It was easy to justify the purchase because I wanted to see if I could also use it to produce acceptable stock video clips using it’s rudimentary time-lapse features. Yes – the business angle.

In fact, some of my initial experiments have already been accepted at Shutterstock, for example:

Those were all shot using the HERO camera. I’m in the process of submitting them at a couple other stock footage sites, and I’m looking forward to squeezing more stock-worthy content out of the little camera. But enough about business… this particular introduction is about having some FUN with the new toy.

So, I had this idea to start up a little series of episodes connected by a particular theme along the lines of exploring some strange places and attempting some adventurous (i.e. crazy) escapades… and I’d capture chunks of the adventures and edit them together into fun little YouTube clips. Of course, they would have to be called something cheesy like “Adventures with Andrew.” Maybe I’ll even start taking requests for Adventures through comments here and on YouTube… for example, if you give me a crazy (but it better be good) idea of something to try or somewhere to go, I’ll shoot the adventure with the HERO cam and you can have your very own made to order vicarious adventure with me. You’ll almost feel like you were there!

And then again… maybe the world is not ready to go on Adventures with Andrew yet. But I guess we will find out. I have several more episodes that I’m still editing to post, but here is the first one in all its glory.

A few interesting facts about this particular adventure:

  • Location: West Cost, USA near Lincoln City, OR
  • Time: very very early
  • Water temperature: not as cold as the ocean itself (at least 55F)
  • Air temperature: about the same as the water
  • Gear: Vibram Five Fingers Footwear, swimming suit, dry bag, t-shirt, fleece
  • Original video length shot: over an hour, but most of it was really boring, just crawling through overgrown bush on a steep incline that you can’t tell was steep on the video

Adventures with Andrew Episode 1: Exploring the Foggy Forest Timber Playground

Andrew swims across a river to explore an otherwise inaccessible overgrown wasteland of fallen trees and wild bush. He climbs, hangs, jumps, crawls, walks, and slides over the seemingly impassable terrain. Join him on the very 1st Episode of Adventures with Andrew. Ok. It’s cheesy, but you love it.