The buck stops out front.

Weather.com put out a special weather statement for Victoria this weekend: A Father’s Day Edition heatwave. A lot of sweaty daddies out there today. I was hot but not bothered. I believe the temperature peaked at 27° C, which is small potatoes compared to a regular Montréal summer day, but hot potatoes nonetheless. I especially enjoy not having to pack extra clothes as if I were about to embark on an Arctic expedition when I go for a spin around town on my bike.

Continue reading “The buck stops out front.”

Physically distanced adventuring.

Years ago, when I was at the climbing gym with a friend, they suggested that I do an overhanging route next. I tried avoiding it using the excuse, “I’m terrible at those.”

“And that is why you should do them,” was their response. Wow, and I thought my excuse was solid!

Completing an overhanging route at a grade below what I’m typically capable of doing doesn’t fuel my ego in the same way. It’s still fun, but it’s a bonus when you get to be good at something you enjoy doing. I’m not the only one who feels this way; otherwise, competitive sports wouldn’t be a thing. Alas, I am too old and injury-prone to add more awards to my box of equestrian ribbons. I also can’t be spending all my free time training as I sometimes need to use my day off to do things such as visit a Canadian Tire store for some diatomaceous earth and jute, which I did last week.

As much as I mostly enjoy living alone, I’m still finding it challenging to spend the whole day without company. So, the Calgary-based Gator accompanied me to the pest control aisle via WhatsApp. I took photos of some of Canadian Tire’s merchandise and sent it to her, such as a tub of diatomaceous earth. Riveting. A few minutes later, I sent her the squeeze bottle version. I also sent her a photo of one of Canadian Tire’s end caps that displayed bandanas, cowboy hats, and koozies.

I may have crossed a line when I referred to them as Calgary Supplies.

Wait until I tell you guys stories about growing up in Langley, BC.

Isolation has been my motivator for sending my friends photos of the following things:

Continue reading “Physically distanced adventuring.”

A rapid succession of non-successes.

I miss bouldering. It’s not that Victoria doesn’t have a bouldering gym, it’s just not Bloc Shop. I’ve switched back to climbing. Yes, there’s a difference: one can be good at climbing, but suck at bouldering. This was me until I moved to Montréal and started going to Bloc Shop regularly. Then, I was mediocre at both.

In a seemingly futile attempt to improve, Yann and I would often film each other’s attempts on the trickier problems (bouldering routes are called problems). These videos were usually deleted from my phone shortly afterward; however, many of them ended up being automatically uploaded to my Google account.

What was I supposed to do with them all?

Make a compilation of our fails!*

Continue reading “A rapid succession of non-successes.”

Going up island to go up some rocks.

Very little is required to present myself as a cyclist. First, I need to decide which of my two bikes I want to ride. Secondly, I need to take the chosen bike outside. Next, I straddle the bike. Finally, I go nowhere in particular and then return!

So much more is involved in climbing. I’ve pulled on plastic for ten years, climbing only indoors because getting to the crags requires a car. To go to the climbing gym, though, I still need to find someone to accompany me. Preferably somebody who likes me, but most importantly, somebody who I can trust to not drop me. Then, this special somebody needs to have a work schedule that does not conflict with mine. I need to know only one type of knot, the figure eight.

To climb outdoors is an even bigger challenge. Other than a car, I would need at least one climbing partner who knows how to build and clean anchors, as well as lead climb and belay. I would have to get used to reassuring my friends and family that, yes, I will be careful. There’s a surprising amount of knot tying knowledge needed.

A photo of Laura from 2009 shows her clad in black tank top and capris. Her left arm is
Top roping outdoors in 2009.

 

Continue reading “Going up island to go up some rocks.”