Posted 1 week ago

West Coast Trail pics from Keith Hind.

Day 2 took us from Cullite to Cribs Creek (km 58 to km 42). Avtar and Josh set out around 6:30 am with the rest of us planning to follow at about 8am, but we were a bit slow to pack up and didn’t leave until 8:45. This was fine, but it meant we’d never catch up to the two of them and therefore wouldn’t see them again until we reached the camp. This day had additional challenges, because it was the day we had a cable car break on us at Walbran Creek! Emily and I went across first, then when Keegan and Julie were crossing it sounded a bit weird and then stopped moving about 10ft from the platform. Keith and Claudia saw that the rope had jumped the wheel, so they watched as we tried to figure out a way to get the car to move those last 10ft. Thankfully Keegan is strong and with all of us using our full strength (and some adrenaline kicking in) we manages to get them safely to the platform, literally inch by inch. Keegan and Claudia had to then wade across the creek to join us so it definitely added time to our day. Not too long after though we reached Bonila Point where we stopped for lunch and I washed up at the waterfall :-). When we reached Cribs Creek Avtar was particularly excited to see us, and we were happy to have a fire to sit around and a great beach spot picked out for our tents.

Day 3 was Cribs Creek to Tsusiat Falls (km 42- km 25). This was a great camp area with a bathroom with a view and a waterfall/ swimming pool so we all had a chance to freshen up! We did a combination of inland and beach treks this day and broke off into a number of pairings and groupings. We met up at Nitinat Narrows where much of our group feasted on the fresh crab and fish ($25 plate). Josh, Claudia and I headed off first because my knee was getting quite sore so I knew I’d be slower. Thankfully when we hit the beach I was able to ramp things up! This was also where we go to go through the archway at Tsusiat Point. We were shocked that all 8 of us made the tides here, but it made for an extra memorable stretch for the last two to pass! We enjoyed some Tequila at Camp around the fire that night.

Day 4 was our day to finish the trek taking us from 25-0! We left at 6:30am and broke into pairs and groups. Josh and Keegan were injury free so they went at top speed and arrived at the end by 1:15. The girls stuck together, periodically also walking with Keith and Avtar, and made it to the end around 4pm, and then Keith and Avtar arrived just after 5 (they had stopped at the lighthouse to see the helicopter and sea lions). We walked down to the campground to find out that pizza was on its way thanks to Josh! We enjoyed two slices each on the beach and took a group picture to celebrate our trip.

In total I fell off 1 log ( early on Day 2, possibly where I first hurt my knee) and fell down on at least 3 plank boardwalks. Emily took the muddiest fall, Keith took the hardest fall (on an ocean boulder, landing on his tailbone) and Avtar may have escaped without any slips! The last morning I woke up with crazily puffy eyes, and the same thing happened to Claudia. A less extreme version happened to Julie and Emily as well so the campsite wasn’t quite so pretty our last day! Our bus wasn’t until 1pm so we all got to shower, and the boys left at 10:30 getting breakfast before taking a boat back to Port Renfrew. We took a very bumpy bus ride, stopping in Lake Cowichan to pee and buy devour a bunch of junk food, then arriving in Port Renfrew to rush to the ferry where all 8 of us managed to get on the 7 ferry. I happily ate a White Spot Burger and yam fries and some of the gang enjoyed wine from water bottles! I was dropped off at home around 12:40 am after a car ride filled mainly with music and laughter.

It was a really relaxing, peaceful, strenuous, fun, adventurous journey and I look forward to hanging out with all of the gang again soon.

Posted 1 week ago

West Coast Trail pictures—photo credits to Keith Hind :-)

Posted 1 week ago

One of my longest standing bucket list items has been completed! Along with 7 other members of I completed the West Coast Trail July 14-17th! The actual trip was a bit longer thanks to a 4.5 hour drive to the ferry, a 1.5 hour ferry and another 2 hours drive to the trailhead, plus mandatory orientation and limited boat and bus times, so I was actually gone from the 13th to the wee hours of the 20th.

The trip was expertly planned by the leader of Hiking Addiction, Josh Hoggan. I certainly didn’t think we’d keep to the schedule and yet we did, nearly to a T! All of the time spent planning made the trip possible for those of us who simply couldn’t have done it if someone hadn’t have done all the advance leg work. Three of the eight of us had the WCT on our bucket lists, so major kudos to Josh for helping us achieve this goal.

The trip was fantastic not because of the trail experience but because of the group dynamic. I’m a quiet introvert at heart and yet I felt included throughout even when I wandered off for little bits of solitude. We rotated hiking partners with very little discussion, so it just naturally happened that we all had a chance to hike with each other and therefore get to know each other a little better (most of us were only well acquainted with 1-2 others in the group). Everyone helped out at camp so we shared water duties, gathering firewood, boiling water, setting up and taking down tents, etc. We all kept positive spirits throughout (with expected dips due to exhaustion of course) and I know that we’ll share this bond for life.

The actual trek is generally completed in 6 nights, 7 days, but we did it in 3 nights, 3.5-4 days so we pushed it pretty hard. On Day 1 we started at the South end, also known as the toughest, boarding a little boat shuttle at about 8:20 am on the Monday. We hiked with only short breaks (other than lunch, and the length of that break depended on who you were hiking with) and ended up at Cullite Creek around 8:30pm. (Km75-km58). When the group I was with reached the Cullite pull carts we were pretty close to breaking. I climbed the ladder to look across since we didn’t know which side of the creek the campground was on. When I saw ladders stretching up as high as the eye can see I climbed back down and said, “It’s nothing but ladders. I don’t care which side the campground is actually on. I’m fucking camping here!” Luckily we then saw that the campground was on the South side, so a few more minutes of relatively flat ground and we’d arrived. Being late, there was little room in the bear lockers and limited space for our tents so we set up under a Rock Cliff and squished into 1 less tent than planned. I joined Keegan and Keith in their tent, and Claudia joined Emily and Julie. It was a bit cramped, but we made it work. The other problem was that the waves were SO loud that some of us had trouble sleeping despite how tired we were. All in all it worked out to a gruelling start to the trip, but we also felt proud of how far we’d made it!

Posted 3 weeks ago

Will the Real Introverts Please Stand Up? | The Creativity Post

This article didn’t change the fact that I am truly an introvert, but it did make quite a few very interesting points. I highly recommend reading it in its entirety.

Posted 1 month ago

Some more food for thought regarding introverts and extroverts.

Posted 1 month ago

Nothing gets me more than “why are you being so quiet?” Said accusingly in a group setting. Grrrr!

Posted 1 month ago

So true. ‘Nuff said :-)

Posted 1 month ago
I was hoping to enjoy this novel more as the upcoming movie comes with a stacked cast, but I only thought it was ok.  Dark comedy is usually appreciated but at best I found myself smirking.  I will give credit to the writing—Jonathan Tropper is no hack.

I was hoping to enjoy this novel more as the upcoming movie comes with a stacked cast, but I only thought it was ok. Dark comedy is usually appreciated but at best I found myself smirking. I will give credit to the writing—Jonathan Tropper is no hack.

Posted 1 month ago



Portland drivers ‘clearly’ show racial bias at crosswalks, PSU study says | Oregon Live

Racial bias doesn’t stop with education, employment, health care and criminal sentencing. It’s also prevalent at crosswalks in Portland, according to a new study of traffic psychology.

Conducted in downtown Portland, the joint Portland State University and University of Arizona study found that twice as many drivers failed to yield for black pedestrians than those who were white. Meanwhile, black pedestrians typically had to wait a third longer for cars to stop for them when they had the legal right of way.

With fewer motorists yielding for them, minorities are more likely to take greater risks to cross the street, which might factor into why they’re disproportionately represented in U.S. pedestrian fatalities, the study concluded.

"In a fast-paced activity like driving, where decisions may need to be made in a fraction of a second, people’s’ actions can be influenced by these subtle attitudes," the study said.

The results come at the same time as the Smart Growth America’s annual "Dangerous by Design 2014" report (PDF) showing the most dangerous U.S. Cities for pedestrians. Despite a string of deaths in the final weeks of 2013, the Portland metro area was ranked the seventh safest for walking, according to the group’s “pedestrian danger index.”

Between 2003 and 2012, 47,025 pedestrians died along American roads — 16 times the number killed in earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, the report showed. Another 676,000 pedestrians were injured.

Nationally, African-Americans have a 60 percent higher rate of pedestrian deaths than whites, the Smart Growth America study shows. Meanwhile, it’s 43 percent higher for Hispanics.

For their study on racial bias at crosswalks, PSU researchers Kimberly Barsamian Kahn and Tara Goddard, and Arlie Adkins, of the University of Arizona, chose an unsignalized but clearly marked crosswalk near Southwest Park Avenue and Clay Street.

It’s one of downtown’s most used midblock crossings, where yielding isn’t influenced by cross traffic or turning.

Kahn, Goddard and Adkins dressed the six test subjects – three white men, three black men, all in their 20s with the same height and build — in the same clothing and had them approach the crosswalk in the same manner. “Each pedestrian did 15 crossing trials,” the study said.”These trials resulted in 168 driver subjects.”

The research team stood out of sight and recorded whether the first car to approach yielded, how many cars passed before someone yielded and the number of seconds that elapsed before the pedestrian was able to cross.

The black pedestrians got passed by twice as many cars and waited 32 percent longer than white pedestrians, the researchers said.

Goddard said she had expected to see some differences, but the stark contrast in how pedestrians of different races are treated shocked her.

"It’s amazing to look at something you thought might be subtle and to see it instead so clearly," Goddard said.

She added, “Racial bias applies to so many areas of life, so it makes sense that it takes place in traffic. But nobody has looked at it like this before.”

At the same time, Goddard said it would be wrong to say many Portland drivers are racist just because they didn’t yield for a black man waiting at a crosswalk.

Rather, driving is a fast-moving activity “with tons of stimuli” that relies heavily on reflexes and motorists are are likely acting on subconscious impulses, she said.

The researchers said they understand the small study’s limitations.

Goddard said she and her fellow researchers hope to acquire a grant to collect more data on driver demographics, which were only collected for the driver who yielded during the pilot study. They also want to test different types of crosswalks and the inclusion of gender as a possible influencing factor.

How many studies need to be done to show non Black folks that racism is real! It is real! Very, very real! No we are not playing the race card nor do we want to be victims, this is our life. The proof is in the pudding and its looking very white.

I expect similar results would be had in Kelowna :-(

Posted 1 month ago


Long dismissed as a less serious art form, graphic novels have finally started to gain more mainstream credibility over the last 20 years. There are many, many excellent graphic novels out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, start here! 

25 Essential Graphic Novels

In hopes that more students will walk across the bridge from Manga to fiction….maybe some of these will coax them in the right direction

(Source: flavorpill)