Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Winter is Coming"

Canadian Winter

I spent the fall reading most of the Game of Thrones series, that was until I discovered Netflix.  God what a decadent and sedentary life it has been, wintering in Canada.  Now that winter is truly coming to my friends riding in the Southern Hemisphere, I can concentrate on getting Blondy fired up for more adventures.  Spring is here on the West Coast and Blondy has been sleeping too long.

Clearly Netflix is the lazy man's way to cover an excellent series such as the Game of Thrones, but I do have to  disclose that I also filled my fantasies with the full blown series of the Sons of Anarchy while I watched the rain and snow gather on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  Talk about torture: the ribald actions of the motorcycle gang in Sunny California, contrasted to   the ever- encircling frosts and black ice of a west coast Canadian winter.

 Blondy was put to bed by early October, and she hibernated for almost 4 months, occasionally being awakened as I  fought the IPhoto and IMovie wars on my computer, attempting  to make sense of the 10,000 or so photos  that I shot on my trip to Ushuai and back.  I did figure out how to show the pictures on my Television, so technology has not completely overwhelmed me in the past year or so.  I did succumb to impulse and purchase an Ipad Mini, so we will see if this addition to the Technology trunk is an asset or a further electronic cross to bear.

My sojourn back in Canada has not solely been limited to sitting on my ass in front of the TV or computer, as I have  managed to reacquaint myself with my teaching roots, and I have enjoyed being a substitute teacher in a number of the schools in the small school District which I live in.  It has been gratifying to reaffirm  that I do in fact like kids, and that I am still  confident about my abilities to channel some sort of learning experience into their often distracted minds.  After 6 years working for the Teachers as their full-time union representative, I had misgivings that I had permanently lost my enthusiasm for the sometimes challenging classrooms and/or my shift to dealing with adults had somehow  jaded my ability to   relate to kids and the learning process.  As a teacher-on-call I have been able to work in  a great variety of classrooms, from Kindergarten to Grade 12 physics, and my respect for those folks who work with those students on a regular basis has increased significantly.

For me, the main focus on my return to Canada and taking a rest from the road was to make sure that I was present and accounted for as my eldest son married his sweetheart. I am happy to say that their January wedding went  flawlessly, and it was a excellent opportunity to spend time with my daughter, sons, and daughters-in-law.

I also had a great time getting reacquainted with my sister, her hubby, and my nephew.  We had a great party and the wedding was a fun time for all.  I now have a batch of shirt-tail relatives living and working in the Philippines, which gives me another riding destination.

I have begun to do some planning and thinking about my next ride, and I have determined that I wish to experience Canada from coast to coast.  The current plan is to leave Tahsis by the end of May and head for the east coast.  There is a maritime Horizons Unlimited meeting in Nova Scotia during the first week of July, and if my planning is correct, I should be able to experience a bit of Newfoundland prior to this HUBB meeting.  I may be totally unrealistic about our riding weather across Canada, and in all likelihood my time frame for getting to the east coast may be a bit optimistic.  We shall see.   I have blocked out a tentative route, with the hope that I can meet a few old friends along the way, as well as make the July meeting in Annapolis Royal.

Larger Map

On my last ride, I chose not to bring along my GoPro camera, largely due to my ignorance with the editing portion and  the production of videos.  Recently, I have spent a couple of days experimenting with a some  different editing software programs, as well as viewing some YouTube tutorials.  I am learning that the production of videos  requires a lot of editing time, and equally important, a lot of Hard Drive space.

I am hoping to add some video to my travels this time...we shall see.