Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Mighty Mighty Honda

Many, many motorcycles have come and gone through our lives. 

Some stay for but a short time. Others last for years. 

Some carry special memories while other are never to be spoken of again.

They have ranged from the little 'suitcase' di Blasi to scooters of every size, cruisers, sport bikes and 1100cc sport touring bikes.

It was no surprise when this little vintage bike showed up a few months ago. 
This model was produced in 1982-1983. It's a 450A, and the A stands for automatic. Yes.

Back in the day when I was dating The Not-Yet Husband, he was encouraging me to become a rider. I grew up riding horses, not motorcycles, and so was a bit intimidated. 

Then one day in 1982 I saw a brand new 450A in the Grande Prairie dealership. 
I called The Then-Boyfriend, all excited about the bike, and he promptly popped my bubble with a disdainful "That's not a real bike!"

Fast forward 35 years, and imagine my thoughts when one of those not-real bikes came into our garage.

"What?" was his genuinely surprised question when seeing The Look on my face.

"Really? You have to ask?" And then I reminded him of the incident back in the day, which apparently left a bruise which still twitches when poked.

"But it's a classic!"

Ah. From not-real to classic.

Never mind. He loves it and it stands proudly beside the Triumph sport tourer and the Kawasaki Widow Maker.

He left early yesterday for the Kootenays to meet up with a friend from Calgary. I'm sure the friend is going to stain his knickers with laughter when he sees the Mighty Mighty Honda charge down the road.

I've taken it for a spin, and it's alright. Turns out it really isn't my kind of ride after all.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


What do you do when it's 32C outside - again - and you're 9 months old?

Get mom and grandma to take you to the pool.

Of course.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Prairies and Ferries

The Husband and I have been on a little jaunt for the past week. Out to the prairies to celebrate an 80th birthday party with the distaff side of my family; visit the brothers; take a drive through the grasslands, Porcupine Hills and the mountains: the Columbia Range, the Rockies, the Purcell Range, the Selkirks and the Monashees. And all the way, the air is laden with light-to-heavy smoke from the multitude of wildfires ravaging this country.

Thousands of Painted Lady butterflies were feeding on the alfalfa flowers at
Brother Scott's place near Standard, AB.

Crop land ready for harvest, somewhere south of Carmangay close to Highway 23.

I get homesick for this landscape every so often; a visit is good for the soul.

And the next day was completely different landscapes.
Waiting for the ferry at Kootenay Bay to cross the lake
on our way to Nelson and points north.

We meandered our way through cropland and pasture land, passing through Claresholm and taking SR 520 through the Porcupine Hills to Highway 22; hence towards the Crowsnest Pass and points west. Spent the night at Cranbrook and as is our wont, delayed breakfast whilst travelling until we got to Creston. Up to Nelson, over to the Slocan Valley and a night at Nakusp.

The last leg was a short one, from Nakusp to Vernon and home again. Thought I'd take a minute and share some photos of the cable ferry that crosses Arrow Lakes from Fauquier to Needles.

Arrow Lakes was once two separate lakes, until it became a reservoir for a hydro dam. The Needles Ferry is cable ferry, and of all the ferries we've used in BC and Alberta, this is one of the very few cable ferries.

On the Fauquier side of Arrow Lake, looking west.

Cable anchor on the north side of the east launch.

Cable line extending down into the water and across the lake.

Ferry approaching the Fauquier side;
see the cable line beginning to rise out of the water.

You can now see that there are three lines: one to either side, and one in the middle.

As the ferry approaches, the ramp begins to lower.

The ramp and launch are mated ...

... the barrier arms are raised ...

... and the vehicles disembark.

Westbound traffic waiting to embark.

The ferry empty and waiting for its next load of vehicles.

The Husband checking out landmarks on the eastern shore.
Not the heavy smoke making the skyline hazy.

Smoky hides the view, making it mysterious.
Let's pray for lots of rain, and soon.