Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Rascals on the Loose

The summer is on the wane, yet there is still time for an outing while the sun yet shines. I rode to Richmond to get a massage from Elaine, who I have nicknamed the "Furious Fingers of Death". She knows how to find every knot. I always feel so much better afterwards, but this is coupled with a feeling as though I have been put up against a wall and seriously worked over with brass knuckles. If Deep Tissue Massage is your thing, they are at Gold Medal.  $33/hour--such a deal!

The short term pain I have to pay for a long term pain free existence is worth it. Never mind all that let's ride! On the way back through town I gave Rascal an opportunity to indulge himself looking at some of Vancouver's fine Craftsman Style architecture. This type of home is never out of style.

We drove down by Granville Island public Market for some more scenic shots.

Here is the vertical version of the above shot, showing the Burrard Street Bridge (which has been a favorite of mine since the early 1960's and the passage from False Creek into English Bay.

A little further along and across the bridge I stopped to take this picture of English Bay with the freighters lying at anchor and waiting for their turn in port. There is a large Granite Inukshuk which the city erected to welcome visitors to the 2010 Olympics. This is an Inuit invention that means welcome or showing that they had been there.

I thought it might be nice to have a bite to eat at the beach, to which Rascal affably acceded. We parked at the boat launch at 14th and Argyle in West Vancouver.

The parking lot was full as many people are out catching Sockeye at this time of year. By the time you pay fuel and supplies, it probably works out to the same cost as supermarket Salmon, but it's so much fresher when you catch and eat the same day.

The Wild Rose are still blooming along the fence to the Sailing Club. They have such rich color I couldn't resist a picture.

I could have inquired of Rascal what we should have for lunch, but he would say "What do I know, I eat gasoline!" I settled on some Chinese takeout from Osaka.

I decided on Stick Rice and Prawn Garlic Spring Rolls. Dig in! You can see the Sea Gulls in the background looking hopeful. Yeah.......no!

I had promised at the beginning of this post that there would be two rascals. Up until this point we have showcased only one. Nothing wrong with "scooter porn"
Some of you may point and snicker, others (in the know) will drool.

Accordingly, here is the other rascal, dining alfresco with rocking tuneage, a smile and a mouthful of sticky rice, featuring you know who in the background.

After lunch we stopped at the Post office to collect the business mail. Here Rascal smells the flowers.

This is a picture of Rhema, who is such a help to us while we are away by forwarding our mail and other chores, along with a friend of hers from Mexico. I  think her name was Alvira. She wanted to know what a rascal was? "Un nino com un whirlwind" I explained in Spanglish. Oh...ok she said thoughtfully, or was that a total lack of comprehension.

We hit the road to head back to the ranch, and stopped to take one more picture. These are the Olympic Legacy Cabins at Porteau Provincial Park.
Description and Rates  a bit out of our price range but very affordable for others.

Altogether we logged just under 100 mikes (156km.) and a wonderful time was had by all. 

This morning I received news that our friend BobSkoot passed away in his sleep last night. He was a jovial sort, friend to all and always ready with a cycle related story. He had completed a cross country ride last year and the fraternity of motorcyclists will be diminished by diminished by his passing. Heartfelt condolonces and prayers go out to his wife Yvonne and grieving family.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Trip to Japan.....Not Quite

We have been in Penticton for a couple days visiting my Mother. This morning after breakfast, she asked if I would take her to the Optometrist’s to pick up her new glasses. Since her car has not been used for a couple months she suggested we take it, and loading her and her walker up we shortly found ourselves at the clinic.

This office is located about seven or eight miles from her house, and she has been using them for several years. Her glasses had been ready for a couple weeks, but she hadn’t gotten around to picking them up.

It’s a fairly large office and a number of Doctors practice there. When I delivered her to the clinic, she suggested I look at the Japanese Garden across the street. I wasn’t even aware there was a Japanese Garden.

The sign also lists Penticton’s sister city.  Ikeda is a city of about 100,000 located in Osaka prefecture. There is a link to some information here.

There are a few entrances to the garden. By far the most impressive of them is accessed across a bridge over Penticton Creek and through a sort of Torii Gate.  Once across the bridge one encounters a stand of Bamboo.

Along one wall there are several largish murals representing historical scenes of Penticton. This one shows a Canadian Pacific Railway engine stopped outside the Incola Hotel which was constructed and operated by CP starting in 1912. It was demolished in 1981.

This picture shows Penticton’s first Fire Hall which was built in 1926. It was a big step up for the City of Penticton when the first dedicated building for the Fire Department was opened.

There is a color mural of the mountain North and West of town in the direction of Summerland. It is a depiction of the mountain known as the Giant’s Head. It isn’t so much accurate as it is colorful.

There is a mural of the old Canadian Pacific lake steamer Sicamous. This relic is now permanently moored onshore at North end of town, adjacent to the river channel. The channel is a popular destination for floating during the summer. Tubes can be rented for a lazy float three miles down from Okanagan to Skaha lake.

There is a Japanese styled shed at one of the garden entrances together with a tree which has been artfully pruned. I always refer to these as “Cloud Trees”.  They always tickle my funny bone since we live in a heavily treed area, and none of them look like this.

There is also a statue of a fellow stretching. I imagine he is “saluting the sun” or some such nonsense. I’m sure this is inspiring to some. I found it interesting, but not captivating.

  Once you round the corner there is a large reflecting pool. It is deeper at one end and has a square platform reached by an angled walk.

There are the requisite koi in the deep end of the pond. These are some pretty decent specimens, probably almost a foot and a half long and brightly colored.

Placed around the garden are a number of memorial benches. These all have plaques which list the person memorialized and are place at point to allow for rest and quiet contemplation. There is another of those delightful “Cloud Trees” in front of the wall.

Here is another Torii Gate that leads to another area of the garden. There is a transition from paved to gravel path at this point, and narrows to provide a more intimate feeling for the pedestrian, after the expansive feeling of the open patio in front of the gate

There is a small Pagoda Styled Lantern tucked away in the trees. It provides a humorous counterpoint here sitting as it does adjacent to the large tree. It is tucked back from the path and is an appealing vista.  

There is a large slab of rock in a sea of Bark Mulch. It seems to speak of solidity and tranquility in the midst of a hostile and unpredictable world. It simply sits quietly waiting.

There is a cobbled style walk leading to the edge of the pond which is very much shallower at this point. This is a very placid view indeed, and one can easily imagine one’s self far away...perhaps in Japan.

There is another Torii Gate leading onto a parking lot. This is much more traditional and very pretty. Perhaps on my next visit I will park and come through this gate.

This is a view looking down the pond toward downtown Penticton. The building in the background is the Penticton Art Gallery, which I didn’t have time to visit this time.

As you continue along the path there is yet another Torii style gate and a log handrail over a bridge where the outlet of the pond flows out to Lake Okanagan. There is a variety of Cypress tree at this gate, which I have always called a “Heffalump Tree”. The name comes from a Winnie the Pooh story.

Just past the aforementioned bridge, one can turn about a hundred and sixty five degrees to the right and catch a glimpse of another Pagoda Style Lantern with the Lake in the background. It is a happy picture with which to end our stroll through the garden as I needed to get back to the Clinic and collect mother. Her new glasses were fitted and she was ready to head home.

We will be here for a few days, then heading back to the Wet Coast. Thanks for coming along to visit the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Food, Fun and Fresh Wheels

Some of you faithful readers may know that I purchased a new bike "Thing 2" in June, and have been riding it since. I thought it best to upgrade my Driver's Licence" , since I have a licence for any displacement scooter, up to and including 
Ridley's 738cc, and Thing 2 had a clutch and gearbox and 175cc.

Accordingly I enquired about the licence upgrade and found out to my horror, that I could not test on Thing 2 because the displacement was less than 200cc. In any case, I would have to retest, and accept a learner's permit in the meantime, with it's restrictions ( no night driving, no driving over 40mph and only riding with another licensed motorcyclist over 25!). Yeah...right!  Keeping in mind I have been riding motorcycles for 45 years without serious accident, the ridiculousity of the regulations gave me cause for a little think. 

Sometimes it's best to sit by the water to think, and while thinking sometimes an idea will come to one. If and when the idea does come, sometimes acting upon it can take one's  mind off one's troubles. The result was a curiosity, which Scooterchick promptly proclaimed " a Viking, yep it's a Viking!"

Well all things having been considered, a phone call made, Thing 2 loaded and a drive to the dealership was undertaken. The dealer had a look at Thing 2 and the mechanics rushed out and drooled and oooohed and aaaaahed over the XL 175.

A reasonable replacement was tested, sans clutch or gears. it was as ugly as the backside of sin, and had 3200km. on it. All in all a worthy candidate. When we discussed terms, the dealer allowed as we could go straight across, no money changing hands and he would throw in 2 Honda baseball caps.....................done Cap'n sez I!

The new scooter was loaded and we were ready to roll. Where to I wonder. We arrived at the dealership at about 3:30 in the afternoon and rolled out with my plate and insurance on the new ride before 5:00

On the way to the Shore ScooterChick suggested we call the new scoot Rascal.
Well, I thought L'il Rascal it shall be, since I have been accused of being a big rascal on more than one occasion. She rejected my suggestion of Chitlin' out of hand. So our stable now includes Ruby, Rascal and Raspberry!

We stopped in West Vancouver at an Indian restaurant we like. Here we have some Paneer Pakora and Onion Bhajia.....yum. Patsy had Spinach and Potato Curry and rice and we had some Chicken Naan.

After a short intermission, and the obligatory ride on the new scoot, we returned to the beach the following day. We both love being by the water, and we watched a couple cruise ships leaving for Alaska.
They look like floating hotels from water level.

It seems that they take a while to arrive, they whoosh past and sail into the sunset in no time flat, heading for the high seas.

Another one came out from under the Lion's Gate Bridge. This one is a Holland American line boat. They are easily recognizable by their blue hulls and the
plethora of blue hairs on board. I'm not even sure you can board one of these if you can't prove that you're a Senior Citizen.

In no time this one was gliding by as well. They are so quiet and well behaved as they steam past at probably 1/4 ahead.

We had been on the lookout for a Hibachi Grill. We had to order one and we brought it along with a few delicacies. After lighting the briquettes, yours truly started to burn some beast. Let's see....what do we have here.

There is marinated Chicken Breast, together with some Fresh Picked Corn on the Cob from our garden. Things are going well. The sizzle means we're on the right track.

There were a few  HOT PEPPERS !!!! My tongue is recovering nicely thank you.

The corn was delicious. Lovely roasted and steaming. Hot, hot, hot. It had to cool for about 5 minutes before I could eat it.

A picture of yours truly enjoying the fruits of my labors. I wasn't the only one enjoying it either. ScooterChick was enjoying the the fresh burnt beast as well!

We almost finished the chicken when it was time to throw on the Prawns. Yes, roast Prawns as well. How good is that.

Did I forget the Green Beans. Also fresh picked from the garden. as a matter of fact we're getting a little tired of beans, and there are many many more in the refrigerator and more ready to pick.....aaaargh!

The number of people who walked by and grinned and nodded at us with our Hibachi was astounding. ScooterChick wondered  "what's up with that?" It turns out that everyone can remember the Hibachi from "back in the day". One girl named Carol, stopped by and chatted with us for about 1/2hr. I just sat back and let my swollen tummy rest.

We ended up adding some more coals to the Hibachi as the evening cooled. Enjoying the evening we sat until full dark around 9:15pm then made our way back to the ranch. All in all a very satisfying time spent by the sea....

Thank you for joining us, we'll let you know the next time we fire up the Hibachi.