Hitching in the winter: proceed with caution

As it turned out, hitchhiking across five provinces went considerably more smoothly than just getting home from Vancouver.  And it took almost as long.   It was cold, we waited an average of at least two hours, and it cost about as much as the two of us taking the bus (but not quite).  However bad the hitching was, I know, it is never as bad as the bus.

I’ve always had a hard time getting out of Greater Vancouver, mostly because the city just goes on for so long.  It’s Hope before there’s a decent place to stand on the highway itself, and it takes over an hour to just get to any suitable onramps.

Last time, I found a magic bus route that dropped me right on an on-ramp, about a half hour from the end of the Skytrain, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find the route again on Google.  Public transit is usually a hitchhiker’s best friend in the city, vital for traversing hitching-unfriendly urban sprawl.

This time, we happened to land in the middle of a record snowfall event.  After a few Vancouver errands, we rode the Skytrain to the end, then got on a bus that seemed promising, but turned out to be the never ending bus ride from hell.  I think we were on that city bus for three hours!   I started to fret after one.  Everywhere the roads are in terrible condition, unplowed and heavy with snow.

It got dark, the entire human contents of the bus changed over several times, and then, alas!, the bus turned around and started backtracking without making the Google-promised loop to the highway.  Arrgh!  It was late evening, another bus, and a fair walk before we finally reached a marginally hitchable onramp somewhere in Langley.  Meanwhile, there’s snow everywhere, and still coming down copiously.  Great picturesque mounds of it, no big deal to us, but I knew that this was highly unusual for temperate Vancouver.

At our next on-ramp wait, we encountered a car stranded on the ramp and a television news crew packing up their gear.  One of the guys was right chatty and explained they’d just wrapped a piece on the “general chaos of it all, you know”, meaning the “extreme” driving conditions.  When we explained our own presence there, he was astounded.  “WHaTTT??  Hitchhiking?  Where?  Why???!!!”  Continue reading Hitching in the winter: proceed with caution

2011 – What a year!

Now for an overdue quick recap of 2011.

I got married.

That sort of eclipses everything else, like visiting Cuba, becoming a chicken herder, doing a permaculture design course, hitching across Canada, getting in a riot, doing Bellyfit instructor training, cycling 1000km, and seeing my Nova Scotia property for the first time.

2010 was epic, but 2011 topped it handily.  My second year garden was far more successful than the first, and the barn is a proper dwelling now, with windows and lights and doors and walls and everything.

As far as this blog, my husband’s guest posting on cycling is a big hit, and the big winner of best search term resulting in a hit is “I caught a packrat now what?”  I love that feature!

What does 2012 hold?  So far, a train ride across Canada, pick-up hockey, and the creation of a new little elephant.  Later in 2012?  Hopefully Iceland again, Nova Scotia again, some work, more cycling, and lots more gardening.

Here’s to No Resolutions!

I’m not on the NY’s Resolution train.  I’m irresolute.

I’ve never been very excited about new years as meaningful points for resolutions.  Maybe the switch from one four-digit number to another isn’t consequential enough to me to provoke any self-reflection.  Maybe I’m just damn satisfied with my life (my life is pretty awesome).  It probably helps to have collective momentum along when one makes big new changes, but January 1 doesn’t appeal to me as a significant threshold to start on.  I just think of the February gym attendance fall-off I’ve witnessed, and all the new non-smokers cranky together at the same time.

Definitely, I have my moments when I get all excited about change.  I make copious lists, wall charts, schedules, and game plans.  It tends to go well.  Not all of the new habit institutions stick, but most do, especially after repeated attempts.   I call these attacks “overhaul projects”, and they could strike any day of any month, although a string of lazy, unproductive or frustrating days could provoke an onset.  At any rate, January 1 doesn’t do it for me.

I asked H.W. if he had any resolutions.  He didn’t, and I didn’t, but he helpfully offered “If you want to make one, we could probably think of one.”  Ha!  Exactly the kind of passion and intensity needed to really be successful.

It sure is nice to have nothing to resolve.