Saturday Snippets: 12.August.2017

How was your week? Nice and short, if you were in Canada, celebrating the long weekend! There was a lot going on in Vancouver, with the fireworks and Pride Parade, and climbing and van work… Yet, somehow it still felt quite relaxing!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 12.August.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • The behind-the-scenes look at Alex Honnold and his path to free soloing his most recent climb. He definitely prepares for these routes, years in advance, but I still can’t wrap my head around him climbing without a rope!
  • While diving down the instagram rabbit hole, we came across Harvest Hosts. Have you ever heard of them? For a (very small) annual fee, you can park at these farms or wineries or museums around Canada and the USA. When we eventually hit the road in Moby, I think we’re going to sign up! And perhaps we’ll start with this road trip, as our first adventure 😉
  • Why people don’t return their shopping carts. What kind are you?
  • Doesn’t this watermelon and halloumi salad look amazing?
  • Who remembers Nutri-Grain Bars? I have fond memories of stocking up on these bars before high-school band trips (yes, I was in the band). This homemade version looks like a much better option, though!
  • Why being near the water really does make us happier.

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Breakfast by the water:

  • We had our first breakfast in the van, down at the beach! On Monday (the long weekend), we decided to pack up all the things we would need for breakfast, and headed down to the beach to make everything down there. We don’t have water hooked up yet, so we had to fill the kettle before we left the apartment but otherwise, everything was made in the van. Coffee was ground, water was boiled, cornbread was toasted, milk was kept cold… all in Moby! It may not have looked like a very special breakfast, but it felt that way to us. And it makes us want to get the water tank in ASAP, so we can really start enjoying it!

Water Tank:

  • Our 45-gallon water tank and heat shields arrived the other week, and we finally started putting it together this week. The tank fits right under the sliding door step on the passenger side and, with all things van-related, Jonty had to fabricate the mounts for it. This involves drilling additional holes in the van, and making hangers and braces to mount the tank.

  • It’s a dirty job, being under the van, and we’ll be very happy when it’s over (Jonty, especially!). The only good thing is that the weather has been dry, so we don’t have to deal with lying on wet, dirty cement (just dirty cement!).

  • We finished off the week with drilling another hole up through the van floor, which will be the access point for the water line into our sink! Very exciting 🙂

Pictures from the week of 12.August.2017:

On Sunday, after a morning of training at the gym, we headed downtown to take in some of the Pride Parade festivities. We got down there near the tail-end of the parade (we caught the last dozen or so floats), then meandered and around and enjoyed people-watching! It was an afternoon that was good for the soul – people of all shapes and sizes and ages and ethnicities, just happy and enjoying the atmosphere and festivities.

With the fires in the BC interior still burning, the smoke has finally made its way over to the coast. Vancouver has been under a layer of smoke for nearly two weeks. We walked back over the Burrard Bridge and stopped to take a look at Sunset Beach, where they were having the post-Pride-Parade-Party (say that 3x fast!). You can definitely notice the smoke when you look out over the water and the city.

Hopefully the rain that is forecasted for Sunday will help with this.

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 05.August.2017

The first weekend of August! How are you spending your long weekend? The weather is still supposed to be nice and hot, although the last few days have been very smoky.

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 05.August.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • The annual Arc’teryx Climbing Academy was held in Squamish a few weeks ago. It’s a week-long festival filled with lectures and teaching and climbing. Here’s a few pictures from a photo competition they held that week. Yup, we have a beautiful backyard to play in 🙂
  • This looks like my kind of summer pasta salad – heavy on the tomatoes, lighter on the pasta.
  • A few weeks ago, I had my first piece of watermelon in ages (like definitely more than 10 years). Crazy, I know. Now I can’t stop thinking about eating more watermelon! This salsa sounds fantastic to me.
  • Be still, my dog-loving heart! These pictures made me smile from beginning to end (especially the Mosey the Bloodhound).

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This was a busy week for the old Mobester.


  • The bed is finished, and we’ve got a mattress sorted out, too!
  • We ended up using steel strut u-channel along the window side, and two half u-channels spot-welded together to form the centre I-beam. Jonty CNC’d mounts to hold the wooden slats (from Ikea, trimmed down to fit our width) on one end. Along the centre I-beam, we used industrial-strength velcro to hold the slats in place. And, so far so good! There is still some deflection of the steel beams when we lay on it, but it’s consistent with what Jonty calculated there would be, so we’re happy with that.

Kitchen / Galley:

  • We finally decided on our oven, and bought it on Monday. We went back and forth between a convection microwave, or a convection oven. In the end, we use our oven waaay more than we use our microwave. And when we were travelling before, we definitely missed being able to bake / roast / toast things. So we went with the Breville Smart Oven Air convection oven (we got a fantastic deal on it!).
  • We’ve been using it in the apartment this week, to see if it was going to be a good fit for us. So far, we’ve toasted bread and buns, made homemade pizza, baked bread and roasted veggies. And it’s been fantastic! We’re super happy with our decision! Now we just need to build it into the van 🙂 If I’m honest, I might be a little sad that it can only be used in the van!

  • Jonty has also wired up two more electrical sockets above the countertop. These will be used for general kitchen appliances, laptops, charging phones, etc.

Water tank:

  • Our 45 gallon water tank arrived earlier in the week, and the mounting process has just begun. Pictures to come, when it’s all done!

Happy Long Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 29.July.2017

This time of year always feels like a busy time for celebrations. My birthday was yesterday, my Mom’s was last week, my Dad’s is next week. Their anniversary was thrown into the mix, too! For my birthday, Jonty and I started off with breakfast on the beach, then went climbing (obviously), moved on to one of our favourite places for nibbles and drinks, and finished off the day with a slice (or two) of the birthday pie he made me! It was a good day 🙂

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 29.July.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • What words were added to the dictionary, the year you were born? 1979 brought us words like “first world problem”, “napa cabbage” and “pepper spray”.
  • The West Coast typically gets a few really hot weeks every summer, starting about now. So, it’s the perfect time of year for ice cream! We love making our own small no-churn batches. Here’s 48 fantastic ice cream recipes to try, if you need some inspiration. Ours is the Balsamic-Roasted Cherry Ice Cream, if you’re interested 🙂
  • We may not own a cast iron skillet, but I’m quite sure this blueberry cobbler would be just as tasty in a regular glass baking dish 🙂
  • I finished reading Night Film last week. It was a long book, but it’s been on my to-read list for quite some time, and I’m glad I finally opened it up! It’s a mystery / suspense novel, and there were quite a few tense moments when I wondered if I should be reading it with the lights on… But all good in the end. Honestly, it has been one of the best books I’ve read in a while!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • The platform bed is thiiiiis close to being done! We’ll have the bulk of the pictures for you next week. For now, here’s a little sneak peek. | Sprinter van conversion - building a platform bed | Sprinter van conversion - building a platform bed

Pictures from the week of 29.July.2017:

I have a bunch of pictures from my weekend in Saskatchewan, but this week has slipped by me in a blink of an eye, and I haven’t had a chance to properly go through all of them. So, for now, here are a few pictures until I get the rest edited! | Saskatchewan prairie views | Saskatchewan prairie views | Saskatchewan prairie views

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 22.July.2017

Today my Mom is turning the big 6-5 (Happy Birthday, Mom!!), and I’ve flown back home to help her celebrate. She doesn’t know I’m coming, though. So if all goes according to our plan, and nobody slips up, I’m hoping she will be suitably surprised. I’m pretty excited to see the look on her face 🙂

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 22.July.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • The BC Wildfire situation is still a major concern in our province. There are now over 45,000 evacuees displaced from their homes and communities (that may not even exist anymore),  and the province has brought in numerous wildfire fire fighters from Australia to help with containing the blazes. Every summer brings wildfires in this province, but this year seems to be extra sever. At the time of writing this, there are over 180 fires burning, and apparently over half of them have been started by humans. People – stop throwing your cigarette butts on the ground!!
  • If you’re not living in a furnace, I think this Turkey Pesto Meatloaf would be worth turning the oven on for. And if you ARE living in a furnace, making them into burgers for grilling on the BBQ.
  • I bet there are countless ways you could change up this summer veggie quinoa bowl, and never get tired of it.
  • Do you have any sunglasses that are still perfectly fine, except for a scratched lens? Apparently you can just order new lenses from this website, for tonnes of different sunglasses brands!
  • Did you catch Alex Honnold talking with Jimmy Kimmel about his most recent free-climb ascent in Yosemite? When he describes it, he almost makes it seem like a normal thing to do!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • We started on the platform bed this week!
  • The original thought was to use aluminum angle to form a frame (with a centre bar) and then to use wooden slats (like the Ikea kind) to form the platform. The reason for using aluminum (instead of steel) was to minimize weight issues. The reason for using wooden slats (instead of a solid wooden base) is for ventilation.
  • We purchased and installed aluminum angle along the sides of the van. That seemed to go forward without a hitch. | Sprinter van conversion - building a platform bed | Sprinter van conversion - building a platform bed

  • Jonty still had concerns about the strength of the aluminum. Because this is a platform frame, it is kind of free-floating and isn’t directly attached to the floor. Deflection and bending of the frame could be a real concern. So he did a few deflection calculations, based on the grade and thickness of aluminum we were planning on using. And, yup, the frame wasn’t going to be strong enough, with the intended design.
  • In order to make the bed frame strong enough, we could either use a lot more aluminum (which would then negate any weight-saving benefits), or we could use steel. So, steel it is! We’re keeping the same design, but using Unistrut steel framing for the cross-bars of the bed. | Sprinter van conversion - building a platform bed

  • So the framing will continue, and hopefully next week, we’ll be able to show you a finished platform bed!

Pictures from the week of 22.July.2017:

We had to pick up more electrical wire for the van (story of our lives) on Monday, so made a pit stop down to Granville Island for a coffee and stroll. As long as we get there early enough (and not on a weekend day), we can always find a place to park Moby 🙂 | Vancouver BC - Granville Island | Vancouver BC - Granville Island | Vancouver BC - Granville Island | Vancouver BC - Granville Island

On Tuesday, we headed to a new climbing crag. It’s only about 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver (which is nice) but it does require walking along the highway for a few hundred meters (not that nice). While it didn’t smell smoky, the air quality was definitely compromised in the morning. It still looks kind of pretty, though! | Howe Sound views

By the end of our climbing day, the air had cleared, and we had a nice view of Howe Sound. | Howe Sound views

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 15.July.2017

Happy Weekend! Hope your week was a good one, and your weekend is even better! Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 15.July.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • This company is 3D-printing climbing holds. And they’re based in Vancouver!
  • My birthday is in a few weeks, and Jonty’s been asking what kind of cake I might like. I think I might go rogue, and one of my requests was a peach pie (I love pie). But this blueberry pie is pulling at my birthday strings… 🙂
  • Quantum Physics for babies! I know what all of our nephews are getting for Christmas 🙂 They can grow up to be rock-climbing physicists, like their auntie and uncle.
  • I found this article about how AirBnB rentals in tourist towns are squeezing out the locals from accessible housing quite interesting. The same thing is happening in Vancouver, and the local government is trying to figure out a good solution, to ensure locals can find long-term rentals.
  • This is one of my favourite Canadian instagram account. He’s based out of Regina, and does a lot of Saskatchewan photos, and they’re all gorgeous!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Bed Frame:

  • Well, the closest we got to working on the bed frame, was bringing down our bikes and bouldering pads, to see how much room we were going to have under the bed. Spoiler alert – we’re too tall for our orignal plans :/
  • When we travelled in our rental RV a few years ago, we had to take the front wheels off, seats out, and stack the bikes on top of each other. It looks like we may have to go that route again. If we do, however, at least we’ll be able to design a box that will hold the bikes without damaging them and will be more accomodating for our needs.
  • As for the bouldering pads, we might end up attaching them to the back doors! They will fit where we first intended them to go (standing up, behind the wheel wells, along the side of the van, like in the picture below). But seeing as our original bike storage design isn’t going to work, the original bouldering pad location might not be ideal, either. We shall see! | Sprinter van conversion - measuring for platform bed

More Wiring:

  • Jonty started (and finished) wiring up the galley appliances!
  • Both the induction cooktop and fridge now work off our inverter as well as shore power, and the fridge is wired to work off of our 12V supply when not hooked up. This means we can start planning our first meal in the van, and then come home to do dishes 🙂
  • The lights are all wired into zones. Yes, we have zones in our sprinter 🙂 There are 4 zones in total: The ceiling lights are separated into the bedroom lights + kitchen lights, and the under-cabinet LEDs are also separated into the bedroom + kitchen. All are dimmable, and are remote controlled. We love how it’s turned out! | Sprinter van conversion - 12V fridge hook up

The fridge is cold inside!!

Pictures from the week of 15.July.2017:

We had to take my bike into the shop on Monday so while we were waiting for the store to open, we took a meander down Spanish Banks West beach. The tide was waaaaay out, and it was kind of neat to have so much extra “beach” to walk on! | Vancouver BC - Spanish Banks Beach West | Vancouver BC - Spanish Banks Beach West | Vancouver BC - Spanish Banks Beach West | Vancouver BC - Spanish Banks Beach West | Vancouver BC - Spanish Banks Beach West

As we were walking back to the car, we stopped at these old driftwood trees that had been carved into furniture. I nudged Jonty to go and sit on one, so I could take an artsy-fartsy picture for my July photo challenge. This woman walked by, and offered to take a picture of both of us sitting. It through me for a loop! I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have been sitting together more platonically, if we had tried 🙂 | Vancouver BC - Spanish Banks West

However, these pictures… I’m pretty sure this is more representative of us:

“Jonty, let’s pretend we’re looking up at how high the rock is that we just climbed, okay?! Keep looking up! Keep looking up!!” | Porteau Cove BC - climbing at Lumberjack wall

“Darn it, the picture didn’t take. Keep looking up!! You’re still looking up, right??!” | Porteau Cove BC - climbing at Lumberjack wall

Happy Weekend!