August Photo Challenge: HAPPY Recap

August feels like a distant memory at the moment, and so ends that monthly photo challenge. This post is later than I would have liked it to be, but van work and regular work and travelling has taken priority for the first half of this month. August was my month of HAPPY and, looking back at the pictures, I feel like I captured my month fairly accurately.

So here’s my HAPPY recap for you.

The August Photo Challenge took me…

… from early morning climbing sessions to early morning training sessions…

… from Monday morning breakfast dates to morning journaling sessions…

… from celebrating weddings in Abbotsford to Pride in Vancouver…

… from getting the water system installed in the van to having our first breakfast in the van…

… from exploring the city on bike to exploring by foot…

… from enjoying the calm morning sunrises over the water.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | August 2017 Monthly Photo Challenge - Happy recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | August 2017 Monthly Photo Challenge - Happy recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | August 2017 Monthly Photo Challenge - Happy recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | August 2017 Monthly Photo Challenge - Happy recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | August 2017 Monthly Photo Challenge - Happy recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | August 2017 Monthly Photo Challenge - Happy recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | August 2017 Monthly Photo Challenge - Happy recap

And just like that, we’re well into September and a new challenge word! This month is all about TEXTURE and you can check out the details here.

Happy picture-taking!

Saturday Snippets: 09.September.2017

The haze has returned to the West Coast, due to the ongoing forest fires. Our lungs seem to be struggling with this smoke-filled air more than we did back in August, maybe it’s because we’re getting smoke from the BC interior as well as Washington? We’re supposed to get a few drops of rain over the weekend, so here’s hoping it helps tame some of the fires!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world during the week of 09.September.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Winter training goals (for Jonty 🙂 ) I’d probably just work on the triceps exercises, because I’m weak, yo!
  • If you’re Canadian, you’ve no doubt eaten more than your fair share of Nanaimo Bars growing up. If you have ever wondered where they came from, here’s a bit of history for you. We’re off to Vancouver Island next week, and will be heading through Nanaimo. Perhaps it’s time to rekindle my love-affair with these gems 🙂
  • Our weather is still firmly planted in the hot-summer territory, BUT for when the temperatures start to dip, I’ve bookmarked this simple black beans and rice meal. These one-pot dishes are always so easy and always so tasty.
  • Fake Merit Badges, because even the small outdoor victories should be recognized 🙂
  • Last week, I listened to this episode of the This Is Criminal podcast, which led me to the next episode. The next day, I got an email saying this book was available for me to borrow from the library. Totally weird, yet all connected!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • We’ve installed our convection oven in the van this week! Last week, Jonty constructed the frame out of 80/20 and CNC’d the faceplate to cover the oven and air vents. This week, we finished staining the wood and properly secured everything together.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • To secure the oven, mounts were fabricated to attach the 80/20 frame to the L-track (which is bolted through the floor). We then strapped the oven to the 80/20 frame, as well. The strapping may be replaced but it works for now.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • The oven is completely open to the back of our “garage”, and we designed it this way to help with the air-flow and heat venting. Breville (our convection oven) gives minimum spaces that must be open around the oven, to prevent overheating, and judging from the view from the back, we should have tonnes of it 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • From the front, we have the open space between the air vents and the oven, which will give us access to both the plumbing and electrical boards on either side. This space can also act as a little booster-step, to get onto the bed, if we need it.
  • All of the pipes and electrical wires are fed through holes along the floor on either side of van. Once all of the cupboards and drawers and doors are in on the cabinets, these will be hidden from sight.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

  • After turning up the oven as high as it would go (with the fire extinguisher close by, just in case), we checked all the electrical connections and everything looks good! So, as a pat on the back, we enjoyed our first bit of food in the van – a toasted scone – and it was pretty darned tasty 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - convection oven installation

And then, the most exciting Moby News of the week:

  • We spent our first night in the van! We had talked about driving up towards Squamish on Thursday evening to spend the night, then do some climbing on Friday. It was a long day on Thursday for both of us, but we still decided to give it a whirl. So we packed up a few things for breakfast in the morning, brought down some bedding, and away we went!
  • We knew exactly where we wanted to spend the night – a secluded little pull-out off a logging road, just past Porteau Cove. Driving up to our little spot, I was instantly transported back to our travelling days from two years ago. It was the trip that prompted us to head down this van path, and it felt wonderful!
  • Moby passed with flying colours! A bathroom would have been nice, but that will happen in due time. We’re getting there 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Camping in the sprinter van

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Camping in the sprinter van

Pictures from the week of 09.September.2017:

On the night before the Labour Day Monday, we decided to get up early and catch the sunrise. It was a good thing we made that decision, because the wildfire smoke rolled in on Monday evening, and we’ve been under a smoky haze since then. But on Monday morning, the skies were clear, weather was warm, and we enjoyed the view from our favourite sunrise-viewing bridge (Cambie Street Bridge).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

The water was so calm and glass-like, and then a small boat came trundling under the bridge. It wasn’t going very fast, but it’s amazing how quickly the wake of the boat can upset an entire bay of glass.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

We waited until the blood-orange sun crept over the horizon and through the buildings, then slowly meandered back to the van for breakfast and a coffee 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise in Vancouver BC from Cambie Street Bridge

Happy Weekend!

September 2017 Monthly Word: TEXTURE

Whoa, September already? I can remember last year’s September like it was yesterday! August was a great month, filled with fantastic weather, lots of climbing and so much van progress! And with that, My Month of Happy has come to an end. I’ll share the full photo round-up in a few days time.

September Month of TEXTURE

I may have mentioned it before, but I have a page in a notebook, with a running list of monthly word ideas. I’ve had this word on my list for quite some time, now, but always felt nervous about using it. Would I be able to come up with a full month of pictures? Will I get bored with it, or find it too difficult? Silly, I know. Then, I saw this post on the Digital Photography School website. They used the word TEXTURE as one of their weekly photography challenges, and the pictures were gorgeous!

So, I’m finally crossing this word off my list, and dedicating September to my month of TEXTURE. I would absolutely love to see what ideas you come up with, too, so if you’d like to join in, please do (as many or as little photos as you’d like). I’ll post my findings on various social media places – Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter,  tagging #MyMonthOfTexture and #MyMonthOfSeptember.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 2017 September Monthly Word - Texture

Here’s to a month of TEXTURE!

July Photo Challenge: URBAN ART Recap

July has come to an end, and so has my monthly photo challenge. It was my month of URBAN ART and tried to find the best and the brightest art that our city has to offer. If I’m honest, I could probably have spent a full year, photographing all the great art around town!

So here’s my URBAN ART recap for you.

The July Photo Challenge took me…

… from mural-wrapped buildings to painted silos…

… from city beaches to prairie landscapes …

… from life-sized sculptures to larger-than-life sized displays…

… from native art to modern art…

… from fun typography on buildings and structures.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | July 2017 monthly photography challenge - URBAN ART recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | July 2017 monthly photography challenge - URBAN ART recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | July 2017 monthly photography challenge - URBAN ART recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | July 2017 monthly photography challenge - URBAN ART recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | July 2017 monthly photography challenge - URBAN ART recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | July 2017 monthly photography challenge - URBAN ART recap

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | July 2017 monthly photography challenge - URBAN ART recap

And just like that, we’re into August and a new challenge word! This month is all about HAPPY and you can check out the details here.

Happy picture-taking!

Prairie Skies and Train Rides

A few weeks ago, I flew home to Saskatchewan to surprise my Mom for her 65th birthday. My Dad and brother and I had it all planned out. We made sure to NOT tell the nephews, because we didn’t think they could keep the secret 🙂

I flew in on Friday night – Dad had to make an excuse to get Mom to leave my brother’s place, so that my brother and his family could pick me up from the airport!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

On Saturday morning, we headed out to a restaurant for breakfast, and waited for the birthday girl to arrive. The surprise was exactly as I hoped it would have been. The look of recognition, then confusion, then shock, then realization (all within a second or two)… Then the tears came (for both of us!). It was priceless 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

For Mom’s birthday in the evening, my Dad had booked the entire family on the Southern Prairie Railway train ride through southern Saskatchewan. The train starts in Ogema (a bustling community of 400 people, about an hour southwest of Regina) and travels to Horizon or Pangman, depending on the tour. We did the evening train ride, which heads out to Horizon for a “Settler’s Dinner” in an old church (aka a classic Prairie Church dinner, complete with an epic pie table).

On the way out to Ogema, we had to wait for road construction, so had a few minutes to snap some pictures of the local scenery.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

Once in Ogema, we had a bit of time to kill before the train ride started. So, we checked out the main street of Ogema, played on the wooden train structure, and had a peak at the restored train engine that would be whisking us away through the prairie fields.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Saskatchewan prairie views

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

The Southern Prairie Railway is completely run by volunteers – the two train conductors (one driving the train, one punching tickets) were both retired CP Rail conductors, and another woman (a local from Ogema) was our tour guide. She pointed out bits of info about the area as we were passing through the countryside.

The train ride took about an hour to get out to Horizon. We could either walk over to the church for dinner, or take a school bus. With three young nephews who had energy to burn, we chose the walk 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Saskatchewan prairie views

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

The train ride back to Ogema showcased a perfect prairie evening – big, open skies and a setting sun.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Prairie skies and train rides - Regina SK

It was a great weekend to spend with the family!