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!

Saturday Snippets: 08.July.2017

Welcome to the first week of July! The weather has been unusually warm. For us, it means early climbing days and warm evenings on the balcony, and we’re loving it! Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 08.July.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Rock climbing in slow motion. I can only imagine how horrible some of those holds would be to catch!
  • We’ve got everything we need to make this kale and quinoa salad, so I’m not sure what I’m waiting for! I love the idea of plumping up the dried cranberries in the cooking quinoa.
  • I bet a version of these chocolate chia oatmeal bars would make a great climbing-day snack.
  • We were watching a movie earlier this week, which prompted me to ask Jonty, “Do fish actually sleep”? Well, they do, and this is what sperm whales look like when they sleep. Kind of freaky, I think!
  • Yes, there’s really a park called “Dude Chilling” in Vancouver. And, yes, they offer free yoga there in the summer 🙂
  • Could you sleep in a Bubble Lodge? I’m not sure!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Compared to the last few weeks, where we were cutting, staining, epoxying, OSMOing, this week felt like a slower week. BTW – we finished the sink cover / tray, and it’s turned out really good! I think it’s definitely going to be a functional piece in the kitchen.


  • We’ve finished the lighting in the van! We installed LED strip lighting underneath all the cabinets (in the kitchen and bedroom areas).
  • One of the great things about using 80/20 for all the cabinet framing is the ability to use the channels for multiple purposes. On one side of the frame, we’re able to hang curtains. On the other side, we’re able to slide in thin LED strips! We’ve placed a diffusing strip (opaque plastic) on one side of the LEDs, so you can’t see the individual lights, and it gives a nice warm glow to the spaces.
  • All of the wiring runs through the 80/20 channels and up into the ceiling, so we don’t have any wires visible. Cool!
  • And all of the lights are on dimmer switches, so mood lighting is available at the push of a button 😉 | Sprinter van conversion - LED under-cabinet lighting | Sprinter van conversion - LED under-cabinet lighting

Cabinet dividers:

  • Since we had to take all the cabinets down (yet again) to install the LED lights, we figured it was a good time to make and install the cabinet dividers. We’ve got one divider per cabinet, giving us 6 separate compartments. We kind of like the way the holes turned out! A bit of functionality (can see through them, which is nice, and good for air-flow) and a bit of peek-a-boo eye candy (because, why not!) | Sprinter van conversion - funky cabinet dividers | Sprinter van conversion - funky cabinet dividers

Other bits and pieces:

  • We’ve ordered a 45-gallon fresh water tank this week, and it should be here in about a month. So once that comes, we’ll be able to cut more holes in the floor, and get our van water-ready!
  • Next on the list is designing and making the bed frame. Jonty is starting to have a better idea of what that might look like (what materials to use, how to attach it to the van, what height we want the bed to sit at, etc).
  • I’m slowly getting my ducks in a row for making the curtains. I’m still on the hunt for the “ideal fabric”. I can’t really describe what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it (are you like that, too?!) Wish me luck on my hunt 🙂

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 01.July.2017

Happy Canada Day!! Are you taking in any of the festivities in your town? We’ll be out climbing for the day, but might meander downtown later on, to feel the birthday love. Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 01.July.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Last week, the van was in complete disarray.This week, the van looks much better:

  • We took out the tall walls (dividing the kitchen from the bedroom) and re-made them.
  • Originally, we used 1/8-inch plywood to keep the weight down, but have since switched to 1/4-inch. Ultimately, 1/8-inch was too flimsy (rattling!) and didn’t allow for any clean mounting options. So, off to the wood shop we went!
  • New panels have been cnc’d, stained and installed, and these ones are much better. We’re definitely happy we made the change.

Kitchen galley:

  • We installed the counter top this week! The induction cooktop and sink fit perfectly. Nothing is hooked up or works yet, but it sure does look good 🙂 | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen with butcher block counter | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen with butcher block counter

  • Jonty also made a sink cover using the extra butcher block wood we had. The design was to have a cover that fit over the double sink, to increase our usable surface area. When you take it out and flip it over, it turns into a little kitchen tray! We use a kitchen tray in our apartment all the time, so it makes me happy to have something similar in the van 🙂 I’ll have to fill the knots with epoxy, then OSMO it, then it’s good to go! | Sprinter van conversion - inset sink cover and flip-over tray

  • A few more sides of the galley walls have been cnc’d, stained and installed. And so has the end board of the upper cabinets. It’s starting to feel like a real kitchen.

Roof panels:

  • We’re chipping away at covering the roof and wall panels. The ceiling is now complete, finally! All we had left were three long corner pieces. Two were on the side that house all the electrical wires, so we were procrastinating if finishing them. It feels very good to have them done!
  • The only remaining walls that are left are right behind the driver’s seat. We’re planning on installing a bathroom on that side, so we’ll wait until we know how much of the walls we actually need to cover. | Sprinter van conversion - covering ceiling panels | Sprinter van conversion - covering ceiling panels

Happy Canada Day long weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 24.June.2017

Gosh, the last weekend of June! How did this month go by so quickly? Here’s a few things that caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 24.June.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

I was on vacation this past week, and we really seemed to cram in a lot of work!

Kitchen Galley:

  • We filled all the holes and grooves with West System 105 epoxy (+ 205 Hardener) and covered any areas we thought would be affected by the under-mounted sink. I’ve never worked with epoxy before, so started on the underside of the counter, where I could make mistakes, knowing they would never be seen 🙂
  • When you see the big blobs of amber-coloured epoxy all over the wood, I must admit, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Would that amber colour remain? Would you see remnants of the epoxy on the wood? But it turns out the epoxy sands smooth very easily, so we ended up without any overspill on the filling. | Sprinter van conversion - epoxy on butcherblock counter | Sprinter van conversion - epoxy on butcherblock counter

More CNC-ing:

  • We’ve CNC’d, stained and installed the back and sides of the kitchen counter. Do you like our ventilation holes?! | Sprinter van conversion - galley design


  • We wanted to make use of the 8020 grooves to hang curtains. We bought a strip of nylon glider, which fits into the grooves and cut some into small pieces, then screwed in a small hook into the centre. These act as runners along the length of the 8020!
  • I had a bit of fabric lying around the house, so sewed up a version of what we thought we might want, just to see if the runners would work. They totally do! So now the “real” curtains can be made, once I figure out a colour scheme. | Sprinter van conversion - hanging curtains

Pictures from the week of 24.June.2017:

The Dragonboat Festival is on this weekend. Last weekend we had a rest-day (from climbing) and meandered down along the waterfront. We saw a few of the boats getting last-minute practice in. It was a beautiful afternoon to sit and watch the world go by. | Vancouver BC - Olympic Village | Vancouver BC - Olympic Village

Happy Weekend!