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 πŸ™‚ ) 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 πŸ™‚
  • 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 πŸ™‚
  • 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 β€œgarage”, 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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

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

Happy Weekend!

Winter in Vancouver: Sunrise on Sunset Beach

Winter Sunrise on the Sunset

I can’t be the only one to be wondering “Where the heck has 2015 gone??!” Exactly one year ago today, I was getting my office cleaned up and organized before leaving on my six-month sabbatical. In some ways, that day seems so long ago, yet the year has gone by in a blink of an eye! Is that the sign of getting older? I’m not sure. Regardless, we’re both excited for what 2016 will bring πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Winter sunrise on Sunset Beach, Vancouver BC

We have been on vacation while Jonty’s brother was visiting for Christmas, and for the last few days the weather has been glorious! Clear skies have made for some cold days, but when playing the tourist in our own town, it’s much nicer to leave the umbrella at home in exchange for a toque and warm gloves.

The added bonus to the clear skies have been the superb sunrises!

We went to Sunset Beach for the sunrise (?!) a couple of weeks ago. Even though we were looking out to the west, the glow of the sunrise cast an almost ethereal light over the water – it was gorgeous and very calming!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Winter sunrise on Sunset Beach, Vancouver BC

… and cold!!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Winter sunrise on Sunset Beach, Vancouver BC

I think we managed about 20 minutes before we decided a hot cup of coffee would be the next best decision πŸ™‚

We hope you all have a safe and joyful evening tonight, as you ring in the New Year! Here’s to adventures in 2016 (and yes, the van is still supposed to be coming shortly)!

Happy New Year!

Weekend Meanderings: Sunday Sunrise

Happy Sunday – we hope you have had a great weekend!

Over the Thanksgiving long weekend we headed up to Queen Elizabeth Park to catch the Sunday morning sunrise. While the entire weekend was a mixed-bag of weather and it had rained quite a bit the night before, we were greeted with a few dry hours and clearing skies.

Due to the earlier rain, it was quiet up in the park, aside from a few other photographers aiming to catch the morning light, and a group of elders practicing their tai-chi – very chill πŸ™‚

We got married in this park, almost five years ago to the day, and it was remarkably similar on that day! Any month after, oh, August, can be a bit hit-and-miss in Vancouver with respect to the weather. So when the rain eases off, you better believe we savour each moment! πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise from Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC

We will have to remember this spot for future “Seeking Sunrise” pictures! Hopefully you don’t get tired of seeing these views because, unfortunately, I never get tired of taking them! πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise from Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise from Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC

This was another photo session using the 50mm f1.4 prime lens I rented from Lens Lenders. I’ve got another lens booked in a few weeks and can hardly wait to try it out!

Happy weekend πŸ™‚

Weekend Meanderings: Reflections

I stand by my statement: early mornings are my favourite! The days are getting shorter, which means we don’t have to get up at the crack of 5:00 am to see mornings like this, which is kind of nice as the weather cools!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

There is a definite chill in the air on the clear mornings, and the masses of leaves, crimson and golden, make sure we all know that autumn is here.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Olympic Village sunrise and a still morning, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

Last weekend we meandered along the Olympic Village seawall, one of our favourite early-morning locations in Vancouver. We see a few runners,Β  dog-walkers and cyclists, but for the most part, it’s quiet and peaceful. Give it a few hours, and the atmosphere changes completely!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

That morning, the water was smooth and still, and the air crisp and clear. It really was a glorious morning! We watched the buildings downtown turn from blue to orange, as the rising sun reflected off the glass. There is something so mesmerizing about the water on days like this – maybe it’s the peacefulness after a crazy week – but we never get tired of it.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

Last week, Jonty’s appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon resulted in a CT scan of his knee, which showed a cracked patella. Not quite what we were expecting, but the bone pieces are aligned (which is a good thing) and the surgeon is hoping the bone fragment will fuse back to the kneecap without surgery (which will be a very good thing!). So, Jonty is sporting a very fashionable full-leg soft splint to keep his knee straight while the bone starts to heal. Another x-ray next week will show the bone is on the mend hopefully!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

Until he can start to walk again, we’ll continue to find good crutch-friendly places to explore, and carry on with bouldering (for Moira) and pull-ups (for Jonty, over a hundred each session now)!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sunrise reflections in the water, Olympic Village, Vancouver BC

Happy Thanksgiving, family and friends! Enjoy this long weekend πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Fallen autumn leaf, Vancouver BC

Weekend Meanderings: Grey Morning, Great Beer, Green Eyes

This past weekend we spent our days walking / hobbling around the sea wall, snapping some pictures, checking out the IDS West show (in search of inspiration for Moby), and working up an appetite by bouldering (Moira) and doing pull-ups (Jonty, now up to 95 in a session!).

SATURDAY

We were hoping for another spectacular sunrise, but the clouds had a different agenda. Nonetheless, we sauntered along the sea-wall, enjoying the scenery. For being just gone 7:00 am on a chilly morning, False Creek felt remarkably busy! Kayakers already on the water, dogs being walked, runners dashing around…

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cloudy-morning walk along False Creek, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cloudy-morning walk along False Creek, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cloudy-morning walk along False Creek, Vancouver BC

We haven’t been on this side of the seawall to see the Granville Island “workers” on display. I like the pop of colour they give to an otherwise ordinary work yard.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cloudy-morning walk along False Creek, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cloudy-morning walk along False Creek, Vancouver BC

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After our climbing session, we stopped in at Brassneck to fill up our growlers. The local craft breweries are just starting to transition over to some of their autumn beers. Quite tasty!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Heritage Candy Factory building, Vancouver BC

SUNDAY

The Interior Design West Show was on this past weekend, highlighting some of the local Vancouver designers and craftsmen, as well as western companies (many from California). We were hoping to get a few ideas for Moby, especially when it comes to small-living designs.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver BC

Some of the design companies we found were quite interesting!

  • Cerno Group: For minimalist lighting design (they can run off of 12V power, which is great for the van! This one looked ideal!)
  • Resource Furniture: For neat space-saving, collapsible / folding tables and beds
  • SemiHandmade: Make doors, drawers, etc. for Ikea cabinets, which might be useful (they have a discount for shipping to Canada…)
  • Fancy induction stove-top (too big for the Sprinter, but it gave us a good idea of how thin the cook-top will be)
  • Lots of different ideas for taps, faucets, flooring, and so on

It was quite a walk out for Jonty on his crutches, so he took a breather inside while I did a quick lapΒ around the Convention Centre and Canada Place for a few pictures.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Views of Coal Harbour, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Views of Coal Harbour, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Views of Coal Harbour, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Canada Place cruise ships, Vancouver BC

It was a glorious day (albeit a bit windy), but the sun was shining and people were happy πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Coal Harbour and the Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Coal Harbour and downtown Vancouver buildings, Vancouver BC

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Coal Harbour and the Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver BC

We’ve got another appointment with the orthopedic surgeon today, and we have a pretty good idea what he will say. Hopefully Jonty will get an estimate of his recovery time!

This weekend is supposed to be another sun-filled one, so here’s to making the most of it! Now, let’s just see how far we can go on those crutches πŸ™‚