Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dragonboat!!! ... and 1 mth later

Ever since the canoe trip wayyy back in OAC, one of the things I had always wanted to do was try out dragonboating. Yelling and pushing one another, paddling furiously and digging into the water seemed so much fun.

The major deterrent was that most teams practiced really early in the morning - aka 8am. This is definitely not a time that I could do wake up for - especially on a weekend. But lo and behold, a couple weeks ago, I see an email flash by, and it was a chance to try out dragon boating, with practices in the afternoon or evening!

So on this sunny day, I went about and tried it out. I was surprised to hear that in dragon boating, it is actually different from canoe-ing, and that instead of finishing the stroke, you actually keep the paddle pretty much in the front quadrant. The other cool thing was that in the few times we were synchronized, paddling was such a breeze - and with 16 people on the boat pulling, we flew through the water. It was an interesting experience... will probably try this a couple more times.

Only thing though is that for the next month, the practices are mostly on Sundays - which means I can't make alot of them. Will see how this plays out.

On another note..
It's been one month and a little bit since I saw that text message that got me very confused and disappointed. This month is pretty strange - from hindsight, time passed by pretty quick, but each day just seemed to be very long and dragging itself out.

Pretend to be happy, and when you have something to be happy about, then you can be genuinely happy... Happy thoughts... think happy thoughts... The sun and water does help me quite a bit - but I need more... ... ...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Crater Lake Wkend Part III: Sand Dune and ATVs

After 1 full day at Crater Lake, it was time to start heading back up to to get ready to go to work the next day.

For me, I didn't really ahve a good sleep last night. Pretty weird and I think of all the times I've slept outdoors, this is the first time I woke up feeling more tired and less refreshed. So I ended up sleeping in the car for what felt to me like 30 minutes, but apparently it was close to one hour and a bit!

Being the aggressive people that we were, we swung by the Florence Sand Dunes and went riding on ATVs in the sand. It was a pretty interesting experience. A bunch of us kept getting stuck in the sand at times, and we had to get out and help each opush the car out of the sand. Good thing those cars weren't too too heavy. CCame out of those cars full of sand - my hair, my clothes, my shoes, and even my face... all exfoliated and sandy.

I am also glad to report that on this drive back, with Richard's nagging :P, I kept relatively close to the speed limit -- even when they were asleep. Got home at around 3am.

So ends the weekend trip to Crater Lake.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Crater Lake Wkend Part II: Hiking and Star Gazing

Mson New Pose - the thinking pose + the action pose Crater Lake!After a nice and restful sleep inside the tent, woke up bright and early today to started off touring around Crater Lake.

A little bit about Crater Lake. A big volcano a long time ago, it collapsed onto itself at some point, make a big a55 hole that eventually got filled w/ water by the melting ice and rain etc. It is close to 600 meters deep or so, and is the deepest lake in the US (7th in the world). Pretty amazing eh?
So first place we went to was a hike that led us down to the lake, where we could actually touch the water. The blueness of the water was simply amazing! This blue had a certain richness to it... and every so often, on the fringes, you would see this emerald green color on the water as well. The two, with the moutains in the bakdrop, combines to provide a very stunning view.

After the hike down and back up, we then checked out a few viewpoints. The one I particularly liked was the pirate ship lookout point - where supposedly the island is suppose to look like a pirate ship. In my opinion, it didn't really look like a pirate ship at all. Rather, with the water being so blue, I found that this island actually looked more like a castle in the sky. Tried to take shots of the island from different perspectives... this one being one of them.

After lunch, we did another short hike up to a forest fire lookout, where we got a panoramic view of Crater Lake. Being up so high is definitely pretty cool! Also took some close up pictures of a little squirrel. I looove the loooong lens! :)

After all this walking, we headed back to home base and started to prepare for dinner. Had a little deep chat while we were watching the fire die down, and started eating. Burgers, hotdogs + beer during camping is just awesome!

After dinner, we headed out to a viewpoint to look at stars. It was just spectacular. The view reminded me of the stars when I was at the White Desert. I originally did not have my glasses on, but then at some point in the night, I decided to put on my glasses... and wow! There were soooo many stars in the sky. Makes me want to really get into learning about the stars and knowing which one is what. Oh, also saw at least 5 shooting stars tonight. They were really short lived ones though - not long enough to make a wish...

It was really chilly though - I think a few of the others actually put on garbage bags to keep warm... lol. The cool thing though is after an hour and a half, I finally got one picture that I thought was pretty nice :). This trip has also convinced me to buy a remote control for the camera... a 8 minute exposure is pretty long to hold onto the trigger for and not shake!

Two things happened right before star gazing.
1. I wonder what the format button does
As we were riding to the viewpoint, in my stroke of genius, I decided to play with my camera. Looking upon the 'format' button, my curious nature told me to click on it, and then KABOOM... all my pictures from this trip were gone! :(. Ah mondieu...

Hopefully they can be recovered...

2. Camera, Ground, Connect!
Random Adventure buddy sets up his tripod, then walks away from it for a second. The wind was blowing a bit harder than normal, and moments later, we hear something making contact with the ground, and a shattering sound! There goes the lens hood and possibly a lens! yikes...

And with that, the net cost of this trip goes up...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Crater Lake Wkend: Part I: Enroute to the fringes of Cali

Waking up bright and early, today would be my first ever camping trip on the west coast! I've always liked camping - the first time was the awesome canoe trip, and the second time I remember was a few years ago a little north of TO.

But anyway, we were all pretty on time today. Everything arrived ready to go, and we were able to get there at a decent time, build camp and fire, and eat and chill.

The drive was pretty long though - basically spent the entire day driving. But it was pretty worth it.

The lake was simply astounding. I have never seen water that blue before in my life! Also tried my first shot at shooting pictures of the night sky. Wasn't too successful tonight, but there's always tomorrow.

Called it a night after 6 beers :). Loooove camping.

In other news, looks like this will turn out to be a very $$$$ trip -- yes I know, you'd think camping would be a pretty low cost event wouldn't you... lol

Friday, July 10, 2009

Original Vanc Tour Guide visits S-town!

So Tues I get a message at 2 in the morning that the original Vanc tour guide is gracing her presence in Seattle! Dropping by for only a day,

After how well she has treated us the last few times we went up, it was time to show her what Seattle has to offer!

1. 'Dalewood'
So according to the her, I live in Dalewood.
After almost getting killed over the msn by Sam, a text message cleared up that I did not in fact live in Dalewood, and that where I live was actually pretty easy to get to.
Ended up going to Cheesecake Factory. I wonder if it's a Canadian thing, seems like everybody raves about this restaurant chain. Ironic part is that of all the times I've been, I have never had their cheesecakes...

2. Oysters Galore! (with vodka)
With 5 dozen oysters between 6 people, this was a great way to end the night!

Was shown a new way of eating oysters tonight. Dip oyster in horse radish, then dump into a shot of vodka, then shoot it.
Result: A very interesting taste (a good interesting taste).

Also learned that there is a place called Rodney's. Apparently it has really good oysters. Soooo wanna go next time I cross the border.

Between the puke car stories and the random chats with the Official Vanc Tour Guide and her friends, it was a pretty fun and relaxing night. Not too much drinking too, so very healthy! Still can't believe Official Vanc Tour Guide did a day trip aka shopping galore trip down here amidst tests and exams lurking in the horizon. Amazing!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Highlight of the Day: Runs Car into the Wall

Another first...

Driving up to the parking spot in the morning, I casually slotted the car in... then 'thump'!. Ah mondieu...

Luckily, zero casualty... The license plate took all of the impact. So the whole front was ok.

I guess as bad as things could be, sometimes lady luck just comes to the rescue!
... Taking little small victories in life, one step at a time. :)

After all these years, I still remember one conversation I had at the pool during the ever fun guarding times.

"If you are not happy, pretend that you are happy. When something that does get you happy comes along, then you will be genuinely happy. By doing so, then you are always happy!"

After all these years, I still find that an interesting thought...