The Pyramid

A few pictures will give you the gist. Click to enlarge.

The entranceway to the Pyramid path

It's a five-minute walk (stumble) uphill along a rough, rooty path to the hilltop.

It's hard to get a sense of the Pyramid's shape because it's buried in the trees.

For more pics: Continue reading

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Otta-wah-wah

Saturday night, i watched the gravid moon rising behind the main stage of the ottawa folk festival, with colin linden doing a solo blues set and then sarah harmer and her band taking us to midnight.

Then it was a wildish 40-minute bike ride in the dark along the ottawa river, back to friends Mark & Jimena’s place (he’s an ex-Ukeeite). What a night!

Ottawa’s great fun. I spent hours today walking around and visiting the fabulous Museum of Civilization — fascinating stuff, including a section on West Coast Indian life that made me nostalgic.

I’m off to Montreal tomorrow, to visit my sister. I was going to stay an extra day here in Ottawa, i like the town so much, but the hostel is full tomorrow night. This is a full-on youth hostel (though they’ve all dropped the adjectinve now), with accents from around the world, and i’m the oldest one here by a factor of probably two. It has an interesting French flavour, in that the dorms are co-ed; my third-floor room has 8 bunk beds (16 people in all), split about half and half. I appreciate it; i suspect the girls don’t.

I’ll post some Ottawa pics from my sister’s computer.

Last half of August — tourist season’s almost over, folks. The heady days of September are nigh.

Can you believe what you see?

Stare at the + sign till the dots disappearClick on the thumbnail to display the full-size image.

Stare at the plus sign in the middle for about a dozen cycles, and watch how what you see changes, and changes again. It’s all about the green dot; oddly, there is no green dot.

Sorta makes me wonder what i walk by and “see” every day, or walk by and do not see. The world is a mysterious place.

Winnipeg scenes

I have been lax in posting pics of my birth town. Here’s a taste of what it’s like.

First, the strawberry season (about two weeks long)

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Louis Riel stands proud before the parliament buildings

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An Exchange District art gallery
(one of many)

The Winnipeg cottonwoods, on the
grounds of the Rainbow Stage

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It’s a long, straight road to Gimli and Lake Winnipeg

The long, straight road to Gimli

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Stone, stone, stonework at the intersection of Portage and Main

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The “illustrated bear” park

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A downtown mural (one of many — i tell you, it’s an arts town)

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And an open-air swing-band concert at the Lyric Theatre, Assiniboine Park

Fixed in Fernie

I stepped off the bus two days ago with the immediate impression i’d stepped into a cathedral. Every direction you look … awe-inspiring mountains, true heaven-reaching ramparts of primordial grey stone. Oh yeah, you remember … this is what mountains look like.

The impression improves. The hostel is a block from the bus station. The town’s streets are spacious without being ostentatious, the houses, blessedly, are tiny, the flat-roofed shops are charming. And those mountains, everywhere around. “God’s country” comes to mind, and not in a cliched way. I’ll have to sort out my picture-posting glitch from this new computer to show you what i’m talking about.

Boy, is it hot here these last couple of days. I’ve been walking a lot, but the heat is taking the piss out of me. this morning i meditated, read a bit, went back to bed and snoozed, and finally pushed myself outdoors to explore.

Strangely, the town seems very slow — little in the way of tourism that i can see. It comes alive in winter, i’m told, and local businesses struggle through the summer. Hard to understand why, if my last two days are at all representative.

I’m deep into a stretch of ennui, i can feel it. Little interest in anything, little passion. I’m treating it as a phase so far — “this too will pass”– and not beating myself up about it.

To spice things up i rented a bike today — one of those downhill monsters with 7 inches of suspension travel front and rear — just to try the damn thing. (Actually i asked for the tame little road cruiser, but they brought out the beast by mistake and i took that instead.) Getting on the thing feels like sitting down on a plush sofa: yoou float. I actually aim for potholes now, just for the novelty of hardly feeling the impact. Stopping, though, is a bit of a trick. Soon as you put your foot down and take some weight, the suspension springs back up and the bike is suddenly several inches taller than you’re prepared for. I fell over at a light today, barely avoiding rolling on the pavement, no doubt causing some laughter in the nearby cars.

A bike, as i’ve always known, opens up the horizon enormously over walking. Suddenly the whole region is within reach. My plan tomorrow is to rise early, ride out too the big ski hill 6-8 km out of town, and hopefully take the chairlift to the top for some views. Or maybe even ride up (yeah, right). The weather’s plan, apparently, is to rain. We’ll see who comes out on top.