Summer 2011: A Review

Okay, so I know summer isn’t really over yet, technically. But to me, it seems like it is since I have no more plans or days off until school starts. Not to mention, its been getting cold at night, I even had to scrape the frost off my car’s window this morning on my way to work AND  Also, when I was driving home after work, I noticed that some of the trees have been

Autumn in British Columbia

starting to yellow/brown/redden already.

Don’t get me wrong neither, I like fall. It’s a pleasant season, not too hot or too cold and British Columbia is absolutely beautiful with it’s magnificent autumn colours.

J’aime le Canada! Vive le Canada!

Oh, and don’t forget! My birthday is in the fall too! October 25th! I actually know a lot of people with birthdays around then. Even just at work, there are two people born on October 26th, and another born on the 24th.

Anyways! Back to my summer review.

It wasn’t my most adventurous summer I’ve had, just one vacation that would probably be the highlight of the entire summer, even though it was just at the beginning. That would have been my two week roadtrip across my wonderful province and country with my Cali G.

Some other highlights would include yesterday with the whitewater rafting and jumping off that cliff; Going to Vancouver to visit with one of my best camp friends; Catching another amazing Bon Jovi concert; The purchase of VIP Ke$ha tickets feat. LMFAO; Camping out at my nieces 13th birthday party; Getting a nice raise at work; Hiking to Moul Falls and the Trophy Mountain Meadows at Wells Grey Park and; lots of awesome summer movies.

I’m sure I’m missing something in there too, that I’ll probably think of later and kick myself for not adding.

A Shot Of Me This Summer, I'm One Scary Dude!

In the whole though, it was pretty enjoyable of a summer, with lots of smiles and I got to make a tonne of other people smile as well. With that said, I am actually looking forward to starting classes on Wednesday, September 7th. I have some really interesting classes and it should be fun learning about the subjects.

As for next summer, I’m not sure what the plans are yet, but I started saving and preparing already. It’s going to be an amazing one and I’m going to make sure to have some very adventurous plans and see lots of new things. Today I even got out of the house with my sister and we went to all the schools around town with the dog collecting all the pop cans and beer bottles. Heck, we even got our inner bum on and looked in the garbage cans. Going to cash them in tomorrow!

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Tyson Trepidations.

Getting My Feet Wet Always On The Move

Myself, My Sister and April By Our Rapids

Today was pretty awesome and wild, definitely a step up from that horrible day I had the other day. Which reminds me, I have something to add to that as well.

I think I’ll start with that bit of an addition. A couple of posts ago, I talked about that horrible day at work when one of my co workers called in sick and I couldn’t find a cover shift. Well, after that I decided to go to the lake to just relax and soak up some sun; make the day a little better. So I went down to one of my families favorite spots where nobody else was swimming so I could have the nice peace and quiet.

A bit about the lake I was at: The entire shoreline is owned by BC Forestry, and there is a small campground they set up there with only 16 different camping spots. But they usually have a campground caretaker there, just to keep it clean and make sure nobody is bothering the wildlife, being dangerous or bothering other campers. It used to be this really nice older fellow, that was pretty relaxed but performed his job very well. Now for the last couple of summers, they have had this lady from Ontario in the position of caretaker.

We’ll just say she’s not the most pleasant person on earth.

Anyways, I was relaxing on the beach and actually starting to enjoy the late afternoon, when she came riding up rather loudly on her ATV and ultimately disturbing my peace. Then all she said was,

“Get off this beach. You can’t swim here, it’s for campers only. You can go swim at the boat launch.”

Normally, the only problem I would have had, would have been her attitude, though I’d have still listened. Except this time I knew I had full rights to use that beach. It’s owned by forestry, therefore public property. Plus, nowhere it said that that beach was only for campers. Secondly, I wasn’t going to the boat launch. Usually there are thirty people all in that area partying and whatever other shenanigans. Not to mention you always have to keep out of the way for the steady stream of boats coming in and going out.

So instead I just told her politely, “Sure, I’ll do that as soon as you show me the paperwork stating that this beach privately owned”.

This she did not like.

Rather than either telling me that she didn’t have any paperwork or just showing me her paperwork if she even had it, she got angry and told me, “If you don’t leave right now, I’m going to call the police!”.

So I just ignored her, and kept soaking up the sun, trying not to let that disturbance ruin the rest of my day. That became really difficult though, since the police showed up about twenty minutes later to “deal with me”.

Boy did I ever get perturbed now.

The cop didn’t really have much to say, he just asked me what the problem was. So I told him there was barely a problem, the caretaker just wouldn’t let me use the public beach to my advantage. Then I explained that I refused to move unless she showed me the paperwork saying that property was privately owned. Then out of my anger, I told him that if he wanted to nail someone, then he should give the caretaker a ticket for riding her ATV on the road without a helmet.

After I explained all that, the police officer walked over to the caretaker (whom was still on her ATV) and asked her if she could show him the paperwork stating the land was private. Then lucky for me (finally some luck!), she let him know that she didn’t have any paperwork and the land was owned by forestry. Then by golly, the cop really did give her a ticket for not wearing a helmet. I know it’s only something like $60, but it still helped me relax a little bit.

Once all of that was dealt with though, I didn’t really feel like being there anymore, plus I was getting hungry. But I stayed an extra half hour anyways, just to stick it to the caretaker a little more.

There's Me! Whitewater Rafting!

So that was the end of my bad day. Especially since I went whitewater rafting today, its in my rearview mirror! Today was pretty wicked with some crazy rapids that we got to experience. I had a blast to say the least!

My sister came with me along with one of my co workers and a friend of mine, April. Our guide and safety person was William, he’s from Peru and I was pretty happy with him, he was very funny, and even intentionally crashed us into a rock to get our hearts going early on. The trip was kinda funny too, my sister ended up bailing before we even got into the boats. Just another example of my accident prone family.

Halfway through the trip, our guide even stopped at this little island with a huge cliff and told us we could jump off of it, into the river if we wanted to. I was totally down for that, I’m always looking for something crazy to do! Plus I knew it would fun thanks to that one time I jumped off a 150 foot cliff with my own harness I made out of rope. This cliff obviously wasn’t THAT big, but it was still pretty sizeable at 8 metres, or almost 30 feet for my American friends. I was right too! The jump off that cliff was pretty amazing. Although only three of us from the entire tour did the jump, myself and two other girls that I didn’t even know.

There were a couple of awkward moments, I was the only guy in the boat (go figure!), somehow I always end up in those situations where I’m the only boy. As a result, whenever someone flew out of the boat or fell out, I always had to be the one to pull them back up. But when you pull them, they are pretty heavy from being soaking wet, so I had to push myself with my legs to yank them up. When I did that though, they always ended up sprawled out on top of me. One poor girl even had her face end up in my crotch.

All in all it was pretty crazy, and I think if anyone of my subscribers gets the chance, they should go and whitewater raft. Especially the level 4 and 5 rapids, but even more especially in beautiful British Columbia.

Here We Are, Catching A Wave

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tyson Trepidations.

Let’s Go To Candy Mountain! Uphold Wonder!

On my last day off, my sister and I went up to Wells Grey Park, near Clearwater, British Columbia, Canada to do some hiking before the summer ends. We decided to do a semi-advanced day hike, although it would have been nice to do a multi day one, but with my job, the work weeks have been getting longer. Anyways, at that provincial park, there are tonnes of different hikes to choose from, but we chose the Trophy Mountain trails.

It actually took us a while to get there though. Clearwater is about an hour north from where I live, then Wells Grey Park is about another twenty minutes from there. For the Trophy Mountain trail there’s also this road that runs 15km, but it took me a long time to drive those because I had to take it really slow 4x4ing with my little car. Poor Gabriella… (Yes, I named my car Gabriella).

I’ll keep the talking short since I have pictures to display what I saw, although I gotta say, the pictures do the view no justice. It was so much more spectacular to actually be in the Trophy mountains. With that said though, we saw lots, a couple different lakes, several mountains and cliffs, all kinds of flora and fields of flowers. Not to mention the cool bridges and the ancient log house there too.

But here are the pics and enjoy. Also, I hope I inspired someone to do a little sightseeing in the most Beautiful Place on Earth. Supernatural British Columbia!

 

Trophy Mountain Meadows

 

My Sister And I In The Trophy Mountain Meadows

 

Galloping Through More Meadows!

 

Marshes

 

View From The Top Of Trophy Mountain

 

Sheila Lake

 

Me Near The Top Of Trophy Mountain

 

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in” – George Washington Carver

 

Tyson Trepidations.

Stranded at The Drive-In, Branded a Fool.

Whenever I go to the drive-in, that song from Grease always strikes into my head:

Stranded at the drive-in,
Branded a fool.
What will they say,
Monday at school

As shocking as it is, I actually had a day off yesterday! So rather than wasting it, I decided to take my family to the Drive-In movie theatre. The closest Drive-in to us is the Starlight Drive-In located in Enderby, British Columbia, making it about 3 hours from where I live currently. The Enderby Drive-In actually has the largest screen in North America and featurees pretty good prices, playing two movies for $10 ($6 for children).

I really enjoy going to the Drive-In, its a different experience where your sitting in your car rather than in a crowded theatre. But it doesn’t just limit you to your car though, a lot of people bring chairs or blankets to lay out instead.

The sound comes through your own sound system on an FM frequency, therefore also giving you the ability to control the volume of the movies. I always love going when they have movies that interest me and the popcorn is quite amazing as well. I think if anyone ever has a chance to attend a Drive-in movie or need a good date idea, they should most definitely take the opportunity.

They do a great job at making a very relaxed and fun and old-time atmosphere at the Starlight Drive-In by playing old music from the 50’s and 60’s and having an olden times concession (with real and amazing popcorn too at a great price!). Usually the movies the pretty new, only a few weeks out of the theatres before they get reels and are presented in high quality projection. Before the movie starts, they run two previews of movies that are coming to the Starlight during the summer and play very old, black and white commercials for the concession. Plus can’t forget the old-style countdown for the movies to start.

The Starlight Drive-In is located right off the Vernon-Sicamous highway (97A) and just on the outskirts of Enderby (on the Vernon side of town). It usually opens up in mid-spring (once its warm enough) and only stays open for the weekends. Once June comes though, they stay open every day and are usually quite full, especially on the weekends. The staff all around is extremely friendly and help out to make sure the viewing experience goes great.

The only thing that is a tad bothersome though is there are a couple people that turn on their pesky headlights once in a while. It doesn’t interfere with the movie or anything, it can just be a tad annoying is all.

The two movies that were playing for us last night were Kung Fu Panda 2 and Super 8. I was pretty excited to see both after loving the first Kung Fu Panda plus JJ Abrams always seems to make crazy and intriguing movies that I can’t keep away from.

I Found Myself A Girlfriend At The Drive-In

I gotta say though, I was a little disappointed from Kung Fu Panda 2, it has its funny moments and was pretty cute as well, but I felt that the story wasn’t all too strong and that at some parts they may have tried a little too hard to get a laugh (especially with the fat panda jokes). Then after that, Super 8 was quite amazing. I enjoyed that movie a tonne. It was very interesting, action packed and had quite a good story intertwined within it as well. I was worried it was going to be like Cloverfield (also by JJ Abrams) since it was presented in the same manner with a mysterious creature. But it was far better filmed and blew away all my expectations. Again, its something that I would recommend everyone to see if they got the chance.

I think Drive-ins are a wonderful and “far out” experience though. If anyone gets a chance or has a hot date coming up, they should look to see if a Drive-In theatre is close enough to where they live and give it a try. Most people that do are usually quite impressed. For me, even though its 3 hours away and made me get home sometime close to 4 AM this morning, it’s always worth it.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – NLP Adage

Tyson Trepidations.

Sending Kids To Summer Camp

During my childhood and part of my teenage years, I was fortunate enough to attend a summer camp five times. Every one that I went to is infused in my brain forever and stand out as some of the most fun and memorable moments of my life. So I think if a parent gets a chance or wonders if they should send their kid to summer camp, they should most definitely research one close by (or not necessarily close) and send their kid without hesitation. The skills, memories and friends they come home with, stay with them forever. Childhood memories are something I would never want to lose or replace with anything.

The first time I went to a summer camp was when I was about 10. I went to Sunnybrae Bible Camp, located along the incredible shores of Shuswap lake and at the base of the pristine Mount Bastion. It was a beautiful camp with really expert staff, and perfectly executed activities and plans. They definitely had the experience and the resources necessary to give kids the best of time while there.

At Sunnybrae, they have tonnes of activities to choose from to make for a new experience all the time, such things ranging from archery, to swimming, to learning a little more about the bible and religion. All of their camps for kids are a week long and cost $235 + British Columbia’s HST tax. But it isn’t just limited to kids, they have teen and family packs as well. Also, even if your kid isn’t raised with a religion (much like myself), I think its still a great opportunity in their development. At Bible camp, they don’t push religion onto anyone. I just think its just a great way to introduce the Bible to kids and a little of the western religious history. It’s an important part of the worlds development and culture, so I think its a little incompetent to not be at least be a little familiar with the Bible and religion.

The other four years that I went to a summer camp, were spend at the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Center (VACSTC). I was in cadets for seven years, from the time I was 12 until I aged out at 19.

When I was 14, I went to VACSTC for the first time doing a Cadet Leader course that lasted six weeks, then the year after that I did a Cadet Leader Instructor summer camp course in one of the prestigious Drill and Ceremonial platoons for another six weeks. During both of those years I had an amazing time, learned tonnes of new skills and made plenty new friends that I’m still friends with today.

While attending VACSTC there are a number of different camps to attend that are specialized for different purposes like music, drill, shooting, and athletics. With those camps come a series of lessons as well, based on the different types of camp you choose to go to. Besides the lesson, there are a tonne of fun activities included in each; things like absailing, beach days, water slides, sports nights and even looking at some of the local tourist attractions in and around Vernon, British Columbia. This camp is free, paid for by the Department of National Defence. But your kid actually gets a bonus for going, not much though, just $60 per week spent at camp and you have to be in cadets to be able to attend. But the memories and bonds that you make at Cadet camp are those in which you keep forever.

Myself and Two Other Staff Serving As Flag Party

Lastly, I also spent another 2 consecutive years at VACSTC. I had such an amazing time every time I went, that I wanted to return, but this time as staff. For the first year I was the high ranked warrant officer for the Rifle Coach platoon, specializing in familiarization with several different rifles. The next year I was again a Warrant officer, but this time for a platoon in Drill and Ceremonial. As a leader and staff, I was in charge of about 30 kids with one or two other platoon warrants at my side. We were in charge of their safety, supervision, fun and we were the ones that passed on the commands to them.

Since I was staff, it was a paid position (quite generously, I might add) under a seven week contract. The first week there is spent meeting the other staff and getting a rundown of what we would be doing with the kids for the last six weeks and going over the rules.

Even to this day I still make time to go and visit some of my friends from camp, as well as visit some of the kids that I taught while staffing there. Just before my roadtrip I went and visit with one of the kids I taught that lives in Vancouver, but in August I’m also going to visit some friends I staffed with in the place where it started, Vernon, BC. I honestly can’t wait to see them and I think if any parent gets the chance, they should send their kid to summer camp. It gets them out of the way for a little so the parent can relax for a bit of the summer themselves, but it also lets their kid explore different aspects of the world, learn tonnes of new skills, and come home with a million new friends. All-in-all, summer camp is amazing.

“To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee” – Emily Dickinson

Tyson Trepidations.

Long Overdue Roadtrip Post: Western Canada!

This summer is the first in years that I haven’t made any big travel plans. This is partly because of the amount of money I don’t have and just the timing of everything this summer makes it a little hard to get away. So instead of leaving the country, I thought it would be nice to explore around home and see the amazing views Western Canada has to offer. I decided to stick with a roadtrip, it seemed like the cheaper choice and a better way to see the sights while heading to our destinations. I also invited a couple of my American friends from San Francisco, California to come and join me. Especially since they’ve given me the opportunity to explore some of the United States, I figured I should return the favour.

Basically for the trip, it mostly featured exploring Vancouver, the rocky mountains and Edmonton. As well as get in some good camping days.

But here’s the day by day breakdown of my roadtrip:

Jericho Beach In Vancouver, BC, Canada

Day 1:  This day I left in the afternoon heading towards Vancouver. Overall it wasn’t a bad drive, a nice 5 hours from the interior of British Columbia to the beautiful coastal city. I’ve been to Vancouver many times, mainly for things like concerts and the PNE, so I thought it would be nice to explore a little more as well. My american friends weren’t due to arrive until the next morning, so I actually left a day earlier to visit a couple of my friends in North Vancouver and spent the night at their place. It was a great visit and I think I ate so much sushi my stomach was about to explode!

Day 2: I guess this is the day the trip really started in regards to looking at the sights of Vancouver. After having breakfast (more sushi) I headed to the Vancouver airport to pick up my friends. Once we were all loaded up though, they were pretty tired from getting up so early and the plane ride. So we just headed to downtown Vancouver and checked out the shopping, Chinatown, the ocean and had some lunch. We were staying in a hotel in North Vancouver, so on the way, we also stopped at the Capilano Suspension bridges. They were actually pretty unique and quite awesome like the entire city of Vancouver.

My Kayak at Adams Lake, BC, Canada

Day 3: Now that my friends were all rested up and ready to go, we checked out of North Vancouver and headed on the road to our next destination. For our next stop, we decided to go camping for a few days. My friends have never really been camping out in the wild being that they were from San Francisco, so it was to be a new adventure for them. For the biggest

chunk of the day, we spent driving to Adams Lake, where we were to camp. Once we got there, my poor car looked like it went 4x4ing, covered in mud from top to bottom. So we just unpacked, pitched the tent, lit a fire and got dinner going.

Days 4 and 5: These two days were all camping and rough necking it out in the bush. They featured the typical sort of fun like fishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows, kayaking,  and enjoying the beach. We were pretty lucky too that the weather kept up the whole time and brought some of the hottest days in the year so far.

Day 6: This was the end of the camping portion of the trip. We had breakfast, packed everything up and left Adams lake in the afternoon. It was a bit of a good thing too because the long weekend was starting, so many people were showing at the lake for their parties and whatnot. We decided to head out on the back road to Enderby. It was a nice drive through the forest and saw a lot of wildlife, including a couple bears and many many deer. Later in the afternoon we got into Enderby and stopped by a local pizza shop for dinner. After that, we went to the Starlight Drive In Theater. I’ve been there once before and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to take my friends to experience it as well. I think that if anyone gets a chance, they should definitely check out a Drive In Theater. Especially Enderby’s considering it has the largest screen in North America. So we had a good night watching Fast Five and Hop. Then it was back on the road, with one stop in Revelstoke to sleep on the side of the road for the night.

Day 7: After waking up all cramped inside the back of my car, it was on the road once more to head into the rocky

Driving Through The Rockies, Canada

mountains to our next destination near Radium Hot Springs. It was a nice drive and took up most of the day, but eventually we found our way to our next accommodation, Addison’s Bungalows. I was pretty proud of myself for finding this place, its about 20 minutes from Radium Hot Springs and has a bunch of little bungalows all over this chunk of property in the woods. They were actually a fairly good size even with a full kitchen and many different but great features. For the rest of the night we really just relaxed, explored the town of Radium Hot Springs and drove through Kootenay National Park a little as well.

Day 8: After a refreshing sleep in an actual bed, we got up late and jumped into our swimsuits. We headed for the actual hot spring pools in Radium Hot Springs. We had a great time there and really enjoyed relaxing in the hot water. Later that night, we settled down and watched 8 Mile on the TV in the bungalows.

Day 9: After yet another night in the quaint little bungalows, we decided to head off to Banff. I thought it would be a nice stop since I haven’t been there before and neither have my friends. Once we arrived, we immediately started taking in the abundance of shopping and even purchased a few souvenirs at a couple of the shops. But then the rain really came, and it came hard. It started pouring like crazy, so we had a nice dinner at Tony Romas and hoped the rain would let off by the time we were done eating… It didn’t, so we decided to head back to the bungalows and call it a night.

Day 10: Even though there was that huge rainfall the day before, day 10 started out as a beautiful and sunny day. With that in mind we took it to our advantage and hit up our surroundings on some hiking trails. They have quite a few all over the National Parks in the rocky mountains and from what I saw, they are all really nice and beautiful hikes, different in their own way from one another. After a full day of hiking, it felt great to hit the shower and get a good nights sleep.

Lake Louise, AB, Canada

Day 11: Since this day was time to check out of our bungalow, it was also then time for us to leave the area of Radium Hot Springs. So once again, we packed up and headed off on the road, straight up towards Jasper. It was a very beautiful drive through the icefields and through 4 different national parks. I’m not sure how I missed such a beautiful drive so close to home. On the way to Jasper, we stopped at Lake Louise, still covered with a lot of ice and snow, but still very pretty. We also stopped at a few rest points to take in the view and get a couple pictures, along with some stops at the Athebasca icefields and falls. Then eventually that night we ended up late in Jasper. So we pulled into a campground nearby, pitched the tent and called it a night.

Day 12: After awakening, we realized how beautiful Jasper national park was, coming in the night before, it was getting dark and we didn’t take in the sights of our surroundings before going to bed. So we headed right int0 Jasper on that good start and just had to check out their famous tramway. It was a beautiful ride up the trams and really showed the vastness of the rocky mountains. After taking all that in, we went back into Jasper and checked out some of the many lakes in the area, all of which were beautiful in their own way. Next we started to head towards Edmonton but pulled off the main road to check out another hot spring, Miette Hot Springs. I thought this one was great and even better than the one in Radium with a magnificent view right in front of us as we soaked in the hot pools. Then it was eventually time to leave and really head to Edmonton. We ended up arriving quite late that night, sometime after midnight, so as a result we just pulled into a truck stop and called it a night, again in the back of my car.

Days 13, 14 and 15: For these days we checked into a hotel in Stony Plain (its much cheaper than getting one in Edmonton), then went into the city of Edmonton to take in some shopping at their famous West Edmonton Mall. It’s such a vast mall that it really did take us the whole day to check out all the little shops throughout the mall. The next day we devoted to their huge water park in the mall. It was a blast in the huge wave pool and checking out the many different water slides available. For the last day, we spent that checking out the amusement park, again in the mall, called Galaxyland. It was pretty awesome, and I loved the Red Rollercoaster with the triple loops! I gotta say though, if you plan on exploring the mall, make sure to have a few days to do it! There are really a lot of things to check out there.

Day 16: As our last day on a roadtrip, we just chilled in downtown Edmonton and walked around like a bunch of tourists. It was a beautiful day but sadly I had to take my friends to the airport and say goodbye. After that, it was to head back home for myself on the beautiful drive, back through the rocky mountains.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – Saint Augustine

Tyson Trepidations.