Saturday, September 5, 2009

Content and Sad at the same time

Content to be able to spend a few days with Chuck Pefley, a professional photographer for over 30 years. He has a photo Blog "One a Day - Mostly Seattle" (<-- click link)

Content to be able to take a few days off over to Vancouver Island. We left at 10 seconds past 5:30am to catch the 7am ferry from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (Victoria). We left our driveway in torrential rain with sounds of thunder and arrived in the ferry line-up in plenty of time


Chuck rode his new Piaggio MP3-400


While I rode my new Wee Strom (Suzuki DL650) . Our plan was to land in Swartz Bay (Saanich Peninsula), ride some local backroads on our way to Sooke. Then take Hwy 14 north to Port Renfrew and then East on the newly paved forest road back to Lake Cowichan.

(Port Renfrew, BC)

We were accompanied by Ian (tall guy on the left), the only one of us who is not vertically challenged who resides in Brentwood Bay.

We decided to take another photo on the pier to show that we did actually ride to Port Renfrew as you could not tell from the trees in the background (on the prev photo) where we were.

(Pier: Port Renfrew, BC just past the Pub - Chuck, Ian & Bob)

(Paved forest service road, Upper Harris River between Port Renfrew & Mesachie Lake)

While we did have a "few" (very few) breaks in the weather, it was mainly rain, torrential rain & heavy rain so photo opps were few and far between. At times if felt like monsoon season.

Content to watch the master photographer at work setting up his shots, paying particular attention to his footprints and camera angle.

(Piaggio MP3-400ie: National Harbour board pier @ Granville Island, Vancouver, BC)

We devised a signal system to alert each other when we wanted to stop for photos. While we were nearing the Athlete's (Olympic Games 2010) Village, Chuck "tooted" his horn. This was the signal.


You can see Chuck struggling to put his MP3-400 into position, and while shooting over his shoulder we ended up with this . . .


This photo of the Piaggio MP3-400 was done in the style of Steve Williams "Scooter in the Sticks"
(<-- click link) .

We spent an hour or so at the local night market and I got another chance to follow the Maestro in "action"


The rest of us were content actually devouring the food, while Chuck was busy photographing.



Today, our pet of over 15 years is GONE. She had been ill and we had to sign the papers to put her to "sleep" . I came home to check her food and water, forgetting that she is not there. No longer will I have the opportunity to give her a loving pet when I leave for work, or arrive home. It feels eerily silent and knowing that we will never see her again, except in pictures past.

All we have is her empty collar, and it makes me sad to see it just lying there on the table, empty . . . devoid of a purpose. It brings tears to my eyes.

(RIP: Szan Szan, our White Chow, friend and companion for over 15 years)


  1. Bob, it was indeed a pleasure riding with you these past few days. You're good company, and I really appreciated your interest in showing "the road less traveled" to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and hope we can do another in the not too distant future.

    My condolences to you and Yvonne. Losing our furry companions is a hard thing. May your memories of Szan Szan be long and loving.

    Thanks, too (I think) for your chronicle of our ride.


  2. great pictures and memories of a great ride, weather or not, as sometimes it is those things that make the difference between an ok ride and a truly memorable one.

    i especially dig the contrast of the blue sky against the wet pavement in the 1st pic.

    rest in peace szan szan.

  3. Dave and I send are condolences to you and your family for the loss of your beloved companion, may all the memories keep your hearts warm..

    Enjoyed your post of your trip, a shame it kept raining but with good company and beautiful sites it sounds like you had a fabulous time.

  4. Sorry about the pet, unspecified, I'm still grumpy aboput my Labrador who got tired three years ago and left me behind.
    I also noticed the "government dock" in the Canadian Socialist Republic harbo(u)r. If we ever get too much like Canada (socialised meds etc) will bureacrats take over our docks too? Does it feel unsafe using government installed facilities?
    It makes me want to hurl my curried squid just thinking about it.

  5. Bob, I am sorry to hear about your loss. Chows are beautiful, and I know Szan Szan was special.

    It looks like the Wee Strom is serving you well. It must be nice to have a bike that can do so much, in many different settings.

  6. Bob, the photographs are excellent! I really love the one with Piaggio and the big crane in the background--and the one with the scooter in front of the metal ribbed building...really fine.

    Regarding the pet. Sorry to hear this. I know what it is like to lose a cherished pet. We have a dog who is recuperating from a stroke. I know that her time will come in the near future. You've lost a family makes sense that you would be sad.

  7. Chuck:

    Yes, it is great to have company with the same interests. I like to take the road less travelled and hope that we can do it again. I have a more comprehensive ride report in the making:

    and thank you

    Ms M:

    The most memorable thing that I can remember is the torrential rain. It ruined our photography plans, we didn't have many opportunities to stop as we wanted to keep our cameras dry.
    I liked that first pix too. The best time to take pictures is after it rains. It cleans the air.


    After you ride in the rain for a few hours, it doesn't bother you anymore, except when our waterproof riding gear "leaked". and anytime you are riding instead of working is "good" time

    Mr Conchscooter:

    The Government builds the "best" docks, "spare no expense" type of construction. They are modern and very safe, unlike the private enterprise kind.


    That V-Strom is a magnet. I have met so many people from the forum . It is like riding a jeep, surefooted and enough power for my needs. Excellent riding range since it has a 22 ltr tank. I have it set up for touring and the trip to the "Island" was the shakedown trip. How are you doing with the Triumph ?


    I am still sad but not unhappy. Our dog must have been suffering with lots of pain. She was howling all night. In the end, I think it was better. I often wonder what will happen to us as we grow old. Someone else may have to make the same decision.
    Chuck is a professional photographer. It was a pleasure to spend a couple of days with him. I have been to his "store" down in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. I have a link to his photoblog in my sidebar.
    FYI: I took those pictures with my G10. I hardly use my D80 anymore.

  8. Great ride report and sorry to hear about your loss. I know how you feel. I have to say I have never had a pet over the years that I don't always think of fondly after they passed. That even includes one cat that was a little crazy, a major pain in the ass, and caused lots of trouble. Still think of him with laughter. The memories will be good ones.

  9. Wanted to chime in with the pet thing. As you may be aware, our cat of twenty years passed away in July.

    Sorry to hear you lost your family member, as well.

  10. It's hard to lose a canine friend and family member. So sorry for your loss.

    We've struggled several months now over the departure of our dog. But the clouds do clear. On Tuesday I travel to Illinois to pick up our new dog.

    Best wishes.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks