Day 2 – The Winery

I am  impressed. Very impressed. Need I say more?
Although I’m on holidays, there are still a couple of things I need to finish off before I’m ‘officially’ on vacation. Although I rode my bike down to PA to park for the duration of the two weeks, I needed my car in order to do a safe transportation. Since I have a list of things I want to accomplish during my 2 weeks off – I decided to embark on one of these things -> that being a visit to an illusive winery called Coastal Black. I call it illusive because on every other opportunity that I’d planned to visit the winery, something would come up to put a kibosh on it.

I left PA around 11 am and traveled up The Slab (aka Hwy 19) to Hamm Rd before taking the right turn to dump me onto the old Island Hwy (Hwy 4). The great thing about this route is that as the drive travels along Hamm Road you discover a magnificent sight. Imagine riding along, enjoying the scenery and minding your own business, then as you round one of the bends and glance into the field running along the road you find yourself pausing. The reason? Those expected brown bodies of the bovine nature are replaced with the brown bodies of a bulky-front-end nature. Specifically – Island Bison.  Growing up in Manitoba, the familiar outline of a bison was everywhere.  Since moving to BC, I found I was missing seeing that figure gracing some of the more notable things in life = but please consider that BC is a coastal province, it is not something that is difficult to understand.  But I still missed the brutes.  That is why, when traveling Hamm Road I had to stop just to watch these big, brawny beasts.  It was magnificent.

Traveling down to the “Old Hwy” or Highway 4, I turned right, then traveled a meagre 4 km to the turn on Endall Rd in Black Creek, to turn right and followed the road to the destination.  For all you two wheelers out there, the road all the way up to the property is paved, but the driveway in is hardpack.  Easy to negotiate for even the most faint of heart motorcyclists with an aversion to the G word.

One of the other aspects of the winery I liked was their operating hours.  Open every day, it makes it easy for a working person to get there.  My personal preference is to visit the wineries themselves and purchase wines.  I know that most wineries sell their bottles in the local Liquor Stores – but something about going right to their door and purchasing feels right to me.  As well, when I have the opportunity to visit the winery I can see their operation and hopefully get a feel for what kind of business they have.

I have to sum it up and say it again ~ I was impressed!  A clean, organized and well maintained business unfolded before me.  Coast Black is a family run winery that has capitalized on the local vegetation, rather than try to force the local ecosystem into growing something that is not indigenous.  Their website states:  “This Winery specializes in fruit wines and mead”  – and as of now I am in love with the Spice Mead.  Driving up the hardpacked driveway we were able to watch one of the mechanized picker machine (not sure of the actual technical term) working up the rows of blackberries before we parked and walked up to the winery retail area.  The open air patio where lunch was being served was clean, spacious and very welcoming.  The special of the day was a Bocconccini salad.

As we sat on the stools of the wine tasting area, we were treated to the  weekly selection of up to 4 different wines and a mead for tasting. Quite quickly we were able to settle on a favourite and I was so very surprised on how much I enjoyed the taste of the Spiced Mead. In the past, I’ve never been a fan of mead, so I was very skeptical.  Not anymore.

Aside from being a Winery, Coastal Black’s patio area  hosted a daily luncheon special, patio bistro, a brick pizza oven and open “barn” style event space.  I am in love with Coastal Black.  I plan to be making another trip up there to purchase more of their yummy fare to use as Christmas gifts.

Photo courtesy of the Coastal Black website

The life change

Quite a while ago I made the decision that we should ditch the landline and go cellphone. All in all it was a good decision. I found that the only people who were phoning us were telemarketers and political parties. Now with the cell, I am able to create a profile for “idiot 1”, “idiot 2”, etc for those telemarketers.
The one problem I have discovered with cellphones is when people who are full of themselves and only have time for their own opinion get on the phone, there is no way for a person on the other end if the phone to interrupt. At least with landlines you could talk over the person and get them to shut up for a moment. Cell phones – not a chance.

Oh well. I guess it takes all kinds.


The Deadline Looms


The countdown has started.

One year ago I made a statement that I would be attempting to complete a book within the year. LO’ and behold – the year is almost up. Is the book anywhere near completion? YES. I am on the home stretch. The text is done and the photos are being formated. Exciting times to say the least.

Onward and upward.

The Nature of Things


For the last 6 months I have noticed a growing trend of photographs showing up on the internet. These photos show grinning stars perched on or astride bikes. Most of them customs jobs or unique models. In some ways it tickles my fancy, in others it  disappoints me. It is the classic case of 6-of-one and half-a-dozen-of-the-other.

When did biking become ‘fashionable’? When did it become the ‘in’ thing? Most of these notable faces have never ridden a motorcycle until it became the status symbol of the new century.

I never rode to be fashionable or “In”. I got on a bike because it was a benchmark for me. I grew up with 2 brothers who owned and rode bikes. I fell in love with motorcycles sitting on the tank of a 1970’s bike in front of a brother who was taking me a ride around the block. Granted at that time it was probaby only going 5mph. And he probably caught hell from Mom when he got home. And there was no such things as helmet laws.

That started me on a journey. I fell in love with motorcycles not just for what they represented and what they gave to me. I fell in love with the wind in my face, the smell of seasons, bug guts on my clothes, stiff leather in my hands, rumbles that were so deep they seemed timed with the thump of my heart in my chest.

When I was 16 I tried to get my father to co-sign on a loan for my first vehicle. It was a 1980 parrot green 250 Kawasaki. In the dusty back lot of a dealership the salesman put me on a bike, told me to ride around until I got used to it. Even then I recall seeing my Dad and the salesman talking as I fought with the clutch-brake-gas combination. When I finished my short foray around in the dirt, reluctantly I got off the bike and walked to the car with my father. That was when the real lesson started. My father stated that “Young ladies don’t ride motorcycles. Only girls who had loose morals – and no daughter of his would have loose morals.” Pretty straight forward and succinct, don’t you think?

When I was in my 40’s, my husband – who had been a rider for many years before me met, decided it was time to go back to riding because we could finally afford to purchase a bike again. After he bought his bike, I finally whined enough (yes, I admit it – I whine every once in a while), and we became a two bike garage. We have never looked back since.

Enough about my past and lets return to the present. What about those that are now ‘just getting it’? Although I am sure quite a few will eventually get it, there are still some who I know for certain are using a motorcycle as a status symbol. As a prop to their latest publicity shoot, or a fashion accessory to their latest wardrobe. They truly will not get it. In a way I feel sad for them, but guiltily in a way I feel happy for me because I know I truly would never be able to stomache riding with someone like that.

In the end I guess I just have to flip down the full face, turn my eyes to the horizon and twist the throttle leaving all of this in a distant memory.

Of course, if ever a photo of Justin Beber riding a motorcycle surfaces, you can be fairly certain that I will be traumatized for life and never want to come back off a road trip ever again.

The Artful Dodger…

Often times we do not realize how far we have come until we cast back into the past. . 

The office I work in has years and years of historical files onsite. Sometimes we have to delve back into the historical files in order to ascertain what is going on with a file we are dealing with now.  I as sure that back in the day, the people hand writing the information had no idea the amusement they would be causing in the future = but they have. 

The main example I am refering to is a historical file regarding funeral arrangements and cause of death.  While delving my coworker was cataloguing the historical records she came across this entry:

Cause of death:   10 am

Of course – she could not contain herself and had to share it with me.

At first, I could not believe what I read. 

Then I reread it. 

 And reread it.

Until finally I could not contain myself. 

This is way, every Thursday at approximately 10:05am, we gleefully jump up from our desks, raise our arms in the air triumphantly and call out “WOOOOHOOOOO!!  DODGED ANOTHER ONE!!”



January 14, 2012

It is another cold winter day on the coast. Where it usually is dark and dreary, it has been unseasonably bright and sunny and clear. I love days like this. Even in the cold of winter, something as simple as a single winter apple left on a tree holds almost a magical quality.

It is amazing what a ray of sunshine in the darkness does and how it makes a world of difference

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Intermittant connection

I have to apologise for some of the intermittant posts.  What I thought was a brilliant plan of using my iphone to do the majority of my posting has turned into my undoing.  It seems that sometimes my blogpress application works.  Sometimes it doesn’t and it ends up either eating the posts or not uploading anything.

I will endeavour to try and update everything as I can.


January 13, 2012

It has been the three C’s in my area of the country these past few days.  Crispy, Clear and Cold.  Although some might think this is ‘normal’ for a Canadian winter, out here on the ‘Left Coast’ it is uncommon.  Let me explain. On Vancouver Island, and specifically in the area I live in, it is classified as a coastal rainforest.  That means percipitation falls during the winter months in the form of a liquid. Constant. Cold. Dull.  And sometimes it falls sideways with the aid of the offshore weather systems that bring in the storms.  It’s on these uncommonly clear, crisp and cold mornings I cannot say I am not thankful to see the sun when usually the sun is far above the grey and dreary skies, bucketing rain and riddled with coastal fog.  I could just do without the windshield scraping and defrosting the doors of the car so I can get in to go to work.