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Archive for July 15th, 2014

Alaska – Day 1, Part 2

So, it’s official. We are in Canada. In Vancouver. Considering that I’ve been up since, well, whenever AM and it is now whenever PM, I’m tired. I probably also smell. And I’d very much like to brush my hair & my teeth (separate brushes, I’m not that groggy).
But what I want to do more than any of those things is get rid of this incredibly heavy backpack. I have been schlepping this thing around and it’s insanely overloaded. I’m carrying the following:

* Rebel XT Digital body with Walkabout Lens

* Zoom lens for above

* Binoculars – and not fancy lightweight binoculars either. These are old. I remember using them as a child. I suspect they may be older than me. They are topnotch (thanks Dad!), don’t get me wrong. But they are crazy heavy for their size.

* SPOT device

* Garmin 60CSx handheld GPS receiver

* iPad (this thing is ridiculous heavy for its size – also in hindsight, I barely used it)

* Canon S90 point & shoot

* Various and sundry chargers, batteries, adaptors, whatever for all of the above. Do you know how many different cords & chargers I’m carrying? Oh. My. Gosh.

So that’s just the electronics. I’ve also got my phone, Ping, a toothbrush & toothpaste, passport, wallet, jacket, hat, eyeshade, headphones and all those other little random things you grab at the last minute. The backpack is strained, like my back. And I want it GONE.

Anyways, after checking into our hotel, we dump our stuff and ask the very charming folks at the desk about a good place for some grub. What do you know, they direct us to a brew pub. Be still my heart! And it’s only a few blocks away! It only gets better as the brewery comes into view and it’s steampunk themed.

Seriously? Could I be any more giddy? I could because their beer of the moment was a cucumber something or other. Yes. GIMMEEEEEE!

And before I make it sound like I’m a lush, part of my promise to Chad since he let me go and leave him in charge of the ferrets & cats, was that I would to check out as many local breweries as I could and report back to him.

After satiating ourselves at Steamworks Brewery, we decided to have a look around. Ok, fine. We decided to go geocaching. Ok, fine. I decided to go geocaching, Arissa pretty much came along because…well that was part of the deal of me partaking in this grand adventure, I got to go geocaching in two new places B.C. and Alaska.

Now, because I didn’t want to traumatize Arissa right out of the gate, I wasn’t going to do what I would have done on my own – walk the mile or so over to the Stanley Park and hit the trails over there to grab the profuse amount of caches that would not be tiny urban hides. In other words, I wasn’t going to be gluttonous right off the bat. I had to ease Arissa into this caching thing!

So instead we went after the first non-micro I could find, which happened to be right up the street at Canada Place. It was called CPC (Canada Place Cache), as a matter of fact. And I thought it was rather clever. I walked right by it the first time assuming that there was no way it was the cache. But after some searching about in flower boxes and coming up empty (and itchy) I figured perhaps the item in question deserved a closer look. And BOOM! There you are.

Unfortunately, that’s where our luck ran out, at one cache. We DNF’d 3 others that were either micros or nanos. Rats.

Still, we got to see some interesting sights – more sea planes in one spot than I have ever seen in my entire life; a steam powered clock (FYI – don’t stand too close after it has rung, gets a little hot on the bare skin!). You might be surprised how many people will stand around on a sidewalk on a rather blazing hot day waiting to hear a steam powered clock chime. Dozens. There were dozens of people standing and waiting. And then, like us, having their photos taken. Being a tourist is so weird.

There was a Chinatown complete with very cool entrance (totally did not expect that) and beautiful Vancouver Harbour. We actually spent a good bit of time staring out into the Harbour. Well, pretending to stare off into the Harbour as I tried to find a nano on a metal table. It did not go too swimmingly. Also, the dock was moving. So that was a little disorienting. And not a good omen for things to come once we got on the ship and the seas got rough, but more of that later.

You may have noticed (or not, depends on how observant you are) that I am wearing a backpack. And after all the complaining I did about how my backpack was too heavy and I was going to die. Well this is my second backpack. It’s smaller. Yes, I packed TWO backpacks for my Alaskan adventure because I am nothing if not overly prepared in the realm of backpacks. That being said, I did forget gloves and lip balm.

Me and Ping in front of the former Olympic Cauldron which was at Canada Place. I’d say Canada Place is the most Canandian Place ever purely due to the name. Only I’d be lying.

Because this place exists…

There are lots and lots of photos from Day One. Honestly there are lots and lots of photos of pretty much every day. But anyway, the rest of the photos Arissa & I took on our travel day are below.

chris on July 15th 2014 in Travel