canada

DNBC Show – Vancouver BC – September 2010

Sunday was not an ideal day for a roadtrip, what with the early fog, the persistent drizzle, and the occasional wall of smashing rain, but Cara and I made the best of it and trekked to North Vancouver BC for what has become my annual end-of-season tradition, the DNBC Show at Waterfront Park. The grass was swampy and the group was small, but we still had a great time with our fellow non-weather-dependent gearheads and I came home with the Best In Class trophy in the Modern Coupe class. It’s a custom, handmade one that Richard put together that I was especially excited to earn.

Cara is a fantastic roadtrip partner and not only put up with but actually enjoyed all the open hoods, car talk, highway time, and getting semi-lost on the way home looking for souvenirs in Surrey – I can’t wait for our next adventure. 🙂

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Winter Olympics, Vancouver BC – January 2010

Danielle, Jordan and I spent a whirlwind weekend in Vancouver attending as much Olympics as we could without advanced reservations. Cassidy and Ali generously made room in their condo and we explored the city together, taking in the official Olympic facilities, the dressed-up city of Vancouver, and the millions of joyous, friendly, congenial Canadians filling the streets to support their country and welcome visitors from all over the world. We watched Canada bring home hockey gold Sunday afternoon from a packed Robson Street bar and then poured into the cheering, honking, high-fiving streets of Vancouver to celebrate their victory with the 26 million Canadians (80% of the country) who are estimated to have watched the match. It was an incredible experience being part of something as huge and international as the Winter Olympics and especially meaningful to join Vancouver in their triumphs – both as hosts and athletes – as it’s a part of the world where I’ve always felt particularly at home (and we already know I have a crush on British Columbia). Photos are below and the couple of videos I shot are on YouTube. The Olympics were a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m so glad we found a way to be there; even without front row tickets or an autographed jersey we felt included in something amazing, something we’ll never forget.

Gallery slideshow here.

Knox Mountain Hill Climb in Kelowna, BC – May 2009

It was a perfect weekend to cruise over the Okanagan mountains to Kelowna, BC and attend my favorite northwest track event – the Knox Mountain Hill Climb. I originally ventured into the great white north seeking this unique, european-style rally two years ago – with my buddy James Walper – and the event was just as excellent as I remembered it. The drive up there, even more so; please bear with all my out-the-window shots as I was completely enthralled by the scenery along the highway, but there was rarely room to pull over and take a proper photo (plus I never would have made it home). 😉

Although I didn’t intend to bring any souvenirs, I did manage to return with a horrendous allergy/cold/flu (swine?) but had a worthwhile trip despite not being able to hear or sleep or breathe for most of it, and managed to confirm a few things for myself:

  • My Z is a fantastic car. Besides being totally sexy, it is just brilliant to drive (finally getting the new suspension settings where they should be surely contributed to that) and the 700 miles I logged this weekend flew by, bringing me home all too soon. I can sit in that driver’s seat for literally hours without even considering a break, and while there are things I’d love to fix, I’m extremely happy with where it’s at right now. I guess it’s just nice to validate that all the hard work and money are worth it – and they are. 🙂
  • I am good at traveling alone. A few weeks in a foreign country with a lonely hotel room and an expense account have taught me that it’s okay (enjoyable, even) to walk into a restaurant and request a table for one, and I’m resourceful and creative in finding ways to entertain myself in a strange town. Of course, I would have loved a roadtrip companion, but I’m pretty experienced at flying solo and it’s something I do well. I like that about me.
  • I’ve got a crush on British Columbia. There’s a lot of it to love: all the rugged, dramatic, sweeping wilderness that I grew up surrounded by in Montana, but on a larger scale; all the lush cascade rain forests of Washington, but with more sunshine; wide open highways and a driving populace that knows how to “stay right except to pass”; the metric system (it’s easier to use, people). Everytime I’m up there I find another reason to go back, and Kelowna is definitely on the short list of places I’d like to “keep an apartment” someday.

The other thing I learned this weekend is how quickly my dual-battery grip is exhausted running the autofocus on AI Servo… so I didn’t shoot as much of the race as I would have liked to. On the bright side, that left me time in the afternoon to actually just enjoy it as a spectator, rather than through the lens (and halfway up a tree). Next year, though, I’ll have battery reserves for the late afternoon, and two working nostrils so I can stay for Sunday’s runs, too.

Click here for the gallery