Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 64: Ottawa

Location: Ottawa, ON
Date: Fri, Jun 27th

Friday included a stop by CHUO to visit So Nice on his Cypher show from 1-3 pm.

After a hair cut and more inventory count, I met up with some friends for sushi at Sushi Kan. Again I forgot my Camera!

Then I bolted to CKCU to meet up with DJ Ducats on his 'Peaceful Journey' every Friday night 8-10 pm. In the house were DJ Frame, Floyd, Val (of Vos Media) and God Bless.

I headed to Standard to meet up with friends. After driving around 10 minutes looking for parking, my friend Ania phoned and stood in a spot outside of Standard to save it for me :)

We had some drinks and enjoyed Frame & Ducats at The Standard before heading upstairs to dance at Nine. Frame & Ducats are much nicer with the music...

Oh, and finally, it was so humid and hot in Ottawa that my roommate begged me to install the A/C. It was nice!

Day 62 & 63: Ottawa

Location: Ottawa, ON
Dates: Wed, June 25th - Thurs, June 26th.

Wednesday I was up early running errands, and when I got to my apartment I was greeted by a nice gate blocking me from my parking space. Figured it out and handled business until 5 pm.

I went for a nice picnic along the river and saw a ground hog. The wine tetra packs hit me a bit hard with me being so exhausted. Highlight was sitting on the front stoop of Chateau Laurier sippin' the tetra packs. I forgot my camera again!

Thursday was dealing with a hangover, so I ran tons of errands (oil changes, canada day props, etc). I started an inventory count that I legally have to do every 6 months for me to own a business in Ontario. I have to pay provincial sales tax on merch sold or given away as promo. Huge pain.

I met up with Team Flail Strikes Back for some volleyball. We fought hard and finally won games #5 & 6. I take personal responsibility for our wins! :) Dude Super! Out for drinks at Quinn's on Bank.

I finished the night with a shrimp ring with my roommate (in place of the usual Shrimp Ring Sundays I've missed). He's Manic Mike from CHRI in Ottawa!

For the first time in 60 days, I got a night's sleep in my bed... the 8 hours were glorious!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 59, 60 & 61: Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie to Ottawa

Location: Ottawa, ON
Dates: Sun, Jun 22nd to Tues, June 24th

Total kms driven: 16,862
Total $$$ spent on gas: $2,446.49 (my budget is shot)
Total $$$ spent on groceries, drinks, etc: $467.79 (approximately $8 per day)

The 20+ hours of driving from Thunder Bay to Ottawa were pretty boring. The weather alternated from pouring thunder showers to beautiful sunny skies about 5 times.

Gas in White River (the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh) was a disgusting 145.9.

The skies cleared around Lake Superior Provincial Park, so I stopped at Katherine Cove to enjoy the beaches and sunset.

While wandering the rocks, I discovered a dude playing guitar.

I saw four more moose along the drive, including this one that ran across the road in front of me.

About an hour outside of Sault Ste Marie, I pulled off at a carpool parking lot and slept a good 7 hours in my van. It was the fourth time sleeping in the van, and by far the best sleep yet. Above zero temperatures and shade seem to help :)

The next day, I had the most amazing breakfast at Busy Bee's Restaurant. It'd been about a month since I last had bacon & eggs, so it was a treat!

I was glad when I made it to Manitoulin, where gas was 131.8 - the cheapest I'd seen since Edmonton.

I was welcomed back to Ottawa by backed up 6 pm traffic due to construction.

I met up with my good friend Stephanie. I'd brought back some Old Dutch potato chips, which I'd never heard of before travelling west, and her cat Riley took quite a liking to them.

Check the youtube video:

I've done some walking along the river in Ottawa and saw lots of geese and a turtle, but I forgot my camera. I also fit in a game of softball...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 58: Thunder Bay

Location: Thunder Bay, ON
Date: Sat, June 21st

I was up early to climb Mount Mckay, which is quite a trek. We drove to the highest outlook point, which features an impressive drop off before the trail (if you can call it that) to the top.

We arrived at the top just in time to witness the sun rise providing a breathtaking view of Thunder Bay. The hike took a couple hours and I was pretty disappointed that I forgot my camera. The best I could do was my fuzzy cell phone snapshots.

The early morning led to some naps during the day, but there was a trip to Chippewa and lunch with Rogue of Def Kontrol Entertainment.

The big event of the day was my show at the Addy 227 on Simpson St. The show was one of the best of the tour. Fan response was great... I had a blast!

First up was Derty Thought:

Second up were Leo B Dope and Plan B:

Third up was Problem Child:

Fourth up were Dystrakted and John Suave.

I went fifth followed by Sleep Clinic. They consist of Ayough, Bajmahaj, Nevamind and Miss Flow

The final act of the night was the show's promoter, Webster Death

This newly married couple became new fans of mine!

I ended the night by leaving a Wendy's burger minus the burger, just the buns, on a stoop on Simpsons street. Along with a lighter someone donated to my tour donation dog bowl! :)

Day 57: Winnipeg to Thunder Bay

Location: Thunder Bay, ON
Date: Friday, June 20th

I was up early and on the road by 9 am. After being on the road for 57 days, I wasn't surprised at how excited I was to see the "Welcome to Ontario" sign!

The drive from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay took quite a bit longer than expected due to all the frikin construction!

I took a break in Dryden by the big moose to eat lunch.

While stopped in Dryden I met a nice couple from Moncton, NB who were on a trip similar to mine. Being from NB, they mentioned how it was strange that they hadn't seen any moose yet. I'd only seen two up to that point. Well, after leaving Dryden I saw 8 moose on the drive to Thunder Bay!

On this drive, I made sure I stopped at the Arctic Watershed line to take pictures!

Finally around 8 pm, I arrived in Thunder Bay to link up with Dystrakted again.

We had some drinks, worked on a new track and then headed out to the bar. There was a bit of an after party with new friends Krystal, Jay, Miranda, Missy and Nishina.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 56: Winnipeg, MB

Location: Winnipeg, MB

Up at 10:30 am, I handled business until 2:30 pm, then set out to check the St. Andrew's Rectory National Historic Site and Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site.

I travelled north out of Winnipeg, along the Red River.

The first stop was the St. Andrew's Rectory National Historic Site, which I actually found to be a bit boring. Basically in the 1820s, Christians moved in to teach their ways to the trading post people and first nations folks. This church burnt down, and was replaced by the stone rectory in 1854. It was one of the first stone houses built along Red River, which became the architectural trend for the area. Oh, there was a harmonium which was used until 1888.

I made a stop at the St. Andrews Dam where boaters could be seen driving up the post-dam rapids trying to catch fish. I found it interesting was that the water was running North, which goes against my conventional wisdom. But then I remembered that when I drove from Thunder bay to Winnipeg, I passed the line of the Artic Watershed

Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site was more interesting. They had a ton of employees, all of whom were expected to act as if they were from the days when the fort was build. Some pulled it off in the laid back style I like, others were too laid back or too over the top.

Lower Fort Garry's buildings were completed in the 1840s, and are one of the finest collections of early stone buildings in Western Canada.

Its central purpose was to support the trade of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Later the buildings served as training grounds for North-West Mounted Police, a provincial penitentiary, and a mental health facility.

Apparently, the warehouse of the 1800's included plastic mannequins and wooden guns. :)

What I find most striking is the impact the fur trade had on aboriginal people. Two hundred years ago, this land belonged to them... Evidence has shown they were the people of the land as far back as 1240 AD. In Edmonton, I was chatting with Arlo Maverick & Mother Peace about the new evidence that has surfaced regarding the "taking the native out of the children" practice enforced by schools a hundred years ago. It leaves me conflicted and wishing there was more going on to encourage the growth of the first nation cultures. Why should they have to adapt to us?

Of course, any trading post had a store. They couldn't have liquor in the store, so out back is where the rum, gin, brandy, port and sherry was stored.

And of course, any trading post also had a furloft.

Around 6 pm, I met up with my friend Dave, who was umpiring a couple ball games. I tagged along and managed to sub on with one of the teams, 'Beer Garden Bound', for two games. We won the first 3-0, and lost the second 7-5 despite my two out last inning RBI double. :)

Afterwards we headed to this prairie restaurant called Earl's, which is renown for their beautiful lady employees. I had some sushi and a few cocktails with Dave, Cheryl, Johnny, Steven, Matt and Alanna. It was nice. I forgot my camera though.

Sleep now. Thunder Bay tomorrow...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 55: Regina to Winnipeg

Location: Winnipeg, MB
Total kms driven: 14,490 kms

The drive from Regina to Winnipeg was beautiful except for a crazy lightning storm just before Moosamin. I seemed to squeeze in between the two biggest dark clouds.

The weather was great when I arrived in Winnipeg, but unfortunately this storm pushed eastward and washed out my attempt at playing ball with my friend Dave's team. The other team didn't even show up, but we managed to get a half hour of heckling & batting practice in. No pics due to weather.

I arrived at the Royal Albert around 9:30 pm just as the storm cleared way for a beautiful sunset!

The turnout was small despite the all-star lineup of local talent.

On the decks, was the man, the myth, the legend: DJ Co-op. I hooked him up with a cloth bag from my beloved Fredericton Co-op.

Up first was Grubbs

Second up was Gumshoe Strut, who was joined on stage by P&C familia, Pip Skid.

I went third. Then last was Deep Cave fam consisting of Royal-T, Big Bear, 40 Ounce and Christopher (or Michael).

Also in the house were the legendary DJ Kutdown and Lsan of Foultone

Kutdown, Dwight White and Grubbs all managed to snag some fresh Pimp Juice gear!

It's late. Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful, so I'm hoping to check out some national historic sites...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 54: Saskatoon to Regina, SK

Location: Regina, SK
Total $$ Spent on Gas: $1,882.39

It was a warm & sunny day again today! Unfortunately for the 2nd day in a row, a big dark stormcloud erupted into a downpour as soon as I entered the big city. Today it was Regina. Maybe it's a sign I should be avoiding big cities?

I'd never heard of the Safeway grocery stores before arriving in the prairies. They're everywhere, and I've developed a strong dislike for them. I drive around looking for anything but a safeway. They're overpriced, and the quality of produce disappoints me. ANyway, rant over.

I arrived in Regina to stay with my friend Mike again. Four weeks ago, I stayed with Mike, and now my figure-eight travel of the west coast is complete. It's pretty much the same path back to Sudbury from here.

I'd planned to go to Riding Mountain National Park, but Mike's softball team needed extras, so I didn't think twice about joining them. The lack of physical activity on this tour is really dragging me down.

I joined his team, the "liquor and gaming board". It's the first time I've ever played on all gravel field, with no fences, frequent rabbit crossings, and the occasional delay due to swarms of kids on bikes! Regardless, I had a blast! No pictures though. Oh, and I hit a homerun, and made a catch deep in foul territory :)

Tomorrow is Winnipeg!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 53: Edmonton to Saskatoon

Location: Saskatoon, SK

I like separated double-lane highways... I hadn't seen very many of them since Regina, so the drive from Edmonton to Saskatoon was a breeze. Unfortunately no one told me that gas is 8 cents more expensive in Saskatchewan!

It was a beautiful day, 3rd day above 20 degrees on this trip, but when I drove into Saskatoon, a big dark cloud rolled in and it rained. Fortunately I quickly found my way to CFCR community radio, where Ryan Flaherty interviewed me on Afternoon Buzz!

After that I enjoyed the 20+ weather by hanging out in Kinsmen parc. I finally put a good dent in the book I started reading in April - Sphere by Michael Crichton. I made a bunch of phone calls, and ate my salad lunch on the river bank with some ducks.

Around 8 pm, I linked up with The Gaff who fed me with chinese food and regaled me with tales of his years collecting records. He also put me onto his current Planche Training goals!

I ended the night by linking up with DJ Chaps, who had just returned from Winnipeg with Soso. He gave me a place to crash, and we talked lots of hip-hop, sports and school.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 52: Edmonton

Location: Edmonton, AB
date: Sun, June 15th.

Not much to report. I delayed heading to Saskatoon by a day to get caught up on some work. After 5 hours, I made it a lazy day... Watched Johnny English, ate some Swiss Chalet and discovered I like cherries. No pictures.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 51: Edmonton

Location: Edmonton, AB
Date: Sat, June 14th

We headed out for some breakfast, and upon turning the corner, we came across the Gay Pride Parade. I'd never been to one before, so it was interesting and a lot of fun!

Unfortunately the breakfast spot was closed, so we headed to 'Burger Baron', where I had the most amazing mushroom burger! The sauce was the best part!

Then we headed to the Parliament buildings, where you have to watch out for hills! :)

After a 2 hour nap on the grass, we headed back to the apartment and watched a bit of 'Fifth Element' before cracking open the geode I picked up in Drumheller.

We headed to Hudson's for some nachos before heading to CJSR at 11 pm for the first of 3 radio shows.

First up was "Fresh Tracks" with Mother Peace.

Second up was 'Urban Hang Suite' with Arlo Maverick of Politic Live.

My former hypeman, Ill Real, who I know through DJ Ducats's radio show on CKCU, recently moved to Edmonton. He showed up to pick up his Super Dude shirt!

The night wrapped up around 4 am after chatting with DXL and Thero of the Evil Petting Zoo show.

Day 50: Calgary to Edmonton

Location: Edmonton, AB
Date: Friday the 13th of June

I was a little freaked out by the fact day 50 was Friday the 13th. And other than driving through the craziest wind storm and seeing the largest dinosaur in the world, it was pretty normal!

As I left Calgary, I got hit by another hail storm!

Apparently after I left, Lori had a little photo shoot with Jeza and Kent's new Super Dude t-shirt and can of Pimp Juice :)

I drove a bit out of the way to Drumheller. Home to some great badland landscape, hoodoos, lots of dinosaurs, gas at 123.9 and the largest dinosaur in the world!

Of most interest in Drumheller is the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Several people recommended it. It delves through the history of region, which extends back 70-100 million years when the region was the Bearpaw Sea. There are fossils, fish and lots of dinosaur bones, including real Tyrannosauras.

Also included were live amphibians like salamandars, tarantulas, cockroaches and soft-shelled turtles.

As I exited the museum, there was a big storm heading our way. I drove North towards Edmonton, as big storm clouds rolled in. The wind got so bad that my windshield wipers wouldn't work because the wind would just hold it in the air, until it snapped back down upside down. I can't remember ever driving in a windstorm like that! I headed straight north, taking backroads and managed to outrun the brunt of it

I arrived in Edmonton 3 hours late, but my friend Sarah had a great Indian meal ready for me! While eating, I met her roommate Stephanie, who shared her funny tale of being thrown in the drunk tank.

Our friend, Alexandra came in from Whitecourt. We had some drinks and headed out dancing.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 49: Calgary

Location: Calgary, AB
Date: Thursday, June 12th

I'm tired and it's late, so going to try to keep this short.

Stayed up til 4 am previous night catching up on work. This worked continued through today. Main work item was the "Day 50: The halfway update" newsletter:

I met up with the Calgary Pimp Juice rep to get restocked with juice.

Kent, Lori, Jeza & I went to Sushi Ichiban, where Jeza learned to use chop sticks and tried lemon for the first time.

I spent the evening chatting with the fam, reading "hey diddle diddle", making animal noises and laughing with Jeza.

While headeding to CJSW, I saw a bunny.

I met up with Marco Pringle, the host of The Fat Beat Diet show. We had some great banter and spun some great tracks.

Back to home base to send out the "Day 50" update. Tomorrow I'm headed to Drumheller to see dinosaurs and then Edmonton.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 48: Calgary

Location: Calgary, AB
Date: Wed, June 11th

After 3 days in a row with 6 hours sleep, I slept 11 glorious hours. I was en route to CJSW at the University of Calgary, when it started to hail.

I made it to campus, but struggled to find CJSW because all the roads I was supposed to follow were closed for construction. Apparently they're putting just over 300 million into improvements to U of C.

After some wandering around, I finally found CJSW.

I met up with the host of 'Ok Ship Lights', Doug Horner. We chatted, and played some great tunes. He put me onto folks like Edmonton's ID and Calgary's Frantic Artillery and Rank Nubah. We also spun a track from the new Dragon Fli Empire and the More Or Les track off the new Herbaliser album.

I headed back to my cousin Lori's, where her husband made a great meal!

Their daughter Jeza (pronounced Yay-za) is a cutie full of smiles! :)

I retired to my room after dinner to try and catch up on music work... I'm still plugging away...

Day 47: Banff to Calgary

Location: Banff, AB
Date: Tues, June 10th

We were up early for a touristy day in Banff. Unfortunately it was pouring rain and foggy. So I parted ways with Sheldon, Nicole & Stacey, as they headed to Lake Louise and I caught up on some work.

Around 1 pm we re-united at the Banff Gondola. Sheldon & Nicole had free tickets, so they went for a ride into the fog. I decided against going, which turned out to be a good thing because they said they couldn't see anything. And it was snowing a lot at the top!

So we headed to the Banff Upper Hot Springs at Sulphur Mountain, where we relaxed in the outdoor pool. The water is heated naturally when it comes out of the mountain, but it is cooled and chlorinated for healthy pool use.

I headed to Deep Cave and Basin National Historic Site to learn about the hot spring water. The smell of sulphur was strong, tropical fish live in the water and white bacteria cover the water beds.

The natural hot water basin was originally found in 1883 by three railway workers. Groundwater seeps through several kms of the earth's crust, where it's heated, pressurized and loaded with minerals - sulphate, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium and sodium. Mineral water!

After that I spent a couple hours in my van working on my "Day 50 Update Email", when an elk dropped by to say 'hi'.

The fog had cleared enough by 7 pm, that a trip up Norquay Mountain seemed necessary. Unfortunately it was too dark and cloudy for pictures to turn out that great.

However, I did get up close and personal with a horned sheep who circled my van a couple times before I left.

My employee discount hotel room in Banff fell through after the hotel booked full, likely due to the rain. So I left early headed to my cousin's in Calgary!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 46: Kamloops to Banff

Location: Banff, AB

I was up at 6 am in Kamloops. As I left town, I noticed these neat mounds on the countryside. Are they coolies or hoodoos?

I made my way to Mount Revelstoke National Park. The park features a road that goes all the way to the mountain peak. I was excited, but unfortunately, only the first 13 of 24 kms were open. Snow covered the last 11 kms.

There are a few chains of mountains in BC/AB. The Rockies are the most well known, but Mount Revelstoke is part of the Selkirks. Also to be seen are the Monashees, Cariboos and Purcells. Fortunately there was still a great view from 13 kms up.

I was making good progress towards meeting up with friends Nicole, Sheldon and Stacey in Banff until I locked my keys in my van. Fortunately a nice older German couple drove me to the front gate, where I called for help. The sun was out, so I caught some rays. A couple hours later I was back on track.

But construction, fallen rocks and slow drivers made driving slow. Fortunately some sections have nets to prevent rocks from falling.

The mountains have occasional tunnels, some of which were really dark!

I was exhausted, so I took a nap by The Kicking Horse River at Field in Yoho National Park. The water in the parks is such a refreshing blue-green glacier colour!

As I approached Banff, a nice rainbow appeared... unfortunately my camera doesn't do such a great job at capturing rainbows.

Finally I arrived in Banff, to meet up with Nicole, Sheldon and Stacey. Sheldon had saved me a great supper before preparing some bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. So good!

We made smores by the open-fire. Something I needed help remembering how to do. I used my gluten-free rice crackers!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 45: Vancouver to Kamloops

Location: Kamloops, BC

So I'm headed back east after 43 days of travelling west. I'm really going to miss the Vancouver sushi. I got a $5.50 fix today for 18 rolls... soo good! I could see myself moving to Vancouver someday!

I parted and made my way to CFBX in Kamloops.

I am crashing with radio show host Ben, who is kicking me off his Internet. Good night!

Day 44: Vancouver

Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: Sat, June 7th

I spent the day at Kitsilano Beach hanging out with friends, drinking some wine.

I hung out at my friend, Freyja's, for a bit and occupied my mind by taking some creative pictures.

Freyja painted my 'In Awe of Simplicity' poster, and also painted Skratch Bastid.

Then we made our way to Stix for dinner.

After supper, we headed to 'Falconettis', where Zach & Freyja seemed to know everyone! The DJ spun a really great eclectic mix of songs.

I found out that in Vancouver, different streets have different liquor licenses. On Commercial drive, they can't serve liquor after midnight. So we headed to Tanner & Katie's place to continue the party!

Folks in Vancouver seem to like their Tequila!

There was even a dance party room and a whiteboard session, but the real hits of the party were Rick and Jackie:

Finally the party ended and I was in bed by 5 am.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 43: Vancouver

Location: Vancouver, BC

The sun came out today!! woohoo! I spent the morning/afternoon catching up on music related work. I'm still 125 emails behind. (sorry to everyone I haven't responded to). I got to hang out with Coby the white poodle a little bit too.

I returned to the Rice Bakery to get more bread, cookies and brownies - so good!

Laura finished her conference responsibilities, so we celebrated with a trip to this very funky Japanese restaurant called The Eatery on Broadway. The decor was amazing (I was pissed I forgot my camera), and food delicious!

I treked all the way across town to Simon Fraser University to meet up with Matt Chan (of No Luck Club) on his 'Straight No Chaser' show on CJSF.

We had a great chat about life, girls, food and especially canadian hip-hop. Always great to catch up! He's scoring the instrumental for a theatre production, so watch out! Oh yeah, he recommends Bon's Off Broadway at Nanaimo & Broadway for a cheap, but great breakfast in Vancouver!

On the drive back to Laura's, I stopped for gas. You might remember me writing about how in Thunder Bay I started noticing that gas prices at the pump were different than those advertised. That's continued all the way west on the drive to Vancouver. It's really annoying because you don't have any idea what the actual price at the pump is!

Today was the most extreme case, where the advertised price at the Esso I stopped at was 142.6, but at the pump it was 131.4. That's a difference of 11.2 cents!! Ridiculous! To the east coasters reading this, I had to take photographic evidence!

When I returned to Laura's, they'd been into the wine. So I used the cork screw I'd gotten from Alex on Tuesday to finally open the bottle of wine I'd gotten from Jay & Kristina in Waterloo. I got my second buzz of the tour!

I've scheduled my first work-free day of the tour for tomorrow (Saturday)... Plans include friends, sushi, picnics, wine, beaches and if I'm lucky some tennis.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Robert Muraine

My good friend David Z from Affinity Productions emailed me a youtube link to amazing popper Robert Muraine... check it out:

Day 42: Vancouver (no Vancouver Island)

Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: Thursday, June 5th.

With a downpour outside and being unable to get in touch with DJ Chuck Norris (of the CHLY show I was supposed to attend in Nanaimo), I decided to stay in Vancouver.

I spent the day following up on show bookings (I really wish people would respond to emails & phone calls) and other tasks.

In the evening, I met up with a friends Freyja, Kasia and Zach at a nice cozy place called 'Falconettis' on Commercial Drive.

I'm exhausted and feeling a bit down. I'm way behind on all the tasks related to the tour, but I'm trying not to think about it. I'm also a bit disappointed to have driven all this way, but not make it to Vancouver Island... It'll have to be a trip all its own in the future!

I'm also used to playing sports a couple times a week, and I think the lack of physical activity is building up some unresolved angst!

I also don't like inconveniencing other people, so crashing at people's places can be stressful for me. Sometimes I prefer sleeping in my van just for that reason. So, after being on the road and crashing at other people's pads for 40 days, I'm definitely craving my own domain in Ottawa. Three more weeks and I'll be there for a 2-day layover before Atlantic Canada!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 41: Vancouver

Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: Wed, June 4th.
Total Kms driven: 11,188 kms
Total $$ spent on gas: $1,495.34

Well, I'd hoped to visit Vancouver Island (Port Alberni, Tofino, Nanaimo, Victoria), but my brakes had been giving me problems. The calipers had seized up, which is basically the same as driving with your brakes on all the time. They wore down the new brakes pads, but not too much. The bill came to $285. No Vancouver Island for me. At least Thursday was pouring rain, so I don't feel bad! :)

On the way to 'Budget Brakes & Exhaust', I got to cross the Lion's Gate Bridge during dayling hours:

After getting the brakes fixed up, I made myself at home in Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. I spent a couple hours wandering the beaches and eating lunch with a great view of the Lion's gate bridge, Stanley Park, boats & such.

While wandering the beach, I kept coming across weird seaweed type bulbs. I'd never seen anything like them before. I popped one and it was hollow in the middle. Anyone know what they are?

After wandering around the beaches, I set up shop in my van and banged out this ad that Peace Magazine sponsored me with:

Laura was working late at the university, so I headed there to hang out and drop by CITR.

Finally around 2 am we made it back to her place where I passed out. I've been completely exhausted the last few days, and I'm so ridiculously behind on bookings, phone calls, emails, facebook, myspace, etc... Anyone wanna help a dude out with booking shows?

Day 40: Vancouver

Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: Tues, June 3rd

The Monday drive from Lac La Hache to Vancouver left me completely exhausted and drained. I'm crashing with my friend Laura, who is completely consumed with her conference this week at University of British Columbia. She's doing her doctorate on effects of disabilities on couples. Her roommate, Donald, has filled me in on his doctorate work doing 3-D mapping of the tongue and larynx.

I met up with Maple Mothership fam, Parker Lewis, who I hadn't seen since my 2004 tour at his radio show at CKDU in Halifax. Last year, I helped him out with some promo for his Cancon compilation. He's gluten free as well, so he treated me to some Toshi Sushi, which was amazing! He also put me onto Choices Rice Bakery on 16th & Trafalgar. I bought chocolate chip cookies which didn't last 24 hours...sooo good!

Tuesday night I dropped by CFRO Co-operative Radio to visit DJ Sage on his 'Urban Renewal Project' show. It's located at West Hastings & Columbia, so I got a first hand view of their ghetto area.

I had a blast at the show. Co-hosts O-Dog and Big M were great for the show!

And first time newbie, Alex, hooked me up with a cork screw with a light so I'll someday be able to drink the wine that Jay & Kristina hooked me up with in Waterloo!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 39: Lac La Hache to Vancouver

Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: Mon, June 2nd

At the Lac La Hache hotel, I awoke to a beautiful, but cloudy scene.

Around 1:30 pm I hit the road and decided to take the scenic route via Lillooet & Whistler to Vancouver. This "scenic route" had probably the most treacherous, twisty and mountainous roads I've ever driven on. A lot of 10% to 15% grade hills, single lane bridges and 180 degree turns.

There was fallen rock and trees covering different sections of the road. I was actually a bit scared a few times of the long drop offs and lack of guard rails. Some lower sections were partially flooded. And it ended turning a 4 hour drive into an 8 hour drive!

With that being said, the hills were magnificent with terrain unlike anything I'd seen before.

I also ended up quite high in the mountains for certain parts of the drive.

Here's a nice pic of Lillooet. I was supposed to have a radio show there, but I couldn't get ahold of anyone. Also, they have no public washrooms, at least that's what the Esso attendant told me when he refused to let me use their washrooms unless I bought something! :)

While I was taking scenic pictures, I happened to catch a train making it's way through a mountain tunnel!

After 7 hours of driving, I reached Squamish (about an hour from Vancouver) and decided I needed a break and some food. My pal Mat The Alien lives there, so we met up for some grub at Shady Tree Pub and watched the first two periods of the Wings vs Ducks game.

He's been really busy doing shows in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, etc. He put me onto the Cypha.Nex crew and the Shambhala Music Festival, both in Nelson, BC, along with Vancouver's ostwelve. He's also been busy laying down cuts and beats for folks like Sweatshop Union, Fort Knox Five and Bassnectar.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 37D: Banff/Jasper Mountain Pics

Date: Sat, May 31st

Pics from Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.

Day 37C: Banff/Jasper Wildlife Pics

Day: Sat, May 31st

All told, during my drive I saw 2 moose, 3 black bears, 4 grizzly bears, 7 long horned sheep, deer, elk and more.

Day 37B: Banff/Jasper Wildlife Pics

I watched these two grizzly bears walk around for awhile. And then they decided to cross right in front and behind my vehicle. No zoom required. My heart was pumping...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 37E & 38: Prince George

Location: Prince George, BC

I arrived in Prince George to play a show at Pizzaricos.

DJ Siab opened up the night with some hip-hop including a nice blast of Z Trip's 'Breakfast Club'.

Versus opened up the night, with Shae dropping rhymes, DJ Siab with the beats and Max (of Mama Guroove) on keyboards.

The crowd was small, but I had a fun time - lots of thumbs in the air and folks up and shaking their caboose. The city vibe reminds me a bit of Sydney, NS.

I ended up sleeping in my van parked behind some big white trucks on the campus of University of Northern BC, after I couldn't find the hotel Shae had recommended. It was cozy and I was up early to enjoy a beautiful sunny day!

I visited Meow Records, which recently won best record store in Canada. Unfortunately it was Sunday and closed. Someday I'll meet the owner Bryndis, who used to be Music Director at CFUR

Then I dropped by Masich Place Stadium where Versus were playing as part of 'Healthy Kids' day. They even invited me on stage for me to drop a few freestyles, which must have been decent because a dude donated $40 toward my tour!

It can be lonely on the road... so I gave a big hug to a T-Rex (Shouts to Ghettosocks). Shae was more on point with his poses!

I took the rest of the afternoon to hike out to the lake at "Forests for the World", where I ate my lunch enjoying the lake all to myself.

The Visitor's Centre recommended I check out "Cottonwood Island Nature Park" to see the damage done by last winter's ice jam. Basically all the paths had been replaced by water, and I couldn't do much hiking. But the Beavers were hard at work fixing things up.

Unfortunately the radio appearance with Moodz couldn't happen at CFUR, but I met up with him anyway.

I drove to Lac La Hache and splurged on a motel for $50 with wireless Internet. Checkout time was 11 am, but I've been sitting in my van for 2.5 hours updating this. They've asked me to move on out... so I'm gone to Vancouver!

Day 37A: Lake Louise to Jasper

Location: Jasper, AB
Date: Sat, June 1st

This is the view I awoke to in my van at 6 am in Lake Louise.

This is Lake Louise at 6 in the morning!

For the rest of the trip, I saw lots of Rockies Mountains and wildlife! I'm going to post pics...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 36B: Banff to Lake Louise

Location: Lake Louise, AB
Day: Fri, May 30th

I arrived in Lake Louise around 5 pm and decided that I'd crash there for the night. No one told me that the lake would still be frozen at the end of May! I dug out my winter jacket and mittens, and I ate my lunch on a bench at the lake's edge. It snowed a little bit.

Lake Louise gets its water from the Victoria Glaciers as demonstrated below:

After exploring a bit, I returned to take another picture around 8 pm. Notice that the lake is more frozen 3 hours later.

That's when I noticed this little fella. I followed him around for about a half hour, snapping up pictures. (I have to keep my mind occupied somehow!)

Unfortunately he wasn't very good at posing for pictures, but I did manage to get a couple I liked:

While I was chasing around chippy, a couple birds starting dropping by. They darted around a lot, so it was hard to get a good picture.

After that photo op, I took a walk in a park, and came across an Elk. I snapped a few pictures, but it was too dark for them to turn out. I ended the night by parking my van at Lake Louise and sleeping in it there.

Day 36A: Cranbrook to Banff

Location: Lake Louise, AB
Date: Fri, May 30th

I spent the morning catching up on emails and chatting with my cousin Faye. I was on the road by 1 pm.

By 3 pm, I arrived at Kootenay National Park. I debated stopping at Radium Hot Springs, but kept on trucking through winding mountain slopes and even a tunnel through a mountain. Signs promptly warned me that I was now in "Avalanche country"!

They were doing a controlled burn of a wooded area within the park. This is beneficial to the health of the forest.

I stopped at Simpson River.

The Rockies amazed me at first and I snapped lots of photos like the one below. By the time I reached Columbia Icefield Glacier, my mountain photo-taking would stop :) If you look closely, below displays the "Runaway Lane" sign.

Here's the first wildlife I saw (other than deer). I think this is Elk?

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