Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rossland Recap

On Sunday July 3 we all took off for Rossland, BC - first stop was to the Quality Suites at the Toronto Airport to hole up before an 08:00 departure. 

We arrived on Monday morning at 11:30 local time in Castlegar, BC, and were met by Trevor and his boys.  We got our belongings into the car and it was only another 50km to reach our ultimate destination.   It is quite handy traveling westward as the time change works in your favour.  We still had the whole day to explore, run, bike, and do those things we were going to do....

The weather wasn't so great.  We were there for 8 days and it barely reached past 18 centigrade, and it rained most of the trip too.  However, we made the most of what was dealt and got in a number of great events outdoors.

* 2 runs with Trevor; a 10 miler up Red Mountain and around, and another 6 miler out the Cascade Highway and back (first run killed, killed my legs and was stiff and sore for 4 days...)

* 2 good hikes up to Red Dog cabin, and a second one out to a cabin at Black Jack ski area (Hemlock)

* 2 good bike rides; 1 with Tara and the boys, the 2nd with Trevor and the boys.  Trevor, the boys and I took Milky Way down to Warfield BC, the other was on Pay Dirt at Red - witnessing Tara drop off Old Blue Eyes in front of 8 on-lookers, and in the rain(ish)!  It was very, very, impressive.

* Lots and lots of great eats and drinks and board games with everyone (Lots of Rubik's cubing)

* 1 good road trip into Nelson, BC to check out the colour and flavour there

* Lots of playground play, in the rain(ish) with all the kids

* Wally and I crossed paths with a sizable black bear at the ski hill early one morning - it paid absolutely no attention to us whatsoever, but I watched it quite intently from less then 100m = It was the biggest black bear I had ever seen, although I have only probably seen 4 or 5 in my life, it was the biggest

* Great visit with Joel, Trista and their boys - see you soon back in Ontario

* An afternoon at the Trail indoor pool, followed by another afternoon on a different day at the Trail splash pad (Gyro Park)

* Huckle, Straw, and Rasp berry picking

* Feeding the neighbour's chicken's

* Lots of work talk with everyone's chosen vocation; Trevor @ Teck, Tara with Canada Post, and of course Shelly and me with the board of education

* Backyard action like trampolining, paddle ball, and an outdoor fire

It was a great trip all in all.  Wonderful hospitality and wonderful to see family....  Like I wrote the weather wasn't great, nor was the travel for Wally....  He is just so squirmy, and being confined for so long was not great.  But we did have empty seats beside us which sort of made it better....  However Molly traveled fantastically.  She got into the airplane movies and the complementary juice on the plane just fine.

The 3 boys all got on just fine.  Cole and Grayson were wonderful hosts to Wally; getting him lots of toys and playing with him - all those things.  Molly was a bit of an outsider and as much as she tried to fit into the situation and keep up with everything, the BC boys just were a bit skeptic of her and would have preferred if she had stayed in Ontario perhaps.  What can I say?  It isn't or wasn't like Molly was ostracized, but she wasn't Wally....  That may be the easiest way to explain things.  It was like that 2 years ago too, and will continue I am sure.  Anyway - later in life they can read this and laugh about how they all were.  You know, quotes like, "That girl can't sit there....  I don't want that girl to touch my things....   That girl punched me....."  Funny enough I suppose.
So that is the basic rundown.  Shelly and I had a great dinner out on the 10th to celebrate our 6th anniversary.  We ate at Gabrielle's inside the Prestige hotel.  It was good...  I just had my birthday when we got home.  Turned 41 and it wasn't a big deal.  John Coup's and Scott Middleton came over.  We had a beer or two.  Then we jumped into the lake off the pier at eleven or so at night.  Finally Coup's took me out for wings.....  Been running a wee bit; not much, just a bit.
Nary a picture of Shelly and me together - not even on the anniversary this year....  Next time.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Biking

We are building up our biking legs and tolerance for our upcoming British Columbia trip.  We hit the rail road tracks the other day for a bit of a loop towards Auburn, then towards Ball's Bridge, and back to our starting point of Brindley's Trucking at the 9km marker along the trails. 

Molly got this new (used/gifted) tow behind contraption which she really loves.  The lucky girl now has no less then 4 bikes to choose from.  She has a red tricycle that she can propel, and a runner bike that is blue.  She also has a traditional bike with training wheels (still attached), and now, this new device that my buddy Drew Anderson dropped off.  She really loves them all.  I see a few kids her age without training wheels, so it is something to shoot for this summer.  Molly really loves the freedom of going around the block all by herself on the bike.

Wally is happy enough to be carted along behind on a traditional baby carrier on the rear of a bike.  He is in it everyday actually as we have been riding the bike to and from the YMCA in the mornings.  He likes to get his cold little hands up your back, and or down the back of your pants. 

I also ripped out on the motorbike this afternoon and brought my camera along, but didn't get any evidence.  I just had a few errands to run, and then I took off for a bit of a spin around Ashfield Township.  



Monday, June 6, 2016

More Video from Cabot Trail


Rich Johnston created this four and one half minute montage of our exploits on the trail and during the race.  Thanks Rich = It looks awesome.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Phlox

Worth growing for its delicious fragrance alone, dame's rocket also offers showy, long-lasting flowers and is as trouble-free an herb as you could ask for.

Not to me.

Shelly's band performed to kick off the summer concert series on the Square in Goderich tonight.  They are known as Dame's Rocket.  They rehearse just about any place they find room, thus, I have heard them many times over the past 3 or 4 years at the house.  Their last show was at the Lucknow Legion about two years ago now, maybe a year and a half.....  So they dusted off the microphones, got out their gear, and took to the stage for a 28 song set. 

The kids and I took in about a third of the show.  Molly, and about 10 other kids, danced and played to the music for a good 30 minutes.  Wally just sat back and enjoyed it for a bit, then he got out of the stroller to stroll around.  I took pictures and cheered loudly for the ladies.  The crowd topped at about 200 people.  By all accounts everyone liked what they heard.
They did a really good job hitting their harmonies and staying in tune.  The guitar was the primary instrument, but they also used a slide whistle at times, a tambourine, and a kazoo.  Their strength is their voices and being able to hit a sufficient range befitting for a group of girls with very little training and instruction.  They are all self taught as far as I know.  Katie hit 10th place at Canadian Idol back in the mid 2000s which is quite an achievement.  Her sister Kelly is equally capable.  Shelly has a music degree (trumpet), and the other two ladies kind of fill in appropriately.  Their matching t-shirts finished the ensemble.

I hope they keep at it and get together for a few more shows.  I know it is a lot of work for them. 
 

Dames Rocket Concert


video
Find attached the girls doing a mash-up of Rocket Man, as well as Space Oddity to kick off Goderich's summer concert series.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cabot Trail Relay Map

This is the break down of each part of the race....

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

More Cabot Trail

I have a tonne of pictures of the boys from this weekend.  Lots of smiles and lots of good mood images, even though Dennis Fairall's fellers suffered their first loss at the famed Cabot Trail relay.  We had won in 2009, and again in 2010, and made another appearance in the 2016 race.  We would finish second to a formidable team from the state of Maine called the Mainiacs.  It was a great victory for them as the set the course record from our 2010 team finishing 280km in 16 hours and 11 minutes.  We ran 16:33.


The running journey started on December 1st for me, but the actual travel journey started last Thursday night when Phil Dalton and I set out from Goderich to the Toronto airport.  We had a Friday morning, eight o'clock flight.  We'd be joined by Rich Tremain and Mark Kiteley for the first leg of the trip, then picked up Nick Best as we made it to Sydney, NS by noon.  Off to pick up the rental vehicle.






We got into Baddeck by mid afternoon on Friday.  We had arrived a few hours after an intrepid crew of four from Windsor got there.  They had driven!  2000km straight.  Unreal! They must have been very happy to see fresh faces as there were many hugs, high fives, and back-pats.  The mood was excitement all around.  By and by, the rest of the team arrived via Halifax and the team was set.


The race is 280km long, has 17 races, and takes over 27 hours to complete by the time it is all said and done.  We had 15 runners so 2 people ran twice.  We had 3 cars, so we staggered our entry and participation based on the schedule and when people ran.  Once it got going though we all sort of hung out and followed the action.  This time I stayed up the entire time and didn't sleep at all, however the race started at seven am, and a few of us didn't leave the hotel under ten thirty to join the team up the road.  So I was basically there for it all....

I ran the fourth section starting at noon on Saturday.  It was 20k long.  The first nine was rolling, then a 2.1 climb up Old Smokey rising 400m I think.  And then a downhill, and finally rolling again to the finish.  It was difficult enough, but it was a leg I wanted to do and signed up for.  I was sooooo happy with the way I ran and hung tough on it.  I battled with a runner for the entire distance, finishing runner up to his 1:10.20 to my 1:10.40.  I gave it all I had, and left a bit behind on Smokey.....  Running that time for 20k, over that terrain, made me very satisfied and pleased with how I had trained and prepared for the race....  Like the last 5k I was in, I was beat by a better man.  But not too disappointed.  Great run Rajean Chaisson.  Good luck with the running and the coaching in the future.

We had 14 other super runners who left it out on the road.  We brought former Lancers Alex MacLeod, Rich Tremain, Mark Kiteley, Andrew Coates, Phil Dalton, Drew Patterson, Matt Sinclair, Dave DiPiero, Taylor MacArthur, Andrew Kellar, and myself.  We were joined by Nick Best, Matt McNeil, Doug Vincent, and Graydon Snider.  There are countless All-Canadians in that list, a number of CIAU champions, a sub four minute miler, national team members, Windsor graduating years stretching from 1993 to 2014, world record holders (100x1 mile relay, and juggling/joggling world record holder), and all sorts of other weird and wonderful stats represented.  I had a fantastic time with them all.  I new most of them, and got to know a few more and was instantly impressed by what they were able to bring to the race.

We had two other minders and coaches.  Dave Weston and Rich Johnston.  They were part of the driving crew from Windsor and just drove the entire race, dropping us off at check points, gathering our gear, getting beer or food for us, and just taking care of what we needed. 

I would have to type continuously to describe the stories and the revelry/festivities that ensued post race.  We partied it up at the Baddeck Yacht Club fairly hard.   We were joined by most of the other members of the 70 teams competing....  Surprisingly I saw a few people I recognized, whom I hadn't seen in 6 years or more, so I kept it tame and caught up with friends of yesteryear, and also tried to have some good meaningful conversations with guys on the team who I don't get a chance to talk with that much.