Welcome to my blog. I hike and camp in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada, and I am a professional musician.
Feel free to say hi and have a look around. There's lots of posts about my hikes and various movies from these adventures.
Thanks for coming by, Pete

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tantalus ridge walk

The moon was in full eclipse as it rose over the mountains while I watched from my camp 1500 meters above my starting point that morning. Most of this trip is beyond the trail and over the years I have tried to find an easier way up to the high lake. Still haven't found it but the nasty stuff is easier to take, knowing how open it is above the tree line.

The old growth forest is great to pass through on the way up with that cool air and the greenery. There was this mushroom about the size of a plate that looked like a painting.

I like to get up as high as I can above the tree line, where the bears don't go................... very often.
This is the first time that I didn't see any bears in the mid-elevation valley and only saw scat once. A few times in the past I have been cooking in a dense forest area when a bear has crept up to have a sniff. It always amazes me how this big animal can walk along without even snapping a twig. Usually I notice them because I see a shadow move from the corner of my eye.  After dozens of encounters with those critters over the years I continue to treat them with greatest respect. You never know if the next one will be injured or cranky. It always makes me nervous when the food is out, so it feels a lot more comfortable to be looking down over the valley.

Keeping watch over Glacier melt.                                    
Sept 28/2015

Oct. 9  2006

The bug net only came out once on this trip but somehow I'm sure all the biting insects will survive another season without chomping on my hide. 
It's funny how a few minutes of those rare, natural open meadows help you forget about all the gnarly brush in-between.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sullivan Station

One summer day while bobbing around in the kayak on boundary bay I started to wonder about all those pilings sticking up in the bay. Through the local archives I learned that there had been an oyster plant here during the first half of the 1900's. Blackie spit is located on a large flat area slightly above sea level. 
I decided to write a love song set here in 1911 just before all the changes that started in 1912. The man is working at the oyster plant while renting a room at the Crescent lodge. He missed out buying a lot by the beach so instead he plans to clear some land  and build a cabin in the dense forest along the Nicomekl river. He has sent for his sweetheart in Halifax to join him so they can build a life together by the Boundary Bay. She will be arriving on the other side of Panorama ridge at the Sullivan Station.

Nicomekl river

The Coast Salish people harvested shellfish at this site for thousands of years. Walter Blackie, for whom Blackie Spit was named, was the first white occupant of Crescent Beach. He was New Westminter's first blacksmith.

He had paid $50 to Royal engineer J.B. Musselwhite in 1871 for 150 acres. The land was left to Blackie's widow, who in turn sold it to Charles Beecher. When he died it was sold to a group of four land developers. Northern The Great Railroad came through in 1909 which led to local development. When it came time to name the train station it was agreed that Crescent Beach sounded better than Blackie Spit. In 1912 the first hotel was built by Captain Watkin Williams, who also ran a boarding house [Crescent Lodge ]with his wife Bessie. 
I hope you enjoy this trip through time as I put together more hiking videos.
    This painting of The Sullivan Station is by Peter Sawatzky.

Although closed for many years it looks like the Sullivan station will rise again as a light rail transit stop in the near future. What's old is new again.


Monday, January 5, 2015

That Old Fossil Fuel

   'The old fossil fuel' takes place decades into the future with a Granddaughter asking her Grandfather to tell her about the days when the world relied on a seemingly endless supply of fossil fuels. With forecasts and evidence of  more extreme weather events, melting glaciers, polluted aquifers as well as acidification of the ocean,  it's time to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and escalate the transition away from burning fossil fuels. The cost of not facing our changing climate is too great to ignore any longer.
     Our economic system is not sustainable and currently we lack political leadership but I look forward to creating a more stable economy with regard for the health and safety of the planet beyond the next fiscal quarter. It's time for sustainability. 
We have an obligation to try and make the world better for those who follow.
                                                       What have we got to loose?

   My thanks to Zara for singing the Granddaughter part. It took about two hours to write and quite a bit more time to arrange and record the intro and outro. This was one of those rare times where I knew that if I stayed with it I could finish composing it that day. The first version was in a higher key. After doing several instruments I decided to scrap it and start again, lowering the key, making it  better for Zara.     I tried several guitar tunings with the mandolin before I settled on the Dulcimer with the keyboard. The rhythm guitar kept getting in the way and I kept pulling it out of the mix before I did a new part with more restraint. The drums and bass guitar were really fun to do. 'That old fossil fuel' is a bit over-the-top....but from the heart.