Saturday, 7 July 2007

Day Tripping

Now that school’s over for the summer, I thought that I would be blogging way more frequently than I am now. Unfortunately, life got in the way. Stuff happens, things got busy, and I kept forgetting the camera. Luckily, I remembered Friday when I went on a ride combined with some errands.

The first photo is in Maple Ridge. When I have the time to take the backroads, there are so many picturesque sights and pastoral scenes, that I think I could just feature shots of horse country in Maple Ridge and I’d have a year’s worth of photos.

After a latté with a good friend at Starbucks, I headed off to Port Coquitlam for a massage therapy appointment. I hadn’t been for over a year and my back was getting quite sore.

My massage therapist is a smallish woman by the name of Anna. She’s a bit shy but also good natured. Although she is sometimes tentative in conversation, it never fails that she finds the most painful knot in my back in about 4 seconds and then works it for a good five minutes until I can’t stand it any more - then she repeats with a different spot - on and on - for 45 minutes. The thing is, I don’t particularly enjoy the massage therapy while it happens, but, man, does it feel good after!

Between appointments, I had some time to scoot so I headed north up a part of Poco called Burke Mountain. The most difficult part of the ride was trying to take a photo that showed how steep the hill was! I tried a few different techniques and ended with the photo that you see. It was a nice place to ride as there was little traffic and some nice shady parts. It was a hot day - around 32° C. - and shade was a very good thing.

Speaking of traffic., my last appointment was in New Westminster and I usually take the Mary Hill Bypass because it’s the most direct route. Unfortunately, cars zoom along at a pretty fast clip and there are a ton of big trucks rolling by. It’s also quite hilly and there are long stretches where I am stuck doing under 50 km/h.

I had a little extra time, however, and I decided to take the Lougheed Highway all the way. This stretch of road used to freak me out when I was a kid because there was a couple of mental institutions on the road - big, institutional, grey, faceless buildings with high fences and barred windows.

There is still one left - that’s noted by the red arrow in the photo - but there are not many patients left. Most have long been returned to the community, for better or worse, living in group homes or cared for by family.

The traffic still goes by pretty quickly but there were very few trucks, less traffic, and pretty flat roads. It added some time to my travels but reduced my stress level significantly.

The last little incident - I was stopped at a light and some guy on a motorcycle pulled up beside me. His bike had a huge engine - the word Valkrie was on it - and it looked like a big American car engine turned on its side. Anyway, the guy was very friendly and we had quite the chat while waiting for the light to turn. I’m beginning to realize that all of us people on two wheels are sort of in the same club, whether you’re riding 50ccs or 500. It’s a nice feeling.


CodyandMichelle said...

I hear you partner on the massage therapy. They find that knot and almost bring me to tears. Like you I don't much enjoy the massage until after it's over.
BTW, I haven't seen you visit me in a long time. I'm blogging my summer trip with the vespas, come on over and say hello.

Steve Williams said...

Dave: Those mental institutions are scary places at best. I grew up on an island and across the river was a place called Dixmont Insane Asylum. It was a legend among kids on the island and had a strange wailing siren that went off at all times of the day and night. Kid legend had it that some madman was loose and coming to get us....

There is a picture of the place at this LINK

I wish I still had that kind of imagination!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Dave Dixon said...


Yes. massage therapy is certainly a pain now, gain later type of proposition.

Enjoying your pics on your blog! Have a great trip!


Oooh - that is a scary looking place! I know that when we drove past there in the family car when I was a kid, I was always a bit worried that the car would break down and we would be stranded with some psycho killer wandering the highway....