i have adventures (sometimes)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Perks of Being a Wizard

Having been introduced to the joy of jumping photos in York, I now find it hard to keep my feet on the ground for very long, so Kelsey and I went and jumped in front of the Olympic Cauldron.



All this on our way to rent me a bike and go and cycle the seawall around the peninsula.


Opportunities to play Look Like This Guy were not passed up.
And then Thursday was my last full day in Vancouver. It got off to a weird start when, lying in bed in the morning, I heard Kelsey get back from her brother's house, and spent several paralysed seconds convinced that it was a burglar, until I reminded myself that 7am would be a stupid time for a break in and heard her keys jingling. Of course, I neither wanted to confront a burglar nor make Kelsey think she'd woken me up, so I was planning to pretend to be asleep either way. I'm crafty like that. And don't want burglars to murder me (I apologised to Kelsey later that I'd been willing to let burglars take her stuff).

After my morning adrenaline rush, I set off to Bowen Island, managing to make my way there all by myself without getting lost even once. The downside of being that super-successfully independent was that there was no one there to congratulate me. But I knew I was awesome. And I like to think the old people and school children thought so too, although they were very restrained with their applause.

I took the short ferry trip to the island, and then did my usual trick of looking for signs and following them.

Bring me that horizon and an interesting sign to follow.
I followed a sign to the unfortunately-named Crippen Regional Park, which, despite the murdery name, was a large and very peaceful park, where I followed signs to Killarney Lake.

Camouflage!
I lay down on a picnic bench for 20 minutes before deciding to follow the next sign, thereby tricking myself into a further 4km walk. I find that I walk much further when I don't commit to anything until I see a new sign. And then suddenly I'm hiking great distances in inappropriate shoes.


The Lake Loop was a beautiful walk through the woods, where, my brain working like it does, I was alternately on the trail of a cult, leaping over logs to sneak into Faerie, and a wizard, because forests are a good place to be a wizard. I also found the following tree(s), with a new little tree growing on top of the stump of an old one, and decided they were a striking metaphor for how new things come out of old, or how death is a part of life, or something else I would have written in an English essay.


I was entranced by this rare sight, until I looked around and realised that the wood was full of them, which of course meant that all of that was rubbish and I was actually in a forest of PARASITIC ALIEN TREES who had probably turned former hikers into tree stumps and were slowly sucking the life out of them.

But I was ok. I'm a wizard.

I got back to the mainland sore and tired, and spent my last night in Vancouver watching Pride and Prejudice with Kelsey, and even managing to stay up until grown up bed time.

The next morning, Kelsey and her sister helped me find my way to the bus stop and waved goodbye as I set off for Seattle. Crossing the border into the States took ages, and I got asked a long list of questions about my plans that made me feel guilty and shifty despite the fact that I am actually here perfectly legally and planning to leave within the appropriate time frame (and am a wizard). They made me fill out a form and pay a surprise $6 fee (I think for processing the form they made me fill out), but at least I wasn't the only person holding the bus up, because another one of those shady foreigners was being made to jump through the same hoops.

I decided against taking my travel sickness pills and packed them in my hold luggage, not because I am a wizard, but because I didn't want to be knocked out for the rest of the day. Which meant that I got to be awake to experience my nausea and regret for all 6 hours of the 4 hour bus trip (nice going, Quick Shuttle). Luckily I didn't have to try and read anything, because Kelsey had downloaded the audiobook The Casual Vacancy for me with her extra Audible credit, so I got to read with my ears while curled up in a ball and dreaming of salty things (me, not my ears).

At rather long last, we made it to Seattle, and I stepped off the bus into the land of vegan donuts and... actually, that was all I knew about Seattle until yesterday. But that seemed like a pretty good reason to visit a city to me. Although it has made for some strange looks when I tell people why I'm here.

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