This year has been quite a different year, for lots of obvious reasons. The result has been a lot of different activities for me though, and that came as a surprise. Perhaps it shouldn’t have.
Obviously all of the time spent in the halo meant I couldn’t be active the way I normally would be. One of the byproducts of that is less physical fitness but more time spent writing (rather than taking photos). The latest issue of Pedal magazine arrived in the mail today and I realize that I wrote 3 pieces for that issue including a 4 page piece on the 100th Tour de France and the Canadians who’ve participated in it over the years. And of course I learned a lot along the way, including the following:
1. the first North American to win anything @ le Tour (jersey, stage, etc) was a woman
2. the first Canadian to participate was a lot earlier than the people I knew about (a Quebecois rider by the name of Pierre Gachon was part of a British team in the late 30s)
If you pick up a copy of the “Fashion issue” let me know what you think of the piece (no, none of the fashion photos are mine). There are three separate pieces that I wrote in that issue, that was the most in depth though.
That time included a bunch of interview of which some were meant for web use and others will be used in the future for articles. And it was great talking with some awesome riders, always fun.
Now that I’m back to being a little more mobile, I’m finding it a challenge to write because I’m eager to do things away from home just because I can. And that included my first VW bus event of the year… Buses of The Corn. Our first, since Andrea wouldn’t head to a VW campout on her own. Having said that, she did take Babe out on a solo adventure to the 24 Hours Summer Solstice bike race back in June though.
The Potts family has been organizing this event since 2001, with Greg and his wife Colleen having a key role in making it happen. BoTC isn’t one of the bigger events on the campout calendar but it is close to home and a gathering of a bunch of local friends so it’s one we’ve tried to make a point of getting to. It’s also the first campout we went to after buying Babe. The other one that’s always on my calendar is BusFusion but it wasn’t to be this year so being able to get to “the Corn” was a big deal.
A new location for this year also made it a bit more of an adventure (and a bit more of a drive). It made it a LOT more of a great event though and I can see it getting a lot more popular just because of the venue change.
The new location, Selwyn Beach Conservation Area on the shore of Lake Chemong north of Peterborough, is a little bit more of a drive for folks in Toronto and West. It’s well worth the extra travel time! Here’s a clue…
|Blue skies, sunsets and meteor showers were the weekend lineup
BTW, the only camera I brought was a little GoPro Hero3 (and my iPhone of course). Taking photos without an LCD or viewfinder is an interesting challenge…
|Top of the hill, above the beach. Nice morning view
Andrea and I got off to a late start which is what we expected since we both had a full day of work to get through first. Packed up, a little shopping and on the road around 6:30pm. We expected traffic on a Friday evening in the summer to be bad but it actually wasn’t so we made good time. We didn’t get lost (much), realized we had brought bathing suits but forgot towels (didn’t find an open store to buy any once we realized it and really didn’t care) and got to the campout just after sunset (and at the peak of mosquitoes for the evening!). We were still able to pick a nice spot to camp though, one of the benefits of a smaller event. And in the morning we got to see how lucky we were!
The campfire was fun and there were a lot of hugs from people who’d been looking forward to seeing us after all they’d heard. Honestly, I was really touched. So… thank you my friends.
Somehow it even worked out that Andrea tried some tequila (a campfire tradition for those who attend the events but not one that Andrea generally participates it). Patron Gold is a nice one to start in with though and that’s what Gord offered (in his custom made pottery shot glasses).
The campfire is always a central part of these events; a mix of the fire and the music and the conversations. This year the conservation area provided wood for us to burn and Greg made a decision to leave all the furniture burning behind. A win-win I think.
|Greg (L) and Frank (middle), a bursst of sparks, plus a knee & chair 🙂
Saturday’s plan was pretty full, starting with the burrito breakfast and then moving on to paddling and swimming. There was a tie-dye session in the afternoon and then the pot-luck + corn roast dinner. I got to learn about how many people there were also vegetarian… we ate really (REALLY) well. And had lots of great dinner conversation over food and wine. Getting to know people you’re only met before can be such a delight and I can honestly say that the time we spent chatting with J & J was a genuine pleasure. Not the only one of course, this is an eclectic and very interesting group of people.
|more food and more conversation!
Of course that was followed up by another campfire but I’ll be honest and say I was pretty tired so I didn’t stay up all that late. I get the impression I’m not the only one too, I guess the combination of fresh air, lots of sun, and a beach to play at had people a little tuckered out.
Here are a few more photos from the weekend, including a few shots of the bocci game (the french call it pétanque)… next year I’m going to team up with Andrea as she’s an experienced player and see if we can’t take top honours! lol