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Monday, 4 October 2010

Dave hones his instincts

Saturday was a surprising day.

When I got up, I thought I'd take it easy---maybe do some washing, but get my lazy out there.  Dave had a better idea.  He wanted to take a ride in the country.

Riding in the country with Dave is a joy for some, an ordeal for others.  He never just goes straight somewhere; he sometimes doesn't go to the intended destination at all.  He'll stop anywhere you suggest.  He'll back up or turn around if you see something too late to make a rational and timely decision.  But it can be difficult for people who don't like to meander.  I'm all right with that.  If I don't like what's happening, I always have a book.

Saturday, we had a nice eggy breakfast, consulted each other about layers, maps and scarves and discussed quite civilly the necessity to stay on top of how your camera batteries were doing.  Then we picked up my brother Pat and started out.

Pat's circumstances have changed lately in a number of ways---the most visible of which is that since he no longer has a car, he's lost about 30 pounds. He came out of his house, slim and tweedy, looking like a country gentleman, with his sizable stash of cameras in a battered leather case.

I thought it was a bit early for a "colours" ride, and as it turned out, I, who know nothing about weather and climate and eco-things, turned out to be right.  

We had a destination though.  We were going to go to Westport, a smallish town on a lake, with beautiful switchback roads and breathtaking views.  But first, we had about an hour or 2 of not-being-on-the-highway, and noticing that the trees hadn't hit their peak.  The clouds though were amazing, some stretched out, others fluffy, some banked like woozy apartment buildings and some actually dispensing rain.  I especially liked the ones that were outlined in gold sparkling light.  Go figure.

We were not on a mission, but it was lovely.  Again, fine with me, until I started feeling hungry.

Always open to suggestion, Dave took a detour to the city of Perth---a really lovely little place, which coincidentally has some of our favourite restaurants and gift-shops.  Lunch, which I had foreseen as a veggie sandwich and coffee from Timmies, turned out to be crab cakes, spicy squash soup and a burger with cranberry sauce and brie.  We chose an inferior White Zinfandel, but bravely got through it and moved on to very good coffee and a dense dark chocolate cake with sweet cream in little dobbles around it.

We visited one of the shops and fell in love with a tabletop fountain---beautiful, lovely to listen to and expensive enough to make Pat blanch a bit.  We couldn't think where we could put it and not risk water damage, so we didn't buy it, but haven't stopped thinking about it since then.  I'm going to call them later to get the dimensions, just in case I have a brainstorm.

More meandering, some photo ops and we found ourselves heading northeast and crossing a picturesque wooden bridge.  Both Pat and Dave took in the kind of breath you associate with a Penelope Cruz sighting, as they saw that the bridge went over a long straight stretch of railway line.  We pulled over, and just as we did, the earth started shaking, the trees bowing, the dirt swirling and a frightening noise made up of Whhhoooosh, clang, zoom, chugga chugga filled the air.  I'm not sure I actually knew before what "fill the air" really meant.  Pat and Dave jumped out of the car, leaving doors open, and ran towards the bridge.  Since I hadn't anticipated the wonder of finding a train in the middle of nowhere, I stayed in my seat, put my hands over my ears and hoped that we weren't experiencing the apocalypse.

Once I could see that there was a freight train going under the bridge, I got out, hung over the bridge with Dave and was thrilled to my back teeth by the noise, the wind, the chattering and screeching and the swaying.  What a rush!

No, I have no photos---my camera's battery was down, and I'd jumped out of the car without my Flip camcorder.  But seriously, I don't know how I could have done anything rational while that was going on.  Dave and Pat both took photos, but sadly, the shots look like a long freight going under a little bridge.  The majesty, the mayhem, the bone-tingling is missing.

Then we came home.


  1. Thesha got married in an inn near Westport.

  2. wow, sounds like a perfectly lovely day. I got stuck on that cake you described--so chocolatey. I can definitely picture the whole day in my mind.

  3. How I wish I could have gone. Dave's way is the way I prefer to sight see if I don't have an agenda. I've never found a man who would comply with my dream of meandering--and it's not as fun to do it alone.

  4. Whew! I'm all caught up. You're so much more prolific than me these days.

  5. Sounds like fun! I love driving around aimlessly out in the country. There's a difference between being lost and having no idea where you are.

  6. Looks llke fun and so original sightseeing. I like to drive down roads to see "where they come out," a favorite of my father.