“There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.”
- Robert Service

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Murals of Sudbury

 Before I left Sudbury, there was one project I needed to complete. While I have probably groaned on more than once about how "very blue collar" Sudbury is, I did like that the city was trying to liven things up. To help things along, Sudbury created the "Up Here" festival a couple of years ago. During this art-and-music-loving party, muralists were invited! This year, there was even a duo of artists participating from France, though their piece can only be seen by air balloon. So, as a final ode to the Big Nickel, I took a walk about town to photograph as many of the murals as I could find...

Seen from Larch and Elgin street
Larch and Elgin Street, above the Speakeasy
Medina Lane and Durham St.
Elgin Street
Elgin Street Mixed-Media Mural
140 Durham Street at the YMCA
Above the Medina Lane Elk Woman
131 Durham Street
131 Durham Street
Medina Lane
Medina Lane
Medina Lane is quickly filling up!
Old City Hall Lane at Durham
Old City Hall Lane at Durham
Old City Hall Lane at Elgin
54 Elgin Street
Old City Hall Lane and Young Street
The Kingsway at Fabro Street retaining wall
187 Shaughnessy Street (Wacky Wings)
212 Minto Street
212 Minto Street
Elgin Street Railway underpass
Elgin Street Railway underpass
Elgin Street Railway underpass (south side)
Elgin Street Railway underpass
Elgin Street Rainway Underpass
154 Durham Street
Baker Street at Mackenzie Street
Mackenzie Street at Kathleen Street
Mackenzie Street at Kathleen
If ever you want to go searching for these murals, I was able to walk to most of them. By bicycle, you could definitely make an outing of it. The best bit is that more murals go up with each Up Here festival, so there will always be more to look for! And a google search revealed that there were still a few more already up that I hadn't found on my own. I suggest you check them out and send me a photo...

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Big Things Across Canada

As I wait patiently in employment limbo, I've had the chance to catch up on some things that have been nagging at me. One of them was to finally finish knitting a pair of gloves. Another was to spend some time on this blog! I really do like writing about the little adventures I've been on, and I find it rather settling to write about more exciting times when things are less so. It seems to put things in perspective and remind me that while we all like to feel exciting, but we can't be exciting all the time. Things only get exciting when you have simpler times to compare them with!

Many of you already know that Michael and I closed up shop in Sudbury and moved west last month. It was time to go back to our mums and dads (who missed us dearly), and Michael was going to go back to school to get his Master's degree in Urban Planning at UBC. On Aug 20, he and Tara (a fantastic friend and Sudburian who took up our offer of a spare seat in the road-trip-mobile)  and I piled into our little Elantra and set off on a two week road trip.

Just to keep things interesting, we made it a goal to stop and visit as many "Big Things" along the route as possible. As it turns out, there are loads of them! To help us out, we used the handy google maps overlay provided by roadsideattractions.ca If you're ever on a Canadian road trip, I would highly suggest the use of this website.

And now, Canadian Big Things!:
August 21 - Day 1:
First stop: The Sudbury Big Nickel. Also, it was pouring rain.
Giant Muskoka chair in Thessalon, Ontario
Echo Bay's Giant Loonie. "Most visitors agree that Algoma County's big loonie has 20 times the value of Sudbury's Big Nickel."
Sioux Ste. Marie's Giant Baseball
Wawa's most recent Canada Goose
This is Wawa's original giant goose, relocated to 200m away from it's original place of glory. Michael makes an excellent goose impersonator.
White River's Winnie The Pooh. I offered to give Michael a boost to high-five the bear and received a face-full of crotch for my helpfulness.
Aug 22:
Nipigon's Paddle-to-the-Sea Boatman. I liked the extra seats in the boat for added interactiveness.
August 23:
Thunder Bay's large curling rock was a tad heavy for proper "Hurry Hard!-ing"
It's true what they say about the bugs in Northern Ontario. Thanks for making this enormous mosquito carrying off an unfortunate tourist, Upsala.
Dryden's Giant Moose was only a little bit larger than real life, I think.
Spotted Big Foot in Vermillion Bay. Michael had to fight him to save Tara. We still needed her for all the driving...
Tara and Mike got into more trouble down the road with the Volkswagon Spider at Kenora.
This is Husky the Musky, also in Kenora.
August 25: Manitoba!
First Big Thing in the prairies: Portage La Prairie's enormous Coke can.

Davidson, Manitoba just "gets" the necessity of coffee on a long road trip.

Kenaston has a large, hockey-playing snowman with a seat in his belly.
August 26: Saskachewan
I am hugging Maidstone, SK's giant Rapeseed.

These giant pillars mark the dividing line in Lloydminster between Saskatchewan and Alberta!

Innisefree's very own giant Pengu!

Royal watchers will appreciate the Vegreville Pysanka. Queen Betty and Phil made this roadside stop in '78.

August 27: Alberta!
Bumped into Edmonton's Giant Stanley while I was antiquing with the ladies. Mike missed it on account of beers with friends...across the street.
August 28:
Oversized gopher in Torrington, AB to identify the location of the museum of tiny gopher dioramas.

August 30: British Columbia!
Smokey the Bear in Revelstoke!
Rogers Pass Summitt Monument. It's not an "oversized thing", but it is pretty big.

September 1:
Michael's impression of Kamloops' giant trout is impeccable.
September 3:
The last big thing. The Westiest big thing - Squamish's giant lumberjack!

I have plenty more to write about this trip, but I wanted to make sure that our Big Things adventure got a little spotlight! I'll be writing more about this trip soon. Did you know that there are real, live sand dunes in Manitoba?....