Off To Nova Scotia

Posted on 13th September 2016 in adventure

My pops and I recently drove from Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia. That’s from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and back again. The journey took us more like 50 days, not two months. I had everything theoretically set out in my calendar for two months before we left to make sure we had enough time to spend in every place that we wanted to spend time in, and at some point just as we were coming into Nova Scotia we jumped ahead about 10 days and could never really find a place to delay in again!

I think if there was one place I would have liked to spend more time exploring, it was PEI. Such a neat community I’ve become fascinated with. It’s a very small island compared to the large expanse of a province like BC that I’m used to, but because of that it’s quite a neat place. In some parts it’s mostly potato farms as far as the eye can see, but then in other parts that I’ve become more partial to, it’s smaller farms with the biggest gardens you’ve ever seen and more wild forests that haven’t been logged in at least 20 years.

On our way across we drove through the States. They have beautiful interstate highways that I kept wanting to go further and further south on to go through some of the big cities I’ve always wanted to visit, like Denver and Kansas City, but all my pops could see was the temperature on the thermometer rising the further South we went. He kept looking at the map and telling me I had a crooked eye and my line across the States wasn’t so straight.

Vermont was an absolutely eye catching state. Something about the history and attention to detail and craftsmanship there that just took my heart into a little basket. It could have just been the beauty of the forests, too.

We camped the whole way, drove all day. Everywhere we stopped there were earwigs, and the next day when we were unpacking our tent we counted how many we had transported. I didn’t like this for multiple reasons, but clearly there had been many people before us that had already contributed to the widespread of them. We only got rain a few times. It’s always a pain having to dry things out or pack things up when they’re wet. Then they start to smell and that’s just no good. When this would happen, we’d go out for pizza.

One thing I really like about being on the road is I get so many ideas of how successful operations run. Things like signage and a good choice in brand names and rather iconic storefronts, to name a few things. For my pops and I, this provided many hours of banter as we’re both chalked full of ideas that have a chance of success. We met with many farmers and agriculture specialists who also gave us much insight into our future.

tech // Sony a7 camera / SMC 50mm f1.4 / SMC 35mm / Jupiter 11A 135mm f4

From Vancouver Island to PEI by Ned Tobin

Winthrop, Washington

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The Ranch at Christmas

Posted on 5th September 2016 in adventure, nature

Tonight my mom said, “I really miss my mom.” When I get stuck inside of my head, responses like, “I do too,” become unnecessary to me, yet so very necessary for conversation and community, for family.

It’s hard to write that it’s not the same without my grandmother, it’s really not. Writing about it somehow still feels like I’m still inside of my head with no audience or empathy, yet still doesn’t come easy.

Last winter my mother and I went to the ranch as soon as she got out of classes, in early December. Mom helped her mom put up her Christmas tree, I brought firewood in to her box. In the relationship my grandmother and I had built, we spent a lot of our time reminiscing, looking through old photographs. When I asked her if I could have a used pencil and scissors of hers from 70 years ago she looked at me and laughed the way she always did when she couldn’t understand what I was up to. I think she got used to the idea that she was incredibly frugal or thrifty with some particular things; I think older generations get used to the idea that some of us young kids scoff at them for using the back of mail letters as scrap paper, how silly we sometimes are. I told her I used the old tools for photographs with my poems, and showed her my book of poems I had written with my old gothic script and pressed flowers glued into it.

Omi pressed flowers too, so does my mom. I was recently reading Hermann Hesse’s Autobiographical Writings that I had taken from her, and I’d come to pages with stamps or flowers pressed inside. Sometimes I find little notes, scraps of paper..

Winter can get cold up there at the Ranch. I can only imagine how modern technology has made it at least somewhat bearable. I can’t imagine using an outhouse in -30 deg C, let alone what was used for toilet paper. Even with the cold, my grandmother was a firm believer in fresh air. Even just sitting and getting a few rays of sunshine on her face would make her feel like she had got her bit for the day.

She was always incredibly insistent on going for a walk, even in the bloody ice. I’d be slipping and sliding around and there she was, sure as she could be, with her spikes on her boots making her way about. She was a walker. I guess that’s where I got it.

 

Kamloops for Christmas Click here to read more.. »