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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dat 29 1/31/17 - Seattle to AZ

Above is the view of our hotel room last night at the DoubleTree at Sea-Tac Airport for my flight back to my Prius.

The weather cleared over the distant white capped mountains in the distance.

Boarded for my flight to Las Vegas to get reacquainted with my Prius Campervan after 5 days.

No stopping on my way south as I wanted to get to my spot for the night while there was enough light to see where I was driving off-road. 

The picture above is the Colorado River as I crossed into AZ from Needles, CA.

I made it to parking spot for the night.  The coloring of the sky behind this rocky hill tonight here in AZ was a perfect backdrop.  I was actually warm tonight as it was 20 degrees warmer here in AZ than Seattle or Victoria.

Tomorrow is a day I have to work on a few things before moving on.  Then it is on to my next destination for the weekend. More on that tomorrow.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 28 1/30/17 - Finlayson Mt. Hike - Disc Golf - Ferry Back To Seattle

Son Brent and I were out of hotel early off to a hike.  We decided to hike Mt. Finlayson Northwest of the City of Victoria.

Our hike was steep and gave me a great strenuous hike for my training.  Although we didn't hike to the tip top we hiked for an hour up and the last section you needed to often use hands for balance or to assist in helping yourself up.

About 2 mikes and 800 feet of elevation was a great way to condition wearing my 20 pound daypack.

Above is Mt. Finlayson, or the majority of what you climb.

The forest is lush in a variety of green moss and ferns.  Here you can see the trees are covered with a moss.  This is the north side of the mountain and doesn't get much sun, none this time of year.

This tree has moss and mini ferns growing on it. 

This dead tree is in the middle of the hike and you can see the interesting design from being hit and damaged from hikers over the years.

Down below near the river we parked near where there is hanging moss that reminded me of Spanish Moss the way it hangs, but it isn't, as it is lush green from so much moisture. 

Upon getting back to the bottom we decided to hike over to (under the highway) to a waterfall.  You actually hike under the Trans Canadian Highway through the culvert with the outflow from the falls! This added to our hiking, but we are not done walking today even with this extra.

This is Niagra Falls, obviously not the one in the St Lawrence Seaway, but yet a very nice waterfall.

I use the U-Disc App to find disc golf courses.  So I found the one above that wasn't too far away from our hike.

The course is on private land and it is unconventional in that it didn't utilize baskets, as most other courses use.   Above you will see a hanging piece of pipe painted orange.  The goal of the game using them, is to gong the pipe with your disc.

Using pipe instead of baskets saves on the course cost and makes it easier to change the course around.

I was thrilled to hit the pipe on my second throw about 75 feet away on one hole.  Son Brent nearly got two hole in-one shots as the distances were not too far, but they were sure hilly, making up hill shots very difficult. 

On the next to the last hole the tee box is from the top of this cliff.  I walked up on the top to throw my disc and looked over and the drop caught my attention quickly.

This was the most interesting course with many ups and downs.  A few holes into the course I had wished I had tracked our game to find out the distance we walked with AllTrails App to know how much elevation we climbed overall.

Then before heading over to the ferry for our 2.5 hour trip back to Seattle for the night, we stopped for a late lunch.

We hadn't hit this brewpub, Moon Under Water yet.  After some food it was on to the ferry.

We sat in the main cabin for our trip with a light passenger load.  I picked up ATT for the ability to take and make calls as well as update mail and view social media.

Brent, Thanks for a great fun filled weekend exploring Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC 

Also a shoutout to Cousin Graeme Macaloney and family for their hospitality and friendship during our visit to Victoria.

PS. I didn't misspell Graeme's last name.  He spells it Macaloney and our family MacAloney. I will cover the MacAloney spellings under a separate blog post in the future. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day 27 1/29/17 - Victoria Hike - Cousin Lunch - Pub Dinner

Son Brent &a I got up early and drove out of the city to our Rainforest/ Beach Hike at China Beach.

The hike wasn't that extensive but it was sufficient since rain was headed in.

The sun sits low in the sky this far north this time of year.

There was one woman surfing on the 3 foot waves while her male friend carried a baby in a pouch.  

I found this animal footprint and it was quite large with long nails.

The rain for the day did come as we were in need of leaving to head for our lunch appointment.

Our lunch was with cousin Graeme MacAloney and his wife at there home in the greater Victoria area.

Today Graeme and I discussed more genealogy and Graeme, with his greater book study of the Cameron Clan, Explained how the MacAloney's may have come to be in Scotland and how they came to be in Northern Ireland before the migration of my MacAloney line went to Nova Scotia and his MacAloney family went back to Scotland.

Our MacAloney family name is an old name based on studies that Graeme has done.  For some reason our family changed their name to McAlonan when they were in Northern Ireland, to change it back to MacAloney during migration out of Northern Ireland.

Something caused the various MacAloney families to change their names back, resurrecting the name from being lost.  There is much we don't know, but the fact that Graeme and I have the same make Y chromosome makes us blood relatives.  

Graeme's goal to seek out one male MacAloney from each line of MacAloney's to genetically prove we are all one family since we don't have records to prove it.

We also want to prove the line back to the Cameron Clanz 

After saying bye to Graeme and his family Brent and I stopped at Category 12 brewing for a tasting.

Here is my sampler of beer.  The beer was good and the woman waiting in us was excellent and gave us advise on a place to eat tonight.

Based on the suggestion we got we ate at Garrick's Head Pub where Brent and I both had a burger and a local draft brew.

After eating we walked over to Chinatown to look around.

After seeing Chinatown we walked over to the British Columbia Legislature building, above.

Tomorrow Brent and I try to get a few more things in before we sail back to Seattle for the night (Monday) and then fly back to our homes (Tuesday), mine being the Prius for 3 more months.

After I get back to Las Vegas and my Prius, I will be heading south for my next adventure.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 26 1/28/17 - Final Destination Victoria, BC - MacAloney Family - Brewery / Distillery

My final northern journey is Victoria, British Columbia to visit the city/area and to meet up with our cousin who lives there.

Thanks for following my northern travels as I spend the weekend in Victoria.  In the last week I have been to Mexico to Canada.

My hint of where I was going: 54° 40' or Fight is a bit of history about the original Oregon Territory. This was before the state of Washington, that set the boundary with Canada, during the great manifest destiny of the growing United States. 

Although I didn't get to the actual boundary named for the slogan it was the only thing I could think of for a hint.    

What a treat this Saturday morning here at Seattle Pier 69 where we get the Victoria Clipper to Victoria 

Above is what our modest comfortable ferry looks like.

We leave the City of Seattle behind for a couple days as we depart for Canada and more adventures.

I contacted cousin Graeme, who lives in the Victoria area and we agreed to meet for lunch at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub it is the oldest legal brewery in Canada I am told.

There was an ocean walking path next to the brewery.  Graeme met us as well as his lovely wife and son and daughter.  I really appreciated the opportunity to meet them for lunch overlooking the harbor.

After a nice lunch it was our opportunity to follow Graeme to his business venture, the Victoria Caledonian Brewery and Distillery in the neighboring town of Saanish.

The M in the middle of the brewery insignia is for MacAloney Distillers as the parent company for Victoria Caledonian Brewery and Distillery.

Brent and I enjoyed the beer samples before a personal tour from Graeme.  

Above Graeme and Brent discuss beer making.  Brent being a home brewer and Graeme had a lot to share.

It takes years to get aged whisky so the beer making allows for dual usage for both productions (brewing & distilling). 

Graeme and I talk genealogy from our last meeting in Parrsboro, NS in November.  Graeme and I matched on the male Y-111 chromosome test and are hoping other lines of MacAloney's and related spelling get tested so we can continue to fit the pieces together of our ties to the Scottish Cameron Clan. 

Aging whisky.  After our tour it was time to learn about whisky and do some tasting.

These two stills are steam heated to make the finished product.  They are made of copper that is hand tooled to the finish design.

The stills are a showpiece of handtooled craftmanship.

What an excellent afternoon spent with Graeme and his staff to gain a new appreciation for Scottish whisky that I knew nothing about.

Day 25 1/27/17 - Seattle - Still More Traveling North Though

My flight from Las Vegas arrived here in Seattle a few minutes late.  All the information stands were vacant in the airport at 7:30 pm too.  I had to get directions to where I could get an Uber or Lyft.

I found a woman at a Lyft stand with the help of a local.  She directed me to the right spot for pickup after requesting a ride.

In a few minutes I was downtown and getting a room key to link up with my oldest son who is here on business.

I dropped my bag and I was out to get something to eat and meet my son and his friends from the conference he is attending.

I didn't need much to eat so I settled for crab soup and beer.  Yes that is Westminster Crackers, a sign of home!

This morning you can see the snow covered mountains across the bay.

Light clouds means we will have filtered sunshine today.

I strapped on my dayhiker backpack to start carrying weight with my hiking for my training.  

My first stop was the Northface store where I looked at backpacks and sleeping bags for my impending backcountry overnight hike I am training for.  I learned that my 2 night hike should be done with a 50 Ltr backpack as this what the 2 men in the store for their back country hikes.  

The other thing I learned was about sleeping bags.  Inside each bag there are comfort level temperature ratings.  I was thinking of a 40 deg bag for my hike to stay as light weight as possible.  I was advised against it as it would not be warm enough for my spring hike.  It is recommended not to go above 30 degrees with a strong recommendation of getting a 15 or 20 degree bag. 

I stopped to smell the coffee.  Yea, I don't drink coffee, but I have come to enjoy a latte randomly in my life.

This white building looms over this section of town.

After lunch at a Pikes Place, Sausage place with my son Brent, we headed down to the Seattle Underground Tour.  I had been on this tour many years ago, but today we had a very funny tour guide.

The tour takes you underground where the sidewalks were originally, before the road was raised and later the sidewalks were also now at the 2nd floor level.  This original section of Seattle had its development problems, or should I say mistakes.

My son selected a brewery in the Freemont section of town and we headed there.  After the beer we were walking by this conveyer sushi restaurant we decided to eat here (above).

This restaurant has a circular conveyer with different colored plates based on a price for each color/item.  The patrons pitch the food they want off the conveyer and eat it.  When full the staff tally the price of your selections and you pay for what you are.

Our night wasn't done yet.  My son found another brewery/bar in the Freemont area that we enjoyed another craft beer before returning to our hotel.

Tomorrow we head north again to our final destination of the weekend and a special surprise. 

I wore my pack at about 20 lbs for 10 hours today covering an estimated 5 miles around the city.

I'm working up to getting the 50 Ltr backpack fully loaded to practice at full weight.