NOFX

NOFX played in Vancouver the other night. R2 bought Izzy and I tickets. Linds and Deuce are in whiss so we rip down just for the show. After a few beer with Ryan Paul and Troy NOFX is about to come on. I’m within a body length of the stage drummers left. I start talking to the bouncers, warmin him up to try and get backstage. He’s got no love for it. Then all of a sudden Izzy taps me on the shoulder. You wanna go backstage?
She asks.
Silly question, I thought.
Off we go,  quick makeout when no one is lookin and we go set up side stage. We meet a couple people and the show is under way.
There was a BAR set up behind the drummer that one of the sound guys was runnin. I kept givin him the I’m outta beer look and he kept not seeing me. This girl beside me kept gettin them slid over to her, so I started givin her the I’m outta beer eyes. BINGO, Free beer.
The show goes on, Fat Mike pees in a gaebarge can backstage mid set. They continue to play everything but what was on the set list, and Brews they forgot to play that too.
After their set, Fat Mike comes off and says
That was one of the weirdest sets, totally didn’t play the set list, just played a bunch of old stuff and they loved it.
He then proceeded to finish the entire show with what one of the sound guy referred to as
We’re doin the gay musical again…
Couple post show hot dogs and we’re back to whistler.

Big thanks to
Ryan Collins for makin it happen
Beer Girl

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FlashBack, Brandon Manitoba

A month before before our cross country road trip started in April I was talking to a good friend of mine in Brandon. When I told  him, Jordan, I was coming back for a visit, he said let’s have a party. I said sure.  We should have challenged ourselves to try and rally together the most eclectic mix of people we could. Challenge or not, we did a great job. And when I say “we” I really mean “he”.

Conveniently Jordan and I  have two friends in town, one, Kaleigh who runs a bar and another, Blake who has more friends than us so it won’t be a lame party.

Blake actually has some skills behind the turntables too, probably why he’s got so many friends. Anyways, these three spin up one he…. ( you religious?)…ck (incase you are) of a party.

Everyone was there. Obviously not true. Everyone was well and equally represented. Except for the French, it was kinda nice actually, now that I think about it.

*******sorry I’m being easily distracted in my mind right now***

It was a diverse crowd. I knew about half. The other two thirds were either in the Jamaican mariachi band or heard that there was a social (synonym in the prairies for “help my brother in law drink a bar dry of rye”).

The last minute curve ball before this party came in the form of a flood evacuation for the Lady of the Lake, the bar that was scheduled to be our venue. This meant moving to a community hall. Not a problem.

Senate has kicked in some awesome raffle prizes and a local artist painted on canvas a portrait of me. Big’ol face shot, shoulders up… That was up for a silent auction.

*******
Actually it’s a picture of me jumping off a bridge. If you want you check it out stop by Senate on 18th st in Brandon on your cross Canada adventure.

*****
Ok, so now the party has begun. It’s a party, you’ve all most likely been to one… I hope.

There are lights and a smoke machine and right around midnight, the pizza shows up. Perfect timing.

*******
I forgot this is how socials went down, but was happily surprised when not one,  but rather thirty pizzas showed up. And more so that all when all but four of them were devoured by the end of the night.

*******
By the time the pizza Is gone the rye is too thanks largely to my brother in law who is now having trouble forming words let alone sentences. All the prizes have made their way home, Jordan and Kaleigh tap out with most everyone else. We leave Blake who, using his body, is showing us how a slinky might move through glowing smoke to a beat.

Much Love and Huge thanks to
Kaleigh at Lady of the Lake
Blake with the GVT sound crew
Jordan at Senate Skate Shop

 

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24 Hour Adventure

3pm.

The time I told my care worker, Simone, I’d pick her up for our over night camp trip. Also the time I told Cody we’d be leavin Whistler.

3:10. I roll in to Simone’s… and  back to our place, or close too. I got a call from Whistler Adaptive that we could pick up a trail rider (Proven later to be very useful) so we swing back and grab it.

(a trail rider is a heavy duty wheelbarrow-like chair, a necessary vehicle for travelling over any sort of gnarly, rocky, remote, hiking terrain)

3:30. We’re rolling out of town, not bad.
We drive to Pemberton and we’re at our guides, or my buddy Cody’s house. He’s in the shower, so we’re clearly in no rush. Campsite is just an hour and a half North of town. Another friend, Bibby and his friend Louisa are there and they’re coming too. Once Cody is clean we grab some wood and hit the road, to the grocery store. We load up and hit the road, to the liquor store. One last stop for fuel and we’re again on our way out of town.

5:30.  We turn off onto the logging road just North of Pemby. Hour and a half and we’re there. We think.

5:35. The Lap of Luxury proves to be a little slower on the logging road than the truck that ran the course earlier in the week. No worries it’s light til at least 9.

 

6:50 We’re on a bridge. Waiting. Bibby, in the truck that was behind us, isn’t behind us anymore.

7:00. A white Chev without a canoe (Bibs had a canoe) pulls up behind us.

Turns out it’s not him. Sorta thankfully.

7:05.  We turn around.

7:15. We come upon a white Chev (with a canoe on it) and a new spare tire under it.

7:30. We’re crossing the bridge. Back on track.

8:00 We stumble upon dumb and dumber, contemplating their flat tire.
quote: “I took the spare tire out so I could fit all my cool camping gear I got from MEC in.”

There’s a reserve not too far from here so we do a quick person shuffle and take the two jokers down to a scene out of Delirious… No, that was Eddy Murphy. This was more hillbilly  than that. Deception maybe?? Anyways the jokers knew one of the guys on site, so we bailed.

Directions back up to our camp spot were all to simple. Top of the hill, can’t miss it.

9:02. Starting to think we missed it. So we turn around to check a road that raised Izzy’s suspicions.

9:18. We see headlights, it’s Cody coming to wrangle us in.

9:33. We arrive.
The evening continues with beer, smokies, and smores.

mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

*****
Those of you who are smore enthusiasts, know how difficult it is to eat a smore without making a mess. I, with the slight’a hand of less than a frog, proved to make an even larger mess.
*****

mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

Everyone starts talking hot springs. From what I’ve heard, it’s a technical approach so we decide to make a morning mission of it in the light.

At some point in the morning we make our way to the picnic table, and fill our bellies. I am then loaded into the trailrider and we’re on our way down to the springs.

mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

******
Time check. We’re not sure.
Time line. Cody has to be back in Whistler for 2:30, Simone for 4:00.
*^****
We make our way down the trail to the hotsprings with Mickey at the reins, Izzy is up front, Bibby and Simone are close by for assistance, Cody is on photo duty as he’s on the injured list.

mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

The trail is relatively easy minus one spot. A hair pin turn slash four foot drop, with a giant log that has a railing for able bodies blocking the way of the trailrider. There proves to be enough room to sneak down beside it and we’re there.

Almost, another couple hundred yards of tighter, root laden trail further…. and the last bit of trail is along the river, raging in late spring mode. It takes us to the tropical oasis that is….

Still actually not sure the name, but it’s up Zipper Mouth Creek.

heaven.. mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

bc tropics- mickey ross photo- www.micimage.com 

I get lifted in to the pool and it’s like what a warm magic bag fresh out of the microwave is trying to reproduce. At one point I felt like I was where they filmed Fern Gully, only on a larger scale.

“12:15″. Someone says, so we grab our clothes get me loaded and back up the trail. We do the tricky stuff backwards cause we know I’ll fit that way. Then with each corner of the rig covered by friends we make good time up to the campsite. After we break camp Cody jumps in with Bibby to make better time and we’re off.

3:30. We roll back into Whistler. Mission accomplished.

Thanks to the crew- Izzy, Cody, Simone, Micky, Bibby, Louisa and to Whistler Adaptive

 

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Family Time. The Mill.

Our trip shifts into neutral and we coast for the next two weeks.

My family has a flour mill that has been passed through the generations since the early 1800’s. It was originally fueled by water fed in through a reservoir, hence the slogan “Best flour by a dam site”. Needless to say, but I’m gonna anyways, the mill has loads of character. Mile long leather belts drive majority of the machines and I’m gonna stop plugging Arva Flour Mill. I just love that place. So it’s a great place to start the unwinding phase of our trip. We play careers, BBQ, fish off the dam and get in the way down at the mill.

Ok, so, as we’re waiting to load ship and move on we get a call… It’s my care worker. She was asked to take the van in for a quick polish, inside and out. She’s now in a drive through car wash that’s shorter than the van is tall. Something along the lines of “I cracked the roof of the van and water is coming in!” comes across the phone… Great. Just great. It’s one of the calls you don’t want to get halfway across the country. Along the lines with “good morning, this is officer….” or “we don’t actually know what’s wrong with your power chair.”  or “I just cracked the roof of our ride home and now it’s filling up with the nectar of life.” (no not Bolthouse, water.) Obviously we’re excited to see the extent of the damage. Kinda like x-mass when you know you’re getting coal.

She shows up and it’s thankfully just the sunroof not the entire roof that’s ruined. The good family I have do a quick patch job and we’re off to the lake.

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The Drive.

1 pm
*******
I had an English teacher that taught me to never put the number in, always write it out. Never really liked her that much, til she taught me ask forgiveness not permission. I don’t think she got along great with my mom. Anyways, anytime I put the number in, I do it for her.
Where was I 
*******
1 pm and we leave Fredericton. Sun is at it’s apex, or just past, or very close to it. High noon… Was an hour ago. You get it, it’s late in the day to be embarking on such a drive. The memorial starts in 20 hours. It’s a 17 hour drive. We barely have time to stop for gas. That’s a dumb lie, we even have time to stop for maple syrup. 
6 am we are crawling into bed. 6:30, the guy whose bed we’re in’s alarm goes off. We lay in half slumber, wondering if our alarm will go off, till 9 when we start to get up. We made it. 
Oh ya, power chair wasn’t fixed so thats awesome and still in Montreal.
 

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Fredericton.

So we got in with lots of time to spare, found a room and called it a night. Just kidding, I conveniently had a west coast friend in town. I went and met up with him for an east coast meal of beer.
Morning came in loud and fast, I wanted nothing to do with it. We got all loaded into the van. Montreal tonight, London the next night.  So we thought.

We grabbed a couple coffees to go and then didn’t make it to the end of the block. Shit. We just lost power in engine one. Which, like most modern vehicles, my 1993 ford econoline, palm springs edition camper van only has one engine. F@€k! Anybody check the oil lately? Nope. So we do, and it appears to be empty… Well, let’s get this thing off the road.

Thanks to a local music store we’re able to make it happen. Quick call to CAA and we get loaded up. Jodie goes with it to the shop, Izzy Pete and I go to a coffee shop where Pete and I lick our wounds from the night before.
******
I’ve got a memorial in 48 hours and a power chair to pick up in Montreal,   where we are planning on staying tonight. Oh ya,the memorial is in London 17 hrs away.
******
Jodie reunites with us and no diagnosis….we begin looking at alternate methods of travel. Bus, rental van, there are some cheap flights, but do we book?
4 pm we get the word, fuel filter is gone. Oh thank the engine gods we might just make it.

Thanks to the wonderful Ford dealership we are wheels Rollin noon the next day. We leave a fuel filter and cell phone and are on our way out of town at 1 pm. Memorial is in 22 hrs.

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Mythical Magnetic Mountain.

It was a short stop. It was closed. I had to see though.

And see I did, saw someone gettin rich on an “optical” illusion. Might work if your brain got installed crooked. Bunch of dummies gave $5 to find out if Magnetic Hill would pull their car up it. I duck a barrier and go see if it will work with my chair…. You start on the backside go up over and to the start point.

Here’s why I think its dumb.
1. I, like the water in the ditch, was able to easily roll down magnetic hill.
2. I had to wheel up to the start point.
3. I did not make it back over magnetic hill with out some help.

Notes
1.I was not in a car , as it says you’re supposed to be.
2. The man whos built a small town/amusement park around the illusion is doing something right
3 . Everyone who pays to find out, aren’t.

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The Real Reason.

It’s time to come clean. The real reason for this trip is family. There are a lot of things that are hard to explain, color to a person born blind for example. What my family means to me is another.
My sister, going to school at the time, managed to beat me to VGH the night of my accident. I’ll never forget the sound of her voice as I came out of the ambulance at the emergency doors. It was the sound of knowing I was going to be alright.
She will always be my best friend.
My parents, unbiasedly saying, are the best. I appologize to all children and parents that disagree. Their love and support for me and my ridiculousness is unconditional. They were there by my side being my voice when I couldn’t talk, they removed all barriers so that I could focus solely on my mental and physical recovery.  I will walk to the end of the world for them (might actually be impossible, since the world has been round since late 1700’s).

I’ve got a memorial for my grandmother in London on Saturday the 30th at 11 am. Note the time and location.
I didn’t need to go all the way across Canada I know, but I kinda did. Kinda like you do too.
Our timing is now proving to be tight. We made the evening sailing and make it to New Brunswick for the night, ohhh what a night to remember… Or not.

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Oldfoundland.

Oldfoundland

This is where I write about drunken debauchery and scandalous acts with cod fish that would make animal rights activists jealous, or upset. Depends on the activist I guess.

Or, I tell you the truth. A trip to the hospital, lobster races and gorgeous views. And no, the first two did not take place together.

We arrived at a half decent hour to a warm Newfie welcome. Tasty eats that Holly prepared for us.

I wake up the next morning and feel like staying in bed all day. I get up and acknowledge the fact that I just drove across the country, to go to the hospital. I’ve been battling bladder infections for the last ten months. Why would going across the country be a cure for them.


We go to the hospital, also known as another planet. These people were just straight up different, place was, and might still be nuttier than a porta-potty at a peanut party. Not necessarily the people of Corner Brook, more just the ones at the hospital. Clearly they thought the same of us. Ever had a hole burned in you by someone from them staring too long? Izzy and I felt like Swiss cheese, not just cause I smelt funny. Every corner we tried hiding around, we got zapped. At one point we were coming out of the washroom… We opened the door and  there they were, all 21 eyes (there were two ladies with patches and one man was impressively staring at us and his own ear). We barely made it past them. God I’m glad I’m not there anymore. I think just getting out of there cured me.
We make it out, it’s a bluebird day and warm. We have the afternoon to kill before we can talk to a doctor. Lark harbour, here we come. First, we must stop to grab lobster, for the evening races.


We roll out and end up, what feels like, back on the west coast. Rugged  coast line, massive cliffs, cool mountains and beaches filled with everything from boulders to driftwood to sand. Almost feels like we’re home. It helps that we’ve got a wonderful place to lay our heads while we’re in town. Pat and Holly’s, highly recommend it if you’re ever in Corner Brook.

******
The way the medical system works for bladder infections is, well, once they confirm you have one, before they know exactly what will work, they guess. Three days later after, they will know the drug of choice.
*********
The doctor confirms my suspicion about the infection and we get the initial prescription, the guess. I guess that an afternoon of fresh air and lots of fluids worked, and don’t fill the prescription. I’ll call in three days for the actual drug, if I come unglued.

Back to Pat and Holly’s, the lobsters are wishing that they didn’t taste so good. We were longer than expected and missed the initial races. There was one left, either lack of competition or an afternoon in a bag and this guy didn’t feel like racing. So we boiled his ass.

(uploading photo’s isn’t working at the moment.. so check back for those…)

Our last day on the rock and we’ve got a few things yet to do. So we head North. Gros Morne National Park. Not as nice of a day, but pretty cool place to get drug through some shrubs and snow to check out a…. swamp. Almost made it to the mouth of the gorge. But, It’s getting late and we still haven’t had any Screech. Oh and we have a ferry to catch. We stop along the way and slam some. Long may your big jib draw!
We arrive to a full ferry, with no reservation. We came across and I could count. I can’t anymore. Don’t  go to Newfoundland if you cherish you ability to do math.  Just kidding, I could count the other vehicles on board with my fingers.  Now returning, it’s full. Great. Two hours early, an they’re fresh out of spots. And so we wait to see if we can fill any cracks.

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Stowaways.

5 AM and the alarm goes off. Scratch that, it’s 4. This is the first time I question who’s idea this trip was. Rest assured, we get going and, the day gets interesting. Wheels rolling at five.
I had not anticipated the positives of such an early start, alas an East Coast sunrise.

Then, while drinking it in, driving on our side of the road between the mustard in the mayo,  it feels like we’re on a rumble strip. We pull over and there’s smoke. We tighten the lugs and almost make it across the continent on one liter of oil that was put in around Revelstoke.

We haven’t seized yet and were not dangerously hot, unless the thermometer is broken. We risk it. Next gas station is no more than 5 minutes away. We get there and it doesn’t open until seven another half an hour. That’s okay the next gas station is only 10 minutes further. We make, it top up on oil and grab a couple extra for the way back.

It’s 10 AM we are in the ferry line up and it only gets better.

We get on the ferry first so I’m able to unload without being blocked in by another vehicle.

We dance inside and get ourselves nice reclining seats for the six hour boat ride. Seats suck. 10 minutes in and I’m not gonna make the crossing in this chair. So we load up and we’re on the move, looking for a cabin to crash. We find some, ones you picture the crew members sleeping in.  Single bed, not at lot of room. We figure, if you’re going to strike out it might as well be on good pitches. We go up another floor and find the Deluxe cabins. Queen beds, TV, shower, mini bar and most importantly an open door.

About four hours into life as a stowaway, things are going well. The girls have been coming and going, using a deadbolt to keep the door propped open while both are gone, and I’ve been napping.


Quick status check – I’m alone napping on the bed and, let’s just say we’ve made ourselves at home. All of a sudden some deck hand wench wakes me up to the tune of

“Hello?!….. Excuse me?…. Excuse me!….. You know these rooms aren’t free. Of course you know these rooms aren’t free. Nothing this nice would be free.”

Thanks to my quick wit I come back with a motionless response, maybe she won’t see me laying on the covers. Sh*t, we just made eye contact. I swallow hard.

“Yeah…. sorry about that.”

” You are going to have to vacate.”

My wheelchair sits next to the bed, I see her steal a glance at it. This is where it gets a little awkward, for her. I can’t do anything but giggle.

“About that…” I muster.

We exchange a few more pleasantries and I never see her again. Regardless, when Izzy and Jodie return 20 minutes later, we disappear.

busted....

Onto a rock floating in the Atlantic Ocean, forgotten about by time for the last eighteen or fifty five hundred years.

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