The Pender Islands Tandem Tour

IMG_20140803_102911283_HDRPender tandem ride

Every summer, in the recent history  of our tandem, we like to go for a little Gulf Island tour.  The Pender Islands were this year’s destination for a day…

IMG_20140803_102925309Scenic beaches are the reward for endless steep hills–a feature all the Gulf Islands have in common. (Pender’s hills were the steepest yet; in 32 miles of riding we did 3,847ft of climbing!)

It’s always good to find a beach and sack out for a bit on hot pebbles just above the water’s edge…

IMG_20140803_104439224_HDR    And in the resting to find a few souvenirs…


No cycling trip is complete for me without a little walk-about as well…IMG_20140803_110628039IMG_20140803_110650604





IMG_20140803_111211313Islands have such beautiful vistas… Pender’s were no exception.









Essential to every island tour is finding a place to swim… We took a little hike off-road and found Roe Lake—a quiet little gem, though a little murkier than our ideal.

It was just the place for napping (Jim) or sitting and staring into space under dragonfly surveillance…while lily pads, like slow-motion bumper cars, jostled in the light breeze and a fisher bird dived with a splash onto the lake’s placid surface.

IMG_20140803_145435395_HDRdragonflyroe lake

And of course, eventually we overlooked the possibility of leaches and slime and scary ‘what if’s’ and took a refreshing and rejuvenating dip!




Then upward and onward to complete our island circuit…

IMG_20140803_163212585_HDRcabin by the bay



A 40-minute ferry ride carried us back at day’s end to Vancouver Island…where we grabbed a bite to eat, and drove nearly downtown to park and  pedal to the 25th annual Symphony Splash in Victoria’s inner harbor…

It is a sight to see, as daylight wanes and thousands merge to fill the streets and plaza around the water, in which a barge hosts the Victoria symphony for an evening of music.  IMG_20140803_201345145_HDRIMG_20140803_201527111_HDRIMG_20140803_204721873

The 1812 Overture is the grand finale, complete with canon fire and climaxing in fireworks.  It is a spectacular event.


The final thrill is to make our way through the dispersing crowds and pedal off into the night at high speeds to our parked van.  It is a great thing to have a strong and brave Captain to take me on such adventures!

And because I trust his judgment, I am talked into climbing the Malahat the following day!


Up and over we go!  The high-speed ride down doesn’t last nearly long enough to make up for the sweat and muscle power required for the way up!  But I can say I’ve done it!


We take the loop by way of the Mill Bay ferry back around and into Victoria the ‘easy’ way…with of course stops for lunch and snacks and water… and even a murky swim!  It is a long day.


But because I have a great Captain committed to my well-being,  I remain…

A happy stoker,

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. I John 3:1






















He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Rom.8:32

Summer Days are for…

…Little Bear and Mama Bear to spend time together, making mugs and mug shots, and realizing we are growing up…


…renewing our supply of zucchini relish, a family tradition ever since Micah copied down the recipe from his Auntie on a summer’s visit many moons ago…


[ It is sweet and oh-so-yummy, especially on hotdogs. (Though we really must find another use for it, since we seldom eat a hotdog now that the kids are grown…) And it really did help put a dint in our surplus of zucchini! ]



…savoring our own ‘back yard’. People come in their yachts to visit Nancy’s Bakery.  We have but to ride a hilly 13 miles to sit on the patio overlooking the harbor. Legendary cinnamon buns round out the ride as we carbo-load for the return trip home.  Sometimes the best part of an effort made is the reveling in its accomplishment. Other times…it’s the cinnamon buns!


Taste and see that the Lord is good—SO good!

A few of my favorite…Summery Thingz


  • IMG_20140712_094529350_HDRMellow mornings when the sun slants through the blinds turning everything to gold…


  • Quiet afternoons spent out back reading in the sun, (or dappled shade). Hmm… I’m sure I heard a bear, but I can’t see him. Can you?P1150556
  • … or watering the jungle that my garden has become


  • Fresh cut flowers from my very own garden…especially the ones planted there from seed.  Miracles of a sort.




  • Homegrown cherries!  We got a handful this year from our young tree that dukes it out with the deer every spring.IMG_20140708_104656096 And another handful from the wild cherry tree that sprang up in the old compost pile…IMG_20140708_104838688_HDR


  • Making Currant Jelly from our own bush…

IMG_20140709_132510645 to go on hot homemade bread from home ground wheat. Next time we’ll try grinding our own homegrown wheat!

We just discovered we could thresh it ourselves!  (Thanks to Rachel’s perseverance!)IMG_20140709_123956369_HDRIMG_20140709_150431401


  • Getting to make one more childhood cake, for the 19 year old that loves teddy bears still…



  • Evening bike rides when the sun has simmered down and there’s no rush to be anywhere…or to beat any KOM’s (‘King of the Mountain’ on STRAVA).  Time to stop at the wharf and strike up acquaintances while the ferry comes in over the shimmering sea…




  • And did I say FLOWERS?! more fresh cut flowers?  brought inside to celebrate summer (and a birthday)?!!





  • Ahh and blueberries.  I love picking blueberries, especially with daughters.  It’s been extraordinarily and wonderfully SUNNY and HOT this month and the blueberries have loved it as much as I.  So in record time this morning we had our gallons of berries (from a local U Pick)…

blueberriesblueberries 2

…and in just a little more time we had a pie!


We weren’t the only ones looking forward to a bite.  As we were happily downing pie a la mode, who should we spy through the screen door, emerging from the woods out back, but a hungry bear.  He must have sniffed it through the open door and come venturing to see if there was any for him!

P1150590 He seems to have taken up residence in our little wood this year, but I generally yell and flail before I think to catch a picture. This time, before we scared him away, I popped out the door for a picture!

P1150593 Fortunately, he was more afraid of me than I of him. I got my picture but he got no pie.

Ahh, the wonderful business of summer!