Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rideau Canal tour

Rideau Canal barge

What with all the great weather recently, I decided to take a tour down the Rideau Canal not by boat but by bike and on foot. On day one I rode my bike as far as Manotick, or more specifically, Long Island Locks. Great spot to rest up and chat with the local fishermen. The one lad I spoke with was 85 and has been fishing the locks for many years in search of some pan fry and a free dinner. Doing quite well too apparently and more relaxing than his previous job as a medical photographer.

Big catch Gears in motion

Day two I decided to drive down a little further south and pick up where I left off. This time I packed up my fishing rod with the hope that I might be able to find a moment to toss a line or two.

Rideau Canal bike holder Danger Open Dam
Tip-To-Tip Life line
Float plane parking Blower on

Over all it was a relaxing adventure and a great way to unwind. Top it off with 25°C weather and it made for a great end of summer escape.

One week later...
Headed back out along the canal today with the family. Not the greatest of weather but at least it wasn't raining.
IMG_8404 IMG_8406

For those of you paddlers out there, here's something that you may find interesting and useful should you decide to take the tour by boat. Rideau Canal guides complete with maps.

Monday, September 05, 2011

moe.down XII

moe. playing at moe.down XII

This past weekend Mic and I made the trek to Mohawk, NY (aka moe.hawk) for the 12th annual moe.down festival. We left around supper on Thursday and somewhere along the way we decided to go all the way to the venue and queue up rather than do the usual Walmart sleepover. It was a great call as we landed ourselves a prime pole position for the opening Friday morning. The only draw back was, no sleep. As one can imagine, our fellow moe.rons were pumped and decided to party hard through the night by the side of their cars waiting for first light when they would open the pen and herd us in to the field/parking lot. The parking area was a little muddy from the recent fallout of Hurricane Irene but no worries for Mic and I as we were rolling JEEP style.

This was year 2 for moe.down at Gelston Castle and obviously they had listened to the fans' complaints and made a number of improvements. Larger parking area, improved roads and pathways, free hay wagon rides from parking to the top of the hill, a much larger camping area, a big screen between stages, and $5 showers. That said, Mic and I opted to avoid the rush to haul everything up to the camping area to score a site for the tent. The JEEP had already proved how comfortable (and dry) it could be so we decided to tailgate it all weekend. It was a brilliant move as the last day was a downpour followed by a mudfest, all of which we avoided. Winning!

Waiting in the pen for the gates to open to moe.down Free hay wagon rides from the parking lot

Friday night's opener was Ween and as per usual Gene Ween stole the show with his strangeness and his voice. Thankfully it was not a repeat of what may have very well been his worst performance ever back in January for 3,000 Vancouver fans.

WEEN at moe.down

Saturday was another beautiful day. The annual afternoon set from moe. was light and fun with the highlight being the moe.ment that they brought up all the kids on stage to show off their costumes and crafts they made in the kids tent.

Kids at moe.down Kids at moe.down
IMG_6077 Kids at moe.down

Saturday night brought TV on the Radio and 2 sets of moe.

IMG_6307 IMG_6297 Floodwood

Sunday started with a bit of rain and an impromptu shower for me (thank you Mother Nature) following by more sun and humidity... and more music.

Then came the storm. Finally the predicted forecast came to pass and the skies released a downpour. The Levon Helm Band wisely decided to push back their start as the skies were flashing with lightning and the sound of thunder never far behind. The man at the mic convinced the crowd to push back out of the kill zone, and rightfully so after three stage collapses this year one right here at Ottawa's Bluesfest. And of course, no weekend music festival is complete without a little impromptu mudslide (see pics at end).

Levon Helm Band with Bob Weir
Storm's a comin' Storm hits moe.down XII

Here's a little glimpse at some of the more colourful moe.rons. Enjoy.

IMG_6029 IMG_5936 Baby moe.ron Is anybody in there? moe.ron moe.rons moe.rons IMG_6018 Hooper at moe.down IMG_6023 moe.ron The Ragbirds The Ragbirds Setting up the GigaPan IMG_6467 IMG_6481 IMG_6497

Finally, it was only by luck that Mic and I managed to get out of the mud bath/parking area - JEEP or no JEEP. The cars were already jammed in at this point - some stuck in the mud, some slammed up against others as they tried unsuccessfully to navigate the slop. The tow trucks were useless until at least some vehicles (the few 4x4's) vacated the area and made space. Oh well, all part of the adventure.

Cheers and thank you moe. for another great .down.