10,000 Steps A Day

Rainbow Nanimo

Just before I left for Nanaimo back in July I bought myself a fitbit, a little step tracker that simply counts the number of steps you do in a day and uploads them to your computer. It’s a very easy, lazy way to keep track of how many steps you do.

In the summer and especially in a place as beautiful as Nanaimo, it was easy to get in 10,000 or more steps a day. When you can see a beautiful rainbow and walk along the waterfront it’s easy to get out.

Now I’m back in Calgary and the last few days have been snowy and cold. The good news is that I live close to a mall so I can go and walk in circles until I have my steps for the day done but it doesn’t make for a very entertaining walk. Suddenly those 10,000 steps seem more like a chore. Also it might be bad for the bank account, walking by all those sales.

When the weather is better it’s a great motivator to get out and enjoy the fresh air. It also goes well with my other hobby, photography. Armed with camera and fitbit I spent many lovely afternoons wandering around Nanaimo. When the weather improves here I’ll do the same here, I’ll miss the rainbows and sea walk but Calgary has a lot of great walks as well.

I made a New Year’s resolution to walk 10,000 steps a day. Now I’m wishing I was back in the land of rainbows when I made that resolution. The weather is suppose to warm up later this week and then I’ll be back outside where I find it much easier and much more enjoyable to get the steps done. Many of my long term goals involve hiking and in the big picture the 10,000 steps is nothing compared to what I will need to be able to do for the South West Coast Path or many of the hikes through out Europe. It’s a start though and one I plan to keep up.

If you don’t have one and want an easy way to motivate yourself, I love the fitbit. I find it motivates me to get off my ass and also to push myself to walk more. I just have the simple one that counts steps but there are also ones that track stairs and also your sleep patterns. The online support allows you to track your food and weight as well. I’ve been ever so pleased the little gadget and am curious to see how many steps/kilometres I do over the next twelve months!

In the six months I’ve had the fitbit I’ve tracked just over 900km’s and the fitbit rewards you with badges for the distances you walk. Daily badges for steps in 5,000 step intervals and also distance achievement badges, I just got one for 804km the Serengeti badge, next one is for 1,184 km and I find the badges to be a great motivator as well.

Anybody else have a fitbit? You can also connect with friends and walking groups on the fitbit site to provide even more motivation.

Woodpecker

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An afternoon spent on Newcastle Island in Nanaimo, BC is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

The last time I was out there I managed to capture the photo of the above woodpecker. What you can’t see int he photo is just how red his feathers are. He was a noisy little bugger and I couldn’t get Woody Woodpecker’s laugh out of my head for the rest of the day.

Newcastle is just so beautiful and it was the perfect place to contemplate my upcoming trip to Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.

Here are a few more photos from Newcastle:

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Luther Burbank Park

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The weather in Seattle was beautiful and we spent one afternoon at Luther Burbank Park. It’s on Mercer Island and it’s worth the trip. As you can see above there are beaches and lovely walking trails.

Luther Burbank Park

There is a large fenced in off leash dog area and a beach the seemed to be just for dogs. Many swimming and splashing around having the time of their life. It’s a great park to spend a sunny afternoon.

When we were leaving we came across a sculpture called “The Source”.

Luther Burbank Park - Sculpture

I don’t know, it was weird. It looks like something used for sacrifices. Really. It has the rock as you can see and there is a drain in the rock that then allows the liquid to flow in a circle away from the stone. Very strange and kinda creepy. Also the long shadows are me and my friends staring at it going….. WTF?

Kid’s Don’t Float

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I don’t know why this makes me laugh but it does.

Is the Dolphin giving a safety tip or giving you a hint on how to deal with unruly kids or passing on information he just learned after taking a child’s life jacket from him?

“Hey guys did you know that KID’S DON’T FLOAT????”

That dolphin looks like he’s laughing about it.

Anchor By The Dumpster

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I walk by the above anchor quite often.

It says “Recovered Off Yacht Club Float, 1997, Likely US Navy Circa 1940”

The stone seems like an after thought. I wonder was the dumpster already there when it was dropped in that spot? It reminds me of the televisions or couches that you see by dumpsters sometimes, left in the hope that they will be taken away.

Perhaps the Anchor was dropped by the dumpster and it being too heavy for the garbage men to take they just decided to give it a plaque instead?

The thing is really big:

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Also if it was the US Navy that left it behind, wouldn’t they have noticed? Wouldn’t they have missed it? An anchor seems to me like a pretty important part of a ship. Maybe somebody had a few too many and forgot to retrieve it or broke the chain it was attached to and the next day the finger pointing started. “It was there when I went off shift, wasn’t me …… Johnson must have lost it…. ”

Strange, I’ll be pondering that for a few days.

Bunny

bunny

Yesterday I was walking along and was a little lost.

It happens to me a lot, I have the worst sense of direction and that coupled with often thinking that I know where I’m going I get a little off track occasionally. I was walking to a friends house and thought I knew the way. If I just kept Departure Bay in sight and kept walking in the right direction surely I would arrive where I needed to be.

I had printed off a map and the route was an easy one but I thought that it would be nicer to walk through the neighbourhoods instead of up the dusty busy road. At one point I ended up along the beach, which worked out and then had to cut back up into a neighbourhood. Suddenly I had no idea which way was which.

It was as I stood pondering which way to go that I came across the little bunny in the above photo. We had a lovely conversation, I took a picture and then the bunny was on his way. He seemed to know where he was going. Do bunnies ever get lost?

I eventually pulled out my phone to get back on track. Not as off course as I thought I was. Thank goodness for google maps as I was wrong in my estimation of which way I should go. For such a small place Nanaimo is surprisingly easy to get lost in. The roads sometimes change names, the roads curve and turn until you’re not quite sure what direction you are now heading. Sometimes though you find a surprise, I’ve found a candy store, a book store, a lovely park and now a bunny by taking the wrong way. Sometimes lost works out.

By the time I got back out to the road I caught the bus the rest of the way as I was running late. Getting lost is always best to do when you have lots of time.

Another Moon Picture

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The moon the other night was a bright orange.

The photo doesn’t do it justice. I fear my camera skills and shaky hands make it difficult to take a good picture of the moon. It’s a shame because it was so beautiful.

Having this time to relax and make my own schedule I’ve become familiar with the moon. Each night out on my back porch it greets me and I really enjoy the quiet of the evening. Nanaimo seems to shut down early, around nine it starts getting dark out and by nine thirty it seems so quiet in the neighbourhood and on the streets.

I’ve been staying up too late and really need to get an earlier start to the day. I’ve bee writing and have noticed I actually write more in the day. Always thought I would be more of a night writer but that hasn’t been the case. Perhaps the idea that work is during the day is so ingrained in me that I gravitate towards writing during that time.

Evenings have been a nice time to just be quiet, plan my next trip and also come up with all sorts of hair brained ideas for what to do next. You never know though in amongst those hair brained ideas there could be a gem, one that works.

Vancouver Island Exhibition

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I missed the Stampede in Calgary this year, which isn’t really a big loss. I grew up in Calgary and the Stampede is there every year. I will make it again and the donuts will still be in the same place, for many, many years to come.

Instead I got to go to the Vancouver Island Exhibition or VIEX!

Well, it’s much smaller than the Stampede and is set up in Beban park, comparatively to the Stampede I believe it would fit in the area where people wait to get into the Stampede. There are some rides, in fact The Monster was there. The big old yellow and black ride that spins and goes up and down? I don’t think I’ve seen it at the Stampede for years, I’m not sure I trust a ride that no longer makes the Stampede requirements.

There was also a Wild West show and a haunted house, The Hillbilly’s Revenge:

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There were stables with animals, probably my favourite part of the exhibition.

Look it’s Wilbur!

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An Alpaca …..
(Don’t let it spit at you, I’ve seen this happen to somebody and believe me if the Alpaca’s ears go back, move away QUICKLY! )

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There were also chickens and such but I don’t really find poultry that exciting. Then there is the Home Show, this was sad. I LOVE the home show at the Roundup Centre all the cleaning gadgets, knives that slice through word AND tomatoes, the slicers and dicers, the spices and fudge, all the things you never knew you need but are now being sold as a must have. At the VIEX I believe there were about maybe twenty vendors and not a single knife or tomato in sight.

There was this though:

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That’s a cremation booth giving away a bbq. Seriously………