Archive for the ‘caving’ Category


November 7, 2010

The word “metro” subtly implies a cosmopolitan panache all sub-ways inherently lack. Sub-ways, rather, are the stark, artificially lit entrails of contemporary civilization. Exactly as unsettling as a florescent Barium-lined GI tract, sub-ways lay bare the dark, cthonian realities of modern life…

Sadly, their regular users can’t help mutating into Morlock-esque form. The subterranean democratic esprit of rush hour commutes gives way to the odd, indigent (sometime immigrant) underclasses, peppered with a dash of doomed despair or the boldly bizarre. And yet it all remains somehow lifeless; a discordian setpiece.

There is an ominousness in the stale, stifling air of the sub-way. The tunnels leading out around corners to a dark netherworld — an uncharted space. The trains seem like candy-coated cybernetic Caterpillars, their strange sounds announcing an emergence that never…Becomes. Everywhere there is a buzzing ozone tang you can taste and feel, reminding of the cold, mechanical energies at work.

And dirt — dusty, crusty and musty miasmas that encrust this eternal no-space. No rationalist would deny their utility, but quick is he to forget the cost in spirit and soul of all…Sub-ways.

What’s There to do in Parksville?

September 7, 2009


On the eastern edge of Vancouver Island on the shores of the Georgia Strait, Parksville’s a sleepy little summer resort town lost to time and space. Modern amenities overlaying a beach front community, it has a really 1950s bungalow kind of vibe (one of its famed attractions is a sandcastle building competition). There are two miniature golf courses and a bowling alley…everything you could want.

The stunning beach, Rathtrevor, also the site of a Provincial Park, has dramatic tides as the strait shallows on a sheltered sandy bay, perfect for wading, beach combing, or just walking along.

The real surprise of Parksville, however, comes when you turn your back to the sea, heading uphill, into the interior of the island. Following the Englishman River upstream, you come upon as series of stunning spots. There’s a newly built suspension footbridge in Englishman River Regional Park. Upriver another 15 Km (you could hike, but this weekend we drove) you come to the Englishman River Falls, another Provincial Park. The falls, featuring lovely riverside trails and a nearby campsite, are as a diminutive Victoria in Africa. A wide shallow flow tumbles into a deep crevice in the earth cut by glacial melt and water. Spectacular. Just watching the falls tumble into fresh spray is dazzling — the rocks are slick and moss grows everywhere. To give you an idea…


Leaving Englishman River, one can go further afield and head up island to the mysterious and magical Horne Lake Caves, yet another Provincial Park a little over half-an-hour away. Surely one of the most intriguing natural spaces on the island and even the country, this park affords the visitor a rare opportunity to explore a fascinating phenomenon. Caving is not something one does regularly, but it’s an unforgettable experience. For obvious reasons, there’s no pictures of this…

Sheltered in a unique way, Parksville experiences the contrast of blazing heat in summer and sometimes significant snowfall in winter. But any time of year — whether you swim and sun yourself on a beach or walk deep into the dark heart of the earth — it affords a variety of amazing possibilities…


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