new backpack / briefcase

For Christmas I bought myself a National Geographic Appalachian 20 Inch Upright Rolling Suitcase. C$111.99 ($82.50)

Hidden backpack straps for off trail travel. I can wheel or carry. To save weight I cut off the side carry straps.

It (barely) still fits in an airplane overhead rack.

10 year warranty.

national-geographic-explorer-20%22-wheeled-expandable-carry-on

I like it. But was surprised it had no dedicated laptop sleeve. AND it’s fairly heavy.

Amtrak?

I love trains. Enjoyed my recent Seattle to Vancouver trip on Amtrak. Cost was about the same as fancy buses, about double Greyhound. Cheaper than the fast ferry Seattle to Vancouver.

I’m reluctant to take Amtrak mainly because of their horrible on-time performance.

The sorry state of Amtrak’s on-time performance, mapped (2014)

My trip was about 5 minutes late. Not bad.

Amtrak promised me Wifi. It did’t work on that train. 😦

Lion at the Rose Theatre Starlight Room

The film Lion is very intense. I cried several times.

Great cast: Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, …

Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple.

Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

The Starlight Room is a collection of comfy chairs, couches and loveseats where you lounge to enjoy a fine film. We ordered a bottle of red along with meals served just at the start of the film.

The night we were there guest speakers discussed the film both before and after the showing. Very interesting.

skiing Sunshine & Louise

It’s been quite a few years since I last skied. But I finally got around to buying new equipment. (My old stuff was from – perhaps – 1979.)

I warmed up at Sunshine day 1 skiing with Henry and friends. Mostly Greens & Blues.

Next two days I joined up with the Longs and friends for Louise and Sunshine.

Ski BANFF Feb 2017 Longs

It was typical weather for the Canadian Rockies in February. Cold but gorgeous.

Ski BANFF Feb 2017 Longs

Ski BANFF Feb 2017 Longs

Ski BANFF Feb 2017 Longs

The 3rd day at Sunshine was my favourite. Eagle Creek my favourite run. We had plenty of snow.

Ski BANFF Feb 2017 Longs

Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die

I downloaded Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die by Chris Santella from the library.

fifty-places-to-bike-before-you-die

It’s not nearly as good as the title might suggest. And wasn’t what I was looking for.

I want to know the best cycle touring routes with the LEAST traffic. Santella’s book is not that.

But I did add a few of their recommended cycling destinations to my life list:

  • Icefields Parkway Banff Jasper
  • North Rim Grand Canyon
  • Natchez Trace  (Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Crater Lake, Oregon
  • Mickelson Trail out of Rapid City, South Dakota
  • White Rim Trail out of Moab, Utah

Texas hill country cycling out of Austin or San Antonio sounds great too.