Life is a journey.

  • Belting it out

    Belting it out

    A rattling noise that occurs at higher rpms near the top of each gear and may at first seem to be a dying mainshaft bearing or oil throwing wheel gone bad may in fact have a much simpler fix. Opening the bonnet whilst attempting to duplicate the behaviour reveals that the screeching sound seems to…

  • Craig’s Auto Camp

    Craig’s Auto Camp

    The late morning sun streams through into a clearing in the forest. The sound of the sea is in the distance and the flowers are blooming. For more than four decades starting in the 1930s for $1 per night road-weary overlanders could stay at Craig’s Auto Camp on the sea near Parksville. Today the last…

  • Northern rover

    Northern rover

    A chance meeting along a dark shore, good reminders of times long past, and encouragement for the future. A rare sighting of spectacular aurora on Vancouver Island. Not only visible, but under perfectly clear skies, dancing directly overhead, filling the skies, and including pink and red colours that are rarely seen this far south. See…

  • Defender of the north

    Defender of the north

    A rare sighting of spectacular aurora in central Vancouver Island, a first for some. Not only visible, but under perfectly clear skies, dancing directly overhead, filling the skies, and including pink and red colours that are rarely seen this far south. See the series 2a version of northern lights here.

  • Blacksmith style jumpers

    Blacksmith style jumpers

    A simply-made d.i.y. set of heavy-duty jumper cables assembled from welding ground cables and clamps. Sturdy construction, highly flexible and wear-resistant, plenty of copper and a very strong bite for good connections. The negative clamps are differentiated by a coat of traditional tree-source urushi lacquer, normally used for Japanese sword scabbards. The two cables are…

  • Three poles

    Three poles

    A location once known as “four poles” now down to three. The last remnant of a bygone era––now a landmark and meeting point. Most things change, some for the better, some disappear altogether, and some things remain. Keep a proper perspective and cultivate good fruit that remains.

  • Museum forge

    Museum forge

    One of the current projects at the Parksville Museum forge involves hand crafting knives from series rover leaf springs. Series spring steel has not changed spec since the first in 1948 and replacements today are even made with the same composition. The projects shown below are made from original 1965 series 2a steel by heating…

  • At the museum

    At the museum

    Poppy is currently earning her keep hauling blacksmithing tools to and from the Parksville Museum. Generally on Saturdays from spring to late summer the forge is open and running knifemaking demonstrations in conjunction with the artist-in-residence program as the weather permits, which means a couple hundred lbs of tools need to be carted to the…

  • Feeling at home

    Feeling at home

    A first visit to the forest on the island with Daisy, a 1997 Japan Specification Land Rover Defender 90 that spent most of its life in the Kansai area. The air is still cool but the light makes it feel like spring is arriving. Several small items have been checked off slowly so far after…

  • Secret drive

    Secret drive

    A lovely private drive winding in and out of the shadows of the forest on a sunny afternoon. A path beckons to one side, where might it lead? We are grateful for the invitations and opportunities as they come. Choose wisely, make the most of what is available, and steward it well.

  • Defender on the island

    Defender on the island

    1997 was the last year Land Rover Defenders were made for the Japanese and North American markets due to the increasingly heavy-handed safety regulations being introduced. It was also the only year that an automatic transmission was offered. The JAS and NAS are almost identical, even to the point of being left-hand-drive, powered by the…

  • Bringing Daisy home

    Bringing Daisy home

    Daisy is a 1997 Japan Specification Land Rover Defender 90 (#594) that was made for the Japanese market, after a few years in the Tokyo area spent most of its life near Osaka driven and cared for by a Japanese woman, and is largely original still and in reasonable shape for a 27-year-old vehicle. Beginning…

  • Downtown Qualicum Beach

    Downtown Qualicum Beach

    A couple of edited snaps from a slightly rainy afternoon on the downtown streets outside a skateboard art gallery event opening. Qualicum Beach is home to one of Canada’s oldest and most infamous skateboard shops, Skull Skates, and the town is in the process of building a new skateboard park.

  • Mainland adventure

    Mainland adventure

    A quick stop next to an ivy covered tree along the upper edge of the river. While on the lower mainland, Daisy had a few things taken care of including a provincial inspection, refresh of wheels and tires, daytime running lights, front bumper cleanup and powder coating, and a general look-over. We are grateful to…

  • When I cross over

    When I cross over

    Some heavily-edited and interesting vistas crossing over to the lower mainland to pick up Daisy, a 1997 Japan Specification Land Rover Defender 90 that spent most of its life in the Kansai area. The final voyage for the hard-working Rad on its way to a new home. See more posts related to Daisy’s journey, restoration,…

Prepare for adventure.

“If you don’t slow down once in awhile, life can pass you by.” Adventures can be far or near, large or small, and each one has a lesson–and a story.