Good Food and Good Friends On the Sunshine Coast

Sharon and I spent the weekend with a pack of friends at the Dinner Rock forestry campsite near Lund, which is the last town on highway 101 that runs north through Powell River. On Friday we both left work early to make sure we caught the 5:50 ferry out of Horseshoe Bay. It was a quick run north with only a brief stop at Sechelt to watch the sunset from the beach. Once we got over on the second ferry we were ravenously hungry and hopped into a small cafe in Powell River. We had expected a cheap little diner place but instead discovered a gem of a restaurant tucked inside the Courthouse Inn. The owner was tidying up after the dinner rush but said she could put together a coconut tandoori soup with salmon, which we gratefully chowed down. So delicious!

Reilly, Miranda, Josh and Shan had already pulled in that afternoon and had set up camp already. When we arrived we sat back, had a beer, and toasted up cheese smokies on the fire. The best part about camping in the offseason is there are rarely any fire restrictions.

Everyone slept in on Saturday and after a hearty breakfast we went to Lund to explore the village. There’s an amazing little bakery up there and I discovered the best blackberry cinnamon buns I’ve ever had! Sharon and I headed in to Powell River to explore while the rest of the gang chilled out at the campsite. We had dinner, a couple of beers and turned in as the rain began to come down. This morning Sharon and I woke up before everyone else and decided to sneak off to catch the 11:20 ferry and get back into town a bit early. I didn’t really have the ambition to hang around in the rain all morning and the next ferry wasn’t until 3:20 this afternoon. Now I’m on the ferry enjoying a cup of herbal tea with Sharon while we watch the scenery pass by. Looking forward to a hot shower when I get home!

This trip felt a little short and I could have easily used another day or two to explore the area and eat more cinnamon buns. I’ve been busy lately and haven’t seen as much of my friends as I’d like and would have enjoyed spending a little more time camping with everyone. Still, I’m glad we’re on the ferry now and enjoying being warm and dry.

[Update] 3:30pm – We stopped at the Gumboot Cafe in Roberts Creek for lunch. Delicious! They make organic food and it’s outrageously tasty. When we showed up at Langdale to catch the ferry we discovered it’s overloaded so we got bumped to the 4:50pm sailing. Doh! Next time we’re heading for the ferry I’m going to check the loads first so we plan appropriately. Fortunately I’ve tethered up my iPhone to the Macbook and we’re downloading a copy of the film One Week from iTunes so that we can watch it while we’re waiting.

Pavement and Quasi

Last night I saw one of my most anticipated shows this year: the 90’s band Pavement got together for a one-off reunion tour and brought Quasi along as their opener for their west coast dates. Quasi’s new album is one of the best I’ve heard and is definitely my favorite album this year (I’m not the only one who thinks so — read what Carrie Brownstein had to say about it). They didn’t come to Vancouver on their tour and I had debated going down to Portland to see them but they hooked up as the openers for Pavement, making a trip to Portland unnecessary.

I dragged everyone in early to see Quasi and they were fantastic! The new songs sounded great with loads of guitar. Sam blew a string early in the set and changed it while Janet and Joanna segued the song into a pounding guitar and bass solo. ┬áThere’s a reason I never, ever miss a show with Janet Weiss on drums. She’s incredible to watch.

Pavement was a lot of fun! With all their goofing around you’d never expect their music to sound as good as it does. The show was mostly a greatest hits thing with a few audience requests thrown in at the end. A few people in the front were yelling for their favorite songs and, after a brief discussion onstage, the band jumped into them near the end. Stephen Malkmus was the most fun and looked quite un-serious about the whole thing. He would casually hold his guitar in some strange position to start some of the songs, almost as though it was an afterthought instead of the lead instrument.

There’s an avalanche of great bands coming through in the next couple of months:

Sept 26 – Flaming Lips at the Malkin Bowl
Oct 5 – Surfer Blood at The Biltmore
Oct 12 – Holy F**k at the Rickshaw
Oct 13 – Superchunk at Venue
Oct 22 – Gogol Bordello at The Commodore
Nov 26 – Grinderman at The Commodore

I’ve been a little quiet in the past month as I focus on getting my place cleared out (I’ve managed to purge about 1/3 of my possessions and my condo looks WAY better as a result) and getting back into running and going to the gym regularly. There have been some recent adventures I’ve wanted to post and hopefully I’ll get them up soon.

This weekend Sharon and I are joining a pack of our friends in going to a wilderness campground just south of Lund. I’m very excited and also hoping that the weather doesn’t rain too much.