It has been a busy day. It was nice and sunny this morning, unlike yesterday when it rained, so we decided to go do some outdoorsy stuff.
Alan's parents have a few acres of land outside of town here, with a creek running through it. We went out there this morning, and did some hiking around and exploring. The creek has a lovely set of little waterfalls in the part that is on their land. It was really beautiful this morning, and I took several pictures of it. This is one of the nicer ones.
We had a really good time just poking around and exploring. I got to play archaeologist and point out chert deposits I found (a type of rock commonly used for making stone tools) and looked for artifacts (didn't find any). Alan's mom loves to ask me about that kind of stuff, and seemed to really want me to find a buried village on her land. I was sorry to disappoint her.
I got a special treat after this, as Alan's mom had driven her motorcycle out to the acreage. She was really pleased to discover that I recently got my licence, as both her and her husband are avid bikers. She was very quick to volunteer her little 250cc for me to go out on. While I am not yet feeling comfortable with taking a bike out on the road, there is a school across the road from their acreage, and she drove the bike over there and let me practice a bit in the parking lot. Alan took my camera and snapped a few pictures, so now I can prove that I do in fact drive motorcycles now! Here's me in all my gear, I think this is going to be my new profile pic for Facebook and Twitter.
I did a few laps of the parking lot, and Alan took some action shots while I did that too. It was a lot of fun to just putter around a bit. I was really pleased to find that I have not forgotten how to do it in the two weeks since the course. I was also happy to find that I am capable of going faster than 20km/hour, and can shift higher than third gear. A little more practice and I might actually feel road ready. My biggest obstacle at this point is that I am still paying so much attention to how to actually run the bike, that I'm not paying enough attention to things like blinkers and looking in my mirrors. I won't be going out on the roads until I have the mechanics of it down enough that I can pay attention to the roads around me. That day is a lot closer than it was a month ago though!
After I finished a few laps Alan and I went and found some ice cream, then headed back to the house. It was Alan's turn to have fun now! He and Art, his step father, got all geared up to head out into the lake for diving. I can't claim that Alan had all the fun though, as I got to go out on one of the jet skis while they were diving. And to put mom's worries to rest, not only was I wearing a life jacket, the life jacket had a radio built in, so I could call for help if I needed to. Alan's mom was on the wharf with the other radio in case I called. I was perfectly fine though...the jet skis are a lot less scary now that I'm a biker.
But yeah, back to Alan's fun. He and Art had gone out with the intention of checking out the drop off in the lake. The lake here is very deep at it's center, and the change in depth is fairly abrupt, going quickly from being about 20 feet deep down to 80. I think the deepest point in the lake is around 600 feet. They had just wanted to have a look at the drop off, because it looks very steep from the depth finder in the boat.
Their first attempt they just tried to swim out to the drop off from the wharf. It turned out to be further away from the wharf than they had anticipated, and it was too tiring to get out far enough. They happened to head back to the wharf at the same time I was coming back with the jet ski. After a few minutes discussion on the wharf, they decided to go out to the drop off in the boat and dive from there.
We ended up delaying a bit as Art's two sisters and nephew were coming over to the house, so we waited for them. Adding me, Alan's mom and grandmother, and we had a boatful heading out! We found a good spot where the depth started increasing, laid anchor and the boys headed in. Those of us on the boat just chatted a bit and watched Art's sister Paula goofing off on one of the jet skis (everyone else was on the boat).
Art and Alan came back up after about 20 minutes. Apparently the drop off had not been as spectacular as hoped...Alan said it was about a 15 degree incline, so not a gaping chasm of doom or anything. What had shocked them both though, was that the floor of the lake at deeper depths was nothing but zebra muscles. Alan said they went on as far as you could see, and were laid out in bands of of white and grey that looked almost painted, they were so precise and even. He couldn't believe how many there were. Unfortunately, he did not think to take his underwater camera out with him. I am trying to convince him that they should go out again to take pictures. Other than that, they said there was nothing of interest. They were glad to have gotten a bit of diving in just the same though.
The rest of the evening was just spent with the family. We just had a relaxed supper of pizza, and chatted til people headed home. Alan was pretty tired too, from the diving and hiking this morning, so we headed to our home away from home, and here I am now at the computer! I am pretty tired myself, but it's been a fun day :)
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