Friday, August 14, 2009

Surviving in the Desert

Surviving in the Desert
From Drop Box

I haven't written in a bit but with the race coming up and training leveling off I'll have to get more words out. Been keeping with the big hours since Steelhead which leaves little time for much beyond swim, bike, run, repeat.

I have 2 brilliant friends, fellow members of the professoriate and knowledge in many thing. I have heard them quoted on the CBC, newspapers, etc. Their expertise is far ranging, and spills into all areas except geography. They attempted to convince me I am in a desert (see above photo from of few minutes ago of water pouring out the drain spouts on the OK Falls OP-centre). I confess to not being a geographer either, but I know a bit about weather and offer the following observations from this morning.
  • At noon today the temperature was 11 C (50 F). Noon is the period in the middle of the day, as opposed to midnight (gee it cools off so much in the desert at midnight).
  • The "desert" we are in has at least 6 gigantic lakes. These lakes are full of water. Many deserts, like say the Sahara or the Gobi, are often characterized by their lack of millions of liters of standing water, much of which I'm guessing came from the sky and was not trucked in from Vancouver.
  • The profs mentioned that there are scorpions about. I'm sure they were here on a reunion tour in 2003 where they did a blowout encore of "Rock You Like a Hurricane" to 5000 fans at the Penticton Stockyards.
  • At yesterdays ride the profs were wearing vests, arm warmers and possibly thermal underwear. Presumably this was to avoid skin damage from dust storms?
(wait my fingers are numb, I'm turning up the gas fireplace in the condo now, be right back)

Where was I, oh yeah, the desert. I got to take in the beautiful desert views from the completely empty lake, where my only companion for my mid-morning swim was a loon-like bird (presumably a desert loon). Not a soul was on the beaches, nor did a single boat push off its mooring. Presumably this is because the locals no better than to venture out in the heat of the day.

Of way cool note: near the beginning of my swim I looked down in the clear lake and saw a large (3/4 m) moving black cloud. I dove down and it was a ga-zillion tiny fishies all swimming together (back to school early out here?).

It is rumored to be warming up here during the week, so I'll grant this place a charitable semi-arid rating. Last time I was here in 1990 we camped the week before the race with our 2 little babies and a crappy tent, and whiled away the hours in the campground bathroom trying to stay warm as it rained day after day. 19 years later and I'm happy to have moved to the living room with a fireplace.

Anyway we can,
We're gonna find something
We'll dance in the garden
In torn sheets in the rain

We're the deadbeat club
We're the deadbeat club

OK, got to run. Literally, I got some intervals to do before the thunderstorms purge the region in the afternoon of all whose consciouses are not clean.....


From Drop Box


  1. I remember being wet for two weeks in this desert many years ago. Fortunately the kids were too young yet to complain. Poles for tarps at various angles looked like pick-up-sticks all over the campground. Bob: The locals are suspicious of your relationship with the cute BC duck and are thus steering clear of you. Does the duck get its own pillow?

  2. Yeah, and what's with the puddle ducks, they are all over here. Classical desert scene, picture it: pouring rain, huge puddles, ducks, lone guy crawling along in tattered clothes, mirages (he keeps imagining he sees a towel in the distance), he stops moving and the ducks cluster around and start pecking....

  3. Seriously, it rarely does this! But I am so glad you are here for it as you chronicled it in most hilarious "fashion". But what a sucky day. Good for you for getting out there. I did not go. Do you know why? Because I AM NOT DOING IRONMAN THIS YEAR!! See, some benefits, eh?

    This is Ann.

  4. But you are doing Musoka 70.3, where last year we had rain basically identical to today! Lazy insolent westerner, have you forgotten your fishlike run training? Perhaps a review is needed tomorrow...