Happy New Year and a Look back on 2021

It’s the morning of January 1st 2022 (it sounds so futuristic), and as I sit in front of my computer archiving emails from the past year I find myself wanting to take a few moments to reflect on the past year, from news events to happenings in my personal life. So without further adieu, a quick retrospective of everything that resonated with me in 2021. Historically, I feel that people could have been described me as a bit of a loner, although it’s not a title I gained by explicate choice. I’ve always found meeting new people difficult, simply because Continue Reading

Completing Bowker Creek – The final stretches

Following my adventures in the Hall of Wonders and the Bowker Creek headwaters I was becoming fairly familiar with the underground portions our little urban stream, however, I was aware there were a couple more sections of the creek which flowed beneath the city’s streets that still needed to be explored! Finally, in the summer of 2021, a full two years after my first journey below the city’s streets, I would have the opportunity to finally complete this explore. It was a beautiful summer afternoon when my usual draining buddy popped by and we made our way to the creek. Continue Reading

Totally Not Getting my Friends Stuck in a Drain

Let me begin by stating that despite the title, I did not get any of my friends stuck in a storm drain, nor were we ever in any real danger. I did learn a valuable lesson about knowing the physical limits of your friends before encouraging them to do borderline insane things with you though! The streets beneath downtown Victoria are home to a number of interesting storm drains, many of them popular urban exploration spots for the local UE community. The drains of my hometown range from “easy to access” to “only attempt at stupid o’clock in the morning Continue Reading

Shenanigans with Servers in the Middle of the night

At an hour when any reasonable person should have been asleep, I found myself sitting in front of a closed gate at a datacenter on the outskirts of Vancouver. While I waited for my friend to return with access cards, I heard a beeping sound, almost like an alarm, and the gate began to move. It was about 1:30 in the morning and I was sitting in a car with my roommate outside the Cologix datacenter in Vancouver helping a friend move servers. Why? Because, well, I’m not really a “normal” person and this is what passes for entertainment in Continue Reading

Popping Manholes on a Friday Night

I didn’t intend to spend my Friday night wandering around town popping manhole covers; in fact, I didn’t plan on doing much of anything on my Friday night. But sometimes circumstance has other plans and when the opportunity presents itself you just have to roll with it and engage in some middle of the night shenanigans! It was around 8PM and I was bored. I had a buddy who was supposed to be coming over to hang out in a few minutes and no really pressing problems on the agenda to solve. As I often do when I have nothing Continue Reading

Two Trestles, a Tunnel and a Waterfall

Just West of Victoria there is an extensive wilderness green spaced called Goldstream Provincial Park. It features hiking, camping and a nature house among other amenities. If you know where to look, it also serves as an access point to the disused E&N rail line and some pretty cool train trestles. The first trestle (known as the Goldstream trestle) is extremely well known about, and until recently, was a frequent destination for hikers. Sadly, within the last year a high-profile suicide at this very location, prompted calls to erect fencing around the bridge and within the last 6 months fencing Continue Reading

Getting Chipped – The Story of my NFC Implant

I climb the concrete steps of the parking garage and walk the 100 ft length of the second floor to the Western wall. About halfway along I find myself in front of a metal door, a card reader to my left. I wave my hand in front of the reader and smile as the LED turns green and the door clicks open – no badge required. NFC Implants The door opening trick wasn’t a slight of hand, nor was it a faulty sensor. It was the end result of a high tech upgrade my body had received days prior; an Continue Reading

The Mt. Doug Cave

Like any town, Victoria has a number of urban legends that a person is exposed to while growing up. One such myth is, of course, the mythical tunnels which run beneath the city streets (a large part of these are likely part of the city’s old storm drain network) while another is that of a secret cave which exists within Mt Doug park. A UER.ca thread had cracked the first urban myth of the secret tunnels, so I figured it was time to investigate this other long standing urban legend. Mt Doug park is a large 188 hectare urban park. Continue Reading

Finding the Bowker Creek Headwaters

“Bower Creek is an urban stream in the Victoria-BC area which originates in the wetlands near the University of Victoria and snakes it’s way through several municipalities before eventually outflowing to the ocean.” This is the way I introduced Bowker Creek way back in October of 2019 when describing my first draining adventure. While the description is accurate, something always bothered me about it; I never actually visually confirmed where Bowker creek originated, was it interesting, and most importantly; were there more tunnels? The answer to all of the above was yes; otherwise there wouldn’t be a blog post about Continue Reading

Exploring the Jordan River Diversion Dam

“Is there anything else we might need?” It was 7AM on the Saturday of a long weekend, and, rather then sleeping in, I was packing camping gear into my backpack in perpetration for a day-long adventure. Several days earlier I had seen some pictures of the Jordan River diversion dam and I was anxious to see this place for myself. And so it was hardly surprising that at the next available opportunity, I found myself packing into my roomate’s Kia Rio along with my good draining buddy at an ungodly hour of the morning to take a sketchy trip up Continue Reading