Sunday, September 17, 2017

Friday at Hadrian's Wall

This past Friday, I went to Hadrian's Wall.  I went up to Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday evening, and stayed at one of those hotels that's totally confusing.  It's sort of hidden away (I found it by chance), and then it's labyrinthian inside.  You go up a flight, down a half flight, over, up another two flights, and so on.  But my room was roomy and comfortable, with windows that opened and good drapes, and a comfortable bed.

The best way I could figure out was to take a train from Newcastle to Hexham, and from the train station bus stop there, get on a bus that goes out to Haltwhistle, stopping along the way a bunch.  I got a day pass for about 12 quid, and off I went.

My first stop was at Chesters Roman Fort.  I bought myself a membership in English Heritage for 54 quid.  Let's see if it's worth it for the length of my visit.  (6.60 pounds entry at Chesters.)

 The River Tyne, looking upstream (north).
 The River Tyne, looking downstream (south)
 Roman Baths.  When I'd done walking around, I asked at the information desk about the ruins.  I was thinking that they'd sort of been rebuilt, with modern cement and such.  But no, what's there has been dug up, but the cement is Roman.  And the structures are what survived (partly covered with erosion and such over time).  This blows me away.
 A phallic symbol in the main courtyard.  Naturally.
 So this vault, this has survived for about 2000 years.  Mind blown.
 Early under-floor heating set up.  (I saw this sort of thing when I was in Bath, in 2011, but still, way cool!)
So that was Chesters Roman Fort.  Really interesting!  Well worth a visit.

Then I got back on the bus and went to Housesteads Roman Fort (7.5 pounds).  Maybe even cooler than Chesters Roman Fort.  At any rate, right up there!

 I saw this beautiful butterfly warming itself in the sun.
 Gorgeous scenes!  Big big walls!
 The latrines!  Probably an 8 on my scale when they still worked.  Really interesting!
 More wall, landscape!
 It's like you can see and see a long way!
 Clouds looming.  It drizzled a little, but only a little.
 This sheep was eating on its knees.  It looked fine, but was eating on its knees.
I went out to wait for the bus, and saw a couple of birds, which I've posted on a facebook group for help identifying.

Then I got back on the bus; the day was running down, and I needed to choose between Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum.  I chose the museum and was amused by this sign:
 The Roman Army Museum was so so.  Maybe I was just tired, but it seemed aimed at kids more than adults, and reminded me of the Viking museum at York, but less full in some ways.

Finally, I took the bus all the way back to the train station at Hexham, and headed back to Newcastle.
All in all, this was a really interesting day out!

Behind Again: Thornton and Haworth

Last Sunday, a week ago today, I went on a visit to Thornton and Haworth.

The house at Thornton, where the sisters were born, has become a small coffee house.  They make good coffee and bisquits!

Here's the room where, we were told, the sisters were born.  It's filled with happy caffeinators.
 Another room, which looked like maybe a sitting room.

Haworth is way more fun, because there's so very much to see!

 Look, a plaque!  (but not a plague.  Good thing!)

I visited the dead folks in the Church.
 Here's the corner.
 And a different view.
 This is the church from the parsonage, across the cemetery.  There are a WHOLE lot of monuments there saying things like: Here lies Joseph X, son of William X and Sarah X, died at 3 months.  And Mary X, their daughter, died at 2 years.  And Anne X, their daughter, died at 1 year.  And William, died at 72 years.  And Sarah, died at 78 years.  Lots of little infants and children, buried and marked with the same monument (same grave?).  It's very sad to think of all those little kids, and the parents just grieving.
 And this is the parsonage, from the same place I took the church picture.  The Bronte sisters were outlived by their father, who was curate of the church.  I can't begin to imagine how impossibly hard it must be to outlive your spouse and children.
The village itself is pretty nice, very touristy.  It was drizzly, so I went and had tea in a shop, and it was so so good!  The tea was hot, and the scones were perfect, especially with the clotted cream.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Little Rant

I read the blog of a certain administrative writer who was lamenting yesterday yet again about the evils of tenured faculty.  Basically, the lament goes like this:  if the tenured folks would just do what I tell them without questioning or talking back, my college/the state of education/the whole world would be better, work more efficiently and effectively, and serve students better.  Often, the lament about tenured folks is tied to a lament about unions.  (There's often an undertone of regret that a former employer which was very top down failed, because the blogger can see how very much better a top down approach is.)

The post I just read basically questioned how to innovate when tenured folks are in the way and want input, and that input is seen as negative and inspired by defensiveness about our role.

Maybe I've gotten cynical, but the number of administrators I've now experienced who come into a position and want to make their mark is more than I can count on one hand.  They come in, mandate some massive change, push it through, and then leave, and those of us in the faculty and on the ground work through the problems and try to make it work, and then comes along another administrator and "pivots" and mandates a different change, equally big, totally focused on something else.  And then we do a massive five or ten year strategic plan, but then the administrator leaves, and the next comes in and ignores the plan in favor of their mandate, and then a year or two in, claims that the faculty is horrible because we don't put the strategic plan into effect, and writes a whole new strategic plan line on their CV, and then moves on.

All of these plans end up calling for new administrative positions, and end up putting more students in courses, and then criticizing faculty who lecture to rooms of 100 or more students.  New administrators are hired, who demand more paperwork, and demand that we add the paperwork to the other things we're doing, and then change their mind and demand different paperwork because the first didn't work after all.

I love hearing that administrator X has just come from a special conference at a super fancy hotel in a big city, which was totally paid for by the school, although they didn't give a paper, organize a session, or do anything more than sit around and get lectured at by gurus (probably about how bad lecturing is).  And then I'm trying to put together my funding for a conference to stay in a dorm room.  Ugh.

Okay, enough.

I'm exhausted because I've barely slept all week.  I need to find time to do some work, but my time feels especially fractured here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9 September: London for "The First Playhouse in Drury Lane: a Symposium on the Cockpit-Phoenix"

Last Saturday, I went with a colleague here to a symposium, "The First Playhouse in Drury Lane: a Symposium on the Cockpit-Phoenix" at the London Metropolitan Archives.  It was really interesting, fun, and I learned a lot.

One of the most interesting papers for me (because I learned a lot) was Christopher Matusiak's paper on "The Cockpit at War, 1642-1656."  (I may not have the title precisely, because I was taking notes and am reading from them, and not an official document.)

Matusiak argued that despite legislation against theaters/plays, four houses played through to 1649.  According to my notes, these were the Cockpit, Salisbury Court, the Fortune, and the Red Bull.  Even after 1649, three more carried on playing.

[Am I the only one who didn't know that some companies kept playing after 1642???]

According to Matusiak, the companied argued against the validity of the Parliament's ordinances against theaters/playing, since they weren't Acts, since they hadn't been signed by the monarch.  That's interesting, no?

He talked about Christopher Beeston's widow, Elizabeth Beeston, aka Hutchison (also an aka used by Christopher Beeston before he died), who controlled the cockpit for some years, until 1658, when the lease expired.

Another really interesting paper was Stephen Watkins' paper on "Davenant at the Cockpit."  Watkins argued that from 1658-9, Davenant performed three works at the Cockpit, The Siege of Rhodes, The Cruelty of the Spaniards in Peru, and The History of Sir Francis Drake.  From what Watkins said, these were sort of opera pieces, with music, and recitatif, rather than what we traditionally think of as plays.  So they may have avoided trouble by not performing plays that were proscribed, but something else.  Watkins pointed out that since the Protectorate was at war with Spain in the 1650s, there might have been a more relaxed attitude towards these performances because of their subject matter.

The Siege of Rhodes had the first legal female actor on the London stage.  And not using cross-dressed boy actors may have made the morality thing less of an issue.  Interesting stuff, for sure!

In my notes about the paper, I wrote "Ballad-vs-Dav[enant]'s play [line break] John Evelyn [line break] 6 May 1659 --> didn't like play."  So either John Evelyn wrote a ballad, or maybe wrote about a ballad and that expressed dislike of the performance.  In either case, it would be evidence that there was a performance.

After the symposium, my colleague and I went to visit the approximate location of the Red Bull, near Haywood's Place now.

We also stopped to see what's left of the well at Clerkenwell, which is weirdly behind a big glass window in an office building.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Catching Up: London, The Globe, National Portrait Gallery, Part Two

On Sunday morning, I left my hotel after the breakfast, and took my bag to the Left Luggage at the train station before getting on the Tube and heading to Trafalgar Square.  I had 10 am tickets to "The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt" (that link will probably go dead when the show ends, alas).  But since it was only 9, I started wandering, and saw that St. Martin's-in-the-Fields was open, and people were going in and out.

So I went in and took a seat in one of the rear pews.  When I was in London before, I'd visited, but hadn't been able to go in the main building, just the lower area, the Crypt, where they have a café.  They were getting ready for a service at 10am, and people were about, very friendly, and didn't seem to mind my sitting quietly.  What a glorious building!  It's got to be one of the most beautiful spaces to just sit quietly (like the Banqueting Hall).

There was a family with two toddlers doing a practice run for baptism with a priest; they were all quite adorable.

And then the organ started in, and the choir started practicing, and it was glorious!  I wished I'd had time to stay for the service.

But I left about 15 minutes before, bought and downed a bottle of water, and went to the National Portrait Gallery.  So fun.  The drawing exhibit was marvelous.  And I learned that they can tell from the cross-hatching that Holbein was left handed.  So that's very cool.

As you'd guess, I left there, got a sandwich to go, and went off to the Globe matinee of Much Ado About Nothing.  It was Mexican themed, set in maybe the last part of the 19th century, with a wooden freight car as the backdrop.

That was an interesting idea, but I never quite got the why of it.  Beatrice was superb, Benedick almost as good, and overall, very fun.  They played Dogberry as a US film maker, but with an uneven accent, and some changes that didn't quite work for me.  

Still, all in all, well worth the visit!

This time, I sat in the lower gallery, and it was very good except that when they showed the film bits, I couldn't see because of the pillar.  Oops!

Catching Up: London, The Globe, National Portrait Gallery, Part One

On Saturday morning (3 September), I went into London..  I had time, so dropped my bag at my hotel and then took the tube to Temple.  I got off and had a nice walk to the Millenial Bridge, across, adn then saw King Lear (matinee) at the Globe.
It was a sort of post-modern production, starting when the actors walked on in modern dress, carrying bags and such through the audience.  The move to "hey, let's put on a play" wasn't quite clear to me, but then the play was, and it was really interesting and good.  I thought Gloucester was really effective, and Edmund, but found the Fool and Edgar less, ummm, satisfying?

And I didn't really cry at the end (I cry quite easily at plays and such, so I guess I wasn't super caught up in it).  

When I went to the Globe back in 2011, I was only able to get standing tickets.  This time, a bit more experienced in buying tickets, I bought mine when I found out I'd be coming, so I got to sit.  The first play I sat in the middle gallery, and it was really good.  I had good sight lines and could hear well.

After the play, I went to Southwark Cathedral to visit some dead folks.

I also visited Gower and Lancelot Andrewes again, as one does.

That done, I walked along the Thames and enjoyed the festival atmosphere.  I crossed again at Tower Bridge, and walked a bit around the Tower (outside, sine it was closed by then), took the tube, and got dinner before going to bed at the hotel.

Catching Up: Birding Rutland Water

I had an opportunity to go to Rutland Water Nature Reserve last Friday, 2 September, and got some birding in.  It was a beautiful place, with lots and lots of birds.  New for me are the Great Crested Grebe (lots and lots!)

 Egyptian Geese

 Little Egret
I also saw lots of other birds, including this very cooperative Mute Swan!
Other birds I feel pretty certain of: Black-headed Gull, Coot, Greylag Goose, Little Grebe, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Robin.  Also probably Common Gull, Herring Gull.

All in all, a fabulous day outside, feeling very happy, walking lots.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

In the Music Room with Professor Bardiac

I went in search of the music room the other day.  It must be down here:

Let's go down this hallway...

Through the doors.  Look, at the end, on the right, there's a doorway!

Turn the corner, and a hallway, with another doorway.  I hope there aren't any orcs down here!

Ta da!  A very nice room!  Natural light!  And there's a door in the corner... 
A not very secret stairway!  (It's not very secret because everyone in the Abbey knows about it.  I'm told the current music room is probably where the head Butler's office was.  He could get right up to the state rooms, to the main one, and could also see what was happening outside, in case anyone was there.)

One of the things you learn living in the Abbey like this is that there are sort of two houses.  One of the "family" house, with grand halls and grander rooms.  The other is the servant's house, with ways to get into the grand rooms that are somewhat hidden and discrete, so they could be anywhere, but not be seen by the family or guests, because at the time this house was built, that mattered a lot.

The ground floor is pretty much the domain of servants except for the grand entrance, which is a big room with a staircase.  The main staircase goes up to the next floors, and is really fancy.  The next floor up (the second floor in US parlance, and first floor in UK parlance) is grand rooms and halls, with some sort of secret doors, and a semi-hidden area with a big staircase.  It's the ground floor at the back of the house, and there's a gorgeous conservatory.  There's also a wing that's all where offices and kitchens would have been, that's off the main square of the house.

The next floor up (third in US parlance) is mostly family rooms, bedrooms and such, and a governess's room to one side.  The next two floors up are only accessible through the semi-hidden area with the big staircase, and lead up to what would have been servants' quarters.

So the house is sort of split in two.

Socially, things are very different here than when I was here before.

Then, there was one married couple with two kids, both parents faculty members teaching.  One married couple with only the male faculty member teaching.  And four female faculty folks more or less on their own (though at least two of them had long term partners who visited for a short time), and one male faculty person on his own.  And only the one couple with a "trailing spouse" was sort of older.  That meant that a lot of time three of us "single" folks did a lot of traveling and such together, and we also did stuff with the family.  Two of the "single" folks pretty much did their own thing, and the married couple did their own thing.  So it felt pretty social.  And gender balanced.

This time, there are mostly male faculty members with trailing spouses.  At least it feels that way.  There's one "older" couple, nearly retired, who seem a bit imperious.  There's a couple with four kids, and another couple with two kids, and two nearing retirement couples whose kids seem grown (and not here).  Then there are two male faculty members without family here (though one is married, but his spouse and child didn't come).  Mostly folks are nice, but the couples are doing couple things, and the families are doing family things.  (It's weird, but the couples nearing retirement seem older than I feel, but I don't think they're actually much older.)

At the one faculty meeting we had, it felt very, very old fashioned.  

The new principal seems good, but very traditionally male, too.

I'm glad I've been here before so I'm pretty comfortable traveling on my own and know my way around places.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Beginning Classes

We started real classes yesterday, though the faculty has been here since Tuesday, and the students since Thursday.  The administration and student affairs folks have been keeping everyone busy, especially with student activities to which we've all been strongly encouraged to go.  It's left less time for prep than I'd like, and no time (since last Wednesday) to go to town for some basics.  (I want some cough lozenges to suck on, since my throat's itchy, for example.)

I have classes from midmorning today until afternoon, but with an hour between.  It's great for prep, but not enough to go to town and get the lozenges.  I THINK I may be able to go Thursday morning, but only if I'm caught up on everything and ready for classes.

It's really the Victorian course that's worrying me.  I'm still reading background, worried about reading the novel, and so on.  I'll be reading something contextual, and then wonder about some aspect and get sucked into Wikipedia re all the crazy European wars and parliamentary maneuverings, and an hour or two later, I'll look up, and I'll have a vague idea about the wars and parliamentary stuff, but not much more about the original context.  Still, it's a fascinating period!

I feel far less ready, and far more discombobulated than usual at the beginning of the semester.  I think I really, really need to organize my room so that I can keep class materials easily to hand.

Okay, I need to finish reading some Victorian context, then finish my Shakespeare prep for that course, print and make copies, and then go teach!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

At the Abbey

I'm here and settling in!

I had a fantastic time birding in the Highlands.  I stayed in a small town called Nethybridge, right near Cairngorms National Park.  We birded around there, seeing House Martin, Swallow (Barn Swallow in the US), Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Swift, Buzzard, Pheasant, Lapwings, Mistle Thrush, Meadow Pipit, Red Grouse, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Gold Crest, Robin, Great Tits, Crested Tit, Common and Herring Gulls, Kestrel, Greylag Goose, Dipper, Gray Wagtail, Mallards (of course), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Osprey, Grey Heron, Hen Harrier, Curlew, Redpoll, Hooded Crow, Greater Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Canada Goose, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, and Black-headed Gull.  (I just listed straight off my notes from various places, not repeating though of course we saw repeats.)

Alas, we tried but didn't see Capercaillie.

then we took our little van to Maillag, where we got on a ferry to Lochboisdale, on South Uist (in the Hebrides).  Along the way we saw seabirds galore, including Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Guillemot (aka Common Guillemot in the US), Black-legged Kittywake, and Fulmar.

We drove up to Benbecula, where we stayed two nights.  During the day, we drove around Benbecula and North Uist birding.  I saw Snipe, Red Shanks, Eider Duck, Cormorant Starling, Raven, Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Common Gull, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, GLAUCOUS GULL (very exciting), Dunlin, Greater Black-backed Gull, ICELAND GULL (also exciting!), Common Gulls, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Greylag, Twite, Corn Bunting, Merlin, Black Headed Gull, NORTHERN WHEATEAR (another exciting one!), Pied Wagtail, Tufted Duck, Gannet, Rock Pipit, Stone Chat, Kestrel, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Coot, Gadwall, Diver (aka Red-Throated Loon).

After birding the second day, we drove up to Lochmaddy, and got on a Ferry to take us to Uig Bay on the Isle of Skye.  On the Ferry we saw Great Skua, Gannet, Black-legged Kittywake, and Manx Shearwater.  We drove across Skye pretty much straight because we needed to reach the hotel in Nethybridge, and it was pouring rain, but we did see Rook and Jackdaw.

The last two days we spent going up Cairngorm (in hopes of seeing Ptarmigan, but didn't), but we did see Goldeneye, White-Tailed Eagle, Red Kite, Red Grouse, Black-throated Diver (aka Arctic Loon), Goosander (aka Common Merlin), Wigeon, Shell Duck, Peregrine, Black-tailed Godwit, a weird hybrid Canada/Greylag goose (it looked like a pale Canada Goose with pink legs), Shag, Arctic Skua, Common Tern, Green Shanks, Barnacle Goose, Slovonian Grebe, Moorhen, Blue Tit, and Green Finch.

All in all, I saw some 80 species of birds, almost all of them new for me.  So that was very exciting!  (I can't seem to load images, but will try again later.)  I went with a birding company, Heatherlea, and they were great, and the guide wonderful.  There were six guests on our trip, and one guide, so we got to see lots, and he gave us lots of background information, too.  I'd love to go on another trip with them.

Then I spent a few days in Inverness, walking around, visiting Clava Cairns, the Culloden Battlefield, Loch Ness (on a boat), and Urquhart Castle.  It was all wonderful.

And now I'm at the Abbey, and I need to finish prepping for my courses.  This, too, is a beautiful place, very comfortable, with a staff that really takes care of things well.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Practice Really Does Make a Difference

On July 13th, I did my three test pieces from Suzuki Book 3 for my teacher, Strings, and passed, making me, according to Strings, an "intermediate" Suzuki student.  In old D&D terms, I'm level 4!

Before that, for about a month, I was totally focused on memorizing and working on those 3 pieces, getting them to the point where I could play them as well as possible, from memory.  It was hard.  Most days, I was practicing about an hour and a half to two hours because I really wanted to pass into the next Suzuki book before I left.

Part of the issue is that Strings was leaving for a music camp thing, and won't be back here until after I've gone.  And then I'll be birding in Scotland, and won't be practicing then.  And then I'll have to get a violin at the Abbey (they said they probably have one I can use, and if not will help me find a student rental).  But, in terms of memorizing, it would be hard to be away for two or three weeks and then go back to trying to play those pieces from memory.

But it worked out!  And I've started into Book 4.  I've also started back working on the technique books I have.  There are 4 of them.

1.  Ševčík bowing
2.  Ševčík technique (more fingering than bowing) (first position)
3.  Whistler's Intro to 3rd and 5th positions (hand and finger, mostly)
4.  Trott's Melodious Double Stops

Each of these helps me focus on a specific area where I need to focus (and really, pretty much everyone at my level needs to focus on bowing, fingering, positions, and double stops, I guess).  But for the past couple of months, I haven't practiced these as much because of focusing on the three test pieces.

I posted before about working on the Ševčík books, and how hard they are.  That was back in January, and from what it says, I got the Ševčík books last summer, and started working on them.

I've been better about the bowing book than the fingering book.  Today in my practice session, I couldn't even remember where I'd left off with the fingering book, so I decided to start at the beginning, since they're so hard.

As you can see from that previous post, the first set of exercises starts with slurred quarter notes.  Last summer and into winter, it took ten minutes or so to be able to slur the notes in a single measure more or less okay.  So on a given day, I might make it through one new measure, and one old, and then eventually, a whole line of old, and so on.  (Because I did improve.)  And then I'd start the next set, and basically the same slow process.

Today, I started and played the whole first set pretty much straight through, with a few mistakes, but mostly way, way better than I remembered.  It was pretty amazing to me, because I go along practicing, and often don't realize that I've improved, but then I go back, and something that was really hard is not nearly as hard.  And then it's obvious that I actually have improved.  And that makes me feel good!

So I remember for the future:

1.  Ševčík bowing - exercise 4, #30 (page 9)  (Basically, each exercise is a few lines of music, and then the page and next page are full of bowing variations for those few lines).
2.  Ševčík technique (more fingering than bowing) (first position) - back to the first exercise on the A string
3.  Whistler's Intro to 3rd and 5th positions (hand and finger, mostly) - G major, #62 (page 10)
4.  Trott's Melodious Double Stops - played through #1-3, worked on #4.

A Little Adventure before I Go

I have 8 days before I need to be on a plane to London!  I'm excited, overwhelmed, and more overwhelmed.

I've now finished all the big projects that absolutely have to be finished before I go except the whole class prep project.  There are two other projects I should also get further on.  But at least I've taken steps on one of them.

My friend, K, who's going to house sit has moved in.  So far, this arrangement is working out really well.  I hope he enjoys living in the house!  (He's a really good guy, and easy to get along with.)

I started riding my bike again this past weekend, just on a local trail.  And on Sunday, I was thinking about cutting my ride short to work on something else, so I turned off the trail onto a road in order to be able to turn around more easily, and saw a sign that pointed to a landing and said something about the joys of taking your kid fishing.  But I'd never heard of this landing, and it's only about a mile off the bike trail.  I rode up the road, which I'd thought ended at the gravel mine (visible from the trail crossing) and realized that it turned and went on from there.  What I found was a little park area, with a gravel/packed dirt and pothole parking area, a few picnic tables, and a little paved boat ramp with a sign saying that it was four something miles up river to the landing near campus, and 5 something miles down river to a landing further down.

I had a plan.  It wasn't a particularly cunning plan, but a plan.  I could put the kayak on the car with the bike inside, and drop the kayak at the landing near campus along with my life vest, paddles, and so on.  Then take the car (with the bike) to the new landing, leave the car there, and ride the bike up to the landing near campus, lock it there, get in the kayak, and go down river.  So I could do my own drop off and pick up because it's fairly close.

And that's what I did yesterday.  I was a little anxious about it, especially worried about what if I missed the landing somehow?

The thing is, right across from the landing is a ski jump, and that's visible from pretty far away, and not easy to miss, so the chances of my missing the landing and having to go another five miles were low.

The weather was good, and I told a couple friends what I was up to, and texted them before I got on the water with my eta (and then when I got out again).  But still, doing things all alone makes me a bit apprehensive.  It doesn't usually stop me doing them, but it makes me worry a bit along the way.

Here are some pictures from the adventure:

My kayak at the first landing.  (There's an ice rink right near, owned by the city and university jointly, and the city rec people were kind enough to let me leave my life vest and paddles and such there.  I used my bike lock to lock the kayak to the sign, probably illegally.  But it was out of the way at least.)

At the second landing, ready to get on the bike!

Bike parked at the ice rink, and locked up!

Kayak loaded and ready to go!

Gorgeous day on the river, mostly very quiet and calm.

Ski jump in the distance!  (Why was I worried I'd miss that?  I blame my recent reading of The Mill on the Floss, where Maggie becomes a "fallen woman" because Stephen purposefully "misses" landing at the town where they were supposed to land, and ends up going so far that they have to be sort of rescued by a ship and spend the night on it.)

A much closer view of the ski jump.  I really don't know how anyone has the courage to slide down that and fly through the air.  But they have big competitions here during winter.

The landing (with my car parked up the hill).

Pulled out!
Packed and ready to go back and pick up my bike!

All in all, it was a really lovely adventure, and I'm glad I went.  I'd like to try the next leg, too, maybe next summer!