Vancouver 3

Five weeks. That’s how long I’ve been driving streets in Vancouver. Like all others cities in North America there are too many cars driving too fast on streets designed in another century. It’s stressful. That’s understatement.

Today, as I finished mapping the streets in White Rock (British Columbia’s Riviera) I saw this view and a parking space — Hosanna! Mt. Baker is in the background.

White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. Mt. Baker, Washington in background.

The International Border is uncomplicated. These small obelisks spaced about a mile apart mark the boundary.

Canada - USA International Broder Marker, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.


Treaty Plaque

Canada/USA Border

Canada/USA Border

Avenue 0 in Canada, One Ditch Road on the USA side.

Tuesday, September 16, marks my one year anniversy as a mobile mapper.

Mt. Baker at Dawn

Purple Mountain Majesty, Mt. Baker at Dawn


Vancouver 2

Vancouver Overview

My third project in British Columbia is mapping streets in the Vancouver metropolitan area. It’s a different animal than driving wilderness in the north or mountains in the east. Vancouver is a fertile alluvial plain created from eons of water rushing out of the mountains and glaciation. My days are spent in stop and go traffic, mostly in new tract home developments, but also in million dollar waterfront neighborhoods, and poverty infused homeless tent cities.

On my best photography day, in the Cypress Mountain region of West Vancouver, I forgot my camera. The photos that follow are from a hazy morning at Stanley Park.

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 10

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 6

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 1

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 2

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 4

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 5

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 7

Vancouver Marina Stanley Park 8

Vancouver Airplane


Vancouver Fraser River 1

While mapping the flat wet agricultural area around Vancouver airport I came upon a diverse group of religious dwellings, two are pictured below.

Nanaksar Sikh Temple

Nanaksar Sikh Temple

Thrangu Monestary (Kagyu Lineage)

Thrangu Monestary (Kagyu Lineage)

Tuskus - Patron Saint of Mobile Mappers

Tuskus – Patron Saint of Mobile Mappers


A moment in the annals of life on the road.

Upãdãna, as it is used in Buddhism, means attachment or clinging. Attachment is the root cause of suffering. On Monday, August 11, I suddenly found what I was attached to and it caused me great suffering. Money.

At the end of the day I stopped to buy takeout. My VISA debit card was refused. Odd. In the motel I went online to check my bank balance. It looked almost okay, except the checking account had a negative sign in front. I called the 800 support number.

My account was frozen immediately. I was asked if I had just purchased something at a Kroger supermarket. No. I haven’t seen any Krogers in British Columbia, Canada. I was asked if I was just in Atlanta, Georgia. No.

Scrolling through my checking account displayed page after page of $28.95 purchases at Kroger. First the balance went down to zero, then it started growing negatively. That’s when the overdraft fees kicked in. I was out about $3,000.

Here’s where the funny Buddhist word comes into play: what arose in me was attachment to money. I recognized I was very angry, frustrated, and fearful. Only minutes before I was hungry, thirsty, and stiff from driving all day. What a difference looking at a bank balance and a phone call can make. Worse case scenario, I was out $3,000. That was maddening and I fumed. Upãdãna.

This could be set right. The biggest hurdle to overcome was getting the Visa fraud department to accept my electronic signature. Initially my bank insisted I must send a dispute letter in on paper and signed in ink. A second call got them to say I could fax a printed copy. They emailed pdf forms thinking I would print them out and mail them in. I called Visa and asked if I could email a filled out form. After looking at my account (the obvious fraud) they said sure. I added my e-signature in the correct place. Sixty minutes later my account was set right.

The negative emotions subsided and were replaced with hubris, satisfaction, and smugness, more upãdãna.

Lessons learned: there are criminals out there, robbers and thieves. Check your bank statements often. Watch what arises in you. Seek equanimity.

Kelowna Okanagan 

Kelowna BC Panorama

The final roads in central BC melted away in two days. The next assignment was streets in and around the city of Kelowna. It sits on Lake Okanagan, 84 miles long and 3 miles wide. Kelowna is industrious and playful. I arrived during Canada’s High Holidays, the first weekend in August, and found one of the last rooms available in a university dormitory.

Lake Kanagan & Kelowna 4

Lake Kanagan 7

Lake Kanagan Westside 6

Like most cities in British Columbia, there is too much traffic, no place to pull over safely for a photograph, and men in pickup trucks drive on the edge of lawlessness. I witnessed two vehicle crashes in the last week, no injuries. A happy-go-lucky driver rolled up beside me at a stop light. She started the conversation with, “Hey Google man!” then asked why I drove so slowly. I told her I was doing the speed limit. So it goes.

Lake Kanagan Boat

Kelowna North End 1

Hill & Arrows

I leave Kelowna Okanagan today for a return visit to the Vancouver metro area and a week or two of driving city streets.

Mountain Goats Westroad Kelowna

Floating Logs

Sailboat Alone

Mountains to Sea

Out of Rockies

Hairpin Highway Rockies

River Valleys

Before my break home, I rolled down out of the burning Rocky Mountains to the foothills and river valleys leading to metropolitan Vancouver.

Olympic From Beacon Hill

BC Ferry

Inside & Out

I ferried over to Swartz Bay in Vancouver Island from Tsawwassen Port, past craggy inlets, pine covered islands, and snow capped peaks. This is a magical place.

Waves In Sound

Lighthouse & Boat Vancouver Island

Island Cottage

Sailboat in Bay at Dawn

The plan is to finish up on the island, return to the city, finish a few remaining streets, and then drive out to south central British Columbia, whose fires are now under control, and finish the remaing highways there.

Vancouver Islands

Yellow Hut In Blue Water

Yellow Hut In Blue Water

Reflection of the Photographer as an Old Driver

Reflection Of the Fotografer As an Old Driver

You Can Go Home Again

Eagle Prince Rupert

I took a break and flew back home to see friends and tie up unfinished business. All went well. It’s a great feat and wonderful experience, in such a short time, to pack in so many meetings, meals, and conversations. Thank you to Grace, Neil, Ken, Vicki, Dan, Karen, and Joy for finding time and opening your hearts, minds, and kitchen tables. You are great friends all.


I took the plunge. I went to the Radium Hot Springs, in Kootenay National Park. What would I find, craggy rocks and skeletons, glowing lights? No, I found a swimming pool that was very warm. It was pleasant.

Radium Sign

Radium Hot Springs 1

Radium Hot Springs 2

The Cool Pool

The Cool Pool

Tomorrow I map the Park highway to the Alberta border and back. Someone has to do it.

Continental Divide Alberta British Columbia