Erin's Journals

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Just a thought… I could never, in a hundred summers, get tired of this. [Susan Branch]

Welcome in to what is a big day in my life’s calendar: it was on this day – also a Tuesday after Labour Day – that I started at CHFI in 1988 and then another 17 years later in 2005. Wow.

And before I go any further I want to thank the woman who made that second debut possible: this woman, Julie Adam.

She’s leaving Rogers later this week and I owe her SO much, in the most improbable and undeniable ways. Good luck, Julie – you’ve got a lot of people in your corner, including me.

So, to 2022. On Saturday, after a glorious 10 days together, I said good-bye to my long-time friend: voice artist, writer, broadcaster and soon-to-be podcaster Lisa Brandt. We’re both hitting a big birthday in a few weeks, so we inadvertently gave each other a gift of firsts during our time up island last week. And each involved thrills.

Up island, about an hour from Victoria, is a place called the Malahat Skywalk.

You climb a very gently inclined ramp some 600 metres…

…and then, 32 metres up, you are treated to some pretty spectacular views, like the one below of Finlayson Arm and so much more: the Saanich Peninsula (literally a case of “I can see my place from here”), Mount Baker and the Coast Mountains.

But that’s not the most breathtaking part…at least, not for us. See, once you get up top you can walk the ramp back down or take the fast way: a tube, a tunnel, made of metal that you go down on a felt blanket, feet tucked in like a toboggan…and it’s fast and it’s fun and it really is nuts.

So…Rob shot video and I swear we didn’t do anything to alter my voice. It’s just what the soundwaves do on your way down. You can see it as part of my video journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Lisa made a point of giving Colin a great example of someone who faced her fear and pushed through. She went down and let’s just say that, unlike our seven-year-old guest, she did not run up the ramp to do it again!

Well, that was something we all tried for the first time. Lisa’s treat. Then it was my turn to give Lisa a once-in-a-lifetime experience, in a good way.

We booked this, up near Parksville.

The day we went out, just the two of us, it was 28 degrees and the Salish sea was like glass. We and the other six people on the boat weren’t lucky enough to see killer whales that day, but we did find ourselves right in the middle of what had to be a dozen feeding humpback whales.

For kilometres around us, in the silence when the engine on our small rubber Zodiac boat was cut, we could only hear the thunderous blow holes of all of these whales. And then they came close enough to the boat for a few of us to actually feel their spray.

Sure, we didn’t see orcas, but close encounters of any whale kind are just beyond incredible.

This summer has been a blessed collection of new memories with old friends, young kids, the myriad gifts that Mother Nature has offered so very generously…and a whole lot of love.

And yes, being a day of big starts for me, I’m excited to tell you about something that Lisa and I sparked on just an hour before she caught her plane. I tell you when it’s more of a thing, but you’ll love it and I’m just so excited to be working, laughing and creating with my pal.

Have a wonderful week. And thanks always for sharing my adventures.

Rob WhiteheadTuesday, September 6, 2022