Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Wreck of a Protest

Nine old nudists explaining to the media why they were protesting. It really wasn't very powerful. Even the media that were on hand to capture the protest seemed to tire of the sparse group of campaigners, especially as hordes of beach-goers streamed past them and down the stairs to the beach below. It was a weak argument; if the elimination of the bus-stop prevented people from getting to the beach, then how were so many people arriving for a day of sunbathing? Nonetheless, I am inclined to side with the protesters. Ostensibly, the bus-stop was eliminated due to the number of assaults that were happening on UBC grounds.  So...the people who are carrying out the assauls were taking the bus there? I'm not normally a conspiracy-theorist, but it seemed pretty obvious that the bus-stop was eliminated to have an effect on Wreck Beach attendance.

Our stroll to watch the protest (we weren't the only gawkers) wasn't my first time to the Wreck Beach stairs that day.  In fact, it was my third. I woke up early - thanks largely to the time change - and headed out for a run while Mindy slept in. (At least, according to my standards.) I ran by the totem poles outside the Museum of Anthropology, and down the relatively unused stairs to the north end of Wreck Beach. Hundreds of stairs down and back up to the top.  I didn't dally at the bottom....there was nothing to see.  Nobody was there at 7am except for the rare fisherman seeking smelt. Along the path and on to the next set of stairs for Wreck Beach. 480-ish stairs later I was at the bottom (once again, empty shortly after 7am), and then a hurried trek back up.  Who needs a gym with a stair-climber? Then I carried on along the path toward the real destination of this run: Pacific Spirit Park.

Many trips and vacations include a moment where I suddenly want to live wherever I am visiting; this moment came as I entered Pacific Spirit Park.  Massive trees, sun filtering through the canopy, clean, fresh air, and a well-trod dirt path.  I was so excited, I barely tested out a few trails before I was racing back to get Mindy for more exploration.

With Mindy up and ready to go, we re-traced my steps from earlier.

With the runs complete and the protest a disappointment, we did the only logical thing remaining when hanging out in the UBC neighbourhood.  We checked out Wreck Beach in full swing (no pun intended).

More than half of the beach patrons were "textile folk", including both Mindy and me. Nonetheless, we were still able to appreciate the hippy vibe of the place, not to mention the hot sun, cold water, and some not-entirely-unappealing bodies on display. (I'm still not clear whether naturists consider it appropriate to appreciate the appeal of a fit and aesthetically pleasing body.)

We made our way from UBC to downtown in preparation for the first conference event this evening. Thank-you, work, this next hotel is a little nicer than where I was staying last night!

As our room wasn't ready when we arrived, we found the hotel gym and made this into a hardcore training day with another workout.  This time, no stairs (though we did some walking lunges). Finally in the room, I cleaned up to head to the convention while Mindy relaxed and read. Dinner at Sandbar restaurant with my colleagues was a great way to end the evening - even though I felt a little foolish ordering vegetarian at a seafood place on Granville Island.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! How many times did you run those stairs - once up would have been enough for me (maybe I could have found a sled and scooted down)!! I agree with you - the Pacific Spirit Park is wonderful.