Monday, February 13, 2012

Monster Jam Part two

When we got into the stadium we went straight to the section where Grave Digger was waiting for us. He looked better in person than I could have ever imagined. We waited in a short line to get to meet the driver and have our picture taken with him. There are 7 different Grave Digger trucks and 7 different drivers. I only wish I had gotten Ben to take my picture with just Grave Digger. We walked around him an admired him in all his glory. We decided to walk around and get a look at the competition. It was nice getting there so early as we could wander around with ease. There were alot of nice trucks there but only one other truck caught our eye like Grave Digger did. It's name was Son Uva Digger. It turned out to be the truck to watch. The driver is the son of one of Grave Diggers drivers.

They had lots of other things going on with the monster trucks. They had small kids in miniature dirt track racers, they had a bunch of stripped down cars that raced in a crash to pass kinda race and they had some quad races. One of the most exciting things they had was after the intermission. They set up a ramp and had 2 snowmobiles come out and do some stunts. The one guy did a complete back flip which was amazing considering they were doing this over a pile of dirt on concrete.

The best part of the whole thing was the freestyle. The drivers gave it their all doing a bunch of stunts for a judging panel of 3. They had a minute and a half and if they did at least one jump on each of the five obstacles they got another 30 seconds to pick up points from a 4th judge. There were lots of spills and thrills and as much as I was there to cheer on Grave Digger he spent most of the time with his wheels in the air and his roof on the dirt. Now Son Uva Digger who had lost out in the races only to come back in with the fastest heat time and get a bye and then win the championship trophy, came out with all wheels blazing and tore up the track. By the time he was done he was sitting on top of the biggest pile of dirt with a blown engine and everyone in the house standing and screaming including Ben and yours truly. He won both events and was awarded a double down trophy.

After the show was over we walked down by the water as we were going to take a sea bus over to try and get a good night shot of the city. Problem was there was lots of fog on the ocean so we didnt think we would get a good shot. We decided to go get A&W and go back to the room and watch tv.

All in all it was a good weekend and Ben and I got to do some good bonding. He was hardly a pain in the ass at all. To finish it off I let him drive home from Nanaimo.

Monday, February 06, 2012



Saturday morning at 4:30am the alarm goes off. I get up then wake Ben up. Of course I'm not packed but I laid most of my stuff out and we are only going for one night and I really don't need much. My camera and lenses, batteries, tickets, toothbrush, wallet and a change of underwear. I took Dante out for a quick walk and we were on the road around 5am. Because I'm such a nice guy I let Ben drive my car to Nanaimo. We got there just before 6am and the ferry was leaving at 6:30am. We got on the ferry found a spot to relax and Ben went to get something to eat. I decided to lay on the floor and catch a nap. I did fall asleep and Ben woke me when we were close.

Ben is like his mom and wants details of every step like bus number and our stop. I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kinda guy and don't worry about that stuff. that's why when the Olympics were on and I went over I thought Blue Rodeo was doing a concert that night and I was there on the wrong day. Just a small detail I should have checked but I still had a good time. Anyway I knew which bus to catch and I knew approximately where to get off but the bus route ends right down town so no worries.

When we got off the bus we took a walk down to the water front to catch a sea bus because I wanted to find a spot to go back that night to take a night shot of the city. It has been years since I caught a sea bus and I knew the general area to catch it but we walked past it twice. I forgot you had to go through a building out front. We found it on our own and we went across and found a perfect spot! a nice little village area and they even had a East Side Marios.

We caught the sea bus back and we did it all on the one bus ticket so it only cost us $2.50 each. We then went to A&W for breakfast before going to see the olympic caldron. I did know where that was. The fence is gone so you get right up close to it. That's when I discovered it was covered in glass panels. I thought it was all medal panels on it. We went up above and took some pictures before going to check into our hotel room.

View from our room

After about a 45 minute rest we left the hotel room and took a walk down past the Rogers arena towards the Science center. I was proud of Ben that's probably the furthest he's walked in a very long time. We crossed on the via duct then went through an alley on our way to the stadium. Of course I stopped to take a few pictures of the new look stadium. We got to the stadium around 1:30pm and after a chat about what cameras and lenses were allowed Ben and I walked around the stadium to go in a different entrance. The security at the first window said no video cameras and no lenses over 6 inches long. There was no way I was going in without my good lens. The security at the entrance we went in was more worried about video cameras and the funny looking tripod I had right beside my long lens. So we were lucky and got in without a fight.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Well tomorrow Ben and I are heading to Vancouver to see the monster trucks at BC Place and I'd be lying if I didn't say I was as giddy as a little school girl. I've always wanted to see Grave Digger and now i get my chance. I've seen monster trucks before and even had my picture taken with one of the Big Foots in Florida. But this is Grave Digger!! He is on a tour to celebrate 30 years in the circuit. I'm taking my camera so hopefully I can get some good pictures.

Ben and I are going over early and walking around Vancouver then we will be staying overnight before heading home Sunday. We will be leaving my car in Nanaimo and busing it. I hope to get some good street shots while walking around. You know I'll be posting photos when we get back.

I'm posting some old photos I recently dug out I have quite a few so hopefully you enjoy them.