Getting to know Catherine Bruhwiler

Catherine is a professional surfer, mother of two and co-owner of a family business: Bruhwiler Surf School in Tofino, BC and owns her own stand up paddle board school called SUP Tofino, yep she’s a busy lady.

Catherine grew up in Tofino and began surfing as a child on a piece of plywood, and at that time was one of the very few female surfers in the waves. Since then, she has championed the female Canadian surf world and travelled the world to compete and play.

We sat down with her on the west coast of Canada and asked her the IPOS questionairre…

Full name? Catherine Bruhwiler

Occupation? Full time Surf and SUP instructor

Where are you right now? At home, just got out of the shower after a surf. My daughter is playing the fiddle for me and my son is packing for a camping surf trip tonight.

What woke you up this morning? My alarm clock at 7 am. Good thing you didn’t ask me yesterday, I got up at 4:15 for a sunrise tour.

What’s stoking your fire today? Remote surf camp with outward bound kids tomorrow and camping with my kids

What scares you? My kids in danger, that’s it

What sound do you love? Waves and silence too

What sound do you hate? Arguing people,especially my own kids

Who or what is outstanding in your eyes? Humble generous and talented humans

If heaven exists, what would you like God to say to you as you arrive at the pearly gates? You can get lots of sleep here 🙂

A thousand miles and smiles

Two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals, steered with handlebars and powered by trail mix and water (mostly).

We have just hit 1,253 miles, not including side trips and wrong turns. Our last day on the road before we take a short break saw us climb 72 miles over 1,200ft of brutal hills, in 42°C (107°F). We ran out of water and a front tyre exploded in the heat flying down a screaming decent – only puncture number two. Thankfully by 7pm we were celebrating our arrival at Campovida paradise with a cool beer, doughnuts, ice creams, Pringles, and buckets of cold water.

Tomorrow we will head to San Francisco to watch a Giants game, get a hair cut, and hit the thrift stores for shorts, sunnies and swimwear. We are moving to live in Costa Rica this November, so to prepare us for a year in Central America, this weekend we are flying down for a six week rekki. We will then return to Campovida where our bikes will have been patiently waiting for us, to continue the ride south to the Mexican border.

Jungle and beachside blogging coming soon.

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Tail winds, state parks and a giant plastic seagull

We have had such a blast whizzing along on the wide shoulders of the 101. There has been a steady northerly wind on our backs blowing us to the border and tomorrow we will be crossing into California.

Last night we stopped the night in a little town called Bandon after seeing a 12ft seal made of plastic marine litter. It just so happened that there was an exhibit and workshop of the seals friends (turtles, jelly fish, whales, and other ocean themed displays on show). The works of art belonged to the Washed Ashore project who are touring the US with the exhibit to educate huge coastal and inland communities about the catastrophic amounts of litter washing up on the shore lines. The project was founded by artist Angela Hazeltine Pozzi who was from Brandon, and all of the features are made by volunteers with plastics found on Oregon beaches. We thought their project was pretty outstanding to say the least and were also impressed by their retail section where you could buy biodegradable cornstarch buckets and spades, flipflop jewellery and thought provoking postcards. Check out http://www.washedashore.org for more info.

We have been in Oregon for seven days and six of those nights were spent in some absolutely awesome Oregon State Parks where we camped in our wonderful little tent in the hiker/biker site. This is an area ranging in size and comfort dedicated to people like us cycling/walking the coast, so they become a hub of connectivity and stories as people chat around campfires about the trials and tribulations of life on the road. They only cost $5.00 US per person (about three quid) and in all the Oregon state parks the hot showers are free which is a rarity here in the US and welcomed after a day in the saddle.

Enjoy some of our favourite photos of the last week and we will write soon from Northern California!

Adios amigos

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Alice Top 37

We thought it would be fun to show you a few of the things we have been carrying in the panniers for our bike trip.

Order: From the top left, down, and then round in a circle (that’ll be anti clockwise)

Insulative jacket – the Finisterre Nimbus is worn and enjoyed every day on the trip so far (except for this last week in Costa Rica!) perfect for cycling first thing in the morning, and sitting around the campfire in the evenings. http://www.finisterreuk.com

Bike helmet – safety first

Water bottle – mmmmm man I lurve water, can’t seem to be getting enough

Toothbrush – keep those nashers glistening

Toothpaste – ‘no other toothpaste has the unique strong taste of Euthymol’

Razor – silky smooth ; – )

Soap three in one (shampoo, conditioner, body soap) natural, organic, fairtrade- excellent. Dr Bronners

Moisturiser and cleanser from Dr Hauschka – my all time favourite, got a salon size tube of the cleanser for the trip. http://www.drhauschka.com

Mirror and two lipsticks – pink or red depending on the occasion, for parties and special occasions

Fairy glitter – donated by little Mid for when I really want to sparkle

Tweezers

Silver bangles from godmother Sara Spridgen for when we go out to dinner

Mooncup – every girl needs one! Check out the tampon vs mooncup rap here and the mooncup video here http://youtu.be/9zj4NhC8ahM

Neoprene swimsuit – handmade especially for me by Neon Wetsuits in Newquay, Cornwall – thanks Elsie http://neonwetsuits.com/

Goggles – birthday present from Nayfe and Rhiannon last September – great design – goodbye goggle rings round eyes, hello fish.

Tent – perfect size, weight, design

Sleeping bag – as above

Thermarest – Christmas present 2011 from brother Jack, well chosen Jacko – no need to have a full length – save the space instead.

Cup

Gas

Stove- Olympus

Homeopathic kit

High vis jacket – great for tunnels, bridges and foggy days

Emergency essence – stay calm, clear and cool

Citronella spray – keep the mosquitoes at bay

Tea Tree cream

Paw Paw – bought over from Aus by Martin Whittacker aka Lovechild – great for saddle sores, mosquito bites and generally fixing yourself.

Sunblock – http://www.seventyone-percent.com/

Arnica cream

Watercolours

Diary/scrap book

Inner tube

Handy Man – borrowed from my darling brother Jack, although he doesn’t know it yet… Jack, it is cool if we borrow this?

In Pursuit Of Outstanding stickers (1.5″) to give to people as we go – logo designed by Geoff McFeteridge, put together with font by Nayfe SJ, printed in Vancouver, delivery and distribution by Ross and me.

Camera – the incredible Olympus Tough, wicked all rounder – waterproof, digital, auto/manual settings, multi lenses.

String

Goodbye Canada, ‘ello the Fattest Nation on Earth

Well that was ‘kinda neat’.

500 miles safely under the belt. She was kind to us, three different coastlines, two cities, many wonderful people and mountains that stopped you in your tracks with their beauty. We swam in her oceans and lakes, ran through forested trails barefoot – just like the Indians, we kayaked around her islands, drank her local ale, smelt and tasted award winning wines, and danced in her streets to live music. Yep, Canada sure was kind to us.

Five days ago we left Victoria, and as cities go, it was a real treat. A city occupied by people that smile and say hello – which really took us by surprise. Slow paced with funky little stores and organic, vegetarian restaurants serving quinoa, kale and almond burgers.

We cycled through the empty streets as the sun rose, to catch the 6:10am crossing to Washington, USA. And now, after 300 miles, and five days, we are on our way to Portland, Oregon. A little saddle store, but in high spirits, we write this with rosy cheeks, full bellies, around a roaring campfire.

Life is beautiful right now.

Busy breathing the wild air.

Ross and Alice

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