A favorite quote:

Make play a high priority in your life for if you die tomorrow no one can play for you, but someone can and will do your work for you!!!" Ken Beebe (Dr. Play)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another nice day...

the weather has been nicer this weekend that it has been almost every other weekend we have been camping this year. Sure the evenings get quite cold, but the days have been superb. We drove east of Drumheller exploring today.

I pride myself on knowing how to get pretty much anywhere in Western Canada, and have been through almost every place in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Up until this year though, that's all I could say about the places, that I'd been through them. Now since we have Andrew, we tend to, I am going to make up a new phrase now, "stop and smell the roses".

I know some people who have a motorbike, in their fifties, and are learning this new motto as well, and they would enjoy this part of the world, maybe more than any other tours they have been on. It is about 2 hours of steady travel to complete the Drumheller Valley tour, but you could take a couple of days just to see and explore this area.

Heck, probably every 5-10kms down the road there is something else to stop and see. And not just "Jack farnkenohillsmitt once watered his purple cow here", but real Alberta history, and real world history. Really, this area could be considered the first energy boom in Alberta, what with the coal history. The mine that was across the bridge in the following photo had 60,000 ton of coal mined each year in the 1910's with pick axes. Coal isn't that heavy, so that is a LOT! On top of that, they found some dinosaur bones here. Apparently this valley provides the most dinosaur skeletons for the worlds Museums than anywhere else in the world.

The HooDoo's are great. It's nice they are sort of interactive. Like if they were in a National Park, they would be roped off and off limits. Here they encourage you to touch and feel, sit and stand, climb and gawk. They look quite simple from the road, but up close they are fantastic. We will come back in a few years when we can spend some time hiking and exploring.

We saw and actual dinosaur. I looked it up and this one is called a wearthetruckerhatacrookedosauraus.

We have seen alot of incredible scenery in the past month or so, But down at the east end of the Drumheller valley, just beyond a little ghost of a town called Dorothy, I snapped this picture. I don't think I have seen a view quite as incredible as this one. And I am pretty sure no one ever goes this far down here. We saw maybe 2 vehicles on a Saturday afternoon on this stretch of road. This photo may get blown up and framed.

We came back to the campground and did some serious relaxing, and were able to squeeze some play time in this evening. Back to the ol' grindstone Monday. This may be the last camping trip of the season. I hope not, but the weather will choose for us. October is just around the corner. yikes.

Andrew soup...


Friday, September 19, 2008

I can't get enough...

... of all the freaking bunnies...

who's ur daddy???

Just Chillaxin, taking a hard earned rest...

Oh baby baby...

Introducing.... Bunny Spears!!!

How about that hairdo!?! freaky.

A tiny little church...

Seating for thousands, 6 at a time. That is the motto of the "Little Church". We drove by yesterday and it was all boarded up. I asked Traci today if she wanted to stop and she didn't want to... Until she saw that it was open. So we turned around up the highway a bit and came back. I don't know the history of the church, but it is one of those things that you should really stop and see when in Drum.

A cable ferry...

We crossed the Red Deer River on Bleriot Ferry. I think it said it was the last cable run ferry in Alberta. it's funny because the ferry is just about half as wide as the river. seems like they could just get another ferry and drive straight across. It is still quite fun though. Took about a minute.

Nice Scenery...

We took a short drive from the campsite and found a couple of really nice scenic spots. The first one was Horse thief Canyon. It is very impressive. I am sure a person could just sit on the edge for days, exploring the area, just with his eyes. it is a very complex scene once you really look at it.

We also got some really nice shots of each other with Andrew.


We then continued on over the river to a lookout that looks back across to where we just were. same area but from a different angle it looks very different.

Looking West, amazing.

Looking North, terrific.

Looking East, a wonder.

Looking straight down, What the hell?

I have been guilty in the past of throwing out a banana peel or a small bit of paper, so I am not innocent of littering laws, but what must be going through the minds of the people that dump their old washing machines down this hill?

"hey billy bob.."
"yeah bobby bill?"
"hows 'bout you and I go toss out the ol wershing machine tonight"
"shure bobby bill, i reckon to be goin right past the garbage dump to-day"
"heck billy bob, hows 'bout i tend to make things a might bit easier fer ya, and just push it off the ol' scenery cliffs, down yonder?"
"Well i reckon, that might be a bit bunch more funner than I was gunna do it"
"lets fire up the ol harf ton and git-along!"
"Yee-HAW, yippeeee" *shoot guns in the air*

yeah... nice impression to leave the tourists.

However we did see this shortly after, so that's good fun.

The Badlands...

We are camping at Drumheller's Dinosaur Trail RV Park. I expected it to look like a wasteland, but it turns out to be a really nice park. Very treed and with it turning Autumn, the colors are great.

We were worried about Rattlesnakes. Everyone we talk to said there are rattlesnakes. We have Kenickie for protection, but still, I wouldn't know what to do if I saw one. 'if only I had paid more attention to the Steve Irwin specials...
' Well, no rattlesnakes. but there are hundreds of bunnies instead.

Andrew got to feed a bunny right from his hand. He loved it. The very nice lady at the office gave us a bag of rabbit food to feed at our pleasure. They told us these bunnys have been in this park for 35+ years and are very much a part of the attraction of coming here. Rizzo really badly wants to play with them.

As I said, the park is beautiful. We have a spot that backs onto the river, but us very nicely treed in. The spots are level, grassy and large.

One thing that they do at this park, that I haven't seen at others is light the power boxes. There are no street lights in this park, so instead what they did is supplied the rv power hookup boxes with nice lights on the top of each one. It is very effective for what they are!

Andrew had quite a time this morning running around the mostly empty campground and chasing bunnies, so he konked out pretty early for his nap.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

backyard playin'...

Nothing special, just Andrew exploring the backyard on a nice day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Andrew was in Cochrane this morning...

as well as over at his Gramma and Grampa's this afternoon playing in the park. He didn't have very good naps, so after supper, this happened....

...ain't he gorgeous!!!

Oh yeah,

Another funny thing that happened on the BC Trip.

So, anytime we stopped along the route the dogs would get up from their nap and move about. Well Rizzo typically does not like car rides and doesn't do more than sit up when we stopped. On this longer trip, she started to get used to the truck and would get more and more mobile when we would stop.

I got out of the truck at one gas stop in Grand Forks and was standing by the back window and all of a sudden the window rolls down and Rizzo is look out at me. I thought Traci rolled the window down to talk to me. hehe. nope, Rizzo rolled the window down.

Every time we stopped for gas from then on, Rizzo would roll the window down to see what I was doing. She even did it a couple of times just looking out the window as we were moving. The best part is, while she is standing on the button, I can't roll it back up!

The after shot...

And here is the Salsa completed. yum.

The mild is really flavorful, the medium has some heat but quits burning at a certain point, and the hot is the gift that keeps on giving, whooowhoooo. Very peppery, less tasty than the Mild and Medium, but that is to be expected with that many hot peppers in the mix. The flavor is irrelevant on the hot because after about 40 seconds, all you taste is HOT. We used cool fancy jars this time too!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Salsa time!

Andrew will witness his first Salsa making endeavor this weekend. We will blanche the tomatoes on Saturday night and make a big batch of mild and a small batch of both medium and crazyhot. We are using Habaneros for the first time in the hot, so LOOK out!

The Salsa is so tasty. We ran out a while back and went to the store and bought some. Yuck, it was like pouring a salt shaker right into my mouth. The best thing about this salsa is it is VERY healthy. No preservatives, no sugar, no fat, even the salt that is used is only for leeching off the water from the tomatoes, and is poured off before cooking.
Here is the recipe we use, with a few minor changes for different heats. This recipe will give you a decidedly medium heat if followed exactly. You should be able to click this picture and get a larger readable image.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another Blurb...

Driving just east of Field, we were very fortunate to be able to see a train entering the Spiral Tunnels. The grade is much too steep here for any train to ascend, so what do you do? you tunnel spirals in the core of 2 mountains to overcome the steep grade. Standing where these pictures are taken, the train runs east into the first tunnel, is facing south when it exits. It then makes a right turn and heads west right under where we are standing. We can see the engines right below us, and the rest of the train still entering the first tunnel. It then proceeds South again into the second tunnel and exits facing east again, having gained the altitude needed to overcome this steep part of the trans Canada highway.

The last picture is one I took directly behind where I am standing for the train pictures, It looks incredibly fake. It actually looks like a bad painting. hehe.

In a Nutshell..

We are home. What an amazing journey.
  • 3484 km driven
  • 627 litres of fuel at an average of $1.35/litre for a total of $846.45 in fuel
  • $270.00 for 8 nights in campgrounds and 1 night in Wal-Mart for a nightly average of $30.00
  • $400.00 in food and beverages (yes we eat well on the road)
  • $113.00 for supper at Harrison Hot Springs with Opa and Oma
  • $20.00 for admission at the SA Fair.
  • $30.00 for admission at Minter Gardens
  • $10.00 toll at #5 highway
  • $250.00 misc camping supplies and recreation costs
  • $103.00 for game of golf in SA

Total price for BC Camping Holiday - $2042.45

The quality family time spent with each other - Priceless.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another great day!

We had another really nice day. We spent some time in the Camper this morning, had a really nice breakfast of Eggs, Sausage, Hashbrowns, toast and coffee. We then set out for a drive down highway 97 to Enderby and Vernon. Vernon seems like a nice town. it is clean and scenic, and Kalamalka Lake looks amazing. It must be pretty under-rated as I never hear about it in the same conversations as Shuswap and Okanagon Lakes. As we drive Andrew is either asleep or watching Toopy and Beenoo. He laughs like a maniac in certain spots and we have been trying to tell if it is the same spots each time and It seems like it is. Again, he is only about 410days old and already is understanding the good humor parts in this video.

We stopped on the way back from Vernon in Enderby for a stretch and run. There is a really nice fenced schoolyard park that was deserted so Andrew and the donks were able to run free for a nice while. We drove down a back street and ended up on Main street. It was very old and pleasant. it's amazing what you miss by staying on the main highways.

I gave Salmon Arm a hard time in the last post, however it is a really nice place. Apparently city council has been fighting any of the big box retailers and some giant developments to try and keep it a small town. I think it has worked to a point, but it may have done so at the detriment to the local economy. The downtown core is really picturesque with plenty of niche shops and restaurants, but I know that most people head to Costco and Walmart in Vernon or Kamloops for any major shopping trips at Christmas etc. Maybe if these large retailers were closer, the shops would still get some of the niche buying the big places don't offer. anyway what the heck do I know. We really enjoyed our walk downtown and left about a hundred bucks behind on a day where there was almost no one around, so there's that.

Yesterday we took a drive up the #1 to Sicamous. Even on the first weekend of fall (symbolically) there were still LOTS of houseboats heading out of the channel. We spent a little bit of time driving in town and looking at some of the huge boats in the marinas. Pretty impressive. I sure wish Calgary had more opportunities for power water sport, not on reservoirs. It looks like alot of fun.

We then took the drive down from Sicamous along Mara Lake. It really blows me away how this little narrow and windy road is the only way into the Okanagon from Calgary. It must be absolute gridlock all summer long with vehicles from Alberta. I read an article in Western Living about the influence of Alberta on this region and it had a photo of a sign in a shop window. "We take Alberta money at par" hehe, good one.

Nice scenic countryside and lakes. We will definitely return, probably when the weather has a good chance of being hot, as the beaches look super.

We are on our way home tomorrow. It'll take about 7-8 hours with the stops we need for sanity breaks for Andrew and the donks. We are looking forward to getting home, but we have obviously found the Camper to be comfortable because both of us have said we could probably stay out for a much longer trip if given the opportunity. Maybe next major trip will be mid-summer and with the wide availability of free wi-fi, we could get our work done out on the road when needed.

Where will we all go next? who knows, but if it is half as enjoyable and relaxing as this trip was, then i can't wait to get on the road again!

Christina Lake, that bridge goes to Zeller.

The Donks enjoying some campingOur Wallyworld Campground
Osoyoos Lake Cascade Cove RV Park in the Trees
Cascade cove
Cascade Cove RV Park
What the..

Falling water at Minter Garden
Frolicking at Minter Garden
Harrison Springs RV Resort
Andrew in the Morning, watching tube
Hot coals
Nice night for a fire
A Sasquatch near Hope BC
Fun flying

Back to reality...