We don’t normally stay only 2 nights, but as this was more for me to go skiing, we made the exception. It turned out to be much more than that tho. We really enjoyed our time spent with our hosts Dan and Jeanette. I met Dan through the Running Room training 10k clinic. Even though I left that group for the 1/2 Marathon clinic, Dan and I seemed to hit it off right away. We would see each other at run club nights and when our Race on April 5th came and went, we all (10k clinic alum) decided to trade emails so we could keep in touch and organize runs etc.
We were running back in early June and Dan said I should come Skiing one weekend. (the reason he runs is to stay in shape for skiing). I said YES. I think I may have surprised him a bit, as I was quite persistent in picking a weekend to meet up out at his cottage.
Well the weekend finally came, and it was with some trepidation that Traci agreed to this trip, we were off. Friday Afternoon at 6pm we were on the highway for a 1.5 hour trip to Lake McGregor Country Estates. It’s a pretty, but pretty uneventful drive out there. It does go through the town of Vulcan, for any of you who are trekkies… The location is in Alberta Semi-Arid Desert as proved by this photo taken about 200 feet from our campsite. It is a private club for cottages and RV’s, but they have a section of full hook-up guest RV sites. They had everything we needed, but being this is a desert, it lacks a bit of lushness that we are used to. We found it does grow on you, as warm and dry is better than cold and wet any day.
We pulled into the site after a bit of a travel guess by me, as I left the directions at home. Thankfully Dan and Jeanette spotted us coming in or we would have been walking around like goons trying to find where to check in. Turns out we don’t check in, as there is no check in place. Dan had all the info we needed to get us situated into our site. Once we were settled, Dan and Jeanette came over and took us on a tour of their cottage and the resort. They have been here for 10+years. back then it was pretty sparse. It has grown up pretty well, but with the downturn in the economy things have slowed down considerably and grown out here is pretty stagnant. Dan and Jeanette actually upgraded from a park model rv, to a park model cottage, but are hanging on to the rv until it can be sold for a profit. In the mean time they have family using it almost every weekend, so it’s nice for them. They happen to be side by each as well.
Andrew had a bit of a struggle getting to sleep as there was a very LOUD party in the campsite next to us so that was the end of the socializing for the night. The party next door wrapped up about 3am, so that’s about the time Traci and I fell asleep.
We got up to some pretty stiff winds, but Dan and Jeanette were at our site at 9am as promised to pick me up for skiing, we got down to the lake and it was really choppy, so no go on the lake this morning. We did manage to get the boat in the water, so it was ready to go at a moments notice. I got back up to the camper and Dan and Jeanette came in and we had a some nice conversation to get to know each other better and then Traci Andrew and I went over to the pool. Andrew and I jumped right in and played for about an hour. His little wetsuit works great. He doesn’t seem to get cold. After the swim we went back to the Camper made some lunch and Andrew conked out for his nap. Traci pulled out her Lafuma and laid out in the sun, I grabbed the camera and went for a drive with the donks. I drove down to the marina and the beach, found some freaky looking thistle to photograph, but I noticed that the wind was dying so I didn’t want to be too far away in case the ski alarm was sounded.
I got back to camp, Andrew was still sleeping and Traci was still in her lounger, so I walked over to Dan’s place and sat on his deck. Dan was inside on the sofa sleeping, so I didn’t knock or anything, but I think I egged on the dogs inside just enough that it woke him up. I’m not eager to ski or anything am I... Dan did get up and came to the window. I asked him if he was napping… he he…. ‘not anymore’ oh, how long did you nap? ‘uh long enough that it’s time to get up’ … oh, ok, as long as I didn’t wake you. Are we going skiing now?… ‘uh, ok’… cool, pick me up at my place, I'll be waiting. Oh, and take your time….
So they were really nice and got me up skiing, it was REALLY choppy still, but I did manage my first ski in about 15 years, so that was good. If the weather didn’t smarten up, I was good, I had crossed off my #17.
Once I got that out of the way, we cruised down to the dam end of the lake and hung out there for a while. It was just a nice afternoon.I learned lots about Lake McGregor from Jeanette, she really knows her stuff. We got back to camp and Andrew was STILL sleeping. So Dan and Jeanette said as soon as he wakes up come over and we will have a nice steak dinner for you. Holy cow… that is great! We’ll be there! Thanks!
We had a really nice visit over there. Their dogs got along with our dogs, and Andrew is totally contained in their fenced yard so it was really pleasant. the food was great and the company was better! We noticed the wind dying, so once supper was over it was a quick change into suits and back down to the docks. Traci and Andrew came this time. The water was awesome, we all (Dan, Ed and myself. Ed is a fellow Pennsylvanian like Traci) got 2 good runs in and Andrew really like the boat! He sat nice on Traci’s lap and would smile every time we hit some waves! We were out there for quite a while and he was great!
We were all pretty tired after that, and it was pushing 9pm when we got back to the camper so we said our goodbyes for the night and retired to our respective residences. We slept much better as there were no parties and the temperature was great, with no wind. What a nice weekend. It’s amazing how a place grows on you when you are in the company of really nice people.
We woke to a breezy (but not too breezy) day on Sunday, but Dan and Jeanette were ready to go at 9am again, Traci and Andrew came again, but we were using Ed’s boat this time and it was too small for all of us. Dan, Ed and I got our runs in, then we went back to pick up Traci and Andrew for a nice ride along the shoreline, looking at the scenery, including some amazing Pelicans.
We were packed up and home by 2pm. It was a great weekend.