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)

Monday, August 31, 2009

We made it home…

… and hit the ground running. But only 4 more days till the next camping trip. A 3 day long weekend back in Okotoks. I am in a 10k race on Monday out there and our favourite campground hosts have given us a 6pm checkout time. I guess staying there so much has it’s benefits…

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ah… the sweet splendour of the last day of vacation.


The anxiety of my future working week has crept back into the pit of my stomach. I find myself thinking more and more about what needs to be done at work than what need to be eaten over the fire that’s for sure. There was a point in the middle of the trip that I was completely worry free from work, however, I had to force that way of thinking. I use techniques like deep breathing, while saying, there is nothing that can’t be dealt with when I get back. We are not saving lives here, we are planting trees and putting in patios. Not mind blowing stuff, but the stress of running the business can be overwhelming at times.

This last week was amazing. I take away a new connection to my son and wife, and feel like we are much stronger as a family. Lots of things need to be said in a relationship like a marriage, but there are many things that are unsaid that need to happen as well. Just being able to sit in a room together WITHOUT talking or doing anything really, says alot about your relationships. We connect when we are travelling too. It’s the adventure, I think, that brings out the important stuff for us. It’s where we can think for longer periods before something else takes away our attention. We get to stop and ponder each others points, and make wise choices, not rushed choices.

I feel really good about the memories we get to take away from this trip. We still talk alot about last years camping trip, and I am sure there are plenty of stories from this one that will take over a few spots in our top 10 list.

Like, the mom in McDonalds in Golden, who kept telling her son ‘Wolfgang’ that if he picks up something off the floor and eats it, he will get a disease, and asking him, ‘do you understand?, Wolfgang, you will get a disease, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!’ The 3 year old just looked at her and kept eating his floor fry. First of all, only Eddie Van Halen can call his son Wolfgang and get away with it, secondly, he’s THREE! take the fry away and give him a clean one!

Or the guy at Fortress Crossing that passed me on the highway doing twice the speed limit, only to end up behind me at the till in the store because he couldn’t carry his 24 Budweiser, 8 packs of smokes, Loaf of bread and pack of cheese slices, then pass me again on the highway at twice the speed limit, only to get to the campground at the same time due to traffic. These little lessons on patience and life are free out here in the woods! Not to mention the stink that is going to come out of his tent… hoooweee…

There are 50 good stories to each silly or not so good stories from this trip and we will put  them away in our memory bank (and the backup hard drive once we get home) for our own enjoyment, and especially for our perspective bank. We are very lucky as a family, to have what we have, and to be able to do what we do, in the part of the world we live. We think Andrew is already a good person who is considerate and a pleasure to be around, and we take the credit for that! We give him the space and the opportunity to learn on his own terms, without protecting him from every bad thing that can happen, and in turn he looks at us with love and affection every day while amazing us with his ingenuity and wisdom.

A trip like this just solidifies our resolve to look after each other. I've always told Traci that if I didn’t meet her, and if she didn’t agree to marry me, I would have been a mess. I probably would have been a statistic of some sort by now. And now with Andrew here, It makes me want to be the best person I can be, every hour of every day. It’s not easy some days, but boy do I have every reason to try my darndest!


This blog is pretty therapeutic for me. My butterflies about tomorrow have actually died since I have written what I have written tonight. I think it makes no sense to get all bottled up in trivial things when  the real things are all right and all good!

Yay for blogging! Goodnight now.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Steak Oscar…

NY Striploin steaks, Prawns, Scallops, Béarnaise Sauce, with BBQ baked potatoes, carrots and onions. That is some serious camping food.

We had my Mom aka Gramma and Poppop out for Gramma’s  birthday supper. They don’t go more than 3 or 4 days without seeing Andrew normally and it had been 7 days.

Here is Traci relaxing in the sun before the festivities!IMG_6621Andrew was still napping when they arrived so I went in and woke him up. I was tickling him, whispering to him, doing all manners of things to wake him up and nothing was working until I said “Gramma and Poppop are here”. Well, he sat bolt upright in bed and shot out of the camper like his pants were on fire. IMG_6631

We had a GREAT party for Gramma! We went for walks and had the fantastic dinner described above,IMG_6687 Traci had made a cake yesterday to mark the occasion today! IMG_6671This was a first for her in the camper and it turned out great. Then Gramma and Andrew opened presents and then everyone got giftbags that Traci had made up. My-oh-my have parties changed since Andrew came along. Picture me and my dad in the middle of the campsite launching little mini-paratroopers into the air and tossing a foam airplane around. HAHA, the best part is, it is all TOTALLY FUN! We adults have forgotten so much about simple fun things, haven’t we?

How much fun would it be to just dig into the cake with a spoon! Andrew knows!!IMG_6680

The earlier part of the day was spent walking around the campground and taking a short drive to Nakiska. CIMG6554CIMG6555CIMG6564

Looks like Andrew is headed up for his first attempt at the triple black diamond run!CIMG6568

Nakiska is the site of the alpine events for the 88 Winter Olympics. I was here 21 years ago during the Olympics and what fun it was! It seems just a bit different now, in the summer, but we are probably going to bring Andrew here to learn how to ski. They have a pretty good ski school and it isn’t ever that crowded AND it is really close to home. CIMG6550

That was pretty much it for the day. We have been getting lazier and lazier as our vacation has continued, but our days are numbered now as we only have 1 more full day left. We should get out there and do something, right?… well….. maybe not. Maybe just relaxing is the order of the day tomorrow too!     IMG_6714

Oh, I had the Telephoto lens out today, and this is one of my favourite shots. I have a soft spot for a pleasant mountain meadow… don’t know why… just do.IMG_6607

Friday, August 28, 2009

Everyone else's Friday…

…is just another day on vacation for us. The Campground emptied out pretty good this morning, only to fill back up again this afternoon. Mt. Kidd has quite the following. The holiday long weekends book up first, followed by the rest of the weekends, followed by the July and August weekdays, than if your lucky you can book the shoulder seasons on short notice, but there is no guarantee. This may be the most popular campground in Alberta.

We pay $48.00 per night for a full hookup site. Is it worth that kind of hard earned money? let’s see... When we book online we can actually select our site, not just by a map, but by the individual campsite as they have multiple photos of each site. The showers are hot and free. The main building even has pump soap in each shower stall. The place is immaculately maintained with an army of workers looking after the garbage, washrooms, cleaning firepits, raking sites, and generally being happy hosts. The sites are at least 4 times larger, with at least 10 times the distance between them than most ‘nice’ RV parks we’ve been to. They have nightly interpretive plays on such topics as hummingbirds and the lodgepole pine forest. They have a wading pool for the kids and a large hot tub. The store is very well stocked, and the staff is very knowledgeable on all things K-Country. Power,water, and sewer hookups are reliable and clean. And let’s not forget the scenery. The scenery is awesome. I believe it is money well spent and will spend it here at Mt Kidd for years to come. This photo is the Campgrounds namesake, the majestic Mt Kidd. IMG_6491

In the above photo, there is something up on the mountain that I saw as we walked today. Just to the right of the peak, a little speck of red, that was there, then went away after a few minutes. Here, I will blow it up. so what do you think? I think there is a mountain climber up there. How cool!IMG_6490

I keep harping about the scenery, but it requires harping! It just blows my mind! This photo is taken about a 8 minute walk from our camper and 1 hour from our house. This kind of picture goes on for hundreds of miles around here. It is unspoiled. IMG_6504

Unless of course you think a golf course spoils a good view. I for one, am a fan of golf courses, so I am ok that there is a 36 hole golf course right across the river from the campground. They did an amazing job keeping the natural terrain within the course, and it is world famous for its’… you guessed it… scenery!IMG_6496

Before our mid morning walk, we had breakfast! yummy Bacon, Eggs, toast and hashbrowns. Always a popular choice out here is the wild! Really ruffin it, aren't’ we !?!IMG_6460IMG_6462 IMG_6454

Our day was uneventful. Of course we had to make time for naps. What the heck are we going to do when we are required to be awake for most of the day? Andrew tried sitting in his truck and fell out. Leave it to Dad to get the action shot instead of helping the boy! IMG_6468

We did venture over to the interpretive program at 8pm. Andrew really seemed to enjoy most of it. The 2 actors were pretty funny. Well as funny as you can be with a topic of ‘Forest succession by wildfires and the mountain pine beetle’ . They asked some of the crowd to help out, and that was pretty funny, but in the end we never got to see the end as Andrew petered out and wanted to head home. So we did, with a pit stop at a hill to run up and down a few times!    IMG_6530 IMG_6531 IMG_6533IMG_6551

Another wonderful day! oh… I just need to add the Sweet Andrew photo of the day… IMG_6520

Doesn’t it seem weird…

That we celebrate birthdays, and not the anniversary of the birthdays. Like, really, there is only one birthday for each of us.

It’s Grammas birthday today! Gramma and Poppop are coming out tomorrow for some campground style Steak Oscar… yum. But today is the day. She was born on Aug 28, 19xx, in small town Manitoba. It must have been a good day.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Travel day to Mt Kidd…

We decided to drive up to Golden and then over to Kananaskis via the Trans Canada Highway. I knew there was a lot of construction, but I actually wanted to see it. Does that make me weird? The highway project is MASSIVE. Blasting the ever living heck out of the mountainside to create a 4 lane freeway where a 2 lane goat trail used to be. IMG_6352 IMG_6353 IMG_6354 IMG_6355

This is a part of the project that was completed a couple years ago. The bridge and corresponding 4 lane highway took 25 minutes off a 30 minute stretch of road.IMG_6344 IMG_6347

As we travelled down the road we noticed more and more beetle kill. We had the same conversation last year when we drove through here, and it still is sickeningly devastating. The orange twinge you see in the mountainside is dead pines. The destruction is total in some places.IMG_6368

We got through the construction, it was most of the 100 or so kilometres from Golden to Lake Louise and a bit beyond, but it actually was easier driving than once we got on the freeway and a bunch of the other drivers put on their stupid hats trying to kill themselves with dumb decisions.

The scenery the whole way is breathtaking. I didn't appreciate it as much when I was younger, but now I can’t get enough of it, and I hope I can help Andrew appreciate it as much as we do now. The colors in the water up here are preposterous… just amazing.IMG_6363IMG_6410 IMG_6362  IMG_6372 IMG_6389 IMG_6394

We stopped in Canmore again for some minor supplies, it was a Déjà vu moment as we parked in exactly the same spot as last Sunday, went to the same store and bought pretty mucht eh same stuff… hehe.

Mt Kidd was just a 1/2 hour away. Jeez we really like this place. It is like the best provincial campgrounds for large sites and privacy, but with the full services you’d expect in the squinchiest RV campground near the cities. Nice.

Here is our site, wow is it nice. Andrew has a ridiculous amount of room to run around. Mt Kidd has a couple hundred of sites just like this one! again, WOW!IMG_6415Here is a view to the south from our site. IMG_6418The view over to the next loop, as shown from our outdoor kitchen (notice all the other campers you can see from here? IMG_6422The roads in all the loops look like this. There are probably 10 sites in this picture. IMG_6429 Another view from the site. Tough life hey?IMG_6430

Oh, another note from Radium. Every morning we would be woken up to a squirrel 40 feet up a tree, launching large pinecones down onto our camper. Sounded like someone up on the roof hammering. He would then give us a show for an hour while he came and took them to who knows where for the winter…

This campground sort of completes a circle for us. It was last year at this time that we were here at Mt Kidd and we were just getting started at this blogging thing ( it was also the 2nd weekend out with our current trailer too). Here is a link back to the post from then. Mt Kidd 2008. It was actually our 3rd post. So really. Happy Blogaversary to us!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Radium Hot Springs, Summary…

We are hitching up in the morning and pulling out of here. It seems like we should be sad, but we are just moving on to Mt.Kidd RV park in Kananaskis Country back toward Calgary for the following 4 nights. We will be sad when we leave there and have to look back and reflect on this adventure.

Here are pictures of my favourite parts of the trip so far.IMG_6141 IMG_6197 IMG_6240 CIMG6536IMG_6291CIMG6532

   What else has happened?

Well, I walked into the ladies washroom at the Hot Springs tonight. Traci yelled at me loud enough that I turned around in time. I only made it to the second door going in and did not see anything. I promise. I was like “which one did you go in?” she says “that one”. geez, not sure what I was thinking.

Also, while running the other day, there is a sign when you come into Radium that the word ‘Patrol’ was changed to ‘Parole’. So now Radium Hot Springs is a “Citizens on Parole” community. HAHA, I’m not one to approve of graffiti, however that was funny.

I got stung by a wasp. Andrew has quite a few mosquito bites on his head. I had to perform eye surgery on Traci. She had something stuck in her eye and it was pretty much ruining her vacation, so at one particularly bad spot I broke out the company first aid kit, found an eyewash kit and blasted her eye. Fixed it. score one for the good guys. It actually saved us at trip to the optometrist the next morning.

Spillamacheen sucks.

This valley has an incredible mix of affluence. There are a lot of really run down homes and areas, and then, like, a block away are these amazing mansions and resorts.

Traci did some laundry tonight. She when she was done she walked out of the room, up the hill a little bit and turned around. She asked the lady ‘is there a more lighted way back to my campsite?’ uh, no, so here is a flashlight, you can bring it back in the morning. Traci said it was REALLY creepy walking back in the darkest dark she has experienced in a while.

If you are going to Tim Hortons to buy sandwiches for lunch. Please go inside to order. When you order sandwiches from the drive through, it just backs everyone up and no one can be happy then.

Other photographic Highlights…

CIMG6507 IMG_6120 IMG_6146 IMG_6217 IMG_6259 IMG_6264 IMG_6302 IMG_6329