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)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Traci and Andrew…

… ran fast today! Traci ran her first 10k race today and did an amazing job coming in at 1hr 8 minutes! It was only a few months ago that she was resigned to running 5k’s and not very happy about it. Well, with the new club, and some focus and direction with a simple training plan, she not only met her goal, but exceeded it!

Last week she ran 9k in training in 1:09, so she had an expectation of 1:15 for 10k. Seems reasonable, right? Well, she blew it out the door and came in in 10k, faster than she ran 9k! *woot*.

Unfortunately, with my race, Nan’s race and all the other stuff going on, there are no pictures of Traci Running. We will be able to purchase official race photos in about a week, so look for that! Here is Traci and our friend Happy Dan trying to stay warm before the race.


She said there were a few hard parts, but she had a pretty good race plan and executed it well. Congrats again Mommy, you did amazing!

After all of our races were over, it was Andrews turn. He was registered in the Timbits Marathon, which is a 1.2k run for all the little tykes. He was soooo excited, it’s all he could talk about for the past few days and he didn’t disappoint anyone with his performance. Mommy took Andrew by the hand (or Andrew took Mommy by the hand) and they RAN. Mommy asked a couple times if he wanted to walk and it was a very certain “No, Run Fast!”

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He ran 1.2k in 9:49 and he loved every minute. heh.

We were a very non-athletic family for a long time, and here we are on a cold Sunday morning, Me running a half marathon at 7am, Traci running a 10k at 7:30am, Nan running a 5k at 9am and Andrew running a 1.2k at 10am. We were home by noon, having completed more running for 1 family than most do in a month! Yay for us! Poppop is close to starting a walking program after his Knee Surgery a couple weeks ago, so that’ll be awesome!

Next run is our Club Fun run on June 19th!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can you just imagine! May 27th, 2010… yuck.


That is up 4- 8 inches for you merkans who read this. DAMN YOU MONTANA!

It never ends here…

It’s like the movie groundhogs day. But today was a bit different. For today, I went outside and whacked my trees. That was new.

whacking tree

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

11 Bridges…

If you follow this journal, even sporadically, you know that we like the Drumheller area a lot. You can read all about our adventures in the area by clicking any of the following links to past entries:

So that should give you a pretty good idea about what is here, what we like about it and just how nice the area is. Well after all the touring around we have done in past trips, we thought we pretty much covered it all. Nope. We had never turned right in Rosedale. This little stretch of highway was less than 10km long, ends in a tiny place called Wayne and it was famous for the 11 Bridges that cross the little river that winds it’s way through this scenic valley. All but the first bridge are 1 lane bridges, so you have to watch for oncoming vehicles and they are all wooden decked. It was a very neat way to spend a part of the afternoon. There were a few little campgrounds along the way, but nothing too exciting. It was a lot of fun to count along as we crossed each bridge, as Andrew was really into the bridges. Truth be told, there are 22 bridges along the way as every road crossing mirrors a rail crossing next to it.

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The road ends in the ghost town of Wayne, where a 1920’s coal rush era saloon still stands. We went in and got an ice-cream for the little guy (and me) and enjoyed looking at some antiques and not so old antiques for sale in the little general store. IMG_1419 That is bridge 11 in the bottom right. Notice the railway bridge on the left?IMG_1416

We didn’t spend too much time in Wayne as there isn’t much to do there, so we headed back to Drumheller as I had to pick up a couple bolts to fix our awning support. Turns out the weight of the snow made some damage, as it snapped the bracket rod that hold the awning leg to the camper. A couple holes drilled, a couple bolts and Nylock nuts installed and we are better than new. IMG_1634

Not much else to tell about today. The weather was pleasant (comparably) and we just lazed around, went for walks and had a nice day!

Andrew ran and ran and ran today!IMG_1606a The donkeys are plum tuckered out… IMG_1631 Notice how white the ground ISN’T!IMG_1420 Another keeper picture!IMG_1438 He’s always finding ways to smile!IMG_1555a

We are homeward bound tomorrow, but the next trip is only a couple weeks away!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It’s been a day…

… but i’ll start with yesterday.

We took off from the house at 10:30ish, thinking that we did pretty good, and had purged lots of stuff from the camper, to save space and clutter. We had a bunch of extra room and were feeling pretty good about it.

It was only 30 minutes into the trip when it started feeling strange. I had to transfer some money at the bank in Strathmore and because we use two different banks I just went to the one I was depositing and took out money from their ATM from the other bank. I had a stack of twenty’s amounting to $600.00 and as I was reaching to grab the deposit envelope I dropped the whole stack. Remember the scene in  Bull Durham where the Helicopter drops 1000 dollar bills into the middle of the field? That’s kind of what it was like in the ATM vestibule. I picked up all the cash, pulled myself together, got the money into the envelope and gave the camera an eye rolling, as you know this is going on the banks Christmas party video for the staff.

I then walk across the parking lot to Tim Horton’s to get some breakfast. And this exchange takes place.

Me: I’d like a Sausage and Egg combo with an extra hash brown, 2 Sausage only sandwich combo’s and..

Voice from the back: We don’t have any hashbrowns left…

Her: Us, sorry, we don’t have any hashbrowns left

Me: Really? uhhh… dang. Ok. I’ll get 2 Sausage and Egg sandwiches and 2 Sausage only sandwiches…

Voice from the back: We only have 2 Sausages left

She walks away to the back, then comes out and says: We only have 2 Saus…

Me: I heard. Ok I’ll get 2 Sausage only Sandwiches…

Her: ok, wait, i have to delete this because I put in the Sausage and eggs…

Me: *waits*

Her: Ok, what was that now?

Me: Ok, I’ll get 2 Sausage only Sandwiches, and 2 Bacon and Egg Sandwiches…

Her: *walks to the back and has a conversation as the assembler already got the order to make Sausage and Egg… anyway*

Her: Ok, now what was that again?

Me: 2 Sausage only sandwiches, and 2 Sausage and Egg Sandwiches…

Her: Is That everything?

Me: nope. I need an Extra large double double, a Large French vanilla cappuccino, an apple juice, 20 honey dipt timbits and a Frosted Cinnamon roll.

Her: Uh, sorry, was that a Large Double Double?

Me: no. extra. large.

Her: ok.

So she gets the order put together and I head back out to the truck. We park in back as there is no long vehicle parking in front so I have to cross the exit to the drive through. I step out into the drive and there is this lady who is obviously putting her coffee into the holder and not looking up, and is in Second gear already only a few feet from the drive up window, so I run across and when she finally sees me and slams on her brakes, her and her friend have a huge laugh at my expense because I kind of look like I crapped myself scared.

I get back to the truck, hand Traci all the stuff and realize she never gave me the Timbits. Well. nuts. I go back inside, pretty frustrated and shove my may through the now enormous line and tell the other cashier that she didn’t give me my timbits. I got my timbits, headed back for the truck and almost got run over again.

This is cropped WAY in, as I thought it looked cool and showed how busy the freeway was.IMG_1260 We stopped in Brooks for a stretch. Andrew hit the ground running!IMG_1251 He found a stickIMG_1258

2 hours later we are in Medicine Hat and I have calmed down a bit. I decided we should shop at Superstore for our stuff as it would be the cheapest. It was probably the cheapest, but they didn’t have half the stuff we needed. Remember how I said we thought we did so good because we were able to purge so much stuff? Well, it was because we forgot to bring most of the stuff we needed. I didn’t bring the dog gates or the dog kennel, No deodorant for me, no toothbrushes, Boots, gloves, my sunglasses, winter coats(we didn’t think we needed these), I forgot the outside ground mat… etc etc… yep.

We get to superstore and, first of all, it is WINDY! man, we battled a crazy side wind the whole way and it was actually rocking the truck as it sat parked in the lot. We were wore out by the time we got to the entrance of the store. We spent some time there looking for our goods, found only half of them and ended up leaving with a plan to go to WalMart. Well WalMart was all the way across the highway, so why not try Peavy Mart? Well, because they didn’t have ANYTHING we needed. Ok, WalMart. Off we went across to WalMart. As we pull across the freeway at the light I notice that WalMart looks very empty. It was, because it was closed. I start to freak a little. Well over there is a Canadian Tire, maybe we’ll get what we need from there. As well turn to go to Canadian Tire, we spot the NEW WalMart and beeline it there. Did I say it was Windy? And with a rig, you have to park WAY out in the lot, so is was actually work to get to the doors again. I need a nap. We got what we needed, and as this was a Super WalMart, we had to walk the entire length of the joint as one thing on the list was RV TP. I got to the RV section and all I saw was 3 rows of empty shelves, and not a roll of the sandpaper anywhere. huh. suks. Just as a lark, I took a look at the end of the aisle, and low and behold, there was 2 4 packs sitting all lonely on the shelf. Now they were sold out.

We picked up some McD’d on the way out, jibbed the mainsail and walked back out to the Truck.

We needed some diesel by now and just outside Medicine Hat was a Co-Op gas station. I pulled off the highway, picked a nice pump that had an easy out access and pulled up to… “Pump out of Order”… Frick. Ok, so here we go backing up into the steady flow of mazdas and hondas to get moved over a bay where we could actually pump the stuff. got gas, got out!

On the highway, the wind really started to blow. Directly across us. There were a few moments where I looked in the mirror and saw WAY too much of the side of our trailer than I was comfortable with. Good thing it is a big heavy truck. I felt bad for the 1/2 ton trucks out there, pulling loads at least as big as ours… yikes.

When we turned off the highway toward Maple Creek and eventually Cypress Hills, we went straight into the teeth of the wind. Full on, full throttle, uphill. And what an uphill… hooweee. It always amazes me how high you go in a short time on the prairies. Maybe a mountain pass but not on the prairies. 2000 Feet of elevation gain in 20km, into a 80km headwind, with a 7000lb travel trailer behind a 3/4 ton diesel pickup. THANK god for diesel. I passed a couple SUV’s pulling trailers our size and you could hear their engines screaming as we passed them.

It’s funny, with the wind out on the prairies, I wasn’t worried about the campground. the 80 foot tall Lodgepole pines take the wind in the treetops, and none of it gets to the ground. We arrived, checked in and were set up in no time. the girls in the campground office said the weather forecast was shaping up quite nicely, and that was good, because the forecast was a bit foreboding.

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It was really nice outside, if a bit cool, so we bundled up and sat around not doing much. I spent some time mucking around with the camera, and we all went for a walk to the playground and then just settled in for a nice evening.

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We were all sleeping by 10:30, some earlier than others.

You know how you hear the rain on the roof of the camper? sounds like peanut shells hitting the roof? Well it wasn’t quite peanut shells, but a bit lighter. We opened the blinds to a skiff of snow. IMG_1336 huh. Neat! a bit of snow in the morning, it’ll warm up and we’ll have a nice, if rainy, day. We didn’t bring any mitts for Andrew so we decided to go into Maple Creek for a bit of shopping. by the time we got ready, it was really starting to snow.  we got out of the park, took a bit of a drive around and then headed down off the hill. IMG_1339 This was an abandoned tent…IMG_1347 Seriously?IMG_1354 IMG_1356

remember the nice lake picture from a few posts ago?IMG_9432Yeah, it looks a bit different now.IMG_1359

We actually needed 4 wheel drive at one point, but soon after we started to descend into Maple, it quickly turned into rain and there was no more snow on the ground. We shopped a bit, didn’t find any mitts as it’s almost June. We did start talking about pulling out as there is only so much lemonade you can make when the weather gets so bad.  IMG_1365 IMG_1370 IMG_1371

Less than 10 miles from the above picture, the landscape changed to this…IMG_1383

By the time we had a bite to eat, we had made up our mind to get the heck out of Dodge. Good Choice. We got back to the campground to see that we had 8 inches of snow on the ground. I don’t know how much longer we could have waited until the awning gave out, so it was good that we returned when we did. We didn’t take too much time to pack up, but wow was it cold and wet getting the outside done up. IMG_1374 IMG_1361My fingers were f-f-frozen, my feet were soaked and everything I tossed into the back of the truck was covered in snow. Once out of the site, I had to back down the road a ways as there were too many steep slopes on the road ahead with rigs on both sides of the road. better safe than sorry I guess. It all worked out and we made our way to the general store in the park because I needed some straps for the awning frame as there was so much snow and ice built up the arms wouldn’t clip properly to hold the awning in place.

That done, we were in 4x4 and heading out of the park. IMG_1362

6 hours, 2 diesel stops(direct headwind), 1 Tims stop, 2 rest stops and we are in Drumheller where it is dry and cool. 

Notice how clean the rig is? Nothing like a blizzard for a great car wash!IMG_1386

Dry being the operative word.I looked at the weather radar maps on western Canada and found a patch of no rain here in Drum. I called our favourite little park and they had a spot for us. I was pretty surprised but I wasn’t going to complain that’s for sure. Dinosaur Trail RV park is really nice, but they have a new section to their park that isn’t very appealing that I thought we would be in for sure. Turns out we ended up with one of the premiere spots in the campground. We pulled in and the place is PACKED. I go into the office to register and she says we get site 103. Really? How is that possible that we get this site and why is it available? She says that I called at the exact right moment. 30 seconds earlier or later and the site goes to someone else. They had a reservation no-show last night and the moment I called was 10 seconds after the deadline for previous night no-shows to arrive. They turned away other callers all morning, and I was the lucky lottery winner. The office staff were having a friendly bet about who would get this *gold* campspot. IMG_1398


We really did win the lottery on this one. I don’t know why, but the camping gods didn’t want us in Cypress this weekend. The struggles it took to get there were a sign that I finally listened to. Retired Rod commented on the last post that you have to make Lemonade with Lemons. 8 inches of Lemons is a bit too much, so here we are in Drum, really looking forward to a warm day tomorrow (forecasted) and just relaxing and enjoying the Board of Directors meetings all day!

I’m getting MARSHMALLOWS!!! *WooT*IMG_1401