August 17-25 2009 

 

The sun, once again, appears. Hooray!  Wayne comes over for a final cuppa  before we take off and I must make one country store stop at Sandi’s Willow Tree.  I forgot tea light candles!

 

By now I’ve taken so many muscle relaxants for my back spasm my eyes are crossed, ears ringing and even my teeth are relaxed!  Back still hurts.  Pooh.

 

 A few quiet hours pass as we motor along the flat, straight highway out of Saskatchewan into Alberta.  That quiet is broken with a huge bumping feeling as the coach suddenly leans to the left, something crashes and breaks on the floor, dishes are doing the Makarena in the cupboards and the sight of weeds and tall grasses are flying past the window in place of a highway.  We continue careening through the flora for some distance until we finally come to a stop…upright  in the saddle!

 

We are in the wide, grassy median dividing the four lane highway.  The prevailing, northwest wind is doing it’s infamous prairie gusting necessitating the driving instincts of Indy 500 drivers, except our vehicle has 43 feet for the gusts to broadside.

 

The left of the double lanes on this stretch of road have no shoulders and drop off at least 6” on the edges to a small strip of gravel.  We are in the left lane when a particularly forceful gust pushes the front wheels just over the left edge causing us to tip left.  An ordinary driver such as myself would probably have yanked the wheel to the right in order to get back on the pavement.  Not so DB.  In his very quick thinking manner he realizes this tactic would cause an even greater lean to the left and we would likely have tipped over.

 

The safest course is to drive straight down the median and hang on until safely stopped.  Within seconds of coming to a stop we hear a knock on our door and it is two Medics who just happen to have been behind us and are checking to see if we are alright.  Thankfully we are if I can just stop my shaking!  The only casualty is the shattered coffee pot which shot shattered glass in all directions and required a vacuum job before we do anything else.  DB does that while I keep four puppy paws and eight kitty paws out of danger.

 

Driving back up onto the pavement is safe and easy if done at the proper angle and we are back in the saddle with only a bent generator muffler and no coffee pot.  Both easily remedied.

Driving the median_2_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big wind, narrow shoulder, 6" drop

Big wind, narrow shoulder, 6" drop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally arrive at Bob & Elaine’s home in Medicine Hat, receive a very warm welcome, delicious dinner and spend the evening in their glassed-in porch overlooking the South Saskatchewan River flowing past between banks of thick greenery and high, valley walls.  Bee-yoo-tee-ful!

 

Dinner with the Cox's-Medicine Hat_2_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge Over the River S. Saskatchewan_1_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5230_3_1

Our expected stay of 3 days turns into a week during which time I lounge in the hot tub and swimming pool babying my back, going for strolling walks (which is painless for the ol’ back), and touring the great little city of Medicine Hat which impresses DB and me.

 

 

 

 Wanting to treat our friends, we took them to dinner at Ralph’s Texas Bar and Grill.  Now this is a place for all cowboy ‘n cowgirl wannabes!  Just take a look at Elaine and I doin’ some tricky ridin’!

Hi Ho Lynn, awaaay!_1_2_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giddy-up Elaine!!_3_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shhh, in all honesty the ‘bull’ was not moving for these pictures, but don’t tell anyone!

 Atma won’t walk on one of her hind feet one morning.  Next day the same and off we go to the Vet.  Under sedation it’s found she has an abcess under a toenail which requires drainage, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.  She ends up wearing the cutest little pink sock!

Atma injured foot_8_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such a cute pink sock_1_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time has come to head back along the trail to home.  Through the Rockies once again to home on the other side of these magestic, glacial sentenils. It’s been a great adventure travelling the wide open spaces of Canada’s Wild West again.   “Oh Canada, our home and native land!”

Stay tuned for the next travelling saga

Cheers!

Lynn Signature.lnk

 

 

 

PS: Would love to see your comments!

IMG_5012_4_1We have no idea which leprechauns are responsible, but from what I have read, they rather like to live up to their reputation as wee tricksters.  One such example is making my digital bedroom clock ‘race’.  Yes, you can make time go faster!  I set the alarm for 7:00 AM last night in order to be back on the trail to Edmonton in good time.
 

 

 

 

The frickin’ alarm went off at 2:30 AM! But the clock read 7:00. Figure that one out.  No amount of fresh air and stream gurgles were going to soothe the beast in my breast at that moment.

 

The reasonable hour of 7:30 A.M. brings morning mists, sunrise, wild flowers and a reasonable hour to again put me in the shutterbug mood.

 This shot was taken right outside the RV door.  What a view!

Morning Mountain Mist 2_14_1

 

A quick smoothie for morning chow and off we set through rain and highway construction to Calgary then north to Edmonton. 

 

I spend the drive writing this blog and working on ‘The Book’.

 

Setting up camp at the Flying J Truck Stop on Hwy 16 in North Edmonton, we settle in and can’t wait to call our son Dan to say howdy. The evening is full of catching up and hugs all ‘round including all three four-legged, furry people.

 

We mosey on over to the Wal-Mart camping lot the next morning ‘cause it’s only a two block trot to Dan’s home.  Dave & Val Fiddy, from the ‘ol Air Force days in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, come on over for several hours of remembrances, belly laughs and wonderful camaraderie. We were all busy having babies during those days and of course those babies have now had babies. It’s a sunny day in Edmonton and so much cooler than the swelter smelter at home.

Dan the Solomon Hugger

Dan the Solomon Hugger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave the cat 'hater'

Dave the cat 'hater'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being in true cattle country has us hankerin’  for one of Alberta Beef’s best steaks for dinner, which we found. Drool!

 

 

 

Full of happy feelings and great eat’ns it’s time to catch some shuteye.

 

Val the Dog Lover

Val the Dog Lover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following morn, a visit with Dan’s new kitty ‘Spook.’

Dan the Cat 'Spook' Hugger

Dan the Cat 'Spook' Hugger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re invited to a hoedown!  We move the ‘bus’ to Kevin’s diggins (Kev & Dan have been best buds since age 12) which is a large piece of property outside of the city set among stands of Birch and Poplar trees.  The outdoor stage has been set up, killer sound system that could blow those trees over, laser show, DJ and live band all ready to go. 

 

Laura & Taylor Rock it Out!

Laura & Taylor Rock it Out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cowboys Discussin' the 'Hawgs'

Cowboys Discussin' the 'Hawgs'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many people, campers, motorcycles, cars arriving.  Bonfire roars to life after dark, music and laser show in full swing.  Good food, good company, good libations, great music and a grrrreat time.

 

Just TRY to Come Between Me & My Beer!

Just TRY to Come Between Me & My Beer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Applauding His Bonfire

Kevin Applauding His Bonfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smokin' Lasers

Smokin' Lasers

 

 

 

We say a reluctant adios after midnight aiming for an early start in the morning.  It’s been a great visit with son Dan and his friends

Yaaaawn, time for the ol’ bedroll.

 

Cheers!

Lynn Signature.lnkPS Be sure to give some feedback with your comments. Sure ‘preciate it!

As I walk to the monastery daily, I see many sights very foreign to my western eye, many of which I have shared with you earlier on this blog from Napal.  One such sight, which as you already know is so difficult for me, is the Street/Stray Dog population.

 

One day as I was returning from teaching, I glanced at a heap of garbage by the side of the street (one of many due to the garbage strike), and uttered a groaning gasp as I witnessed a small dog and one very different from the average street dog, desperately digging for any morsel of food.

 

She was missing ¾ of her fur and what was left was so filthy one could not be sure of the colour.  Her skin was rashed and wounded and it was obvious that she had had a litter of pups not too long ago.  The vast majority of street dogs are male due to the fact that females keep having litters when they are sick and malnourished and therefore die off more quickly.  I took this video of her.

 

The following day it was raining as I slogged my way to classes.  And there, in the same general area as the day before, stood this wee, soaking wet, shivering dog. Both days she looked at me with sad, helpless, confused, pleading brown eyes and my tears spilled.  She never left my heart or my head.

 

Later that day as I showered off the sweat (you still sweat even when it rains!), I had an epiphany.  I scare myself with those dang epiphanies!  The last one was when I said to myself, “I’d LOVE to go to Nepal and teach English to Buddhist monks!” This one said, “I HAVE to rescue that dog!”

 

And so the dye was cast.  I hardly slept that night what with worrying that I would not find her again.  I did not see her on the way to classes next day.  Coming back she was not in her usual area.  I began pleading really hard with the angels.  About a block later there she was!  I had already named her “Atma” and that was the first word the shot out of my mouth. 

 

Keeping one eye on her I ran to a shop and asked for a cardboard box and was emphatically turned down even when I explained in Pidgin English what I wanted it for.  Never daunted, I went next door and pleaded for a box.  This time I was rewarded by a kind hearted man.  I had brought food and placed it in the box as I sat on a step beside her and talked soothingly.  She let me stroke the top of her head with one finger as I watched a flea population the size of Kathmandu race over her bare body parts and thinly covered areas with what I now realized was white fur.

 

Now I’m thinking, if I try to pick her up and put her in the box she may bite me and the flea situation made me cringe.  There appeared Nepali angel.  A man of senior years managed to ask me, through sign language and unintelligible words, if I wanted the dog in the box.  When I finally understood and vigorously nodded my head he just picked her up and put her in the box!  Nothing to it.  Better him than me.  We closed the flaps and one would have thought we had captured the Tazmanian Devil!  We needed rope…fast!  He skittered off, came back with some plastic twine and with much grunting and dexterity we managed to finally tie the flaps in place and looked at each other with big grins.

 

By now we had quite an audience and I managed to make it known that I was going to take her to an animal hospital.  Someone hailed a taxi for me and with plenty of jabbering between bystanders and driver, he managed to understand where I wanted to go.  We struck a deal on the cab fare and off we went. 

 

This animal hospital could only give me prescriptions for what she needed and I was to take her home and administer them.  I’m looking at the flea colony and shaking my head adamantly.  Seems they had no facilities for keeping her there.  And by now she’s figured out the box flip lid equation and this little head keeps popping out with a body desperately wanting to follow.  I could only stop this by dumping a bundle of newspapers on top of the box and leaning on them.

 

I was given an address of another, this time ‘private’ clinic, and yet again a cab was hailed for me, I make a deal for the fare once more and we are off across the city for a second time. I wonder if the first clinic ever missed that new bundle of newspapers?

 

The potholes and broken pavement make for a rough ride with me desperately hanging on to a slipping newspaper pile. The appearance now and then of a frightened eyeball through a space between the flaps tells me I’m not too successful.

 

We arrive at the Animal Hospital & Research Centre of Kathmandu where I juggle a wiggling box and rapidly flying newspapers into the reception area and gratefully plunk down gasping with effort.  The popping head emerges once more from the box placed on the floor and the whole thing strikes me hysterically funny whereupon I simply have to video Atma’s Jack-in-the-box antics with her defiantly rumpled appearance, box, newspapers et al.

 

This time the exam by a vet trained in the Netherlands, shows that her skin problem and resultant lack of fur is a dermatitis produced by the fleas easily cleared up with medication.  When I tell him I am in a hotel, he orders a flea and tick bath to do away with that problem, she has two shots to prevent any flea return, do away with any worms, heal her skin and help with the need to scratch.  Spaying and vaccinations can be done ten days later if her health is good.

 

I’m given a ‘clean’ box which she vigorous fights and we end up in the cab going home as a team of thoroughly disheveled woman and triumphant dog, head free of the box.  We struck a deal, but she thought she had won.

 

Why the name ‘Atma’?  It is the Nepali word for spirit/heart/soul and she is all of that and more.

 

There will be much more on Atma because I am bringing her home, but know that I will be looking for a Canadian Forever Home for her.  I never, ever want to take the chance that she will end up on the streets of Nepal again.

 

I will be accepting applications, interviewing her prospective parents and inspecting her prospective homes!  Yah, I know she is not a human child, but after what she has been through I want a guarantee that she will have a of life of excessive spoiling and endless love.  I’ve had her for a week and she is a very special little spirit!

Signing off and Cherrio!

Lynn