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!

August 14, 15, 16 2009 

 

Now we reverse directions and head back west again although along a different trail (Trans Canada Hwy #1) from the eastern one.  I see the sky brightening to the west after last night’s storm.  The air is fresh and clean and the breeze feels like the brush of a gal’s silk skirt it’s so gentle and cool after such heat and humidity.

 

Highly recommended by Bill & Lin is “Bill’s Sticky Fingers” rib eatery in Portage la Prairie just 50 miles out of Wpg.  So as we drive right past it, we stop and place a ‘to go’ order for our campfire grub later in the day. 

 

Bill'd Sticky Fingers Ribs

Bill's Sticky Fingers

Waitin' to Get Sticky

Waitin' to Get Sticky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continue trotting west for another seven hours of flat, straight highway and arrive in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan by 7:00 PM.  Once again we set up in ‘Wally World’ camping lot. Just what would us trail riders do without these types of water holes along the way?

Within an hour we are reunited with DB’s daughter Sandi and granddaughter Taryn who greatly surprises me by telling me I’m the greatest grandmother in the whole world.  And this from a 14 year old!  Wow, these are the moments in life to be treasured.  I tell her I am flattered and honoured to be held in such high esteem.

 

Taryn has completely morphed in the past two years since we last saw her.  She is no longer a young ‘un but a young lady.

 

Instant Pals Taryn & Atma

Instant Pals Taryn & Atma

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

 August 14, is overcast and cool, but reunions have a way of keeping you warm!  Best pal, Best Man, & Dan’s godfather Wayne (Weiner) is knocking at our door and it is soooo good to see him! 

Another friend from Air Force days looking good and doing much better than two years ago.  We all know how life lasso’s us now and again, but we also know that we can survive and end up with new widsom.

Wayne Relaxes with Atma

Wayne Relaxes with Atma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Chef Wayne

Chief Wayne BBQ Cooker

We decide to see if we can find a spot in an RV park and are successful at River Park Campground.  We’re among the trees and it is lovely.  The five of us enjoy a group dinner ‘round a blazin’ campfire. So much laughter, love, hugs, fun and camaraderie.  What a fabulous day!

 

 

Chowing Down

Chowing Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday we went to the Willow Tree Collection store where Sandi works .Hitched the 400 horses to the parking meters and I bought out the store!  Fabulous natural, soy candles in 60 scents all made with aromatherapy oils.  Candles, perfume, crystal quartz tea light holder, body lotion and deodorant all rustled up in the store with all natural ingredients were some of my purchases.  

Sandi Loves Her Job

Sandi Loves Her Job

 

 

I took the photo opportunity to capture some of the other exquisite items.

The sculptures are all Vitruvian inspired.

 Lines & Light_6_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lithsome

Lithsome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scorpio Fairy

Scorpio Fairy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon leaving the  shop, for no apparent reason, my lower back suddenly feels like it got pinched in the saloon door! Musta been all them thar long days in the saddle.

 Again, we finished off the day with a picnic table loaded down with salad, buns, blueberry pie and ice cream!  Great coffee awaits at the ‘ol campfire.

 Sunday dawns cool and blustery with more rain.  No cattle trail today, we all spend a quiet day indoors, just as well as my back needs complete rest and lots of meds!

Human Back pain

 

 

Meds, meds, meds

Cheers!

Lynn Signature.lnk

 

 

PS: Your comments are most welcome!

 August 11, 12, 13, 2009

Motorcycle coupleThe last part of the trail east is a quick one.  Only an hour to the ‘Peg.  Again and still the sunshine follows us.  There’s a Good ‘ol Wal Mart a few blocks from Kelly’s family (DB’s son) and before long he and Shirley roar into the parking lot on their Harleys just back from the Sturgis rally. Yes, Shirley rides her own Harley!

 Love reunions!

 

We make phone contact with friends we have not seen since the Air Force days in Portage. Bill & Lin have us over for a delicious dinner.  When was the last time you had a REAL baked potato?  You know, the kind that is baked in a real oven, not steamed in a microwave.  Fluffy dry inside and crispy skin on the outside.  A bit of butter and sour cream and I tell myself, “I don’t see a calorie anywhere.”

Several things combine to remind my sweat glands of Nepal.  It is a hot day, the kitchen is warm from the potato baking, I have had a good share of wine, Manitoba is a sweat box from it’s humidity and I have laughed myself inside out….result, dripping sweat.  So now I am down on my knees in front of the air conditioning vent desperate to dry off! I think Lin got a picture of me in that not-so-flattering pose, but thankfully she has not sent it to me so I don’t feel compelled to post it. Whew!

 

Back to dinner….Combine that exquisite treat with steak, salad, green beans and follow it with blueberry pie and ice cream….oh boy, this here cattle drive is turning out to be a mighty fine gourmet delight.

The best treat was the non-stop conversation about present days and them thar days of old.  Memories are so precious and can give such laughter, pathos, and warm feelings as we look at them from the distance of years and through the eyes of experiential wisdom.

Lin Trying to Steal My Dog

Lin Trying to Steal My Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Talking Her Out of it.

Bill Talking Her Out of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s back to the covered wagon where we find all three animals anxious to be first to share excited greetings which also mean, “Where were you and what took you so long?”

 

August 13, 2009

 

Leaving Bill & Lin’s last night we didn’t get far.  In fact not even an inch out of their driveway.  As we didn’t bring our car this time, Kelly had loaned us his truck.  Turned the ignition key,….click. The dreaded starter click.  Don‘t you just hate that sound!

 

Well Bill & DB were not aircraft mechanics/car mechanics/truck mechanics for nothing.  Twenty minutes later we were on our way. Gave that dern horse a kick and away she went.

 

So today, Kelly & DB spend the afternoon putting a new starter in the truck.  Kelly is also a truck mechanic.  These cowboys are all very handy!

 

Shirley's "Demon"

Shirley's "Demon"

I spent the day with Shirley and her zoo, Mooshie, Kitty and Demon (feline) and Lacey (canine).  Demon is the size and shape of a basketball, has no tail and his colouring would have him blend nicely with a herd of Holstein cows. Atma and Lacey never stopped playing all day.  I did laundry, oh joy.

 

 

 

Shirley & Lacey

Shirley & Lacey

 

 

 

 

Six of us, as Kelly’s treat, went out to dinner at “The Paladin” in St. Boniface.  Home cookin’ at its best!  Servings are large and as a result half of mine is sitting in the fridge for lunch.

 

Me & Stepson Kelly

Me & Stepson Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shirley's Tyler & Braedon

Shirley's Tyler & Braedon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shirley & DB

Shirley & DB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were treated to a flashing, crashing, rolling thunderstorm with rain for most of the night. Sounded like that ol’ gunfight at the OK Corral!  Nothing like a prairie storm to send one off to slumber.

Zzzzz FLASH! Zzzzz RUMBLE! Zzzzz

Cheers!

 

Lynn Signature.lnk

 

 

PS: Comments?

 August 10, 2009

 

We are on the trail at 7:00 AM after showers, coffee, and an Atma walk to greet the sun in an endless prairie sky.

 

 The miles roll by and we cross into Manitoba about Noon.  The landscape now begins to have a few rolling sections. The greenery and increase in groves of trees speaks to the more moist climate. (Manitoba has 10,000 lakes!)

 

couple and babyWe arrive in Portage la Prairie which holds many,many memories as it was our homestead for 12 years when DB was with the Airforce.  We were married here and son Dan was born here in the city’s centennial year, 1970.  As we mosey down the main street I recognize nothing!  Heck, it’s only been 32 years!  Just one of the little irritating reminders of how much time has gone by.

 

 

We circle the wagons in an RV park among the peace of trees.  Distanced from traffic, we rest well.

Siiigh.

 

Cheers!

Lynn Signature.lnk

 

 

PS:  Leave a comment??

August 9, 2006

Saskatchewan Canola Crop

Our wedding anniversary today!  Won’t tell you how many years ‘cause then we’ed seem old! But a clue is it’s over 40 (by one).  Yes, we were married at 12!

Up at 7:00 am to a fresh, sunny morn and we prepare the wagon to hit the trail.  All cupboard doors latched? Check.  Pocket doors locked? Check. Nothing left on counters? Check.  Towels stuffed in dish cupboard? Check.

#1 slide pulls in and locks, #2 slide, #3 slide, #4 slide…#4 slide?…#4 SLIDE?? Why aren’t you moving?? Dadgum it, first it’s the stuck awning leaving Vernon now it’s the stuck slide leaving Edmonton.  So much for the early take off.  DB gets out the manual. Dan & he get out the tools. One & a half hours later they trace it down to a bad connection which is easily fixable and I give the Talented Two a standing ovation. After parent/kid goodbye hugs we are on our way east on cattle trail #16.

I never cared for long road trips in cars, especially across prairie vistas of endless, strait highways disappearing into the distant horizon as if they fell right off the edge.  Now in an RV it’s a pleasure!  I can read, write on the computer, heat a cup of tea, sleep on the couch, use the bathroom and all the while separated from the world of TV, internet and anyone I don’t want to talk to.

Today I did all of that as the sun shone, DB whipped the horses and I enjoyed hours of field upon field, occasionally interspersed with small towns, of canola crops wearing their bright yellow flowers stretching up t’ord the sun.

More Canola

More Canola

It was at one such town, Lanigan (2,300 population), that we stopped, right smack dab in the middle of the province of Saskatchewan, to thoroughly enjoy an anniversary dinner in an old-fashioned Mum & Pop eatery with the welcoming name of Grandpa Sam’s Family Restaurant.  Vittles of roast beef dinner stuffed me to the roots of my hair, while DB feasted on a cutlet dinner. Deelicious!

Mom 'n Pop Diner

Mom 'n Pop Diner

A few days later, after we trotted into the big city of Moose Jaw, DB bought me a gift called “Blowing a Kiss”.  The beautiful sculpture is pictured here. Ain’t I just the luckiest gal in the West?

Blowing a Kiss

Blowing a Kiss

After a walk through the neighbourhoods with Atma, it’s time to call it a day and rest up for the next day on the trails.

Nighty Night.

Cheers!

Lynn Signature.lnk

PS:  See how creative you can get in the ‘comments’ box.

Ground squirrel studies me

August 5, 2009

In the Ol’ West the day dawns somewhat cooler than the past few weeks of steel smelter, scorching heat and resultant major forest fires (900 at last count) in B.C.  We are heading out of the smoke-filled air and ash we have been eating into what we expect to be clearer air and perhaps even some rain across the four Wild Western Canadian provinces.

DB (Dearly Beloved) hubby has done some preparation for this trip with the purchase of some new duds, whoo hoo!  “You mean I get to see you in some t-shirts other than those I can read through?” I excitedly exclaim.

Not only new shirts, but track pants as well.  Home he comes with his saddle bags of threads and proudly displays his treasure.

Everything is grey.  Grey as granite, grey as a goose, grey as a dismal day, grey as asphalt, grey as hair on a senior.  Various shades of grey, mind you, but dull as dishwater.  He likes it that way however, because he never has to be concerned with ‘mixing’ or ‘matching’.  Just one more reason to never let your husband shop for clothes without you!

After meeting my cousin Joan and her hubby Stan (in town for a day from Vancouver) for a superb lunch of excellent Chinese food at the new Temptasian restaurant, my cohort in grey, 2 cats, Atma the dog and myself get ready to roll.

The covered wagon checklist includes stuffing towels in the cupboards to keep glassware and dishes from flying around in the cupboards, locking sliding doors and drawers for obvious reasons, unhooking electricity, water and sewer connections, bringing in the slideouts and…oops….one of the awnings won’t run in.  And it’s the biggest one at a 12’ extension! DB fires up his handy-dandy compressor in the barn, climbs upon the roof of the wagon and proceeds to blow dust and dirt out of some gizmo that affects the electric works of the awnings.  Voila! Fixed.  Such a talented, bright cowboy!

Its mid afternoon and we’re off!  Following cattle trail 97A to Sicamous then Trans-Canada #1 to Revelstoke and the Rogers Pass.  We stop at the summit to be gazed upon by some of the highest sentinels of the rocky peaks, extend one of the slides and grub is on the table in 20 minutes.  Yup, years of practice and I can go from frozen to dinner party (well, dinner for two can be a party) in the time required to take towels out of the cupboards!

Rocky Mountain High

Rocky Mountain High

Taking Atma out for a walk to do her ‘performance’ I see plenty of opportunity for use of a camera from mountain scenes to many cheeky ground squirrels chattering at me to get out of their territory and take that dang dog with me!

Dishes done, back in with the towels, and we travel through Golden, BC on to Field and make an overnight camp by a rushing river. The heavens open up with a bedtime story of tremendous thunder accompanied by a deluge of rain. Ahh, a comfy bedroll, cool, fresh mountain air and the sound of flowing water. A recipe for deep, restful, soothing sleep.

Alpine Flora_1_1_1

Alpine Flora

Zzzzzz
Cheers!
Lynn Signature.lnk
ps. Would love to read your comments below!