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









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


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PS: Would love to see your comments!

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

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