JUNE 2016

 

 

June 3rd

Heading to Lethbridge to finish framing the basement this afternoon. I need to complete the two walls left so the plumbing and electricity can be run. I do have say pricing on everything sure seems to be getting high. While making profit is needed i hate gouging.  Material and labour rates are becoming ridiculous. An electrician charges $50 per outlet for $10 worth of material and 15 mins of work. A mechanic charges $140 a hour to change a light bulb but is pro rates it to $35 for a $2 bulb.

MY RANT”

Speaking of gouging. I hate market manipulation. Today Petro Canada stations have signs up stating they are out of gas. If you are buying this one you are falling for another money grab tactic that should be illegal. You all must know we have a glut of oil in the market due to over supply. NO SHORTAGE . Remember years ago when the world was running out of oil and the panic that occurred.  Petro Canada is blaming this on their Edmonton refinery. Give me a break do you think the day the refinery says we have a shut down is the same day the stations run out of gas. My Dad owned a station. I worked at a station. Part of my job was to measure the gas and the end of each day. For a standard station it may take a week or two to run out of gas. The refinery if it does break down has huge tanks with gas just wating to be loaded as back up. The gas they make today doesn’t get to the pump the next day. Something very wrong here again.

They are just playing a game with media to increase the pricing. As soon as an “out of gas sign “went up the gas increased .10 a litre. Didn’t cost anymore to produce, didn’t have a real oil pricing change just gouging on a large corporation’s part. Shame on Suncor and Petro Canada. Shame on all of us as we just go about our lives and don’t open the can of worms. Wait for the carbon tax to implemented and another penny or two added plus the tax raising our gas by another .10 cents.

Can I add to boycott Petro-Canada( owned by Suncor) along with Earle’s as companies that are not exactly what we would hope they be.

BOYCOTT PETRO-CANADA

BOYCOTT PETRO-CANADA

 

BOYCOTT EARLS

BOYCOTT EARLS

Now I have to look for another station to fill up on my way to another steakhouse that serves good meat. Boy life is becoming complicated. LOL

I was making fun of Jackie as she has a retirement party attend to at Earls. First people should not be going period but for what ever reason it is a requirement out of your control you need to remember NOT to order any steak or burger from them and make them the “new salad restaurant” to go to.   The problem with humans is we have short memories of bad events and eventual as Earls hopes people will forget. Look at Jack in Box and Chipotle’s that sickened people and even killed people and they are still around. In Lethbridge the Earls bar had a huge sign up front ” ALBERTA BEEF IS BACK”.  You know they had to be hurting to go to this extend. It is not as easy saying we are sorry and committing to go back. I guarantee you it is not fully back and they are just buying enough to appease the Albert Beef Producers Assoc. I say let them “hurt” a bit more as there loyalty has been shown. We have lot’s of other choices.

Boston Pizza with Jessica, Penny, August,Jackie and I

Boston Pizza with Jessica, Penny, August,Jackie and I

 

We got to Lethbridge and decided to go out for supper as it was a beautiful night. A Friday night on the patio in the sun with a cold beer and great food is next to heaven. Boston Pizza has long being one of my favorites and again they did not disappoint. Penny, Jessica, August , Jackie and I had a lot of fun and a very enjoyable meal and gathering on the patio. Raise your glasses to summer !

Went to the Home Depot and picked up more wood for the basement.  Unloaded it and had a nice visit with the kids. Jessica & Penny had a party to go to so we babysat. Well Jackie mostly this time. To bed early to get ready to work in the am.

Thought of the Day

People have referred to me as outdoorsy as I love the outside patio !

June 4th-5th

Up early and at it. First let me say to make perfect outside corners with out a square is difficult. I have a large and small angle square for the inside corners but I like the longer standard rafter

Framing all done

Framing all done

basement framesquare that I couldn’t find in the garage anywhere.  Having said that it is always difficult to make everything square in a basement. The builder walls were out over a 1 inch out from end to end and even the floor joists were out when I was using them as a reference. This is from so called professional’s . Out by that much means they had to cheat the plywood or framing to make everything work. I remember in the 70’s when I first started as a professional sales rep on the road. If I came home with no orders for the day I was quite upset. I was paid to sell and expected everyday to be a good one. These guys make a house out of square and they go home and think nothing of it. I am happy with everything completed in the basement except one bathroom wall which I am still going to change. This is a wall around the stack that I have changed 4 times and must do once more as when I was leaving it still did not meet me eye. It is out. I will fix as I haven’t used the ramset on the bathroom walls as of yet and the bath walls I screwed rather than power nailed them so I could adjust them. The bathtub wall requires only a 1/8 clearance so you need to be quite precise.

So overall I am pleased as I have my fingers crossed is the inspector. You never know with those guys and their rules.

It is amazing how long it takes to frame in a basement. The nailing gun saves some time and the ramset is wonderful and a time saver but all of the cutting and measuring takes a huge amount of time.  It is ready for the electrical and plumbing now.

On the way home when we were 3/4 of the way home Heatherglen phoned to inform me that their Tee sheet was on the light side and my services wouldn’t be needed. Unbelievable that on a 25 degree day and a Sunday it is not packed. First time I remember. Perhaps the economy is starting to hurt all businesses. The only thing I don’t care for is always the late notice. I change my plans to accommodate a scheduled workday and then I get a cancellation notice. It is not about the money. It is about the inconvenience and the commitment I make. I could have stayed in Lethbridge and worked all day today to get more done. Oh well it is nice to have the day off and finish my budget and relax my muscles. To name a few sore spots- Toes are cut from toenail jamming into side of toe, splinter in palm and finger starting to fester, my playground knee injury has been hit and the skin peeled off again, my lower back muscle is very sore, and my shoulders are extremely tight. Other than these minor injuries I am feeling great, glad I accomplished what I did, happy with the job ( except my one wall which I will fix) and looking forward to a relaxing day.

Started up the auxiliary air conditioner as the next week temperatures are hitting over 30. Summer is here.

Doing the budget I had some not so good surprises.  Our gas bill in May was $1175.00. To many trips to Edmonton, one camping trip and Lethbridge plus driving back and forth to golf. That is close to double what I budget for and we haven’t even started to use the motor home as of yet. It was one of those months with some big unexpected charges. $2500 a/c repair in Mesa, the gas bill, a car repair bill of $550, and a large food bill filling up the motorhome for the season. Just larger expenses than I hoped for and thought of. Bring me the crackers. LOL  That is two months in a row where we spent about 3K more each month than planned. Good thing for the rise in the TSX.

Thought of the Day

Call me crazy but the day after working hard and struggling to get out of bed makes me happy as I know I must have did something worthwhile. Sore muscles happy pain.

June 6- June  ( will see)

Loaded up the boat motor on my new stand that Fred and with Mel’s help built for me. Works wonderful and I can load it myself and remove the motor myself very easily. I like it. I would like to find a full cover though to protect the engine from dirt and road grime. Haven’t seen a full one yet. Loaded up the boat. My home made roof rack works perfectly but the boat still does make me huff and puff to get it up on the roof. By myself it is ok but with someone else it is very easy. Hooked up the Jeep ( I would have liked to wash both first but ) and I am set to go in the morning. I am golfing this afternoon with Jeff and then will leave in the morning.

Gone fishing

Gone fishing

 

 

 

I am back.  I had a wonderful few days , got a lot of work done, some amazing fishing in, some great camping in, a nice visit with Jess, Pen and August and some relaxing time in.

What a wonderful night for golf. First there was no one on the course and the temperature was a warm 27 degrees. It was one of those fun nights. Both Jeff and I golfed quite well but just didn’t score well. I had an 89 and Jeff a 98 but both were at least 5- 10 strokes higher than the way we played. Jeff had all 14 drives go perfect long and straight. This was the first time I have played TV in a long time where I only lost one ball off the tee in the woods. We both just screwed up putting and chipping on. But a fun night and getting better with improvement happening. I want to golf consistently low 80’s with the spattering of 70’s to be really happy. On the course Jeff brought up an interesting point. For everyone that knows me I try to be as positive as possible with most things. On my nemesis hole I made a negative comment as every time I have played that hole I have screwed up. He caught me and great as I really do believe things happen as per your thoughts. I laugh when people pull out a water ball when they have to cross water. The negative thought right of the bat in a lot of cases is the subliminal message to the brain to hit it into the water. Just play it like there is no water. I know for sure next time I play that hole I will be thinking straight down the middle.

 

June 7th

Started to finish getting ready around 8 am. Packed up the few clothes I needed as the temperatures the next few days are record setting. In fact, yesterday we set a 60-year-old record and today and the rest of the week are supposed to be warmer. I can see thunderstorms in the near future. LOL. I love to watch and listen to these as long as there is no damage from winds, hail, or strikes. Filled the motorhome with water as Park Lake doesn’t have that at each site. Got ready and started out but only got about 10 blocks and I had to turn around as I forgot my fishing license. On the road again and driving this motorhome is a dream. Easily cruise at 110 kms pulling the Jeep and boat. Looked down at my outside temperature gauge and watched it as every ½ hr it kept rising until it hit 36 degrees.  Nice easy drive to Park taking about 2 hours start to finish. On arrival the campsite is 90 percent empty except for the public beach which was packed. Every Lethbridge Mom had her young out of school age kids here. It does sound wonderful, all of the kids having a fun time swimming and playing in the sand. It is wonderful beach area. They should haul in some sand as the beach is gravel sand mix. Dump a few loads and people would be happy. I drove up and down to find a spot I wanted. If it hadn’t been so warm I would have had lakeside but they don’t have power so chose one across the roadway. Lakeside doesn’t offer boating tie up as the edge of the lake has huge boulders all around it. But my site about 100 yards away has an entry point with no rocks I will use this as my dock area. It will be a test to launch. To exit more than a test. LOL

I stopped at my site and started working in the heat. Funny no matter how much you drink you still feel dehydrated. Levelled, slides out, organized inside, pulled out the BBQ and chairs and tables and fixed things up. I cleaned the BBQ as it was incredibly dirty which I don’t like. Wire brush, sos pad and paper towel plus 20 min on high it turned out just fine. It is snowing. Literally the fluff from the poplar trees is incredible. Good thing fuzz doesn’t bug people with allergies.  Had to keep taking a small break as I worked as it was just too hot. The trees are a little to close so I can’t open my awning but I am parked the perfect angle to shade the side of the unit. Interesting if I will need to go to the washroom lots tonight with the amount of water and pop I drank.

Started the a/c and fantastic fans to cool the inside off. Then I started to work on the boat. My homemade boat carrier and the engine stand work perfect. I can unload and load relatively easy. Relative being the key word. Unloaded the boat, installed the seat, installed the motor, greased the leg, and put my fishing stuff in the boat. Ready for the fish in the morning. It took me an incredible long time to accomplish this. I don’t know why?

 

Checked and still 35 degrees at 5pm so I headed into Lethbridge to fix that one wall that wouldn’t allow me to sleep as I kept thinking about it. Stopped at Cdn Tire and bought a cheap small square for the few corners where I can’t use my inside angle tool. I fixed that wall but have a bottom piece that will need to be cut off with the sawsall before drywall. I am happy with all of the walls. One wall is out a bit due to me using the outside wall as reference tool. It was out so overall I am pleased and don’t know of any reason for a permit not to go ahead. Problem with inspectors they are usually like our Sheriff’s Department. They wanted to be a cop but couldn’t quite cut it. Want to be’s. Inspectors take a very short course, read a few regulations and become know-it-alls and pull all kinds of power trips. Similar to border guards they have too much power. Anyone dealing with these guys knows you have to be on your best behavior and hope they are having a good day. An inspection Friday afternoon is good as they want to get home and just go OK.

Temperature at 36 degrees at 6pm. Everything I want done for now is done. If it does start to cool I might install our shelter and curtains to see how they work. Right now just sitting outside in the shade looking at the flat cool blue water of the lake enjoying myself before starting to cook supper. Love BBQ’s suppers.

The perfect way to start the day at 7am on water

The perfect way to start the day at 7am on water

You could see yourself in the water it was so smooth

You could see yourself in the water it was so smooth

My boat is cute.  It is smaller and with its little engine that could it just looks cute. Now yes I would like a big manly boat but I couldn’t make any use of it with the motorhome and having to pull the Jeep. So I am glad I bought it as I have had a lot of fun with it and will in the future. With two people a breeze with one it can be done.

Supper time, BBQ getting warm.

Sat outside in the warmth until about 10pm. The mosquitos started to come out about 9pm. Heading in the a/c was still working to keep it cool. I opened a few windows as a small breeze had started and used the fantastic fans which worked perfectly.

Love sleeping in the country with the sounds, smells and cooler air coming in the open windows.  I slept very well and didn’t have many bathroom breaks at all.

Thought of the Day

You know fishing is all about knowing how to wiggle you worm

 

June 8th

Nice sized fish

Nice sized fish

Weather forecast was supposed to be another hot day here in paradise so I thought I would get up early and fish before the heat. Up at 6:30 am which for me is early. Had a wonderful breakfast and got ready. The launch turned out to be very easy. The exit will be not so much but I will worry about that later. What a beautiful morning. The Loons were calling, birds singing and I hit the glass like lake. This is the life. The motor started first crank right away which made me very very happy. Coughed a bit then away she went running perfectly.  After getting everything

I had to stop trying to take pictures or my phone would have been over the side. This is a larger fish

I had to stop trying to take pictures or my phone would have been over the side. This is a larger fish

done I was ready to start fishing about 7:30 am. Within 10 minutes I caught my first fish. Always like that feeling no matter what size as then you didn’t get skunked. That is the fun of fishing when you feel that little tug on the line not knowing if it is a weed or bite and then when the fish hits it feels awesome. I was kept quite busy, tying knots on spider wire (pain in the ass), lost hook in weeds, going around in circles hooking up while not noticing but especially busy taking off fish. A whack of them the same size around the 4 pounds which is still a nice size fish. I have caught smaller. I caught 8 fish in the first two hours with a couple being around the 8 pound mark. My scale battery died but it was a good size. Then it slowed down a bit but catching 10 pike between 8 and noon is pretty good fishing as I lost or shook off the hook right at the boat another 4 or 5. The only big Pike I saw was awesome. I had one of those smaller fish on and about 10 ft away from the boat a large pike attacked my hooked smaller fish. I watched the whole thing unfold right beside the boat. I was hoping to land a two for one but no such luck. Vicious fish though.

I tried to take a few pictures of the fish but between trying to hold the rod, find the camera on the phone etc I gave up. I didn’t want to drop my camera in the lake.I have a few including one where I missed the fish in the picture. LOL  If I would have caught a large one I would have got one for sure somehow.

Came back to the motorhome for lunch and relax a bit. The heat is not happening today as the cloud cover has kept it at bay which is nice. But the mosquitoes are out also. Docked my boat in my private launch pad and had a bite to eat. Then for the first time I had a shower in our motorhome. It is nice. Big, neo-angle and for me works perfect. The shower head is made for a 5 ft 10in boy size but I bend down well. The vanity mirror opens as I am in the shower and works perfect as a shaving mirror. We will start using this more often as it is very nice. Loved it.

Relaxed a bit, tried for a cat nap and then hit the lake again. Where there are small ones there has to be big ones you would think. I would take 10 pounders plus as they look good and fat.

Still a wonderful day but not sunny. It was warm but overcast and calm. Launched the boat again and back to fishing. Within 5 minutes another 4-5 pounder or so. Fun but I want big. I changed my hook, I started this morning with a Len Thompson 00, and moved all the way up to 2 but was still catching the smaller ones but losing a few with bites or near the boat as it was a little too big. I changed to a larger plug but didn’t get any bites. Looking to the south I saw rain clouds and white hills in the far sight. I remembered what happened to Larry & I last time when a wicked storm came up. I stayed nearer my landing spot, looked at my phone which said “rain to start at 3:30” so I trolled only a few 100 yards away from my docking station. Then the wind started. All of sudden and hard. You got to love Lethbridge. Within two minutes we had 50 k winds and rain. I headed to shore as fast as a 5hp engine can do which trust me is relatively slow. LOL . Made it, only getting slightly wet with waves starting to white cap. My spot is very protected for my boat so I pulled up to shore ¾ of the ways and headed back to the RV. I think the fishing is done for today. Hopefully it stops raining as it isn’t worth Jess & Pen to come in the rain. I do see the sun peeking thru again though. I hear that low roar of bass music from a young couple sitting in a truck overlooking the lake. That sound immediately gets to me. It is annoying. I know as a teenager I listened to loud music but it was music with a tune and lyrics not just a bass pounding away. The truck is too small to dance in. What could they be doing?  It’s not Barry White so I don’t know? Raining lightly and still very windy. Relaxing though and interesting to see the waves and trees just rocking. I was going to set up my new tent but that doesn’t look in the cards. I love heat but yesterday’s 37 was too warm. Today if no wind or rain is a beautiful temperature.

Very windy but to be expected in Lethbridge

Very windy but to be expected in Lethbridge

Wind and black clouds with thunder in the distance started so I texted Jess and said let’s try tomorrow night for a picnic. Good thing to as the wind never stopped and the rain came. Not heavy though but a passing storm with rain stopping and starting every ½ hour or so. Click the link to hear and see the wind.

https://goo.gl/photos/VxYkEgRz2CUWT9Ko6

I made myself the perfect camping supper. Fried canned potatoes, Johnson sausages, creamed corn and garlic bread. I went to have a salad with it but forgot to bring the dressing. Love the outdoor camping meals. And I didn’t even get wet. The rain we did get and will get perhaps will keep the fluff down on the ground instead of in the air.

Funny how spontaneous mothers are. Yesterday 100 mother’s with kids at the beach today not one. I was the only one on the water all day. I saw one guy casting from the shore on the north end but other than that it was quiet.

The sky was black and light drizzle and four young teenagers decide to float the lake. They sounded like they were having fun. They had one of those huge 8 person floatables.

Teenagers are daring. This group of 2 guys and 2 girls in a rubber dingy on the water with it thundering outside. With a light mist, thunder, and wind they are taking a chance. The nice thing about Park Lake is worst case scenario if in the center of the lake it is only about a ½ mile each way which most people could swim. Their music box was blasting and they were a partying.

Jeep and blue tarp for wind protection

Jeep and blue tarp for wind protection

Park Lake is a very nice place but the lake isn’t the best. This is just the beginning of June and already the weeds have reached the top. Perhaps that is why there are so many Jacks in the lake but you can’t troll. You need to find a spot and cast. Every second cast is a weed. But the results, fishing is good. The campground is very nice with heavily treed sites and newer site that have small trees but are still nice. At least the spacing is decent in the new area. In the older area there is a long way between sites with large poplar trees. Nice playground for the kids.

Searched thru the 100 dvd/vcr we have in the motorhome and they are all kid movies. I should have rented one or so. I found one I will try with Glen Close and Whoopee in it that looks like from the 80’s and is a grownup movie. It is called “In the Glooming”. It is still raining so will give it a shot. Turned out to be a good movie. Time to read now.

I do like the sound of rain on the roof. Don’t like the sound of a branch slapping the outside of the motorhome every once in a while. Perhaps the wind will die down soon

Another wonderful day. Have I said I love being retired? The only way to make this better is if Jackie was here but in another two weeks we head to Jasper for a fantastic trip I have booked which will be great.

Speaking of Jasper, my sister is trying to arrange a family get together as our niece will be returning from Korea in a couple of months. Unfortunately, Corey & Victoria along with Jackson are participating in the Spartan race that weekend. While the adults are running we will be watching and taking care of Jackson in his event. It is too bad as it would have been nice to see Kayla and the family but things happen. It may have been a no go anyways as it looks like the location is Jasper. 6 hours for us and Victoria and an 8 hour drive for Jessica for a weekend trip we wouldn’t have gone anyways. It is too bad it wasn’t organized somewhere in between but it is what it is. We could have had a day trip had it being closer. Hopefully Kayla has a good visit. Hopefully we see her next time.

Thought of the Day

Two things pop into my head. Location, Location and Timing and Timing. Well that is four but you get what I mean.

June 9th

It rained off and on most of the night. It is nice sound in your camper. It remained windy for most of the night. I got up early again, had my breakfast and headed out on the lake. It was breezy but manageable for a while and then I had to give up. The whitecap waves are just too big for my wittle boat. Looking at my phone they said 35 kms winds. I believe them. To windy.  It looks like it a no fish day as the winds are supposed to be here all day. I think I will attempt to load the boat. Too bad.

I managed fairly well get the boat out of the lake. I slipped on the slope up a few times but a few heavy grunts and I managed to get the wheels spinning and was able to pull it to the road. I was happy. Such a warm day with the smell of cow manure in the air and the sounds of the breeze through the trees and I had to pull out of the water. Even a larger boat it wouldn’t have been great as you would be trying to hold onto your hat every minute instead of concentrating on fishing.

I cleaned this up, organized this, and worked on the complete loading of the boat and engine. Everything went well. Only one small injury as my wheel came down on my finger. Yes, I swore as it hurt. No cut but swollen a bit and painful. Just keeps you on your toes. Got it all loaded and organized and decided to have a bite to eat and then head into Lethbridge to see how the plumber is making out and install a few post caps. I met with the plumber Tim. Big guy at 6ft 4in and muscular. Extremely nice guy and fun to talk to. He liked the framing which was good. He had a little difficulty with the tub connection but got it done. He suggested that the tub should have been installed with the foot of it up against the exterior wall. After seeing how he plumbed it I agree but we still would have an odd wall in the bathroom due to the stack location. His plumbing for the wash chair worked out perfect. He says he is cutting a fine line with the amount of slope but is positive it will pass inspection. I used 2 x4 instead of 2 x 6 for the step up as it is an easier step up for clients and Penny. All is good. He even is going to come back to hook up everything and supply the vanity and toilet as he can buy wholesale. That saves me a lot of work. The electrician is coming on Monday to do his thing. So the project is progressing well. After the electrician it is inspection time and then the drywall.

Solution fixed it up pretty good

Solution fixed it up pretty good

I installed my made post caps and am happy with the result. It was the only solution I could think of to make the fence look as good as possible. With a dark stain on the posts I am sure you will not be able to tell the add-ons. It looks 100 % better.

On the way back to the campground I stopped at Walmart for some whipped cream for my pumpkin pie when Jess & Pen come out. Getting out of the truck two younger ladies yell at me “Love your boat” Now over the years I have had numerous shout outs about my cars. Before marriage a fancy car was a great pickup tool. I even had a shout out one time on my Ram when at an Indian Reservation Gas store a middle age Native Canadian women says in the that unique accent “Nice Truck” as I was walking into the store. But first time for everything. The ladies thought it was “awesome” and they asked where I got it from etc as they wanted their husbands to get one. Funny !

LOVE the new fire pit and a great visit from Jess Pen and August

LOVE the new fire pit and a great visit from Jess Pen and August

Got back and cleaned up and brought out my fire pit for the wiener roast tonight. It is awesome.! Nice pit ! I love it and even with the wind it will work out great. I blocked off the wind with my truck as much as possible but it is still windy. Added a blue tarp to block more wind and not bad. If August was walking it would be great so we will need to hold him most of the time. Wieners and beans, the magical fruit the more you eat the more you toot !  The fire pit is amazing. This is a prefect purchase. Long flames, great heat and we were able to cook our dogs fast and without getting all smoky. I will be using this a lot. Jess & Pen liked it. We took August to the lakeside and he enjoyed the wind and seeing the waves. The water according to my depth finder is 68 degrees which is warm for this time of year. It was a nice picnic supper with the girls and August.

Had a visit from a neighboring camper and talked about the boat and the fishing. He was shocked the lake had so many fish in it. They say perch and walleye but I have yet to see one of these. Walleye will usually bite on a normal spoon but perch not so much. If it wasn’t for the weeds this would be one of my favorite spots. I really lake Crawling Valley also which I will go back to.

Good thing for the wind as there is not one mosquito. They must be smart because if they take off the ground they would be in Ontario carried by the wind in two minutes. They must just bunker down in the grass and wait for the winds to subside. Could get hungry. LOL

Hey I only have one wiener stick. I remember last year someone breaking my other one when they were using it as a poker in the fire. Darn I will need to remember to get another one.

Found another stick and the poker one from last year. Lucky us.

The girls left so I started to put a few things away to leave less in the morning to do. A good day !

Thought of the Day

Dear Lord  

Grant me the serenity to accept the size of fish I catch, the courage not to lie about it, and the wisdom to know none of my fishing buddies would believe me anyways. Amen

June 10th

That fresh air thru the window along with the country quiet is wonderful. Had a wonderful sleep again. Up at a more normal time this morning, had a great campers breakfast and then started to store and organize everything. It does take a while to get everything done. My plan is to go into Lethbridge and finish a bit of the basement I had left.

Arrived at the house and entered. The alarm started and it is fairly loud. I talked to the alarm company thru their monitor and appeased them it was ok for me to be there. They contacted Penny also to verify. Checked what I needed and headed to the Home Depot. I have bought thousands and thousands of dollars of product from Home Depot (Totem used to get my business) and the Lethbridge store is the worst store I have ever dealt with. Looking for a sawsall blade. They have about 20 choices and with 10 empty hooks. Trust it that the ones I wanted were out of stock. Looked at drill bits and there were more empty hooks than full ones. Went to the electrical department to pick out pot lights. You couldn’t find a clerk in the store to ask a question. Luckily the vendors had enough p.o.p. material I figured out their terminology. Fancy small ones for $160 bucks or the 5” contractor pack for$89.  Pak was my choice. Next department was the tool rental as I needed to fix three bathroom walls to the floor. The clerk gets the Ramset and brings it to the counter. I ask for one cylinder of shots which is about 10. They don’t have any shot. The clerk says the tool department may have some go to aisle 14. I must have missed something in customer service. He asks me to go there instead of helping the situation and getting them himself and bringing them back to his department. I went to Aisle 14 and a clerk from the tool department (and a nice guy) checked and wouldn’t you know it they are out of stock. The store inventory levels look like a place going out of business. The store manager should be embarrassed if not fired. They need to seriously look at the ordering process, and at staff training. I give Home Depot Lethbridge a 2 out of 10.  Large companies like this really don’t care about one disgruntled customer. I remembered a rental place from the wedding we used and headed there. WARD RENTALS in Lethbridge deserves your business. They had the gun, they had the shot that goes with the gun and they have unbelievable customer service and friendly staff. You can’t beat a ma and pa store. And they were less money than Depot.

Nailed the remaining walls and used the sawsall to cut out the door opening plates, overhanging headers and fix up the flooring and studs jutting out on the staircase for drywall. Looks good!

I had some special rice that Penny made that was supposed to be healthy for you. First it was awesome she made it for me, second it was quite good in tasting and third I can’t spell the word, pronounce the word or most likely never will have it again. Like I said you wonder why rice eaters are so short. You malnutrition someone their whole life they just don’t grow.

All finished up and headed home. It was a great trip. Awesome fishing, fun picnic with August, Penny and Jessica, finished the basement to the degree possible, great weather except the wind and a relaxing enjoyable time.

Click on this link to see a few a short video. Double click on the movie.

https://goo.gl/photos/dXPqGFYChpcfPqqH7

Thought of the Day

Keep rolling your eyes, maybe you will find a brain back there. lol

June 11th

Unpacked everything. Put away my boat motor. Reorganized the storage area to make everything fit. Relaxed. Watched a movie with Jackie called “Bad Grandpa” with Robert De Nero . You would hope with his talent it would be a good movie. I would give it 2 stars out of 5. It has a very recognizable storyline that could be funny but the director concentrated on vulgarity instead of real comedy. It wouldn’t recommend to anyone to watch it . It has it’s funny parts but really isn’t a very good movie. Throw in some slapstick, some nudity and some funny lines and they may had a movie. I think Robert took the role or the bucks as it isn’t something that would look good on a resume. Had a breakfast for supper which I always like. Throw in a bit of HGTV and call it a day/night.

Thoughts of the Day

Now that I have longer hair I really don’t need a hair stylist as my pillow gives me a new style every morning.

June 12th

Up early, Jackie made our smoothies and then off to work. The weather was forecast to be good today but it was windy again. It also kept a lot of golfer away again from the course. I feel for businesses that are so depended on the weather. So today the GM asked me to not only Marshall but do the poker chip program with the golfers. I loved this as I get to meet every group and have a lot of fun with them. It made the day very enjoyable. I met some very interesting people, had a lot of fun with them and saw some pretty golfers along with a lot of new golfers. FUN DAY !

Thought of the Day

A husband and wife were arguing all day. As they were walking they passed by a field full of asses. The wife says ” Relatives of yours”  The husband responds ” Yes they are my in-laws”

June 13th

Lots on the go today. First had to have my smoothie. The off to pick up my night/day pleated shade for the motorhome. $120 to fix but a lot less than a new one. Well putting this on turned out to be fun. You take something apart and three weeks later try to remember the sequence backwards it doesn’t happen. Finally got the order and pieces all figured out and hung it. I hate blinds and the system. I had to use UTUBE to try to find a way to make this thing work but I am 90 % happy. On our Jasper trip I may fine tune it.

Then off to Shoppers to check to see if I have a refill left as I don’t want to make a doctor’s appointment. Luckily I had three more months left so picked them up after waiting for about 1/2 hour. Went to the Depot to check on drywall lift rental pricing , screw gun pricing and to look at a roto zip to cut our receptacles. Have that all marked down as the drywall is to be delivered on Thursday. Each one of these cuts the time by a lot and makes the job a lot easier. I can rent the first two but will need to buy the zip. Perhaps Jess and Vic will split the cost and Cor can have it and use it after for his basement in the future. Off to Safeway for a card and flowers for Jackie to have for the morning. I looked at the Depot, Cdn Tire and Princess at the drywall cutout saws and the Depot has the best deal that includes the special drywall bits.

Made an appointment for the Wrangler with a new company. They sent out a coupon flyer and it will save me a lot of money. I need a wheel alignment and a a/c recharge. The wheel alignment is my fault as you cant back up with a two bar behind the motorhome and I had one incident where I had no choice when you put force sideways on a tire it isn’t good. Easy fix though. The a/c is troublesome. The Jeep is 4 years old and I have charged the a/c 3 times now. Each time they say nothing wrong but come back from Arizona and blows warm air. This new garage has special instructions to scrutinize this very carefully.

My phone app keeps bringing up “excessive heat warning from Mesa” so my new a/c will be getting it’s workout there. It was 37 degrees yesterday.

Drove out to Turner Valley for our weekly golf game. It was another beautiful night. According to the forecast it was supposed to be windy but we got very lucky with there only being a breeze and a little stronger breeze most of the night not affecting our play to much at all. Both of  us played well but just didn’t score. I was extremely happy with my drives as I didn’t lose one ball off the drive which is a rarity at TV.  The odd bad chip and a few to many putts. We finished in 3:30 minutes so it was a great paced game. Jeff ended up with a 95 and I had a 87 but the same as last week it felt and was a lot better than that, just got burned a few times.

Isn’t funny why the short guys always think they are tough. Short man syndrome is real. I drove my ball up on another group in front of us and the guy is gesturing and pointing like mad. He was 30 something and maybe only 30 something inches tall. LOL  Full of energy though. I wonder if the assault charge is worse if I hit a ungrown man ! Even though he was 30 the judge may consider it a child in both size and behavior.  ( this is why I liked Chad from the Bachelorette)

Another fun night !

Thought of the Day

Short people are so mean, bitchy and boisterous as they are just a little closer to hell.

June 14th

Wow ! Today is Jackie and I’s 36th Wedding Anniversary.

One of the questions that always comes up when talking about anniversaries is how did you meet.

Here is our story.

I was a dashingly good looking ( good genes)muscular ( lifted weights every night) tall guy (good genes)with a fancy car( 1969 Nova SS & 1967 Camaro RS/SS). She saw me and I melted her heart. She rushed to me with longing eyes wanting just a moment to look at me and touch my hand. We had the perfect romantic love story and rest is history.

Real story-

I was a country boy coming into the big city all of the time for the girls and parties. Yes I did have one of the nicest if not the nicest car in the west end of Edmonton. I polished it everyday. I

My 1967 Camaro RS/SS Black, white striping,front rotor brakes,rear folding seat, 12 bolt posi rare rare factory options.

My 1967 Camaro RS/SS Black, white stripes,front rotor brakes,rear folding seat, 12 bolt posi rare rare factory options.

would attend these west end parties and I noticed Jackie at a few of them. She caught my eye and I had to ask a mutual friend Keith Harry about her. A few weeks later we were at the same party again and being the somewhat of a smart ass I am, I said to her ” Why don’t you take your coat off and stay a while” It did not go over well. I said this knowing she was small breasted and trying to cover up a bit. A couple of meetings later all with not so good results also, only increased my curiosity about her. Unbeknownst to me she thought I was a just a smart ass and didn’t really care for me.  How could that be ? To me she was beautiful. Fantastic long hair that later I found out takes hours to become that way, a super figure with a tiny waist, nice butt and small perky breasts. She never wore a bra which more than made up for any lack of abundance. A few weeks later I got my nerve up asked Keith for her phone number and contacted her for a date.  Odd enough she accepted which surprised me. She didn’t exactly give any indications that this would happen. That was my Oprah moment when I realized I need to be a salesman as I am just that good.

Four days before our big first date a drunk T Boned my beloved 1969 Nova SS and I had to scramble to find a way to pick up Jackie to take her to this party we had planned. I found a 1963 Pontiac in the paper in Spruce Grove for $50. Took a look at it and went for it. I had to pour used forktruck engine oil in it every day as the engine leaked like a sifter. The odd time at a stop light I had to run out and hit the battery post to re start it.  We went on our date and at least I could be very sure she didn’t want to go on the date because of my fancy car or money. LOL

Dating Jackie was a challenge. Her Mom thought I was too old for her ( 3-4 yrs older depending on time of year) and her Dad made me have her at home by 11pm for at least a year.

Our wedding was all planned and organized by Jackie. She did an amazing job. On our wedding morning Jackie & I were out putting the decorations on our wedding car ourselves. We had a nice sized wedding with about 120 guests for supper and 250 for the reception. My family took up 1/2 of that space.  I had two great friends as our bartenders Jim Kruse and Darrell Desault. We had keg beer for our wedding.  They did an amazing job in sharing the beer with our guests. LOL

A couple funny stories from our wedding:

  1.   At the wedding one of our friends who happened to be Keith’s old girlfriend got a little drunk. She for whatever reason continued to bug me to dance and both Jackie and her Dad had words with her. Her angry drunk comments as she was hustled away and trying to grab me were ”  I could have had him ! “
  2. We left the reception to go to the hotel and I thought for sure we were being followed. I was speeding down back roads, turning corners fast to lose the followers. Turned out when we arrived at the hotel all of my relatives were staying at the same place.
  3. After the present opening we arrived back at our hotel again late at night. We go up to our room and we hear noises in our room. Immediately we are thinking friends are wrecking it for us. Jackie wings open the door and shouts ” Ok you guys what is going on in here ?”  Here was a naked couple in our bed. They pulled up those covers so fast we didn’t see anything.Turns out the front desk rented out our room in error. Long story short they stole Jackie’s fancy negligee which the hotel offered us money to replace and gave us another room free. I can’t imagine what was going thru the couple mind as we burst in.
  4. I used Gary Leedahl’s company car as our wedding car. For months after every time he turned on the defrost or a/c, confetti would come blowing out of the vents.

 

It has been a wonderful 36 years. Raised two beautiful daughters. Enjoyed some great vacations, family times, and friendships.  I am hoping for at least another 25 years. Remember I don’t want to be old and decrepitate. I want to live NOW and not live too long to become something I do not want to be.

Love you Jackie.  Here is short capture of our love.

Our Start 1980

Our wedding day 1980

25th anniversary

25th anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 50th birthday

My 50th birthday

How could I resist ?

My Edmonton Sun Shine Girl

This is the guy that she couldn't resist. I was 19 years old then

This is the guy that she couldn’t resist. I was 19 years old then

Jackie Christmas present

See what good Christmas present I can buy ! The perfect fit .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackie hula

Practicing Hula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have three favorite restaurants I like to go to. Boston Pizza, Olive Garden and The Keg ! Tonight is the Keg. Ceasers, stuffed potatoe and steak. Awesome !

 

 Thought of the Day

Marriage advice:

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home , and the husband make his wife sad to see him leave.

June 15th

Up and out the door early to take my Wrangler into the shop. It needed a front end alignment which was all my fault as I had to reverse when hooked up to the motorhome and the wheels were at an angle. Easy fix and they corrected. Hopefully don’t have that happen again. Now the a/c. The Jeep is 4 yrs old now and has a recharge this being the third time. I got unlucky getting a mechanic that didn’t due his due diligence and now after warranty am stuck with a $2000 bill for a new a/c evaporator condenser. 9 hours labour to the dash out to  fix. I said recharge it and hope it lasts the season. For $129 and it lasts for 4-5 months I will get it recharged every year for the next ten years.  Don’t know the affect I will have on the air quality. lol

baseball medal

Wow a medal in Tee ball. Jackson loves it and rightly so getting the best hot on his team tonight

baseball team

Corey on the bench with the kids. Now that is being organized having the batting order in sequential order like the uniforms.

Baseball

Jackson being coached on the throw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met an older gentleman who wanted to golf so we went out together to Rivers Edge while the vehicles were being repaired. Nice guy. It has been a long time since I played this course. I like it. Longer than Turners silver tee from the blue tees and a lot easier due to open fairways allows a little bit better score. Even in todays wind. Had a great time and the shuttle picked up right at the clubhouse. Sweat heart of a deal. I can’ t play courses like this to much as my cap will get to low to make any money at TV.

Did my Costco run and headed home for supper. After supper we went and watched an exciting game of Tee ball starring Jackson. It is a lot of fun watching the kids having a blast and not really concentrating on the game at all. Funny to watch.

Jackson enjoyed that we were there to watch.

Thought of the Day

Dear Lord, first you took my favorite musician, Prince. Then you took my favorite boxer, Mohammed Ali and now you have taken my favorite hockey player Gordie Howe. Do you know that my favorite politician is Rachel Notley ?

June 16th

Up real early this morning for my men’s league golf game. I have had a pain in my hip off and on for a long time but it usually doesn’t bother me. Today I grimaced every time I hit the ball. It was very painful and caused a limp. Worst I could not golf with the pain and ended up with a 93. A painful 93.  I have to have this fixed before golfing again.So I have other than walking a week off golfing that hopefully the hip muscle will repair itself as not to effect my game. Short irons and putter no pain but long irons and driver extreme pain. Worst part is my cap keeps getting higher instead of lower. Two times a week golfing it may not be enough. I was shooting consistently high 70’s low 80’s now I am hitting mid 80’s to low 90’s at TV. Play another course like Riversedge or Heatherglen it is low. I have to  play a whole round without shooting three from the tee.

June 17th

Off to Lethbridge this morning to drywall the basement.  Then off to Jasper for a explore Alberta adventure. Looking forward to that.  I will post most likely before I leave and then when we get back.

camping

 

We arrived in Lethbridge Friday am to start putting up drywall. Home Depot screwed up on the delivery date but the manager was extremely helpful and moved around out of town deliveries to get our drywall delivered. Turned up later but it arrived. We moved the sheets from the drive way to the basement window to load it downstairs. Drywall is heavy as anyone that has worked with it knows. The two sheets together speeds up the loading but it does heavy.  I went into the basement to remove the sliders on the 54″ wide window. Unbelievable to me and still annoying AVONLEA Home to save a few bucks order single slider windows instaed of double sliders so we couldn’t use them to load. This should be code . Even a 48″ wide double works. I am still disappointed in the housing industry not being pro-active and consumer friendly.

So we had to load 40 some on sheets one at a time down a very narrow staircase to get the downstairs. A few bucks saving causing a lot lot of extra work.  It took over two hours to carry the drywall downstairs where it could have been 15 minutes with Avonlea spending a couple of hundred more dollars. I hope all window reps remember this and make sure to sell the double slider to every home builder at least 48″ wide as the drywall can be angled.  It is an easy sell !

We picked up the screw guns and lifter at 7am at WARDS Rentals in Lethbridge. Great company. We started at 8am putting drywall up. First let me say this is the first time I have used a lifter and I would suggest no one put up drywall without one.  Between the lifter, screw gun and rotozip we saved hours and did a lot better job. We had a 20 min lunch break and 30 minute supper break and worked a full 16 hour day. We did not finish ! Only one sheet that wasn’t cut right. I was surprised at the length of time but there is a lot of cutting measuring and screwing. It will take another full day to complete with all of the staircase, closets etc. That is a tiring day ! Corey is fantastic to work with and with Penny’s help along with Jackie as a fill in it went pretty well. Penny is strong !  Corey did excellent for the first time using a rotozip. We made two errors but thinking it about really only one. The zip missed the edge and we will need the mudder to fill in about a 1/2 on one side of a plug. The other was not staggering the wall joints in the bedroom on a wall. Then thinking about drywall can be installed vertically or horizontally so if vertical there would be a full seam down the 8ft anyways. Other than that great job , tiring job.

Jackson and August had a lot of fun playing together. August tries to copy everything Jackson does. This are two cute boys !

These kids are cute !!! August and Jackson playing cops and robbers

These kids are cute !!!
August and Jackson playing cops and robbers

Fathers Day was awesome. I received a book, a magazine and a card from Jessica & Penny and a card with photos from Victoria & Corey. I also had tickets for a baseball game but decided to visit with Alan & Maryann and Peter and rest. Had KFC which is one of my favorite lunches.

Leaving in the morning and no internet in the campsite. Upon return I am heading up north to go fishing so it maybe a bit before I get a chance to load . I bring my laptop and write offline.

June 20th   to June 26th

 

Got up early again. What is up with this? No retired guy should be up so early. Organized the Jeep, put the bike rack on the back and loaded the bikes. They were a little dusty. Headed out to the motorhome and hooked up and drove back to the condo. I filled up with water as Jackie was getting the clothes and food ready from the fridge. Jasper Whistler Park has power but no water or sewer on the site we booked. We originally booked a site with a fire pit when Larry & Anita had planned to come.  A quick stop at Sobeys and we were off. I took the 22x highway and then connected to Hwy 1. I filled up with gas at the Cochrane turnoff. Filling up numerous rigs was the first large American RV caravan I have seen for years. They all had a yellow sticker in the window with the caravan’s name on it. These where the “normal” guys with 5th wheels, Class A and Class B’s and no 500K units. What was neat was the fact they were all from different states and travelling together. Neat to see all in one spot or moving down the highway as a group. Between Canmore and Calgary we hit road construction. I would bet we travelled at 5 kms per hour for at least 50 kms or more. To say the least, it was a very relaxing drive on the highway and hilarious watching the impatient ones switching lanes back and forth to try to move quicker. We had a zipper merge a long way down the line so both lanes were moving fairly consistent.  Beautiful drive with the snowcapped mountain right in our windshield. Taking Highway 93 is just a pleasure. This is a wonderful road with some amazing lakes, streams and glaciers. Not forgetting Athabasca Falls and the Columbia Ice Fields. The road has some sections that are in need of repair but as it is a narrow and windy road with a 90 kms speed limit on it doesn’t seem too bad. I often wonder what the guy with 7 or 8 cars behind thinks when he looks in his mirror. He is just going to slow and it causes a lot of risk taking in the passing by a lot of people. In a large motorhome I ensure I am going just or over the limit and really don’t care about the people behind me. Usually I am one of the behind guys wishing the rental guy would pull over somewhere. But that’s just me!

Getting near the Columbia Ice Fields and having to climb the hill going north I was shocked.  First you can’t gather speed as you have to turn a corner just before the incline and second the limit is 60kms so you know someone will be in front of you doing just that. This hill is affectionately referred to as the “Big Hill” on the internet and has sections that are over 12% grade. I hit 80 kms just before and about half way up was down to 40 kms per hour with the pedal to the limit. All 496 cubic inches, 450 pounds of torque and 330 horsepower were maxed and I kept slowing down.  The revs weren’t up so I was using pure torque to keep going and I was losing.  I have a 24,000-pound unit, loaded with gear and a full tank of water pulling a 5,000-pound Jeep loaded with bikes and a full tank of gas up a steep hill, it hit its match. Engine temp stayed right perfect but ¾ of the way up the check trans temp light sounded. First let me say these Allison Transmissions are amazing. I love the grade brake. Turn on the brake button and hit the brakes and the engine will hold its speed very very well. The odd time on a steep decline it requires a bit harder braking but unbelievable system that works extremely well.  I have to read up on the temp light situation. You can’t stop on an incline as you would have no hope every of getting going again plus the fact this highway has very little shoulder. If you use a computer system to warn why not give me a gauge to look at and judge. We made it and I drove quite easy for a bit to let it cool down which it did within a few hundred yards of reaching the apex and the computer reset itself.

I was amazed at the rental RV’s on the road. Between CanadaDream, Adventure, Fraserway, and Cruise Canada I would say we saw at least and most likely more than 100 of the rental motorhomes on the road. The parking lot at the Columbia Ice Fields was packed. This is JUNE and on a Monday. Where are all these people from? Pulling into our campsite again in line for registration 10 rental units. Registered and drove to our site. Un hooked the Jeep and backed in. The rain hit. It poured! We were a little too close to the power box and not near level so we decided to eat and hope the rain stopped so we could level and push out the slides. Done! Jackie worked like a busy bee organizing everything and we are all set except for the BBQ etc. outside which I will do tomorrow in the sunshine, hopefully. Now to relax read my Cosmo and James Patterson book and enjoy the campground. It is the perfect wilderness campground. And it is FULL. Literally full. The site beside us which was reserved for Larry is the only open site in our circle.  Again this is June. Does everybody want to camp without school kids around?

Late last night a huge 40ft plus tri-axle filled the last spot in our circle. This thing is long. Pretty good driver maneuvering that monster around. As I said amazing this campground is full. Funny though as I asked at the kiosk about getting a power and water site and they are full until the 27th and then they have spots. So it reinforces my idea that campers like to get out before all of the school kids. We went for a walk last night and my hip still is incredibly sore. If it doesn’t get better soon when I get back from fishing next week I will need to see a doctor. Can’t golf with it!

Slept like a log last night not waking up until 9 am. The cold mountain air and quiet are wonderful. The cold air could be because Jackie keeps stealing the covers. LOL When I got up I turned on both furnaces to warm the place up. Hard to shave when you have goose bumps. Right behind us is a gov’t washroom that has flush toilets and hot running water. No showers. They are kept in immaculate shape. Plan is to go to the Ice Fields today. Pack a lunch and stop at Athabasca Falls. The weather is overcast but relatively warm so we are fine.

We had scattered showers on the way and it took its time to warm up. First time for everything. Heading down Hwy 93 at 105kms per hour (speed limit is 90kms) a rental car pulls out of a side road and puts the pedal to the metal and passes me on the right side. I have never had a person believe the shoulder is a lane to drive in. The little Asian women in a rental car had to believe it was a lane and she was in a hurry. She had to hit at least 130kms per hour as she left us in the dust. It took me by surprise and I was in disbelief at first. And we wonder why there are accidents! First time for everything.  I case I will need to check both mirrors at all times.

Haven't been here for at least 40 years and they are spectacular

Haven’t been here for at least 40 years and they are spectacular

DSCF1802Made it to the Ice Fields Centre. The lot was packed which I am still shocked by but the funniest thing is the dress of everyone. We had winter boots, toques, ear muffs, vests, double layered coats etc. Jackie had shorts on but was multi layered. Hey I am on a trip in June I don’t need that stuff. I get in line with shorts, sandals and a light jacket.  I did get some funny looks. We got our passes which I had pre-booked on a super special on line and headed to our bus. This special I saw advertised on TV gives us unlimited access for a year to the four major attractions in the parks. Our driver looked like 12 years old. He was funny as he was driving he said he just got his license and had practiced all day yesterday so everything should be fine. Turns out he was 18. Turns out every Brewster bus driver is very young. We headed to the base of the ice fields and transferred to our huge all terrain bus. A 6-wheel drive with about 44” tires 24” wide and a Mercedes engine with 700 horsepower. Amazing vehicle. Our driver was a young lady from Toronto named Ness

A tourist right in a our backyard at a world renowned attraction

A tourist right in a our backyard at a world renowned attraction

DSCF1813

Deep crevices and melting snow

who was extremely funny and an excellent host. I thought the “Big Hill” at 12 percent was bad, we climbed in this thing in low range down and up a 34 percent hill. Now that is steep. For those that don’t understand percent versus degree of grade here is the answer. A 12 percent grade is 7 degrees and a 34% is 19 degrees. (degrees=tan-1 (slope percent/100) The steepest road in North American is 35% in Pennsylvania. On most major highways you rarely see anything higher than 6 or 7 percent. At 6 percent and if it is long like some of the hills in BC you see a lot of over-heated vehicles sitting on the side of the road. TIP: turn off a/c and put heater on high as the core is an extra capacity radiator to help cool the engine.  In low range in our monster bus doing about 5 mph we did well. We got some ways on the ice field with a lot of narration from Ness which was interesting and were allowed out to walk around within reason. They had cones to keep people from falling into crevices and pools. This is where my sandals failed. The huge snow boots and fancy hiking boots worked well on the ice. Mine not so much as they had smooth bottoms so I had to be very careful in walking especially now with a bad hip. We saw three people fall down on the ice. I was not cold at all as it was 17 degrees out but should have had a better set of shoes on. A fun excursion worth every penny and a great experience in our

Amazing trip and the machines were awesome

Amazing trip and the machines were awesome

DSCF1821 DSCF1822 DSCF1823own back yard. It has been at least 50 years since I last saw up close the Columbia Ice Fields. On to another bus and up the highway 8 miles to see the Sky Walk. This is a glass bottomed platform overlooking three glaciers, a river, valley and waterfall.  A great presentation along the way explaining the terrain, the history and animals in the area. They even had a portable audio presentation you carried with you and pressed the button at each station to learn something new each time. We finally get to the platform. First let me say it is amazing how many scaredy-cats there are. Numerous kids, men and women not wanting to walk on this platform. It is 913 feet from the bottom so double the Calgary Tower and equal the Stratosphere in Vegas. It protrudes out at least 50 feet or more and makes a half circle back to the cliff. Nice engineering feat drilling the beams into the cliff to hold the weight. The glass looks about an inch thick. Anybody that knows Jackie knows this isn’t her thing. I will tell you she did amazing. She actually walked on the glass and looked down. She wouldn’t go all the way around but still did extremely well for her. I was glad she got up the courage. Jackie was amazing and I am proud of her as I know how she doesn’t like this type of thing.

It is a little spooky being so high but luckily for me it doesn’t bother me. I have a video I will try to load but as it is from my camera I am not sure it will work. But here are pictures of the proof of Jackie walking on glass. Perhaps it easier for men, as we walk on glass our whole married lives.  This is a 2 to 3-hour excursion that was a lot fun, informative and in our own backyard. The Japanese Tour buses, the American tourist and out of country and province tourist rave about it and rightly so as it is quite unique.  On our trip to the walk our driver

SHE DID It. She walked on the glass. This was a fun tour

SHE DID It. She walked on the glass. This was a fun tour

DSCF1830 DSCF1831 DSCF1832 DSCF1833

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

showed and informed us that right here in Alberta is the only spot in the continent of North America where we have a hydrological apex of the continent. The Snow Dome is the only place where when snow melts it can run into three different oceans depending on the river system it follows or all three if it could. The Arctic ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. That’s pretty amazing. It is also amazing that in 1844 when global warming is recorded to start (PS for you environmentalists, how many cars where around then, how many coal power plants were there) that the field has shrank from where the center is now to the about the ½ mile or mile back. Side note: the global warming and the shrinkage of the glacier is natural. Our rivers would be awful dry if it didn’t happen. But if we didn’t scare people how could we implement a carbon tax and have people accept it. Well for another 3 years anyways. I regress. Try this link and I am going to try a different way also to make this video work. Because it is funny !

https://videos.files.wordpress.com/OaQKzC4n/dscf1841_fmt1.ogv

Got back and had a wonderful BBQ’d supper. I love camping meals and the relaxed feeling of being outside. Set up my fire pit so we can enjoy the outside, have the heat from the pit and enjoy. One gentleman walking by shouts out. “Isn’t life wonderful”.  I couldn’t agree more.   I used our new anti-stick aluminum foil for my potatoes and man does that work. Either Terry, Jenny or Anita told us about this (I don’t remember who) and am I glad as it is amazing.  1 ½ thick pork chops from Costco and a salad and life is wonderful.

Sat outside to have supper and used our new fire pit. Lots of flame and heat and no smell of smoke except from the campers near us. I love this thing. I would use at least 20 bucks of wood per night and I believe I should get at least three nights out of one 20-pound cylinder. Very few bugs out which was nice also.  It started to drizzle and we pulled everything under the awning and enjoyed.

Went for a little walk around the circle but my hip is still really bothering me. It is starting to worry me as usually muscle pains diminish after one or two days. It is still a way too painful to golf with but still works for fishing. LOL

I am getting lucky this month as I have about 100 mb of data left to use on my plan so am using my phone for weather, etc. away more than usual.

 

Animal count so far: 4 Deer, 2 Elk, 1 squirrel and 20 Mountain Goats

Tomorrow our Maligne Lake and Spirit Island tour.

Slept in again as the mountain air is wonderful. Had our smoothies, made our lunch and readied ourselves for a trip to the other side of Jasper. We drove first to show Jackie the

The Fairmount Jasper Lodge

The Fairmount Jasper Lodge

Proof she walked on the bridges over the gorge

Proof she walked on the bridges over the gorge

DSCF1850

Proof she walked on the bridges over the gorge

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Fairmount Jasper Lodge which is wonderful. I stayed there during business meetings and it is spectacular with its hotel, private cabins, lake and flowers. The Queen stays here. We bought Peter & Carol a gift card for here years ago that they thoroughly enjoyed. The golf course is 50 yards away from the hotel and is a top rated and expensive course. It is nice but not worth as much as they charge at $199 per round. Captive audience and living off of past history. The whole Fairmount hotel, golf,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

meals are expensive but is an exceptional place for a one of some time.  We did our short tour and then headed up the highway. We are becoming just like Yellowstone Park where if anyone sees something a mass congregation of cars and people will happen even if it is in the middle of the road. Just to spot an elk or goat. It is quite funny. Our first stop was Maligne Canyon which is spectacular. I am sure as kids we saw even though I don’t remember it, but it is amazing. The gorge depth is incredible. What was equally amazing Jackie actually crossed two bridges over the gorge. Looking down it seems higher than the skywalk but isn’t. Just perception. The way the water has carved out this gorge is unbelievable. Lots of people checking it out including a bunch of old English guys on a tour. Their guide kept getting in our way. This guide sure will give a good impression of Canada. She dressed just like Sally Fields in the movie “Hello my name is Doris”. Plus, she had the thickest French accent. And she flirted with every old English guy on the trip. And she kept blocking the walk way. We took the shorter walking path due to my hip but we saw the whole gorge and waterfalls. We even tried a selfie with the camera which didn’t turn out bad. They are smart making all of the trails end right in the gift shop and the bathrooms at the back of the gift shop. Impulse buying from vacationers to the max. We had a nice picnic lunch right at the gorge at a table there and then carried on. Fun watching the huge amount of rental RV’s trying to back up and find a parking spot. A wonderful windy scenic road with a 60kms per hour limit. Numerous pull over spots for sightseeing overlooking lakes, falls, DSCF1857 DSCF1858 DSCF1859 DSCF1861 DSCF1862 DSCF1863and rivers. On arrival to Maligne Lake we parked and then headed to check in. Again they were busy and we had to wait one hour for our turn on the boat tour. Checked out the gift shop (didn’t buy anything, yahoo!) and then sat down for a tea and pop in the restaurant. This overlooks the docking area, lake and glaciers in the background. On our tour I discovered what makes the lakes that beautiful turquoise. Only glacier fed lakes get like that and it is caused by the sediment in the water from the glacier reflecting the light back to us. Supposedly the way we see light is different from other creatures but they see a different color in these lakes also. The side of the lake where you enter looks like any other lake and the further down the lake as we got closer to the glaciers the water just kept getting more and more beautiful. They have great boats for the tour that work in any kind of weather. They are very similar to cruise ship tenders but with more glass.  The tour is a 90 min deal with a lot of travel past some interesting points. The guide was from Toronto and her first year working here but after a two-month training period was excellent.  Brewster’s which just bought this company from an independent has a great staff training and selection process. Awesome staff. We arrived at Spirit Island. I was expecting a little more but it is what it is. A very small peninsula that we weren’t allowed to walk on. They docked us and we de-boarded the boat. They had a great walk path around the shoreline and even a toilet for the customers that was hi-tech costing $250k. Yes $250,000 for a toilet. It uses solar energy to flush the toilets, stir the sewage and then pump it up into the rock base as a septic field. Ingenious and works well. On our boat we had people from all over the world. The guide went to each person to ask them. Brazil, England, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, and Germany are a few I remember. The guide explained the fish stock in the lake. $30 a year to fish here. Eastern Brook trout were first introduced but they were not desirable to avid fisherman due to their lack of fight so a little later rainbow trout were introduced. They have not stocked the lake for 40 years as the breeding is good enough (no ice fishing) and 2 per day limit works.

After getting off we went for a walk around the place. They have a great wedding setup there. Then headed home following rental RV’s at a very slow pace. LOL.  I guess that is why it is called sight-seeing but it sure leaves the driving part out of the equation.

Had perfect hotdogs for supper and relaxed. You just can’t beat a hotdog when you are camping. Another wonderful day enjoying our Canada. I think it was likely 50 years ago that I saw these places and they are amazing. We too often forget what we have in our own backyard.

A selfie after we found our inner self at Spirit Island.

A selfie after we found our inner self at Spirit Island.

I worked on moving my pictures from the camera to the laptop. Windows 10 again does not work the best with this. I miss the ease of XP. I have to delete a duplicate of each picture after shrinking the size. You would have thought they would take the best of prior programming and add to that. Got that all done after a few tries and I just need to sort, modify, name and put them in a new folder now.

Penny and Jess lent to us a briefcase full of movies to use for this trip. We watched a movie based on a true story called the Book Thief. It was a WWII based movie in Germany and turned out to be a very good movie. None of the best things like a car chase, a boob, or an all-out fight but as a drama exceptionally well done as it kept you captivated in the story line the complete movie with no boring moments or too emotional periods. A movie that fit perfectly in between a documentary (which normally are real boring) and a girlie movie (which are normally sappy and emotional) Great movie!

Tomorrow another adventure as we are going up the gondola. I would have liked to hiked up as I did years ago but unfortunately not this time. The weather is remaining cooler than we would have liked but still has been very pleasant. The odd shower here and there. The only thing it has really affected is the time outside due to the dampness and the mosquitos are out quite bad.

We both slept in a little longer than normal after staying up late reading and relaxing. Nothing like a good book to keep you up as you read more and more chapters.

Had our smoothie breakfasts and decided to wait until after noon to go out as it was spitting a bit of rain. I did manage to go for a bike ride and found out that the hip works perfectly on the bike which is excellent. Neat to ride around the campsite and see the different and variety of units and their set ups. Huge 48 footers and small pup tents mixed beside one another. I enjoyed the ride and travelled quite a distance. Didn’t get to wet. Read and bit had our lunch and headed out to our adventure today. The first time we went up the gondola was with Keith & Jenny and kids. I remember getting to the top and Jessica wasn’t able to sign the paper in the glass box that she made it to the summit as she was left handed and couldn’t quite get it right. On our arrival it was drizzling a bit but it was cool enough and wet enough it was the first tourist attraction we were at that wasn’t packed. This wasn’t included on our package as they put in the Banff gondola instead. So $80 for two and we were going up (and hopefully down).  We only had four other people in our car that holds 30. Great for taking pictures. BUT wait, we were right in the clouds. Only for a moment were we able to see the town of Jasper or any other thing. Got to tease the guide about having such wonderful views making it a great deal. NOT.  Made it to the top and went outside to start our climb. Ran into three young gents coming down the mountain that were very disappointed as they reached the summit and could not see a thing. In fact, during our walk the fog/cloud cover was so thick we could only see yards in front of us. Jackie didn’t like the fact the cliff was right there along our walk path. I had my smooth bottom sandals again today which on the wet rock wasn’t the best choice. It is summer who needs boots or shoes. Feet did get a little cold as they got damp, a little dirty and the DSCF1872 DSCF1873temperature up there according to the gauge was about 7 degrees and the digital sign from the satellite stating it was 4 degrees. After our climb we stopped for a hot chocolate and a small fry to warm up a little and wait for a break in the cloud cover. Didn’t get lucky. So we had a great ride up the mountain, only a 5-minute window to see the valley, fantastic eerie fog on a walk path and an enjoyable event. I noticed they now charge for hikers coming down.  Years ago, 1973 to be exact they used to give hikers a free ride down. I climbed the mountain and rode it down with a bunch of school friends.

Drove around Jasper looking at the different places in town. I do like Jasper better than Banff. It has a different feel about it. Lots of restaurants on the main street for us to

A 5 min break in the cloud cover

A 5 min break in the cloud cover

We searched and searched to find Jasper the Bear ( the moved him from downtown)

We searched and searched to find Jasper the Bear ( the moved him from downtown)

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choose from as we will be going out on Friday night.

Looking at the weather forecast if they are right Friday maybe a damp day so I think we will head to Miette Hot Springs. Only Athabasca Falls and Edith Cavell left on our to see list which are the least important features to see. I remember the Falls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slight drizzle right now as I am sitting outside enjoying the peaceful campground. NO MUSIC from anyone as the campground is filled with mostly older campers. Love to hear the crows, robins, squirrels etc. of nature. Why go camping if you don’t want to escape the noise. (music). I think due to the rain we will watch another movie tonight.

Got involved in our books to much so didn’t end up watching a movie. But before dark we wen t for a long bike ride around the park. Nice thing about a bike you can ride a 10 miles and think you only went ½ mile. With the gearing system it takes very little effort. On our ride we came upon a herd of elk. Only saw one buck amongst the 20 or so does. We rode by them no more than 8 feet away as they were grazing on the roadside and all they did is look at us for a second and go back to eating. Pretty neat to see them up so close. Beautiful animals with skin very similar to a horse with its short shining skin. Got home to start to the BBQ had quite the time. I couldn’t get it to start. I thought the regulator was haywire again so started the reset process for this a couple of times. Hit the thing a few taps with the pliers and couldn’t get it to work. Jackie cooked the chicken in the convection oven instead. Finally, as I didn’t want to give up I fixed it. The hose I was using didn’t work. The pressure stem on the end wouldn’t release so no gas was getting by. In the garbage and tried a different hose I had. Bam! working perfect again. While hiccups are a pain in the ass it is always nice to solve the issue and carry on. Another wonderful full day in paradise.

Over 1 cup of fat from 1 pound of bacon. Wow but man was it good

Over 1 cup of fat from 1 pound of bacon. Wow but man was it good

This morning was a campers’ breakfast with bacon & eggs with toast. I buy the thick bacon from Costco which is great as it doesn’t curl and shrink. But BUT I was in disbelieve this morning the amount of fat from a pound of bacon. After getting it all cooked I poured out the fat into a coffee cup. It filled a large coffee cup right to the top. I sat the cup on the ground to harden while we ate. While cooking I had a few issues with an aggressive crow and wouldn’t you know it as we ate the dumb bird tipped my cup of fat on to the ground. This is bear country so I had to clean up all of the dirt with the fat. The crow did a few buzz byes’ still. I cleaned up everything and he left to bug someone else. Nature at its finest. He definitely made making breakfast the cleanup interesting. I cooked the eggs to perfection for Jackie’s and my liking. Jackie doesn’t like runny yolks and I like mine to run bit. She likes crisp bacon and I like it a little softer. RULE:  when camping due to adverse cooking conditions you get what you get with no special conditions allowed. (that is why it is perfect every time LOL) As soon as I finished cooking it started to lightly rain. Timing is everything. Timing is luck.  A great day to go to the hot pools. The rain continued to come down. I went for s short wet walk and returned to read my book. Jackie and I lazed around for a couple of hours, had our lunch and then headed out (still raining) to Miette Hot Springs. It is nice when it rains with the cool rain falling in a steamy 103-degree pool. I do have to say the last time there I was disappointed as it now is like a pool in the mountains instead of a unique hot springs in a mountain basin. They wrecked the ambience of it. The drive alone up the mountain still makes it worth it. Did you know places like Banff have ran out of natural hot water and are heating theirs now? I like the mineral content of these pools. They are supposed to have healing powers. Hummm perhaps the hip will be perfect by tonight.  Have I said I like being retired?  So we have visited a Spirit Island which is an old Indian sacred place and mineral hot springs we should be healed of everything.

They have done an excellent job making Miette seem more mountain like

They have done an excellent job making Miette seem more mountain like

The trees have grown and the building now looks a little more authentic. So the pool settings and surrounds are now fitting. Makes me happy as the last time I was here I hated it compared to it being at the bottom of the canyon. They have done a great job. You remember what I said about timing. We arrived at the pool with the parking lot only semi busy but once we entered the pool and whole different story. Two 48 passenger busloads of kids were on an outing and they picked Miette Hot Springs the same time as us. They were a mix of boys and girls. I must say they did make it entertaining to watch. They were all about 12 years old. A good age as the puberty thing hasn’t happened to them all as of yet. One boy with a start of a moustache and the odd girl with little bumps. But the tension and playfulness was abundant in the pool. A lot of showing off and being coy was happening. The noise level was exponentially raised quite a few octaves. The pool only holds 250 so with 100 kids it gets quite busy. The staff were very generous with them letting them jump etc. which they never would have before. But the only people in the cool pools were the kids. So have at her. I remember the road going to the pool as being very narrow and windy. Now it is like a super highway. Wrecks the adventure going up but much nicer for most of the rental campers and cars on the road. Had a great swim and left the pool to have a TIGER ice cream cone. My favorite. Jackie really went wild today and had a maple walnut in a dish. They have a great bake shop café right at the pool.  On our trip back we stopped at the famous Punch Bowl Falls. It is a nice stop with a neat smaller basin and water fall. Turned out to be an interesting

Kids trapped at the bottom of Punch Bowl Falls

Kids trapped at the bottom of Punch Bowl Falls

j punch

I don’t think the kids will get out before the time on the sign LOL

deal for us. Four kids from back east that were here planting trees were out for fun. One smart one stayed up top and a girl, with two boys managed to slide all the way down with their dog. With the rain making the rocks and the very steep slopes slippery they were struggling to get up. In fact, they couldn’t. We stayed for a while to watch and then left but not before saying “just throw your tent down with a thermal blanket and they will be fine” Kids nowadays. If they tried to get up the rocky side they could fall and hurt themselves. If they tried to get up the normal side it may take them some time but perhaps on all 4’s they make it. They may not think it is so funny a little later in the day.

What a day. Great bacon and eggs breakfast, wonderful BLT sandwich for lunch, read lots of chapters of our good reading books, relaxed in the hot mineral pools for a long time, had some entertainment at the pool and at a waterfall and a good supper. Fun day. Read a little bit and watch a movie. Life is good.

Out of the 100’s of movie’s we choose a Bruce Willis movie called “Tears of the Sun”. Turned out to be an excellent movie roughly based on the tribal wars and genocide of a group of tribes that were Christians in Nigeria. The Nigeria civil war went on for years. Ironic as the movie is from 2003 and it is depicting the war between the Christian tribes and the Muslim tribes. The beheadings and brutality is unbelievable and here 13 years later the world is struggling with radical Muslim terrorism. How such a small group of people can cause so much chaos and fear it is sad. It is shame that the world is painting the entire group with the same paint brush. Religion has been the cause of so many deaths over the centuries including Protestants fighting Catholics. It is bad enough we have prejudices based on color or sex but we add religion to the mix the world is just messed up. Good movie though! Love Bruce!

It rained off and on last night but this morning it was breaking up a bit. The weather forecast shows a great week coming up for Jasper and Alberta as a whole.

“MY RANT”

Cellular Crooks- I really don’t care for the system we have for cellular phones. The roaming charges are ridiculous. Even the plan charges are exorbitant. Jackie and I switched to Koodo from Rogers to get a less expensive plan which we did but the extra charges for roaming and data usage still make it a ridiculous bill at the end of the month. They force people to buy the unlimited plan both for the phone and data. That is a bill I don’t want. So now I turn off my phone and data while roaming and only periodically turn it on or wait until I find a free Wi-Fi spot. Tim’s is good for something else other than just coffee. We need more of these. I have 500mb a month while Jackie has 300mb and we can burn threw that in a couple of days. One short video messaging can use up 100mb in 10 minutes. We will not give those up. Other countries have much more competition and much lower rates as there isn’t so much government control. Hopefully our government which has once finger pointed at the industry does it again and lets the free market take it over. Not likely but hopefully.  Give us good service at a fair and decent price is all we ask. BUT THAT IS JUST ME!

Today is pack up day. Dry everything off the best I can and load it up. I will need to make sure to WD40 the bikes when I get back to keep them from rusting. We plan to check out one more tourist attraction we passed on the way up and relax today and then go out for supper. We will leave in the late morning and take the Yellowhead back and 22X.  In Calgary I will get everything put away and organize my stuff for my trip up to Pinehurst Lake with Fred on Monday. Hopefully we can catch some big ones. The weather at the moment for the area is looking great. Pinehurst Lake according to the government Ifish reports has some big fish in it and people are catching them. Then on Friday we plan to head to Lethbridge for the weekend to finish off the drywall and a couple of other little things. We will take the motorhome to Lethbridge to sleep in as Jess & Pen have company from Ontario. On my list even though I don’t think I can get it all done is. Finish drywall, complete raised area for wash basin, install doors, and pull out one fence post and move fence for parking. Hopefully!

An odd thing has happened. As a young man when I had real long hair I would wash it every day as it would get oily. Now with my hair longer than I have kept it for years it doesn’t get as oily. Jackie says it is because I am missing the top part which was the oiliest. Whatever has happened it is nice not to have to wash it every day. When we camped in our late teens I bought a plastic sink “PortaSink” from Sterling Dist and it went on every trip. It was a full basin size, contained about 2 gallons of water and had its own faucet pump and drain. Loved that thing. If they brought them back, I am sure they would sell again with all of the people camping in tents. I washed my hair every day for years camping in this.

We have had an off and on again rain showers all day. We only missed seeing one waterfall lookout on our list but we weren’t too worried about that. We relaxed and read most of the day while it poured or sprinkled. We were very fortunate to have good weather our whole week. I put away all of the outside stuff as we will be leaving in the morning and going out for supper tonight. I finished my father’s day book by James Patterson. NYPDRed3 which was awesome. The entire book kept you interested. There are some books were you sort of skip sentences or paragraphs due to poor writing but not this book. I read every word and enjoyed every sentence. Very good book. Can’t beat reading a good book while it is raining outside. It just is a good feeling. Being the weekend I feel for the people that are only here for a couple of days. Today was supposed to be ok and tomorrow good but today could only be called wet, continuous sprinkling and some downright pouring every once in a while.

So as our Jasper excursions come to an end I can only say it was a very very good time. Some of these tourist spots are world renowned and rival any location in the world for beauty, uniqueness and splendor. It is just too bad we all take it for granted to much. It has been close to 50 years since I have seen some of these spots and well over 30 years for others. Amazing part of the world here in Jasper. Jasper and its surrounding attractions is a lot better than Banff’s. We will head to Banff very soon as we have the gondola and Minnewanka Lake tour package already booked and paid for. I love the Oh Canada Eh! Play in Canmore and the lake is quite close to that. So we may stay there and drive into Banff for the fake hot springs (they have run out of natural mineral water), lake tour and gondola ride. I will stay away from the shops as they are just tourist traps.

The sun came out wonderfully and we managed to get in a full hour of bike riding around the huge campground. I mean huge. They have acres of spots for tenters and the bulk of them are full. I love to see different people’s ideas and the odd time use them for myself. One tenter impressed me. He had a larger tent and tarp hung from the trees over the tent, the table and fire pit. But what was impressive he had a small Honda generator that was hooked up to outdoor lights, he had a bar fridge outside and I am going to assume lights and a heater in the tent. Deluxe camping and only a few feet away from the main showers and washroom. He knows how to camp. Numerous different ideas for covers and enclosures. Also in this campground they have a whole section of their rental tent cabins. Awesome idea. They have canvas stretched over an A frame with vinyl windows and steel door on a raised platform. These are extremely nice and give a chance to families that don’t have the camping gear to experience what I believe is one the most fun things to do as a family. All you need is a BBQ or cook over the fire if needed to camp in style and comfort. I know our kids have loved camping and have been camping since they were 3 months old. None of the sissy city girly stuff for them. As a family we have been to a lot of spots, lakes, road trips etc. camping and enjoying every moment. In two weeks we are taking Jackson to the lake for a week. This will be a blast for us and I know for him. Every kid loves cooking marshmallows and wieners over a fire, staying up late, sleeping in the wilderness, gazing at the stars and listening to the frogs and coyotes. This time we are at Old McDonalds Farm on Buffalo Lake which has hayrides, train rides, and events for the kids and Fred along with Troy are bringing Martin, Scarlet and Kate along as play friends for him.

Unbelievable! I was writing in my chair and right in front of me 4 young adults walked down the road. Nothing funny about that but wait. First they were not a team or a group from a company. They were two couples about 30 years old all wearing black down filled vests. Now that is funny. First NO ONE under 60 should EVER be caught in a vest. Second all the same! Come on. It is bad enough when I see a husband and wife with the same jacket but four friends! I have an aversion to vests as they normally dictate an aging person. Old people wear them to keep their internal organs like kidneys warm they say. Their auto temperature control is out of order and they feel warmer. Ok now for the facts and you may need to think about this. If your blood is running thick, or you have poor circulation which happens as you age do you think your stomach needs to be warmed versus your extremities like arms, fingers etc. They just don’t make sense. They surely aren’t a fashion statement.  I love it when people make my day. Thanks

I noticed Earls here in Jasper has a wonderful location and patio set up right downtown Jasper. I said to Jackie it is too bad we can’t go there as it looks very nice. But one has to stand behind his convictions.

Boycott Earls.

Even if it 80 degrees she wears a pashmina

Even if it 80 degrees she wears a pashmina

We found numerous other independent restaurants to choose from. We ended up going to the Villa Curiso which advertised as having the nicest patio in town. They did not disappoint. Jackie & I had next to the railing seats facing west which had the full sun on us on the second floor which allowed to see everything around us. It was wonderful sitting on the deck our last night in Jasper. A cold beer and wonderful food was excellent. It was nice and warm and very interesting watching the oodles of people passing by. Each had a story I tried to find that fitted the way they acted or looked. Always fun. A little mean for some but still fun for most.  Both of our meals were spectacular. The food pricing was reasonable (a touch high) but the drink pricing were out of line. A Ceaser was $9.95 and a draft beer $ 6.95. The rest ok and the quantity was fine. It was served as fine food and it presented itself as such and tasted as much. After most of the day being cloudy with off and on rain showers we were very fortunate to have the full sun during our supper. Our waiter was a young guy that only has been in Canada three years from India. Spoke great English and a fun guy to talk to. Plans to get his masters in finance in Vancouver next year when he has enough money saved. One of those guys that came to Jasper not knowing anyone and is having fun and making money. Great view, great meal, a nice way to finish off our trip.

I had an odd question come my way. Why did you buy a 2 door Jeep. My quick response with an attitude is “ Have you ever seen a 4 door Corvette or Ferrari ? “You won’t. You shouldn’t mess with an iconic vehicle.   Jeep shouldn’t have either but they were after a market share of country want to be’s driving a Jeep with a family and driving on pavement. A two door Jeep due to the degree of angle of approach and descent is twice the vehicle as the 4 door for off-roading. The two door Jeep weighs a lot less so less likely to get stuck, gets a way better gas mileage, more horsepower and has half the turning radius of the 4 door model plus as a tow vehicle works better being a lot lighter.  The 4 door model shouldn’t exist but for city folk thinking their tough country men or women by driving a 4-wheel drive Jeep. It is sort of like a lifted Diesel truck with big tires and never seeing mud. I rest my case.

Got back to the motorhome and it started to drizzle again. Timing is everything. Thought just hit my brain. We did NOT see a bear our whole trip. Well I did get my picture taken with Jasper the Bear but he doesn’t count. Darn!

Updated animal count: 5 deer, 25 elk, (one beautiful rack) 4 marmots, 1 squirrel, 30 mountain sheep and 20 goats, 4 crows, 3 Gray birds, O bears

That is our table on the bottom right.

That is our table on the bottom right.

j elk

Nice rack

J goats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy week next week. I head up to Edmonton on Monday for fishing and then on Friday I head down to Lethbridge to complete the drywall and then Sunday to Calgary to Marshall. How could anyone be bored. I find I am always busy, sometimes even being too busy. Nice breaks like we just experienced in Jasper are fabulous. Hip is still sore. #*&)*(%@ it. Funny I can ride a bike with no pain and I can run or walk up a hill fine but when I walk I have to limp and it hurts. Go figure.

Jackie is just finishing up her book tonight and I finished mine earlier today. I love to read good books but it does get to the eyes a bit after a while.

Watched the movie called “The Shop” with the Queen and Alicia in it. A fun light movie that had it’s moments. Kevin Bacon did a great acting job in his role.

Up and started to pack up. Full sun today. I was impressed that in one week we still have ¼ to ½ tank left in grey, black and fresh. I use the outside washrooms during the day but a week is a long time especially since the odd shower is thrown in there. I know camping with our kids our tanks were full after the second day.

Here we go. On the road again. Sounds just like a song I know. Great trip, no wonderfully perfect trip, enjoyable trip and learning trip. Have I said I like being retired ?

Dad's headstone

Dad’s headstone

Granddad and Grandma

Granddad and Grandma

 

 

 

 

 

We stopped at the Cemetery in Edson to visit Dad’s site and see Grandma & Granddad’s plot. It is shame we lose such important people in our lives. We all understand the circle of life but missing someone isn’t the nice thing in the world. I could go on for pages telling you about my Dad but one describes him. BEST

June 26th to June 30th

Gone fishing to Pinehurst Lake

Gone fishing to Pinehurst Lake

Back from Pinehurst Lake in Northern Alberta. We finished putting everything away from our Jasper Trip around 9 pm. We had a good sleep and I was out of the house by 6am to hit the road up to Edmonton. A short stop at the gas station and Tim’s and made it to St Alberta. Fred had everything loaded, hooked up and ready to go. I threw in my fishing gear and clothes and we hit the road. We used a printed off Google Maps for direction but 3/4 of the way there the thing was too exact as every corner we made on a road it switched names. We got a little confused with these as they were not easy to follow. But due to our incredible innate directional skills we found the way to take. Arriving at the lake after about 20 miles of gravel we find a boat unloading campground. Quite a few sites but not that nice and luckily a turn around for as pulling a 5th wheel an boat in tow you do not get to back.  We got back to the road and went into the main campground. Nice sites. About 7 sites and then a spur road with sites along it. We ventured down it and saw a sign that said No Exit. Talking it over we thought know one would be dumb enough to have a campsite without a turn around area. We travelled up it and not one camper waved to tell us to stop. Dead end no turn around. You CAN NOT back up a boat behind a 5th wheel for more than a few feet. A couple of campers showed up and we laughed a bit and talked and they were very kind to offer to help. We turned the boat around manually and the camper’s son used his truck to pull the boat back the main road. Fred then was able to back up the entire distance to get us out. Here it is Monday afternoon and the sites were about 80 percent filled. Filled with a whack of men about 60 years old all fisherman. No speeds boats here. Working fun boats only.We got very lucky and found the “best site” and largest site in the camp area that was open. It was huge allowing us to have the boat, truck and 5th all together. This is a very nice rustic no service campsite only yards away from a sandy shoreline and clear water.Sweated our way to getting everything in order by setting up the tables, BBQ, loaded up our free split wood for camp and leveled the unit. All done and HOT hot outside. Cold beer time was excellent. Fred was the cook all week and he was awesome. We had some great meals with variety including the big campers breakfast that are fantastic. Burgers, smokies, bacon, and sausage all those manly foods. Fisherman are manly sexy beasts you know. Wilderness types.  We got up each day about 7am after sleeping perfectly in the quiet cool air. I liked this campsite as the average age of the campers were 60 years old and we didn’t have one small squeak of annoying music to listen to. We got to listen to the Loon, Meadowlarks, and squirrels etc like one should want to. It is amazing how light it stays out now. Going outside for a pee break at 2 or 4 in the morning it is like daylight out. I believe Fred made me drink to much is why so many pee breaks.We didn’t get to bed until near midnight each night.  But after downing some three fingers sideways drinks you do have the tendency to sleep well. Lucky for me having the back couch as I could sneak outside for my night time pee breaks. One drink  Fred made I liked and will try on Jackie is Doles sparkling fruit juice with vodka.

First day fishing. Weather hit 28 degrees. Water was like glass. It was beautiful. We caught over 20 fish the first day. The fish were coming in on a very consistent basis. Then Fred catches a monster and spoils  the fishing for the rest of the day. How can you beat a 18 pound plus monster pike . This fish is 19 years old according to the weight charts. It may take one in every 1000 fish caught Eveto be that size again. It was beautiful. It sure was a good thing I managed to net him correctly or we may have lost that one. LOL  NICE FISH and I would love to catch one that size. I will keep trying.

18 POUND GIANT PIKE

18 POUND GIANT PIKE caught by Fred the first day. It is a monster.

 

Forget the monster. Quantity has to count for something.  I would think I out fished Fred by at least 3 or 4 fish.  But who was really counting anyways. LO

Even the Conservation Officer who stopped by our boat to check us out liked the 18 pounder and 11 pounder fish. He said he better not tell the Vegreville boys ( a group of old guys out fishing) about our catch. They didn’t have the skill set needed to keep up with that sizing and would be very upset knowing we put them back in. Every large fish should be given the green card and thrown back so the next guy can catch and release also.

Each day the fishing just went day around 2pm. They were biting fantastic  and then just stop with no hits. The fish really were not biting hard as we had a lot of hits and snags without real deep hook catches. Having Fred’s GPS and fish finder were great and extremely helpful. Plus he knows where to fish. I also learned the correct way to keep spider wire from pulling thru it own knot which is good. This trip is my most successful fishing trip on fresh water.  When I look at my large pike it looks small compared to Fred’s but a 11 pound Jack is a huge fish.

My 11 pound large Pike

My 11 pound large Pike

The first day every fish except one ( Fred also laid claim to catching the smallest fish) was a nice sized fish and a pretty split between Walleye and Pike. We both kept having some nice fish on the line.  I believe my 11 pound Pike is the largest one with an official digital weigh in. Below is our largest Walleye and I also believe my largest Walleye. I caught about 50 Walleye in Lake in the Woods and not one close to this size.  Walleye are a smaller fish so if you catch a 8 pounder or so you have a large away above average fish.

Our largest Walleye at 5 pounds

Our largest Walleye at 5 pounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know I will be back at this lake not only for the sizing of the fish, but the campground is wonderful, sandy bottom and clear water. My only fear is the size of the lake. It takes Fred 10 minutes to cross the lake to the hotspot and it would take me 1 hour to cover the same distance. LOL

Is this not a perfect lake condition and we took advantage of it.

Is this not a perfect lake condition and we took advantage of it.

This is happy camper, 4 drinks in, 18 pounder under his belt ( fish not bottle)

This is a happy camper, 4 drinks in, 18 pounder under his belt ( fish not bottle)

These are MAN table clips not like some of you guys use to keep the tablecloth on.

These are MAN table clips not like some of you guys use to keep the tablecloth on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second day we got well over 20 fish again but they were all small. The Jack were only about that 3-4 pound range and the Walleye 2-3 pound range. Still beautiful fish but we wanted BIG. I still love the feel of a fish on when it hits your line. The loading at unloading of the boat met me with a challenge. I am pretty good at backing up trailers etc but I jumped into Fred truck to back the boat into the water and the trailer took forever to move and wouldn’t correct fast. It caught me off guard. I discover two things. First the mirrors were fully extended which made it for me more difficult to see the trailer and the angle and second I think because the wheels are so far back and the tongue so long it just reacts different that I thought. Overall it went fairly well with only one close call of dropping a wheel into a hole on the ramp. I got lucky there as I wouldn’t want that to happen again.

My legs look like I was a TV Survivor contestant. The horse flies and Deer flies on the water munched on my legs everyday. They hurst taking out a chunk like that.

A wonderful week of fishing. Great food, some personal bests in fish sizing, great company ( Fred does not snore) wonderful weather, super campsite, and a great time. Thanks Fred !

I walked in the door and Jackie was babysitting Jackson. He says ” Papa, Grammy showed me your fish pictures. Fred’s fish is a way bigger than yours”   Nice kid.

Going to the lake based on weather, and midweek before masses come is wonderful. Have I said I like being retired.

Off to Lethbridge in the am to finish the drywall ( hopefully) and back on Sunday to Marshall at Heatherglen. Hip is getting a little better so I think I will try golf on Monday.

Thought of the Day

I like it when I catch a fish and have to say ” Mine is so big I have to use both hands”

 

 

2 thoughts on “JUNE 2016

  1. Victoria

    heheh I am loving the photos you are posting for your Anniversary Day! Too awesome. Love you guys lots! Happy Anniversary!! xoxoxo BIG CONGRATS!

    Reply

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