Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July in Canada

28 Jul: Ron is back at work editing the third volume industriously finding punctuation errors that he thought had been corrected. OH WELL! We are enjoying the library which is so wonderful it is almost overwhelming.

23 Jul: We celebrated the arrival of "Little Carol Ann" today just as scheduled. Whew: It is a girl after all! Her first toy is a Beanie toy frog named "Smooch" who is every bit as cute as our "girl" named for her Auntie Carol Ann whose birthday just happens to also be today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROL!)

22 Jul: We arrived in Salt Lake City at noon today in time for a quick tour of the library and a delicious lunch at the Market Street Grill. Smooch Smooch was so overwhelmed she lost her sunglasses but Ron found them again. Later, we met cousin Roy and his lovely wife Barbara for an enjoyable dinner at another Market Street Grill.

Reminiscing on the month in Canada: Our favorite lodging is the Banff Springs Hotel, second is Chateau Lake Louise and third the Prestige Luxury Inn at Nelson, Canada. We thoroughly enjoyed the views from those hotels. The worst hotel was Ace Western in Clarkson, Canada. Our favorite hikes were in Jasper and Banff National Forests with the longest hike being 18 kilometers. The best animal sighting was a majestic eight point elk stag viewed about twenty feet away while on the motorcycle. The most unsual sight was the four wolf cubs playing in a lovely pastoral meadow. We saw five or six black bear (some good sized), two or three herds of elk, lots of deer, mountain goats and long-horned mountain sheep, too. Eventually we will post photos and more details of the hiking, good food and really great people we met along the way.

21 Jul - Tuesday: The breakfast at The Old European Inn in Pullman, WA with Spruce and Mollie could not have been more enjoyable. It was great to see Spruce and revisit the AT memories; he is encouraging us to complete the hike from Dalton, Mass onto Katahdin but the knee has to be fixed first.

We continued on to Clarkston, Idaho to view the Nez Pierce architectural site (not a lot to see from the highway). It was an important archaeological site occupied for ten thousand years or more; some of the five thousand year old pit houses were discovered by the dig in the middle of the previous century. The traders arrived in 1812 to make it their main camp.

20 Jul - Monday: The breathtaking view of the lake at Nelson needs to be revisited another year. The hotel is roomy and comfortable. We enjoyed walking through the public park along the lake walkway last night and again this morning to breakfast. We loved the lunch at Alberto's in Bonner Ferry en route to Moscow, Idaho to visit with Spruce - one of the greatest guys one could hope to meet on the Appalachian Trail. Spruce and his girlfriend Mollie went to dinner with us at a lovely patio restaurant with food we had not heard of or tasted before. It was good! The lodging at the Best Western was nice, too.

19 Jul - Sunday: We left Vernon, BC early morning traveling on the Canadian side eastward through gorgeous winding mountain passes with little traffic until evening when we found lodging at the Prestige Luxury Inn in Nelson, Canada that is wonderful. The community spirit is evident in the well cared for park and lake walkway.

18 Jul - Saturday: We took roses to Deb this morning with plans to leave for the U.S. today; but we learned that two of Dave and Deb's adorable adopted Chinese daughters would be performing in the Children's Theatre this afternoon so we delayed our departure to watch the girls. Each one is cuter than the next one. Their talent is amazing: all three play violin and classical music as if they are professionals. Ella is about eight year old; Hannah is 11 and Amy is 13. The girls are home-schooled by their Australian mother who is a teacher by profession. The afternoon's performance of Pinocchio was delightful and well worth postphoning our departure for a day. Hannah's performance surprised us the most because she was so was incredibly animated - shining in the spotlight - standing out from the rest of the cast. Ella was charming as well. We brought them roses, too. After the play ended we treated them to dinner at Earl's - which caters more to an adult crowd. The girls became very weary waiting for a table and food! But the food was worth the wait.

17 Jul - Friday: The bikes are being refurbished so we went to the Yamaha Shop and tried on helmets - only to find exactly what Walt suggested: we purchase an Aria helmet for Smooch Smooch. She LIKES her helmet. It is not heavy - and fits exactly right.

16: Jul -Thursday: More flowers for Smooch Smooch - a pedicure and manicure and a bike ride are scheduled for the day's events.

15: Jul - Wednesday: we arrived back in Vernon, BC to check on the bikes.

6 Jul: After an eventful day visiting in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the rainy forecast for Tuesday encourages us to consider shopping for riding gear.

5 July, Sunday: We arrived in Edmonton after a nice, brief hike near Jasper at the ? Fort trail. Compared to riding the motorcycle, being enclosed in a car was like wearing blinders.

4 Jul: What a relief to finally get a good night's sleep thanks to dense, room-darkening drapes; restful sleep isn't so easy when darkness waits until 11:30 pm to arrive and sunshine starts before 4:30 am. We returned the motorcycle, took a gondola ride, and hiked nearly to the summit at The Whistlers for views of snow capped & snow-streaked mountains in all directions, some at incredible distances. The Canadian Rockies are awesome from that viewpoint.

3 Jul: We rode the motorcycle to Saskatachawan Crossing, booked a room for the night, and proceeded to Lake Louise for dinner. A short walk at Athabaska Falls provided a modicum of exercise and good views of the falls and an old, abandoned river channel. Motorcycling improves the scenery by 88%, and this is an ideal time to see the Icefields Parkway since substantial snow still clings to the northern faces of the mountains.

2 Jul: We enjoyed a long hike today to Lake Christine - 8.3 kilometers with 250 meters rise. Afterwards we rented a motorcycle in Jasper for two days and immediately proceeded to Maligne Lake for wonderful views and twisty roads.

1 Jul: Today we hiked the Valley of Five Lakes trail totalling 11 kilometers with mild ups and downs. There were no other hikers to be seen on the second half of the hike, and only 11 total for the day. It was quite a change from our first hikes near ever-popular Lake Louise. It is Canada Day so we also watched a very enjoyable parade!