On March 7th, 2020, we flew to Calgary, Alberta, where we met up with the Chagrin Valley Ski Club for a week of skiing in Banff. Founded in 1883 near a proposed Canadian Pacific Railway tunnel site, the first town, 3 km from present-day Banff, was know as “Siding 29”. The town of Banff is located within the Rocky Mountains mountain range, at 4,639ft above sea level, within Banff National Park. The town is built around Tunnel Mountain, We stayed at the Banff Ptarmigan Inn in downtown Banff. with a great view of Tunnel Mountain. Bob was not able to snowboard on this trip so I went with the girls to ski at Banff Sunshine Village, located on the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies within Banff National Park in Alberta and Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park in British Columbia. We took the free Mountain Tour and were able to see the whole area with our guide. It was a beautiful blue bird day and the views of the Rockies was impressive as well as the skiing. The next day we skied at The Lake Louise Ski Resort, it is one of the largest and most scenic ski resorts in North America. The resort is situated on the southern slopes of the Slate Range, between the heights of Mount Richardson, Ptarmigan Peak, Pika Peak and Redoubt Mountain, all around 10,000ft above sea level. Lake Louise has been a home to skiing since the 1920s, the first lift was constructed in 1954, and a poma was added in 1960. It is a beautiful mountain to ski and we took the free Mountain Tour again and were able to ski most of the area. Continue reading
Bob and Chris McKay friend from grade 1
We finally arrived back in Vancouver on June 1st, staying at the beautiful Eagle Wind RV Park in Aldergrove, for 4 months. We are looking forward to seeing our family and friends during our stay here. Our first outing was a weekend trip to Oliver, BC, staying at The Lakeside Resort, with Bob’s high school classmates for an all men’s golf tournament in memory of Dan Grimble. Myself and two of the other wives came along, Robbie Harper and Dawn White. We enjoyed our time visiting all the fabulous wineries in the Okanagan Valley, as well as shopping in all the wonderful boutiques in the area. The Okanagan Valley is BC’s premier grapegrowing region, with quiet family-run boutique vineyards to world-class operations. Oliver is considered the “Wine Capitol of Canada”, and is home to nearly half of BC’s vines and more than 40 wineries. We were amazed by the growth of the Okanagan Valley in the past 40 years and we will definitely make a trip back here again. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Getting ready to ride with “Team Ralph”
Summer in Vancouver, BC, 2016, was filled with family, old friends, sightseeing, celebrations and biking. Arriving on July 15, staying at Eagle Wind RV Park, until Sept 15. We spent some time with Bob’s brother Ted and his wife Marg along with Bob’s sister Linda. We re-acquainted with Bob’s old girlfriend from high school, Marg and Don Sheperd, We had a great dinner together at the Granville Island Hotel and went to the Comedy Club near by. Enjoyed a mini Prince of Wales High School Reunion, organized by Ralph White, and what an amazing group of friends to come in such short notice. We had several wonderful biking trips with Ralph White and friends throughout the lower Mainland, and across the border. Culminating in the Tour de Whatcom, a 60 km bike ride around Bellingham, WA. Enjoyed a few beers with my brother, John, Lisa and Toby before leaving Vancouver. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Happy Birthday Bob!!
For Bob’s birthday we decided to drive to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. The epic vista of Prince of Wales Hotel and the peaks of Waterton greeted us as we approached the town on the shores of Upper Waterton Lake. The Hotel was constructed between 1926 and 1927, by the Great Northern Railway to lure American tourists north of the border during the prohibition era. The hotel was named after the Prince of Wales (later King Edward Vlll), in a transparent attempt to entice him to stay in the hotel on his visit to Canada in 1927, but the Prince stayed at a nearby ranch instead. We made dinner reservations to celebrate Bob’s birthday, then we went off to explore Waterton and some of the scenic drives. First we had a celebratory beer at a hotel on the edge of the Lake. Then we drove up to Cameron Lake at the end of the Akamina Parkway. At an elevation of 5400 feet this picturesque alpine lake, an aquamarine jewel nestled in the basin of the Rocky Mountains, offers the pristine beauty of a remote mountain environment. We walked out on the wharf for some photos and watched as a man went for a swim in the cool water. I would love to join him but not this time. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Drumheller, Alberta, was are final destination for the weekend. Drumheller is a town within the Red Deer River Valley in the Badlands of east-central Alberta. We had flown over Drumheller earlier to get a bird’s-eye view of the Drumheller Golf Club, where the back-nine holes are in the hoodoos. We visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, a museum that hosts Canada’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils, (more than 130,000 fossils), opened on September 25, 1985. It is a magnificent museum more than 47,000 sq ft is dedicated to exhibits, in a series of chronological galleries celebrating the 3.9-billion-year-history of life on earth. The “Dinosaur Hall” with 40 mounted dinosaur skeletons, including the Tyrannosaurus rex, Albertosaurus Stegosaurus, and Triceratops, was the highlight of the museum. We saw the Devonian Reef, a life-size model of a 375-million-year old reef. Also on display is the “Triassic Giant”, a 1,700 sq ft long specimen of the world’s largest known marine reptile. We were so glad that we came early, when we left the Museum 3 hours later the line of tourists to enter the place was probably 1/2 mile long and the traffic to get in the parking lot was way down the road. It was well worth the time we spent exploring all the exhibits and we would definitely visit here again. A must see! Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Rosebud with golf course at top.
Our last weekend with Pat and Harry was a fun-filled adventurous 3 days away from
Calgary. We drove a couple hours northeast to a small town of Rosebud, where we had flown over in Harry’s plane a few days earlier. We played golf at the Akokiniiskway Golf Club, it was the Rosebud Valley’s original name meaning ” by the river of many roses”.
This 9-hole executive course has lush fairways and grass greens, meandering among the trees and along the Rosebud River, it was definitely a fun course to play. In the evening we enjoyed a spectacular show of the Wizard of Oz at the local theater. The next day we drove to Stettler, Alberta, Harry’s hometown. We had flown over Stettler in Harry’s plane to see his farm from the air. We were excited to ride on the Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions, a heritage railway originating in Stettler and runs between Stettler and Big Valley. Click on thumbnail to view images
Today our tour guides Harry & Pat took us to the Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary, that opened on July 1, 1964. The Park is located on 127 acres of parkland on the banks of the Glenmore Reservoir, and is Canada’s largest living history museum. Exhibits span Western Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1950s, and many of the buildings are historical and were transported to the park for display. The people dress in historic costumes, and antique and horse-drawn vehicles service the site. We rode the steam locomotive train on a small railway that goes around the circumference of the park which has original 1900s stations. We also visited the roundhouse that houses various railway equipment, an operational turntable, and a car shop with very rare and unique passenger cars. We saw the working smithy and an aboriginal encampment the representing the Blackfeet where the women were braiding sweet grass. We ate lunch in the historical Wainwright Hotel where Pat used to visit when she was a child. As we walked around the Park we followed a moving play showing how the RCMP “always get their man”. It was such a great day enjoying the past and finished it off with a tasty beer at the Big Rock Brewery. This place is a must see when you are in Calgary. Click on thumbnail to view images
We all got an early start and drove to the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a World Heritage Site, located where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the prairie. The buffalo jump was used for 5,500 years by the indigenous peoples of the plains to kill buffalo by driving them off the 36 foot high cliff. The cliff itself is about 1000 feet long, and at its highest point drops 10 meters into the valley below. The site was in use at least 6,000 years ago, and the bone deposits are 39 feet deep. The buffalo carcass was used for a variety of purposes, from tools made from the bone, to the hide used to make dwellings and clothing. According to legend, a young Blackfoot wanted to watch the buffalo plunge off the cliff from below, but was buried underneath the falling buffalo. He was later found dead under the pile of carcasses, where he had his head smashed in. Thus the name for this site and the wonderful Museum that we explored. Click on thumbnail to view images
We are off to Cochrane today to visit Pat and Harry Koehler in Calgary, Alberta. We arrived at the Bow Rivers Edge RV Park early and made it to Pat & Harry’s by 4pm. Great to see them again and to meet their family. Excited for the 2 weeks that we are going to spend exploring with them around Calgary.
Our first adventure is to the Cu Nim Gliding Club near Black Diamond, in the foothills of southern Alberta, to ride our first ever glider plane with an instructor. Harry is a member of the Club and is a tow Pilot which means he tows the gliders into the sky from his plane and then releases it. Our instructor, Phil, is a 40 year veteran of gliding and gave us a lot of confidence. I went first, strapped into the harness, I climbed into the two seater glider, in the front seat. A glider is a highly efficient unpowered aircraft. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Today we did a driving tour on a gravel road from Canmore to the Kananaskis Country, we wanted to get away from the “maddening crowd” and figured there would not be too many tourists on a gravel road. The drive was very scenic following the Kananaskis River and at one point we had to stop to watch the mountain goats in the middle if the road. We passed through the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and saw a magnificent moose from the road in the meadow. We ended at the Kananaskis Village where we did a little shopping. In 2002 the 28th G8 Summit was held in the Kananaskis Resort at the Delta Lodge, the only G8 Summit to be held in Western Canada. We got back to the RV Park in plenty of time to relax and get ready to leave tomorrow for Cochrane.