“Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly.” -E.B. White Charlotte’s Web

Granville Island Public Market

This week we decided to go to Vancouver for a whirlwind tour, two days one night, From Saturday Morning to Sunday Early afternoon.  We had a grand time.

Friday night saw us packed and ready to go.  We thought that navigating the mountain roads from Kelowna to Vancouver might not be wise.  Just to give you an idea of what we experienced.  From Kelowna to Vancouver we went from 11 C to 1 C and back up to 15 C all in the span of the 4 hour trip to Vancouver.  So Saturday morning we got up really early (5:30am, Ugh) and headed to the big city.  File_000The drive was lovely, winding hills and steep grades that let you see the Fraser Valley ahead.  We don’t have these views back home. My Mom and Dad took my brother Sister and I out west for five weeks when we were young. I understand now why Dad on our family trip way back wanted us to drive into the mountains.  The vistas are really something to see.

Our first stop in Public Market Granville Island doorVancouver is Granville Island.  This was a place I really wanted to see.  A Bread AffairIt was just as I imagined it, but with more cars.  We didn’t realize that the Vancouver Writers Festival was on so there was NO PARKING anywhere.  The traffic police even had every available space, that wasn’t a parking space taped off so people would not be tempted to park there.  We finally did find a parking spot and toured the island, and even got some breakfast and bakery snacks for later.  I tried a divine Chocolate Bread, that if I had bought would have made THE BEST peanut butter and Jam sandwiches this side of the Rockies.  If we go back I am getting some.

Libby and Anne BreakfastWe saw a lot of good food while we walked around Granville Island.  Anne and Elizabeth got some breakfast, and I kept my hands free for taking pictures.  There were opportunities for photos everywhere.

After leaving Granville Island we went to the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology to look at their extensive First Nations Exhibit, especially their West Coast Exhibits.  We wandered around for a while and took a tour of Totem M of Anthropology
Totem poles and lodges of the Haida people.  The carving was spectacular and very intricate.  We then took a more extensive tour of the building.
We learned a lot about Funerary boxes and how they were steamed before they were carved.  Calm Water TotemThe Haida had no metal for nails, or saws so everything had to be done with wood.  We saw many beautiful displays.  After the museum we found our hotel checked in and rested for an hour before going out to meet Elizabeth’s Cousin and her boyfriend for dinner at a lovely Pizza Restaurant that wood fires its own pizza.  YUMM!

Tomorrow will be about the bike around Stanley Park and the wildlife we saw there.  Hope you come back tomorrow.

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“I am so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers” -Anne of Green Gables

I have been remiss about posting.  The fault is mine.  There are several things that have happened out here, mostly side weekend trips, that I will catch up on later in the blog.  I hope you will stick with me.

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I am writing today because, I could not resist showing you the Myra Canyon Trestle Bike Path.   We found the route to the trestle 18 entrance, and followed the map.  The map said that it was 18 minutes away.  What the map failed to say, and what we learned out here, is that most of the really beautiful things in B.C require you to take a Dirt road up hill frequently.  The roads are designed for 4×4 trucks and large SUV.  It took a lot longer than 18 minutes to get to the canyon but it was really worth it.

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The colours of the leaves are out here in B.C.  We are used to seeing vistas awash in reds, oranges and yellows with a sprinkling of green back in Ontario.  Out here in the Okanagan there are very few hardwood trees and the majority of the deciduous trees we see are poplar and birch.  You might think that this might make the views boring but you would be incorrect.  The contrast between the patches of Yellow and the green are spectacular.  We walked for 3 km along a trail that is used mainly for bike traffic because it is 12 km long, 24  km with a retMyra Canyon Edit 3urn trip, with 18 trestles and 2 tunnels.  It is so popular you can rent bikes to do the whole trail.  The views were spectacular!  We saw a Rock Wren, interesting because they have never been seen to drink water, and it is thought that they get all their water from the insects they eat.  We also saw a lot of chipMyra Canyon Golden Tree Edit 1munks, ones that are used to cameras and people feeding them.  All in all a great afternoon.  I would have liked to go in the morning and get some photos in a different light, maybe next time. 
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Actually the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures… -Louis Carrol Alice in Wonderland

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Helmcken Falls

When we arrived in Kelowna at the end of  August we took an entire week to recuperate and relax from our long journey.  It was nice that we were in one spot for once.  Anne started skating with the Kelowna Skating Club we saw that we had a Friday to Monday off so we looked around and found Wells Grey Provincial Park, or as I like to call it Waterfall Park.  No, Seriously it has its own web page on chasing waterfalls.   There are almost more waterfalls here than in Hamilton.  It also has the fourth highest waterfall in Canada, Helmcken Falls.

We drove the 4 hours up to Wells Grey stopped at the Strawberry Moose for a bite to eat and a coffee, filled up with gas and headed in the 68 km to the park.   We drove almost directly to our campsite, but made a few stops on the way for, yep you guessed it waterfalls.

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It is interesting out here in British Columbia.  You can reserve a site out here just like in Ontario.  But if you happen to pick the wrong day (like me) all the sites that are available are first come first serve, not some of the rest, all of the rest.  Also out here in B.C. Each campground is run by company that has bid on the service.  We had to wait for the Wood guy to come around in his John Deere Tractor, before we could pay and work things out with the sight we took. IMG_0370
IMG_0371 On Saturday Morning we rented a canoe and took a morning paddle out on the lake.  We could have taken a shuttle and tour up to Rainbow falls (6 hour tour, I kid you not) but it was really expensive, so we just paddled around a B.C. lake surrounded by mountains.  It was fabulous.

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Saturday Afternoon was spent wandering around and finding as many falls as we couldIMG_0316.  Our Favourite was Moul Falls. We even went behind them to see what it was like.  All of the hikes to most of the falls on the main road were easy walks for the most part.  Moul Falls was the exception, it had a steep climb down to the base of the falls.  The view was worth it though.

We then went back to camp and settled in for the night after a lovely meal of chicken Fajitas.

Boy, was it cold in the morning.  Our tent is a great one for keeping us warm, but as soon as we got out it was freezing!  I fired up the fire pit and got oatmeal going we packed up and headed for home, not before stopping at Bailey’s Shoot to try and catch a Salmon Jumping.

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It was a great trip.

The Mountains are calling and I must go.. John Muir

We arrived in Swift Current on a Friday so that meant that we would be leaving on a Saturday Morning.  Saturday Mornings in Swift Current are fortunately, market days!  We decided to try to find a breakfast place downtown and then head to the market before leaving for my Aunt and Uncles place in Okotoks Alberta.

We picked a breakfast place that slated to open at 8:00 in the morning.  We packed up and headed downtown, around the same area as the Pizza Stop from last night.  We parked and found our restaurant, Soup and Such .  We opened the door and found the lights were off, and no one to be seen.  We called out to see if anyone was around but no luck.  We decided to straight to the market to find something to eat.

The market was still being set up when we arrived but there were some people all ready to go.  One of them was a lady who runs the bakery downtown.  Schimmel’s Dutch Bakery.  We looked over her baked goods and decided to purchase a IMG_1087poppy-seed loaf for my Aunt and some pieces of different loaves for breakfast and snacks for the morning.  As we went to pay the lady said I cannot sell to you until 9:00am.

Pardon?  I said.

I cannot sell to you until 9:00 or I can be fined 50.00$ for selling early she said.

We couldn’t believe it.  We had never encountered that before.  We had to find the organizer of the market to ask special permission to buy our baked goods.  Fortunately the organizer said yes.  We bought our baked goods and were on our way.

Our First Stop was in Lethbridge for lunch.  My wife has had great success finding places to eat when we want something different from Tim’s.  So we exit the highway and head downtown.  The problem was that both of the restaurants Elizabeth had in mind were closed, one for renovation and the other for holiday so we were on our own.  We wandered up and down the street until deciding on The Penny Coffee House  .  We had great food.  I was so excited because the falafel wrap came with pickled beets, it was awesome.  Anne had a grilled cheese and Elizabeth had the soup.

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yummy falafel wrap with pickled beets!

We finished lunch and headed off to one of my prized destinations!  Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump!

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This is a wonderful museum.  It is full of history and culture all from the native perspective.  It is a world-class exhibit.  I did not take any pictures inside but I got to ask questions of an elder while I was there and he talked to me about the history of the area. It was really fascinating.   There is nothing else around the museum for about 19km but really worth the trip.

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View from the top deck of the museum

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After the museum we drove as fast as the speed limits would allow to my Aunt Donna and Uncle Joe’s place in Okotoks.  There we settled in to take in Calgary and all her splendor.

Talk to you again tomorrow about Calgary, it’s a fabulous museum, and a guy by the name Ol’Ugly.

Our footprints always follow us On days when it’s been snowing They always show us where we’ve been But never where we’re going — Winnie the Pooh, A to Z book.

We woke up from a good nights sleep at Turtle Mountain and we were hoping to make it outside of Swift Current by the end of the day.  We had an excellent drive.  The weather was cloudy but warm, we packed up had oatmeal for breakfast and headed on our way.

It was a pretty quiet drive.  We saw a lot of wheat.  More wheat than I think I have ever seen at one time.  As I have said in my previous posts when you are out there you can see for miles.  The gold of the wheat touching the blue of the sky.  It was beautiful.  We did stop in Weyburn Sask. for lunch at Tim Horton’s (thanks Grandma and Grandad) and made a few other stops for photos and to pick up food for snacks.

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We did make it to Swift Current but by the time we got there it was so cold (0 to 3 degrees C), and raining that we decided to grab a hotel for the evening.  We stayed at the Motel 6.  The showers were hot, the room was clean and well maintained.  We settled in for the night but the since we couldn’t cook we ordered pizza.  My lovely wife came through again and we ordered from The Pizza Stop.  It was really great pizza, made fresh with lots of toppings.  We were stuffed from just a medium for the three of us.  I called my Aunt in Okotoks Alberta to tell her we would be arriving the next day.  And then we went to sleep.  On to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.

Hint for the next entry: Sometimes you just have to follow your nose.

“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” ― Lewis Carroll,

We arrived at my Aunt Donna’s house just in time for dinner, lucky us!  We were ushered in and made to feel at home.  I emailed Dad and let him know that we had arrived and were safe and sound.  We had dinner, and promptly went to bed.

My Aunt Donna is my moms sister.  She was on her own the Saturday we arrived because my Uncle John is a storyteller with a stage name of Ol’Ugly.  He travels around western Canada and the U.S.  telling tales of farming from his child hood.  He had a festival all weekend and would not be back until Sunday night.

We settled in and had a good sleep.  In the morning we took a tour of the local pond and had a visit from my cousins from out west, Jane and Tara came over in the afternoon for dinner and to catch up.  It was a lovely visit.

The next morning we went to the Calgary Heritage Park  where my Aunt Wendy works.  This was a wonderful site and if you are ever in Calgary, and like people to talk to you about history, this is a place to go.  We spent at least an hour in Nellie McClungs house talking to a well versed interpreter about the lives of the Famous 5.

Then we went and had a chat with my Aunt Wendy, she was in charge of the train station and guiding people to the correct places in the park.  We arranged to meet for lunch then we headed out to wander the park.  We got to see and do some amazing things….

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After lunch with my wonderful Aunt Wendy we wandered around and went and saw a great story teller in the Hudson’s Bay Post before heading out to head back to Aunt Donna’s house to talk to my Uncle John about his time at the storytelling festival he was at.  Our next part of the trip we go to Edmonton but not before seeing dinosaurs and Hoo-Doos.

You travel with the hope that something unexpected will happen. It has to do with enjoying being lost…. Andrew Bird

We had another long day after Sleeping in Lebanon Recreational Area.  Our destination, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park in Manitoba.

Fargo to Turtle Mountain

We had a great drive up to the Manitoba boarder.  I have a friend who is living in the interior of British Columbia who loves the mountains but misses the big blue sky of the prairies, and I thought I understood.  I didn’t until this travel day.

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You can see for kilometers and kilometers in this part of the country.  We made good time to Manitoba because we really didn’t stop anywhere.  We packed our food and ate in the car the whole way.  We were feeling good about our travels.  We stopped in Kimberly Manitoba to pick up some food around 6:00pm because we were tired and I didn’t think I could put up the tent and make dinner in time to go to bed.

This is where are trip got interesting.

We had been following google maps for all of our travels and it had worked well.  Not for Turtle Mountain.  We followed the map to where it said where the entrance to the park was, and there was nothing.  No sign, just a dirt road leading off back the way we came.  It did not look like the entrance to a Provincial park, so we turned around and went back the way we came.  We passed this wall of hay several times:

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We just happened to, by trial and error,  find the entrance to the park, phew.  Only to find that the office closes at 4:00pm.  There was a reservation list set up on the Access station.  Site C28.  Ok well all I have to do is find that and pay in the morning.  So we drive around twice.  WE even go to the beach, no C28.  We finally give up and asked someone who was toasting marshmallows with his family.  Apparently there is a low maintenance site 1 km down from the full service sites.  We thank the folks and drive off down the road to find our site.  It is quiet and rustic, and there is no one around.  Peace and quiet.  Literally as soon as I said that in my head, a large truck pulls up into the campsite beside us. 27 other sites and they have the one beside us.  I grumbled a bit, to myself, but I was tired and I didn’t hear a thing.  We got up in the morning and headed for Swift Current.

Hint for tomorrow:  Someone turned off the heat.

“There is always something to miss, no matter where you are.” ― Patricia MacLachlan, Sarah, Plain and Tall

Hello everyone!  We are now safe and sound in Nanton Alberta about an hour short of Calgary at my Aunt Donnas.  We have had some very interesting days.  I hope you enjoy catching up with our adventures.

We left Charelston Ill. early on the 19th and headed for Minneapolis. Charleston to Lebanon HIlls

It was really hot in Charelston when we left that we were in shorts and t shirts.  We drove through a lot of corn.  I have never seen so much corn in my entire life.  Lots and lots of corn.  We had a great drive, Anne reading in the back seat, Elizabeth feeding me directions.  This combination got us to Madison Wis. at about lunch time.

Madison seems like a really great town with a strong independent business sector and a strong bike culture.  I hear all the time that as a northern city it would be hard for Toronto to have a stronger bike culture, well if Madison Wis. can do it I think Toronto can too.

We stopped in the centre of town were the capital building is.  It is an impressive building with great vistas from all four sides.  It is the nicest capital building we have seen all trip.

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After we circled the building once we got back in the car for another of Elizabeth’s great food finds.  She has an almost telepathic sense as to which food places on Trip advisor are really excellent.  She found Lazy Janes Cafe just on the other side of the Capitol building.

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As we were driving over I saw a street market and said that we should come back to get more food for the trip that sorted we headed over to the cafe.  Lazy Janes is this great old house that has been converted into a coffee house and sandwich shop.  We had a great meal, and even toured the little antiques shop right beside it before we got back in the car.  Sadly the market had closed before we could get to it and we had to move on to our campsite in Minneapolis without any extra food for the rest of the trip.

After leaving Madison we continued north and west to Fargo North Dakota.  In Fargo we stopped and picked up some grocery items and then went to the tourist information building.

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Now from the outside the Visitors centre seems just like anyother visitors centre, but if you are a movie buff and I say Fargo, what do you think of?

Maybe a particularly grizzly murder mystery movie?

Well at the visitors centre, where all your tourists might visit, is proudly displayed some of the props from the movie, including the wood chipper!  Complete with a fake leg with blood, pretending to be chipped.

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I was not sure whether that was the proper place for those props.  Now, we met some of the nicest people in Fargo, but for obvious reasons

we didn’t stay long.

We did arrive at our campground in Minneapolis little after 7:00pm registred had a quick bite to eat and went to the wash house to brush our teeth and wash our face I saw a trailer that made my little family tent feel really small.  It was a camp trailer that was so big it was being hauled by a freight liner truck cab.  It was the biggest trailer I think I have ever seen.

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We finished in the wash house and went to bed.  We got up had oatmeal, packed up our car, paid and were on the road by 8:00am heading for Turtle Mountain Provincial park in Manitoba.  Have you ever been so tired that you couldn’t find something that was right under your nose? That will be my next post tomorrow. I will try to get pictures into this post when I have access to a proper computer.

Talk to you all tomorrow

Don

While you are alive collect moments not things… -Aarti Khurana

Good Morning from Charleston Ill.!  We have been touring and have not had much time to write.  We have had some adventures here. There are several wild places here to see and photograph.  I got up really early yesterday to do just that.  I went to Lake Charleston  and had a look about.  I was lucky enough to get a photo of this guy…

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Osprey on Branch

I came back for breakfast because it was getting really hot out at 7:30 in the morning.  Everybody was up and just setting down to have omelettes and tea.  After cleaning up we decided to go into Champain to look about some antique shops and a store called Tuesday Morning (Like Winners but more household things and less clothing).  We had great fun traipsing about but we were getting hungry.  Richard wanted to go to a Middle Eastern restaurant he liked but when we got there it was being renovated and was being remodeled into a Chinese restaurant.  So we went here instead..

A great lunch place in Champain Ill
A great lunch place in Champain Ill

The food was great.  I had a Grilled pulled pork sandwich with ham cheese and Pickles.  Elizabeth had a great salad with spinach and chicken and Anne had Quiche Lorraine with a Cesar salad.  As you can see in the picture it was free cookie day so you know what we had for dessert, cookies!

We made a brief stop in the Jane Addams book store where I saw theseRobertson Letters! Shelf of History

and where the inspiration for the title of the post comes from.  It is interesting because I have been looking for a good copy of Robertson’s Letters for a LONG time but I am starting to realize that in the moments you collect is where you find joy not the things.

After that lunch we traveled back to Charleston Ill where Charlotte and Anne finished the wrap around skirt they were working on.  It is double sided and is absolutely gorgeous!  Pictures to come.

We are off to Minneapolis tomorrow and a lack of all things internet like, because we are camping so it may be a couple of days before a new post comes.  Hope you are all having a great summer.

Love

Don Elizabeth and Anne

P.S.  I know Annes Blog is unavailable I am working on a fix.

Life is either a great adventure or nothing. -Helen Keller

So this is the start of our adventure.  The three of us, off school for an entire year, yes a year!  My wife and I and our daughter are going to traverse the world and see where it takes us.  This blog will be an account of that adventure.   I hope you enjoy it.

If you would like a different perspective you could try looking at my daughters blog.  It is one of her assignments.  She may be out of school but she isn’t out of school.

At Eight AM on Saturday morning we headed out to Charleston, Illinois where my wifes brother and sister in law live.

We had a very long drive, punctuated by brief stops at Tim Horton’s before the boarder at Windsor.  The traffic was really good, everyone moved over to the right lane unless they were passing, it was great.  We only made two stops.  The first was in Markle where we found the largest antiques mall I have ever seen.  We saw several pieces that I would have taken home if we were heading that way.

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Our next stop was  a lovely restaurant in Gas City called Payne’s.  It is a British themed establishment with wonderful food and craft beer.  We had a great meal.  My daughter had Banners and Mash (sausage and potatos).  I had a great burger with kettle chips, and my wife had a Brioche with marinated salmon pepper jack cheese and raspberries.  For dessert I had the sticky toffee pudding, which was to die for, and my daughter had a Reese’s Pieces sundae.  It was a great stop.

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After this we headed to Charleston.  We arrived in Charleston late and went right to bed. Tomorrow will be another adventure.