Thursday, 31 July 2014

Running Back To Saskatoon

An old Burton Cummings song. I lived in Saskatoon from 1972 until 1988. When my job transferred me to Calgary in 1988 we left behind all our family and friends. Seems like such a long time ago.

The drive east is a pretty drive. Lots of hills and valleys. Lush green scenery.

We are moving from Alberta into Saskatchewan. About 3 more hours to go.

We stopped at Cut Knife to take a look at the worlds largest tomahawk. Built in 1971 as a symbol of unity and friendship with the First Nations in the area.

We continued along to Saskatoon and in continued lovely scenery.

We arrived at my friends house in time for a cold drink and then out for dinner.

A nice drive however again a long day on the road. About 7 hours on the road. Tomorrow is another day of travel.

Until next time - safe travels.




Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Twin Lakes

What a beautiful, hot, sunny day. A perfect day to head to Twin Lakes for a swim and picnic. Here Tom and I are with 3 Grands after a swim in the lake.

There are two lakes here. One is about 4 feet deep. This one is 180 feet deep. The temperature at the bottom is 41'C. This is a great diving lake. Where we wre swimming was off the dive dock. There were several divers in the water. The water for about the first 4 feet was fairly warm but when the divers surfaced they brought up the cold water with them. Was pretty refreshing!!

Twyla caught this picture of Tom and I in the lake.

Later we headed back to Twyla's for burgers. Her and I headed off for a 4.5 mile walk after dinner to try wear off the burgers.

Tomorrow we start our drive to Saskatoon. Until next time - safe travels.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sunshine and Fun

Taylor came over after she finished her early morning medic shift.

Jake and Grampa headed off on the quads to check out the south range. Grampa's white shirt was not that color when they returned. This was his first adventure on a quad and had a great time. I think Jake has found a new quad partner!!

and off they go.

When they got back there was a chance for a photo op of my three girls.


We had to get Jake into the action also

It turned into a beautiful day to spend time in the pool with the gang. The pool is heated so it was wonderful. The water guns where blasting also.

Some ladder ball to get into gear before the reunion on the weekend. Karmen scored!!! How can you

Jake watching the big game waiting for his turn.

Karmen in action!! Hurts to even watch.

Twyla did an awesome pork roast on the BBQ for dinner. Taylor's boyfriend Cam and her friend Nicki also came over for dinner. It was delicious!!

We finished out the evening with a movie and popcorn. What a fabulous day. Until next time - safe travels.


Monday, 28 July 2014

On the Road Again

Left Fort Mc behind and headed south again. Met some interesting traffic on the highway. Huge line up of traffic behind this guy. He took up 3/4 of the highway. Twyla told me this is a compressor station and you see them on the highways all the time. The roads are really good up here. Not anything like you are led to believe but I am sure it is a different story in the winter.

Jennifer lived in Athabaskan prior to moving to Ft Mc in March. She thought it was an awful place. But the highway into town showed a very picturous spot.

After a stop at the new Costco in St. Albert we skipped around the west side of Edmonton and continued south. We stopped at the Genesee Power Station along the way. This is a coal fueled station with a huge operating coal mine on site.

We arrived at Twyla's at 6:00 pm. Another long day on the road. It was wonderful to relax on her back deck and take in the awesome view she has.

They have a half section of land. What a wonderful place to raise their children.


This the view from their front door. How awesome.

Tobie was smiling also. Happy to see us!!

Until next time - safe travels.


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Bear Bells On

Up this morning and got ready to take a hike in the woods. We have been warned about the bear issues so Tom and I picked up some bear bells yesterday. So off we went to this huge park within the city to find the trails. We were met with this sign at the gate.


There are several workout stations along the edge of the park. Jen and Tom tried this one out.

From here we headed into the woods. We sounded like a sleigh ride with our bear bells jingling.

A beautiful park with an abundance of wild raspberries to eat along the way. But thankfully no bears.

We ended up at the far side of this park and stopped for a picnic lunch before trying to figure out how to get back to the car.

After about a 7 mile hike we found our way back to the car. Tired and ready to head home for a cold beer.

Another great day in Ft Mc. Until next time - safe travel.


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Fort McMurray

I jumped out of bed at 3:45 am thinking it was time to get up. Hey it is almost 6:00 am at home Breakfast of champions this morning with my cousin Kelly.

After breakfast we toured around town and then stopped in to visit Jennifer and have a tour of the dental office where she works. New office with all completely modern equipment. She is a pretty happy camper with her new job.

Kelly then messaged me that he had taken the afternoon off so he could give us a tour of the area. We met up with him again and he took us up north of town to take a look at the oil sands. The expanse of the operation here is beyond your comprehension.

We stopped to look at the monster machines. This bucket is used to scoop up the oil sands and to dump into the huge trucks for transport. The machine behind it is massive.

Here is more of that monster machine. Take a look at the size of the chain on the ground.

We moved along to stop at a spot that they have rehabilited. It is now back to nature and this herd of bison live here. It is great to see what these big companies are doing to bring the mess they have made back to life. There is lots of evidence of this around the area.

The pond below is being rehabilitated also. Still has some time to go before it will be safe for wildlife. There are lots of platforms on the water that make a constant noise to keep the birds from landing on the water. It is not safe enough yet for them yet.

I have some other cool pictures but they are on my camera and currently I can not get them from there to my iPad. So this is it. We had lunch with Kelly and then just hung around waiting for Jen to get home from work. We picked up some groceries and made a big pasta dinner.

Was a good day. Until next time - travel safe.


Friday, 25 July 2014

Head West??

Up at 5:00 am to catch a flight to Edmonton. But I guess 5:00 am was not early enough. Traffic was bad and we got to Pearson International about 5 mins late. You are supposed to be checked in 45 mins before your flight. Well guess what??? We were not!! So our 7:00 am flight got changed to an 8:20 am flight.

So okay you figure that is not such a bad shake, right? We are hitting some pretty substantial turbulence about a half hour east of Edmonton. A big storm, high winds and rain. There is only one landing strip open and it has a strong cross wind and a quarter inch of rain on the surface. Too dangerous to land. Off we go to Calgary!!

We sit on the tarmac for an hour waiting for a gate. They are going to let us know how they will get us to Edmonton. We wait and wait. We get off finally and collect our luggage. Here is Tom in the brown jacket waiting some more.


And then the big announcement!!! We are going to bus you to Edmonton. So again not a bad shake, right?

They can only get school buses!!! For the 3 hour drive. OMG

We have a rental car booked with Budget in Edmonton. I check with budget in Calgary. To have a car for one day and drop it in Edmonton they want $385 - no chance! There is a young lady with her two kids waiting for a bus with us. They announce that there is a flight ahead of us to be loaded first. With only 35 people per bus it may be a long wait. Plus they say they may stop for a break in Red Deer. It may be a 4 hour trip!! This lady decides she will try another car rental and we will split the cost. All she can get is an Audi. With all their luggage and ours we can't fit!! Now the buses are all gone. I head to Avis for a rental and for $200 we are on our way to Edmonton. It is pouring rain and really windy. Oh my it is still a long way to Ft MacMurray!!!

Well it is now 4:00 pm Alberta time. We left home 12.5 hours ago. We are now at Leduc and filling up the rental before taking it to the Edmonton airport. The damn gas pump has eaten Tom's credit card!!!! What next? Gas here is $113.4/lt. Cheaper than at home. $37 in gas to come this far. We have a Chevy equinox. What a pig on gas and totally gutless.

Dropped off Avis car and picked up Budget car. We are now north of Edmonton and heading to Fort McMurray. GPS says 5 more hours. Should be there by about 10:00 pm...UGGGG!!!!!


Stopped in Gibbon at a diner for a bite. Ran into more rain but this double rainbow seemed to indicate it was over. It was a complete rainbow from side to side. It was so long I had to take the picture in three parts. Check out the fields of canola.


But the rain wasn't over. We hit it again and it came down so hard you couldn't see a damn thing....3 more hours to go.

Oh thank goodness. It is now 10:30 pm and we have arrived in Fort Mac and are at Jennifer's. She has cold refreshments to revive us!!!



Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully less adventure. Until next time- safe travels.




Saturday, 12 July 2014

York Regional Forest

There are hundreds of acres of forest lands in our region that contain miles and miles of hiking trails. We took advantage of a beautiful sunny day to head out for a hike this morning. This is only a half hour drive from home. It is called Eldred King Woodlands and contains over 500 acres and numerous trails. Many of the trails are made up of loose sand which makes the walking more work. Like walking on a soft sand beach.

We walked up hill. You can just see Tom way up ahead.

And we walked downhill

A great hike and not too busy. We met a few people but were mostly all on our own.

There were afew horses on some of the trails. This would be just a great spot to ride for sure.

Another great hike and time spent in the great outdoors. Mother Nature got to love her.

Check out my swamp buddies below. They were looking pretty sad after many years of sitting on the deck. I just finished bringing them back to life. You will have to excuse the frog. He must have eaten too

Until next time - safe travels.