Saturday, August 10, 2013

Revisiting the past

I got up Wednesday morning and decided not to walk that morning - I was still worn out from the day before (it was a hot day for walking)  and hadn't slept well.   I had crepes with Saskatoon berry sauce on them and enjoyed visiting with a couple from Dawson Creek, B.C.  She was from Korea so she had some interesting tales to tell.  In the early 50's  her father traveled to South Korea to find work and a home for his pregnant wife - well the Korean war started and he was not able to go back.  So he had a wife and child in North Korea that he never saw again - it haunted him for the rest of his life.  So many others endured that as well.  I had never thought of how families were torn apart by the division of that country. 

I crossed the border back into Saskatchewan and had to stop for a picture...


Anyway off I headed to Speedy Creek with a quick stop in Maple Creek for coffee.  Thought this stop sign was cute!  Maple Creek is definitely in cowboy country!!


After arriving into Swift Current I headed to the library only to be told they didn't have telephone directories going back that far but directed me to the museum just off the highway.   There, a historian named Rachel was so much help to me and helped me locate the addresses of where my parents lived as well as the location of my grandparents (father's parents) graves.  So off I went.  First stop:  Heroin Heights.  Yep that's the nickname of the grand looking apartment where my grandparents and then my parents lived....then on to the place where my dad grew up...no longer a big white house but a series of apartment blocks.   Oh well, things change.  I did find the graves I was looking for along with my dad's baby brother's grave alongside theirs- he died at age 9 months.  My grandfather died when my dad was 11 and while my grandmother died in 1970 she was distant and remote and I felt like I never knew her.. However I stood and paid my respects and simply said "thank you for my dad". However my mother's mom was awesome and I had the best grandma in the world...she was my best friend - so don't be feeling sorry for me!!  :) 

Anyway on to cheerier things - a quick small pizza for supper and then it was time to head out to the bed and breakfast which was near Wymark.  Oh boy!  I ended up on a gravel road...don't ask....I misread a sign as had to read it quickly with someone on my tail end.  Turned out it said Country Butchers not Country comfort.  Oh well I found it and got settled in. (short version)  Lots of critters...pigs, chickens, sheep, horses, cows (although I didn't see them), a bunny rabbit, lots of cats and a black lab named Rocky.   It was quite the experience.  Not a farm girl - never want to be...as much as I love animals no thank you.  I do love living in the heart of the city but it was sure fun to be on a farm for one night.


Just so people think I don't I take pictures of cats.  I hate this colour of cat but all kittens are cute - if they only stayed kittens!!! 

This bathroom was almost as big as my living room! Not exactly roughing it!  My kinda farm!


Rocky the friendly lab

Loved this farm scene

The light of the sunset reflecting on the road

One little piggie

two little piggies or is it two and a half little piggies!

I was told their names...

Just another killer prairie sunset - enhanced by my camera's sunset mode!!! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cowboys and Indians

I have decided to call this trip the Cowboys and Indians trip as there has been a lot of both - the culture that is.

I had a great day today - went for a LONG walk.  I can truly say my boots are broken in!  I am not sure how far I walked - 18 km?   I walked over to the world's largest tipi which was about a 20 minute walk from here then down the hill into Kin Coulee and on to downtown.  I walked around a bit then on to the start point for the walks and back through Kin Coulee and up the hill and back here.  I left at 9:15 and was back by 4.  I did stop a few times though.  I enjoyed myself. 
World's largest tipi



Huge chess set, downtown Medicine Hat





Bleeding hearts or broken Hearts?

Loved the way they painted their utility casings

Beautiful stonework in Veterans Park

Breakfast this morning was poached eggs on zucchini and tomatoes with spices and toast - homemade bread with home made cherry preserves. Yum. 
Yum!!
Tomorrow will be crepes with Saskatoon berry sauce - even better!!!  The Groves bed and breakfast is nice - a home style one - no pretentious "inn" and the price is right.  $115 for two nights. I will definitely come back here someday.  The couple who run it are friendly and helpful. 

I went to the golf course club house for supper as Gary at the B & B recommended it and it was really good - had a burger. 

Tonight I looked in a few stores and did buy some supplies for the UK trip.  However I am pretty tired I must admit.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring.  I am hoping to do another walk but depends how I feel.  I do want to head out to Swift Current about noon or so. 

Time for bed!!! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bison and eagles

Well I haven't blogged in a couple of days as it's been hectic and my netbook is not behaving itself at all....anyway I have been having an absolutely wonderful time.

The wedding was lovely and Becky the bride was absolutely beautiful.  We danced to the oldies and all had a pretty good time.  The next morning I drove to the tourist centre and did a little bit of a walk but not far as had sandals on.  I did get a closer view of the railway bridge. I then drove to  Henderson Lake and sat and enjoyed the sunshine..I was feeling a bit too..ahem...fragile to walk.  I then went over to my cousin's place and she had prepared a wonderful brunch - hash brown casserole, an egg casserole, sausages, bacon, muffins, etc.  And momosas!!  We had a good visit and Becky and Jon opened their gifts.  I then went to the Galt museum which was interesting.  I had been given a half price voucher at Fort Whoop Up so for three dollars the price was right.  I love history so I enjoyed it and this was the history of Lethbridge.

Stunning view from behind the Galt museum

World's largest cowboy boot?

Weather vanes!



 From there I drove over to the hall and helped Joanne and Jerrold "undecorated" the hall.  I undid a lot of sashes off of chairs!!!  I was glad to help.  Then Joanne invited me over for a steak BBQ with potatoes and salad which was delish.  And homemade chocolate ice cream for dessert.  Honestly that girl is something else.  A credit to her fabulous mom - my beloved Auntie Marge.  They are off on a holiday tomorrow and I am so glad she is getting away and having a break.

This morning after checking out of the Days Inn I headed west to Smashed Head In Buffalo Jump which was so good....I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It is a place where the Indians drove the bison (correct term)  over a cliff to their deaths.  Sounds gruesome I know but these animals provided food, clothing, tools, etc.  They lived off the buffalo and then the white man came along and hunted the bison to near extinction for it's hide.  This site was fabulous with so much information.  There were also a couple of hiking trails.  I didn't finish the lower one but did go as far as the kill site.  There had been a bear sighting last month - well last month was only five days ago.  There were warnings all over the place.  Luckily lots of people out!  I'd highly recommend this place - so glad I got to see it.



This is the actual jump where the Buffalo went over.







I then hopped back into the Fiesta and off I headed east and stopped at the Alberta Birds of Prey centre - it was a last minute decision and so glad I went.  The highlight?  Being able to pet a Golden Eagle named Liberty and have my picture taken with her.  She was found in a ditch by a woman who brought her in to the centre (Liberty was riding in the backseat like a passenger).  The poor thing had been shot with pellets and is permanently blind.  She loves to be petted and is very affectionate.  Her handler said I could put my nose up to hers..I was little hesitant over that one.  I may not have the most attractive face in town but I would like to keep it!!!  We also saw a Bald Eagle (by the name of Lincoln!)  flying and then the kids got to spray him down which he loved.  I got a bit (a bit?) miffed as there were some gorgeous white ducks and kids were chasing them - as in very aggressively.  I got really bent out of shape esp. as their idiotic parents were taking pictures and thought it was cute.  Chasing a bird so that it is running and slipping on rocks to get into the water in it's haste to get away is not cute.  So I walked around muttering to myself about stupid children and their even stupider parents.





The geese before the mayhem started.


Lincoln, the bald eagle

Lincoln looks very pissed off but he actually enjoys having his showers and can't get enough.



Getting close and personal with Liberty - her trainer kept saying "don't lean back". 

Back in the car with another stop at Bow Island for a potty stop at the tourist centre (which sounds rather grand - more like a trailer) and a Saskatoon Berry ice cream cone.  (yum!)  I stopped the car along the way and got some awesome prairie shots which I will post on here when I get home. 

Into Medicine Hat where I proceeded to get a bit misplaced.  I went to the tourist centre where I got a map (!!!) and other info and the girl was quite impressed I was staying two nights here.  I drove over to the world's larges tipi.   I had a delicious dinner at the Cheesecake cafĂ©;  grilled veggie sandwich, sweet potato fries and a Caesar salad. 

Then to my bed and breakfast which looks like it will suit me just fine.  It is a family home and quite comfortable.  

Tomorrow...I plan to walk my socks off!!! 



Saturday, August 3, 2013

Whooping it up in Lethbridge

Well made it in one piece to Lethbridge....and not too tired.  I got a white Ford Fiesta with Siruis radio.  I had a blast singing along to the oldies the whole way here.  It is a good little car to drive - seems Enterprise is going through their ford phase lately.  I don't care.  I am not a car person so as long as it's got four wheels and works I am fine with it. 

I stopped at Maple Creek for lunch.  A family of twelve was being served so the rest of us had to wait forever for our meal - I had a denver sandwich.  It was really good though.  Then off I went in the rain...it was beautiful leaving Regina.  The canola fields under the blue sky were breathtaking.  I stopped at Chaplin to visit the interpretive centre and learn more about the "salt" lake.  I always thought it was snow when I was a kid!!  Anyway it was one of those rains where it couldn't make up it's mind what it wanted to do.....on and off, on and off - but beats heavy rain.   I gassed up at Medicine Hat but didn't stop to do a walk in the rain needless to say - I will be there for two nights next week so that's fine.  I stopped at Bow Island to use the loo in their little tourist centre had a cute friendly old guy in it.  I also met this guy...


Pinto McBean!!!  I guess the area must be famous for pinto beans
 On to Lethbridge where I checked into the Days Inn.  It is within walking distance of downtown, is the start point for the walk I wanted to do and I can walk down into the coulees.  Also fairly close to the church and reception hall.  Should I say win, win, win, win and win. 

I headed off for a walk down into the coulees - on the phone to my cousin at the same time.   I didn't go far as I didn't have water with me nor mosquito spray - it was just something to stretch my legs. However I did run into these characters...

They were taking part in a reinactment at Fort Whoop Up the next day. 

 I then walked over to the mall as I had forgotten my comb.  I bought one at Shoppers Drug Mart and I accidentally hit the scanner which was on (she was away price checking something) and I screwed up the system.  What can I say, I have a talent.  I couldn't see any place in the mall that appealed to me to eat at - same old, same old.  So I went to the Penny Cafe where I had half  sandwich and a delicious bowl of veggie soup.  I then headed back to the room and relaxed.

This morning I had a bagel, egg and banana at the complimentary breakfast at my hotel, put on my walking boots and backpack and off I went down into the coulees.  The park trails were a mess in places and the 10km walk had been cancelled.  I learned more about coal mining in the area in a little kiosk and enjoyed the walk,  I then went to Fort Whoop Up which is in the park and it was fantastic.  Well worth the 7 dollar admission fee.  A great 30 minute film followed by displays and then to the fort.  So interesting.  I met the official greeter - a goat named Mary Frances.  She was sitting demurely on a bench.





The one and only Mary Frances


Horse shoes in the blacksmith store.

In the tipi

I wish I would have had time to go on a stagecoach ride!

Reinactment - are any of my horsey friends in this picture.  All horses look the same to me!
  I wandered through the rooms.  These were a bunch of scalliwags - selling booze to the Indians and totally out of control.  I guess you could call it the original party town.  It is very tragic how the native Indians were treated by the European settlers.  There was a party of "soldiers" on horseback - one which I had seen the day before. So neat to see.  I went into a teepee and the Indian sang a lullaby to the children with the kids playing their "maracas".  It was a great visit - an hour and a half flew by and I could have spent longer.  It was small in comparison to Fort Edmonton or Fort William but very well done.  I will add photos when I get home...unless I can get a faster wifi connection.  Don't know if it's that or my netbook but it won't let me upload photos. 

I went to a shop/bakery called the Wooden Shoe and got a sandwich with English crisps.  I resisted temptation as there was LOTS I could have bought from all over...Holland, Germany, UK, etc. 

Off to the wedding next!