August 29, 2007

Four of My Favorite Things

On a beautiful day, one of our last in Canada for quite some time, we got together with my long time friend Kirstin and her great husband Brent. Late last Spring we had vowed that one day we would make it up to the tea house on the Plain of Six Glaciers at Lake Louise for a long chat and a warm cup of Earl Grey. Trev and I were both exceedingly happy that we set some time apart to actually make this trip a possibility. Despite the wind and the fact that we are all getting old, with our aches and pains, it was one of the most delightful trips to the mountains that I can remember.

Built in 1924, this rustic stone cabin was to sustain guests of both the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Lake Louise Chalet on their day outings. It is unique in that it's structure, a stonework frame, deviated from the norm of that time period, the usual log construction.

Trevor, mountains, tea, Kirstin and Brent, these are four of my very favorite things.

August 27, 2007

Christmas In July...Well August

As we walked up to Dave and Karalee's on our last night in Red Deer we noticed a little something that seemed out of place. Hanging on the front door the day before had been a beautiful summery wreath; now in it's place was an unmistakably festive marker. "Christmas!!" Trevor snorted, "I think Karalee's gone a little loopy."

As we entered we began to notice that the front door was not the only thing in the house that had been decorated in the spirit of Christmas. All over the house were touches of red, green and gold. Right when we thought that our visit home couldn't get any more memorable, our family decided to surprise us with Christmas and all of the trimmings. Unbeknownst to us everything from stockings to Christmas crackers, presents to pumpkin pie and marshmallow salad were prepared and decorated.

It didn't take long for us to catch on and before Mom could enter the house the letters forming the word 'NOEL' on the cupboard top had mysteriously been changed to 'LEON'. While Trevor took the brunt of the blame for this little redecoration, I smiled to myself amazed at how a few decorations, family and an old CD could make August feel so much like December. I even caught myself peeking outside to see if there was a fresh white blanket of snow.

August 19, 2007


(Sunwapta Falls at sunset)

(A sunset view looking towards the town of Jasper from the old highway)

(Maligne Lake, Jasper)

(A beach on Maligne Lake, Jasper)

(The 1st Bridge at Maligne Canyon, Jasper)

Bad Landing

As we were packing up camp and heading out we ran into a news reporter from Edmonton. This being an altogether odd experience, we inquired as to his awkward presence in the mountains. Obligingly he informed that there had been an accident in the vicinity the day before. It seems that there had been a helicopter crash. Fact is, one of the Icefield choppers had gone down in the lake after a few mechanical difficulties. We feel that the above picture best captures his interest in the heart of the David Thompson Wilderness.

We were relieved to discover that no one was injured and that the two French tourists escaped without harm. Really, the only harm done was in the leaking of jet fuel into an awe-inspiring clean mountain lake.


Becki and Ryan enjoying a late night campfire on the mountain plains.


What would a trip to the mountains be without a little fun scaling the rocks? Trevor and I had a great time teaching our cousins how to repel down and then climb back up the challenging Two O'Clock Creek rockface. Everyone enjoyed themselves and much to Aunty Sandra's relief, nobody died.

Sven (Steven), Megan, Colton, Brianne, Amanda, Rachel and Baby D enjoying the view of Uncle Monkey (Trevor) boldering on the rock beside.

Sven and his rippling muscles.

Colton, who despite his shoes, did make it to the top of the route.

Two O'Clock Creek Camping

-Mount Peskett (10,250 ft) as seen from Kootenay Plains at dusk.-

Destination: Two O'Clock Creek/Kootenay Plains
Time: August 10th-12th
Companions: The Magnus family, the Andrus family, Steven, Ryan and Amanda
Feats: Baby Dawson's first camping/tenting trip and our cousin's first rock-climbing and repelling experiences
Routes and Trails: Siffler Falls, Two O'Clock Creek Rock Face, Crescent Falls and David Thompson Resort (DTR)

-Trevor on top of the first falls in the Siffler Wilderness.-

-Abraham Lake as seen from the shore of DTR. Later that week we pulled a large truck out of this lake after the driver sunk his front tires into the beach.-

- Baby D and I, chillin'.-

-An arm of Abraham Lake looking towards Mount Sentinal (9,400 ft), Cline River and Mount Stelfox (8,619 ft).-

-That forestry degree comes in handy after all. I personally didn't know that pushing over trees was a course in University!-


We bought a new fancy camera and we thought what a better way to break it in than to subject our family to an evening of picture snapping in the park (tourture...in Dave's opinion).

Here are a few of the shots that worked out nicely, especially when you consider that it was past baby Dawson's bedtime, it was raining and the sun was very quickly heading south over the horizon.

August 5, 2007

King of the Field

On our way home from Saskatchewan today we passed one of the most enduring symbols of the prairies. An old timeworn relic that lives to tell tales of the hard work and sweat that so many of our grandfathers put into making this a truly great nation.

August 4, 2007

Way Up High in the Sky

Today was our last day with the Olson families in Swift Current. So to leave a lasting impression we took the boys to DQ for some ice cream and returned them to their mother right before bed time high on life (also known as sugar). As we were walking up to Joline's door about to retire the boys to their mother's bedtime routines we remembered that one day there may be the possibility of pay-back so we stayed for a while to help run off their delicious evening treat.

After that it was a blur of red shirts and flying kids. I'm not entirely sure how Zane ended up high in the branches of the tree outside of Jo's house or, for that matter, why Raith had to jump for safety and run for his life from a huge giant we like to call Uncle Trevor.

We will miss Swift Current and our family. And it is odd to think that these little guys will be a lot bigger, brighter, and busier when we return in a year and a half.

August 2, 2007


Baby Kayla enjoying a peaceful afternoon in the shade of Grandma and Grandpa's garden.