My blog

A little bit about me and a lot about the things we do.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

New Experiences

Rachael and I have been plotting for a while about going to a horse event at Spruce Meadows.  We first discovered this place our first Christmas in Alberta.  They host a wonderful Christmas Market and Rachael and I enjoyed our day shopping and visiting.  Last year we brought Brianne along with us to be a part of our Christmas adventure there.  Later that month Ron and I drove through Spruce Meadows to take in their festival of lights.  So Spruce Meadows was not new to us BUT we did go there for a new experience.
The Masters was being held their.  We had never been to a horse jumping competition before and I was quite excited.  Ron and I rode the motorcycle and we met Rachael there who was dressed up for the show.  She looked like she might have been a owner of one of those beautiful beasts.  All she was lacking was the big hat.

The first competition we took in was the ATCO Founders Classic.  The horses were jumping 1.50 m.  Thankfully the lady next to us was full of knowledge for us and we got into the event.  Watching the jump off was very exciting.
First there is silence, then a collective "oooo" when the horse knocks a rail down and then a generous clap for all but even more so for those that complete a clean run.

Twice a rider was knocked off when the horse decided that he was not going to do the jump.  Once the horse came running from the far end of the course to right up the hill near us.

Both times the riders were okay and in fact the one rider rode a different horse in the same competition and won with that one.

The next competition was the CANA Cup with horses jumping 1.60 m.  It is really beautiful watching the horse leap over the rail and turn quickly to set up for the next jump.

 The competition ended just in time for us to catch the last of the musical ride.  It's always a little thrill to see the Mounties in their red surges and knowing that I am standing beside my Mountie who has one of those hanging in the closet at home.
We went to the stables to meet these massive, amazing creatures after their show.  They are such beautiful horses.
 And of course everyone needs a cool shower after a hot day of riding!
We stopped to check out a little dog jumping competition as well....water jumping!

We had our lunch and tea during the horse jumping competition and enjoyed our ice cream treat after.  There was only one thing left to a bit.  Since it's my birthday month Ron bought me an Ammolite necklace.  Ammolite is a stone found in Alberta.  This one was mined and designed by the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta.  I'm spoiled.  Rachael finished off her outfit by buying a nice hat.
After saying goodbye to Rachael, Ron and I drove to the Crossiron mall and had a little snack of sushi.  We then used a gift card that Andrew and Brianne gave us at Christmas time.  Ron and I went to a movie.  That might not be strange for any one reading this but this was my first movie that I have ever gone to. 
So this was a day of new experiences.  The good thing is that I got to do all the new experiences with my old faithful!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Radium For Lunch???

Last Sunday, Ron and I got up and went to church and then decided to head out on the motorcycle.  We stopped in Calgary to visit our nephew and his family.  They just moved there from Vancouver Island and it is so nice to be able to visit with them a little more often.  We went from there to our son's.  He booked us into an escape room for that evening and so back to Calgary we went.

Escape rooms are a new thing.  It's almost like playing a video game but it's real.  You enter into a room and you search for keys to open locks, find clues to help you enter into more locked areas and try your hardest to get to the final stage ...all within one hour.  Fortunately for us there was no one waiting so we were given more time and after 1 hour and 30 minutes we were victorious in reaching the end.
The next morning Ron and I went for a motorcycle ride.  It's amazing that we are so close to British Columbia that we can go there for lunch.  The sky was nice and clear when we were going and the mountains created amazing sights for us to enjoy along the ride. 
 It wasn't long before the smoke became heavy and there was evidence of the disaster of the fires that have been going on so long in this province.

 We made it to Radium just in time for lunch.  We decided that we should eat before heading to the pools.
 There is nothing quite like the entrance into this town.  You drive between rocks and then it opens up into beautiful views.
 We had lunch at a nice little German restaurant on their outside patio.  The smoke wasn't too bad in Radium.
 Biking, tea and Ron....3 of my favourite things!
 Radium is known for the many Big Horn Sheep in the town and we have never gone there and not seen them.  They roam the streets and live quite nicely with the locals.
 After lunch and a little tour around town we headed back up the hill, through the rocks to the hot springs.
 We usually go to the hot springs when it is cold and so the hot pool feels so good.  This day we spent more time in the cool pool which really wasn't very cool at all.
 A short soak in the hot pool was a nice treat and then we were refreshed to hop on the bike again and head back down the road.

 I'm not sure what I like more, the magnificent mountains or the beautiful colours of the rivers and lakes along the way.  All I know is that when you put them together it's amazing.

 As we drove east we saw some active fires in the mountains.  The plumes of smoke sent a strange feeling through me.  A helicopter flew overhead with a water bucket.  It seemed almost futile. 


Once again, we had a great ride.  We stopped in Banff for a light supper and made it back to our son's for tea.  Andrew and Brianne showed up late.  They had been to Vancouver Island for a wedding and their dog was having a sleep over with our grand dogs.

We keep thinking that that just might be our last ride for the year but the weather has been getting nicer and nicer.  Who knows?

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Picklejar Lakes Hike

Once again we headed towards Kananaskis for our hike.
There is still quite a bit of smoke in the air from the fires in British Columbia but it seems better as you go south and so we picked a hike a little further down the road.

We heeded the warning at the start of the trail head.
We carry bear spray, have a bell jingling, huff and puff up the trail to make noise and try and keep our eyes and ears open for anything that might look like a bear.  The trail started at a gentle ascent but soon it felt like we were touching our nose to our toes.

Once we emerged out of the trees we walked along a meadow before heading into an even more steep slope.

As I hike up these mountains I always try to remind myself that the views at the top will be worth the effort along the way.
We take lots of breaks along the way to take pictures and let my heart rate go back to a somewhere normal beat.  The trail turned to rock and shale with a thin path kind of laid out to guide your way.

This hike was leading us to four lakes one after another.  According to my fact sheet Picklejar Lakes are classified as Paternoster Lakes. 
Paternoster lakes occur in alpine valleys, climbing one after the other to the valley's head, called a corrie, which often contains a cirque lake. Paternoster lakes are created by end moraines, or rock dams, that are formed by the advance and subsequent upstream retreat and melting of the ice. - Wikipedia
So the goal was to hike to Lake # 1 and continue to # 4.
Lake One:

Lake Two:

Lake Three:

Lake Four:

After a short break we headed back.  Going back is always easy because you now have land marks AND you are going down hill.  Although some of the steep slopes were a little bit tricky.

Just climbing up over a rock pile

Ron's selfie!
As we got close to the road we heard an animal noise and Ron saw something black cross ahead.  Fortunately they were just free roaming cattle.  Strange to see but much better than encountering a bear. 
However, we were not skunked on the wildlife because on our drive out we did have to stop for these two.
It was another productive hike...A 8.3 km hike, burning just over 1700 calories which meant we treated ourselves and our boy to an A & W supper. 
Today Ron is off to work for 8 days in a row.  I'm catching up on life around the house.  So until my next blog....enjoy your week!