Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our Journey. Don retired October 2011 so hopefully the travelling part will increase! When we are not vacationing check in for updates about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas from the Smiths

I must say that overall I am not much for Christmas.  Some of you won't believe that, I have lots of decorations, lots of presents etc.  But it saddens me to see people who are exhausted from trying to do what everyone thinks they should and all that goes with that.

So my Christmas wish, which I have finally seemed to achieve, is that if you are exhausted over Christmas prep and all that goes with it, is that you are at least happy about it.  Don't look at the season with dread, and if you do reevaluate what you do.

Christmas through the eyes of the children is what makes it enjoyable for me.  Not just their stockings and gifts, but also watching them enjoy the lights, seeing them at concerts, taking about Santa, and even about Jesus.  And eating.  That sounds funny, but watching them enjoy cookies I baked, the Christmas dinner and everything else.  Would I go without presents?  I wouldn't want to. But I could.

So instead of a letter filled what we have been doing all year, you could read the blog.  A year of memories, laughter and some tears,  Which makes life, well life!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!



Monday, December 12, 2016

One Year

This is not meant to be a sad post but a post of love to the main person in my life.  My driver!

One year ago today this guy terrified us, and himself I imagine.  It has been a year since Don had his heart attack.  Sometimes to me it is just a memory, but then other times it seems like just yesterday. 

I think these times are meant to put things in perspective.  It is a drop everything and focus on each other sort of moment.

Hats off to Don for his unfaltering commitment to health and exercise.  He consciously does what all of us should - monitors his weight and diet, and exercises regularly.  Although it must just kill him with my bad eating habits, he is able to avoid all that bad stuff and focus on healthy eating.

I love you to the moon and back - happy healthy heart anniversary to my heart!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Love Letters to Grandchildren

This might be my longest post!  If you have grandchildren you know the amazing amount of love and entertainment they offer.  Every one of them is different in their own way.  I find myself remembering little parts of what I have loved about them all as they grow, but with Blake for example, although I will never forget how much I love him, I find myself forgetting little things.  So I am going to do a yearly summary in this blog, as it is really for us to read back on and remember!
This year I will start with the youngest to oldest.

Mason Theodore Stecyk


Every child has a special "place" in the family.  Mason is our last baby.  I think I will always think of him that way!  But make no mistake this little guy is no baby.  He cracks us up constantly.  Watching him crash through life is so funny, but sometimes so tender too.  Right now he has such physical features.  His shoulders are so wide.  He has big hands it seems too.  And he has such strength.  He often seems like a bull in a china shop, not much finesse.  But when he hugs his brother or gives love to his puppy, he can be gentle.  For some time he seemed to have a cry as he went to bed, but lately he just climbs in, cuddles up and looks like an angel.  His big brown eyes and a smile that looks at the same time mischievous, goofy and sweet melts your heart.  He tries so hard to talk about everything, and watching his lips as he forms words is so sweet.  In the mornings after Lindsay has taken Connor t school she will often phone me form the truck.  Mason and I have this thing where I say "Hi Mason".  He says "Hi Yaya", I say "How are you today?", he says "Good", and we move on.  But I treasure those little conversations.  Mason has drive and determination in everything he does.  Love you little guy!

Connor James Stecyk



So Connor's place is special, he is my baby's baby!  I don't know why Connor and I have this special love.  Lindsay insists he is not like this with anyone else.  Maybe because when he was born they lived in Fort McMurray but I spent a lot of time with him?  He's 4 years old, and there isn't a time I can't count on him for a kiss or hug.  Sometimes he will say I need you Yaya and just sits close.  Another thing that kills me is he will walk up or cuddle up and kiss my arm gently.  Connor is a deep thinker.  Never doubt he is always assessing his surroundings and thinking. He's a quieter boy than Mason, unless he is playing one on one with his brothers, cousins, or someone he is totally comfortable with.  Then the emergency vehicle sounds start, and he gets wound up.  Here is a funny story.  After his first hockey time, they came to our place.  I said "There's my hockey player".  He looks around and says "Where?".  LOL  I said "You Connor".  He gets this silly grin on his face.  And you can tell he is proud.  But he's a man of few words usually, although you see the pride in that grin.  He is like that a lot.  Connor has a quiet but determined way about him, and has taught me about a gentle lasting love.  As I always say to you Connor - I love You THIS Much!

Reese Peyton Anne Cameron



Reesey is Tracy's youngest, and our last little girl.  She holds many roles in our family.  She is a free spirit I think. She keeps me on my toes trying to fit her in a "category", but is the epitome of why you should not do that with a person.  What you see is not what you get.  I think that is my connection with Reese.  Sometimes I want to scream to the world that there is so much more to me than you see.  I think Reese might find that in life.  Sometimes she is this quiet little shy girl, other times I catch her laughing her head off and surprising me.  For example she is now taking music lessons.  We recently went to a recital.  It appeared the teacher wanted the students to introduce themselves, their song and at the end bow before exiting.  Reese was one of few who were able to do that!  So proud of that side of her.  She might not be the first one to run up to hug, but when she does it is tight and loving and lasts a long time.  We had a lot of fun last winter when I would pick her up from school to take her to music.  We would stop for treats, sing songs, and sometimes shop.  I treasured those times with her, as being the third child, it is sometimes hard to find a time for one on one.  I also love watching her try to tease grandpa and tickle him.  Those big blue eyes are filled with mischief.  Never loose your individual spirit Reese- it will take you anywhere.  Love you Reese's Pieces!

Emerson Marie Cameron



Well our first little baby girl!  Emerson with a heart of gold, wanting to be helpful.  And a personality a little too deep for a 7 year old.  You care so much, you try so hard, and you take everything to heart.  Your grim determination on the ice when you are playing ringette, your love of your family, your patience with your brother, sister, and cousins.  You are quite the package.  You feel too strong sometimes, and these emotions are hard for you, so you may sometimes get upset.  But that is just part of who you are.  Every single time you see me your face lights up and you come running for a hug.  I wonder if that will end?  You make me want to circle you with protection.  But I know you are a force and I don't need to do that.  I see strength, perseverance and kindness in you that I know will follow you.  I sense as you are growing up you will follow your own strong will and perhaps offer challenges that are unexpected.  I take the feel of your tight strong hugs with me through the days.  I love watching you read as you grow, the joy from books, and watching you read to your little cousins.  I love you miss amazing!

Blake Smith Cameron



I know this is said all the time, but as our first grandchild you are responsible for showing us the first love of being a grandparent.  I never thought that the love of a parent could be any better.  But  you showed us that grand parenting is even more.  From the silly little boy to the big boy you are now.  I almost want to say young man, because as the oldest in your family you seem like that sometimes already.  But watching you play assures me you are still a little boy.  (Sorry)  I watch you go from being a noisy happy guy, to the young man who can talk about hockey, think things through, and deal with the changes in life and the world that you are astute enough to recognize.  Some might think you live for hockey right now, but I see more than that.  I see hockey is one way you show your quiet but determined approach to life.  Your commitment to your friends, your respect for adults such as your coaches.  I find myself wanting to fast forward to your teen years but only because I am so excited for the young man I know you will become.  The guy who will still let grandma hug you and kiss you, maybe still cuddle on grandpa's lap a bit?  I hope it will be a few years before I have to stop singing you a bedtime song while you hold my pinkie finger.  Love you!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

November??!!

As always it is hard to believe how fast time moves.  I realized I didn't post any Halloween photos last month, so here they are.  We are so lucky to be able to see the kids in their costumes and enjoy their excitement!



I keep say it was busy, but it was!  Tracy celebrated her 36th birthday, Reese celebrated her 6th, and we tried our best to attend every swimming, ringette and hockey time there was.  That doesn't always work out and/or we don't always go but we try.

I also attended the annual Federated Co-op Conference in Edmonton.  This is one of two I attend annually - the other one is in Saskatoon in February.  Lots of learning and lots of fun combined.

This month was our chance to spend quite few days with Connor and Mason while their mom and dad enjoyed some sunshine in Mexico.  Grandma Violet and I "shared" the boys, each having them for 4 days.

Connor and Mason were real troopers.  Although we did have a couple of relaxing days at home, we also spend almost 2 days on the road, first off to Connor's hockey, then off to a tournament Blake was in.  Although they returned home tired, we loved having them.  There is something more magical about having the grandkids for a coupe of days as compared to a couple of hours.  You get to enjoy bedtime stories and snuggles, and see them interact all day long.  Connor and Mason are happy to have their trucks and rescue vehicles and play all day long.  When that doesn't interest them they switch to Lego!

 We enjoyed one Christmas dinner with the Co-op board, and look forward to a couple more in December. 

And to finish the month off we took a quick trip to Tisdale to see Don's family.  It was a great visit, including a long lunch with my sister Ginger, who works in Tisdale now.  I love that I can see her when we are there, as over the years our schedules and life don't cross too often.  We stopped at Ken and Brenda's for an evening as well, which also doesn't happen enough (although now that Ken is retired a bit more).

Take it easy as December comes upon us and all the holiday preparations begin.  Remember to relax in between!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Birthday Don!

Well here we are and October is almost over.  Besides Halloween that means it is Don's birthday.  Don is very fortunate he doesn't share his birthday month with anyone in the family.  So he always gets his own cake and party.  Haha

This is a special year for him, as he turns 60.  It is hard to believe he has been retired form the government for 5 years already.

I can't begin to capture the essence of what an amazing man Don is. Besides my best friend who can be talked into doing almost anything I want, he is a loving dad and grandpa. No one loves their kids more than Don. And his commitment to his family is a strong and steady force in our circle. We love you so much!

Of course as is the case when a special occasion comes around, I had to have a party!

In addition to the usual "Smith basement party" guest list, we were thrilled to have Ken and Brenda spend the weekend with us as well.

Here is Don with the loves of his life.

Besides getting ready for the big party October has been a time of reconnecting with the kids, visiting tons, and enjoying life.  Not much else to report.  Everyone's health is great and we are happy!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Thansgiving!

What a great thanksgiving weekend we had!

First of all the Cameron kids spent the weekend with us, as Tracy and Cal went to Canmore for Cal to participate in a marathon and for them to have some couple time.  It was a  great coincidence that the race weekend is also their anniversary weekend.  That gave us the privilege of taking the kids to their hockey and ringette times, and overall enjoying some one on one with them.

Lindsay and Jeremy hosted the big turkey dinner, and it was big in attendance as well.  With a combination of our family and Jeremy's there were 22 people at their house.  Thank you so much to Jeremy and Lindsay for cooking up some a scrumptious meal.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homeward Bound

Well there comes a time when you have to head home.  This September holiday has been a bit different than most.  We started out in Alberta, earlier than usual, and hence will be home a bit sooner.  I am excited to see the kids in all their activities - Blake in hockey, Reese and Emerson in ringette, music and dance, Connor in his first year of Timbits hockey, and Connor and Mason in swimming.  Being their groupies will keep us busy!

But not to get ahead of myself, we returned to the campground at Como Lake for one night in our journey back.  Essentially because we knew where it is, and we can get a  good walk in there.  As the weather is cooling off it is nice to have electrical hook up as well.

After Como Lake we headed home to Canada.  Waterton Park has always instilled a quiet restful feeling in me.  I think it's two things; one the mountains and two the small town essence of the community.  Nature is in it's fall glory now, and the scenery is alive with oranges and golds.  A great time to be in the mountains.  We took the opportunity to visit some trails and streams while here.

Our stay here has been cold and reminds us of what is waiting at home weather-wise.  But is was the perfect choice to end our vacation. 

We are on the road now, so you may not see a blog for awhile.  Usually when we are at home I do monthly updates.  Not because there is nothing to say, but rather because I can fill pages about our family, and that might get a bit much for some of you.

Happy Fall!

 



Monday, September 19, 2016

Now This is Better!

This time I consulted more thoroughly with my driver/weatherman and we decided to go to the Boise area.  Rather than reserve any campsites we thought we would wing it and see what was around.  I did a search on state parks and reviews and Bruneau Dunes State Park near Mountain Park seemed like a great choice.  So the GPS was set and we were on our way.

When we arrived at the park it was a bit confusing selecting a site.  First off, most of them seemed reserved.  And then there were others that seemed available, but with signage saying you had to contact the park hosts to confirm.  They were off shift.  So we headed to the camp headquarters and were lucky enough to find a park ranger just heading to his office.  I explained the situation and he was kind enough to assist.  The odd part about this is that although the building was marked as ranger office, it also had a registration desk in it, which was not advertised anywhere.  So we did a bit of campsite touring we didn't need to.  At any rate we found a perfect campsite.  The weather was amazing, hot days, gorgeous sunset evenings, and lots of walking opportunities!

We had visited the Boise area a few years ago, but I spent most of my time with a very sore back and at a chiropractor.  Thank goodness this visit was far more enjoyable!

Don and I are both avid readers.  Sometimes it doesn't even matter what we read.  And sometimes that reading offers ideas of places to see.  Years ago we both read a Western series based on the wagon trains of people moving to Oregon.  The road, the Oregon Trail, can sometimes be spotted still today.  In places there are memorial signs and the wagon tracks are visible.  So we took some time to drive and find those signs and trials.  It is pretty easy to get engaged in dreaming what life may have been like for these travelers, but I think it is romanticized quite a bit.  Our forefathers had it pretty tough but they sure seemed happy.

So our stop here was just what we needed to shift ourselves back into a happy place, relax a few more days before turning around and starting the trip back. 

We need a place to stop for one night, and so we're going back through Como Lake to have a final night in a beautiful setting.

Here is a picture of the sunset and the campsite.  Just beautiful!!



Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sun Valley

Mmmmm.  I will call this Sunless Valley!  LOL

When I was "whining" to Don to come here, he warned that the weather might not be too inviting.  But as always he complied and we pulled in.  We were struggling with finding campsites in the area, so opted for an affordable RV Park.  The website was lovely for Riverside RV Park, and you can't go wrong with a riverside park.  Or can you?

Why can't I learn to listen to Don when he offers weather reports??  Our intention was to spend one night in this serviced park, then head to either boondocking or at least a more picturesque setting on some established BLM sights.  But alas, the rain (yes not just cold but rain, actually 2 days of torrential downpour) and the mud that ensued, kept us form that dream.  We tried to visit Sun Valley, Ketchum, etc. but lost our spirit pretty fast.  At least we managed to do the laundry.

So as is common with us we spent the days driving and exploring.  The Camas Prairies area offered some great views.




The next day we drove to Twin Falls, planning on a Costco stop, and hoping to see the falls the city was named for.  Another American tourist trap.  The river has been diverted for irrigation and hydro so there was no water.  Although this is boasted as water falls higher than Niagara Falls, the concept is a bit hard to enjoy with no water.  And if you choose to really enjoy it, you are invited to pay $15 for entry.  So these photos are from the viewing area.  Again, how the heck can you "sell" a dry area as world famous waterfalls?  Yikes.





Overall this was one of those stops where we are glad that we love our fifth wheel and each other so much, as we enjoyed the fireplace, a few games of Yahtzee and some great meals.

Time to find a new place to go, hopefully dry and warmer...


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Como Lake

So I promised part 2 of Como Lake!

As you may have gathered I cannot pass up a Farmer's Market when we are on the road.  It is not always the food as much as it seems to be a unique way to explore a community and get a feel for the people.  The market up the road from us in Hamilton was ideal.  After wandering the aisles and exploring different vendors, we stopped at the Mine Shaft Pastry Company booth and picked up a Cornish Pastry for lunch, before continuing on our market excursion and heading back to campground for the evening fire.

One of the reasons we extended our stay at Como Lake was the intrigue of a hiking trail around the lake.  Reports were that it was approximately a 2 hour hike.  So we packed our water and lunch and started out.  The scenery along the way was beautiful as always.  From one person's perspective our photos may often appear the same, but trust me as you are wandering new or old places and trails, the view in person is never the same twice, and always warrants a few more pictures.

The first thing to note about this hike is that it is far longer in miles and time than indicated.  Thank goodness we packed a lunch!

For the most part I will let the pictures speak for themselves.  As we selected a lunch stop we noted a few other folks thought it was a great as us, and two of those turned out to be Dorothy and Andy - our campground friends!








We had planned for our last campfire visit with Dorothy and Andy for the evening, but after 6 hours on the trail we were all exhausted.  They popped in a for a good bye visit  and exchange of addresses.  It is always wonderful to meet people along the way, adventurous souls who appreciate our need to pack up and move on the next day, not thinking how odd we didn't want to settle in for the long term!  Won't it be fun when we finally head east and stop at their place!

I have been dreaming of visiting the Sun Valley area for years, after reading blogger reviews on it and their miles of bike trails and quaint coffee shops.  So that is where we are head next!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Finding a New Gem

We wanted a new campground, new to us, new to you, and breathtaking and all that goes with that.  And did we ever get it!  We aced a site at Como Lake Campground near Darby, MT.  This place has power and water for a measly $16 a night!  And sites you can move around in and not touch your neighbours.  Because the reservation season is closed there was no problem driving in and picking a site, but even better for us was the site we preferred the most was available when we arrived.  Yes we like boondocking, yes we have enough water that we don't need hook-us, etc. but in the mountains in the fall the power is nice.  When the sun has set and the chill hits the air, it is quite comfortable to sit n the Fifth Wheel, in our recliners, in front of the fireplace.  This year they are having water problems and hence it was not potable, but that was the only downside.

Now although I said this is the best site and we loved it soooo much, the first thing we did after setting up was drive a bit further, well actually a lot further, south.  To check out other campgrounds.  We have a bizarre compulsion.

The only thing we got out of this day trip was the opportunity to see the wonderful town of Salmon.  And then a stop at a used book store in Darby.  Now this was something to see.  The Friends of the Library operate a used bookstore on Main Street.  All the books come from either donations to the library, or the books that are being retired.  They make enough income to cover the cost of the building space and upkeep, and it is ran by volunteers.  The cost of the books is a donation to the library.  Being a lifetime supporter of both libraries and "Friends of Library" groups, I didn't get out of there empty handed but it was so affordable.  The clerk was a wealth of information as well, which is often the case in smaller communities.

After we had a lazy dinner we went for a stroll around the campground.  It is not unlike us to befriend someone and have a visit.  In fact that is one of the most enjoyable parts of our travels, is meeting other RVer's and sharing stories.  This time we shared some great conversation with Dorothy and Andy from Massachusetts.  They have the greatest story - their long time companion Roxie recently passed away and to find some healing time they purchased a motorhome and set off.  In honor of their furry friend the RV is named Roxie 2.    We passed a couple of hours around their fire that evening, and knew there would be more to come before the jacks were pulled and we both moved on.

Ever restless we seem to be, so the next 2 days saw us out in the Dodge, seeking adventure.  On Thursday we decided to seek out Painted Rock State Park, just to ensure we weren't missing out on anything.  If I said we couldn't determine where a painted rock was and there was not one person camping in the area, would you understand that we missed nothing?  I realize I make these types of statements a lot, so you must understand that it is in no way a refection of how our day has gone.  I have told you before our best days are usually spent exploring places and seeing new scenery, and this was no different.  You don't know until you go!

Friday saw us taking a road marked "Wildlife Viewing 26 Miles".  Now that sounds nice doesn't it?  Again lunches are packed and we are off to see the great unknown.  And the greatest adventures await when you are greeted with a road sign that says "Steep winding mountain roads - no vehicles pulling trailers over 20 feet".  In our travels these are traditionally also noted on road maps as "Scenic Drives".  This was Highway 38 in Idaho, and according to the paper maps we had, it might lead us to a town called Phillipsburg, MT.  Why not, right?
Now get this - the road Skalkaho Highway, leads to Skalkaho Falls and follows the Skalkaho River.  It doesn't get more creative than that.  In the words of CW McCalls song Black Bear Road, it looks like a bunch of Z's and W's strung together.  And to use the term highway??  Very very loosely!!
The road and the falls...  My pictures don't seem to capture it that well, but it was breathtaking!



Finally in Philipsburg, MT.  We were driving down the street looking for a place to stop and I spotted Boheme Coffee on the corner.  I yelled stop, Don complied, and we enjoyed a great lunch, coffee and some free WiFi.  Don and I then went separate ways.  He wanted to photograph some of the buildings in town. We have visited a lot of historic mining towns, but this is one of those places where you can see the care that still goes into each building, and the authenticity of each historic entity.  A great place to visit - highly recommended! My intention was to leisurely shop (surprise) but I got caught up in a long conversation with the owner of a pottery store.

Courthouse

1885 Jail - Still used today as the Sheriff's Office

Old Buildings - New Vehicles
This stay at Como Lake has been so much fun, I need to save part 2 for another day.  Come back!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Urban Life

Well it was time to move on, snag some full hook ups and do some laundry.  Poor me - not enough clothes to last a month.   Or at least not packed.

So our destination this time is Jim & Mary's RV Park in Missoula.  This is another favorite of ours; easy to access and nice sites.

Our time here was spent stocking up, wandering shops, and dinner at the Outback.  It's a great place to eat because we know the menu and can make it fit our diet easy peasy.

We also used the time to take a drive south and scout out a more preferable camping site, which we were very successful at.  It has been a long time since I was this excited to tell you about a campsite, but let's just wait until we get there and have explored a bit.

You will know if we find a WiFi tree because the blog might get updated again...

Monday, September 5, 2016

An Old Place in a New Way

Well as many of you know we are quite fond of the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area.  We have almost always stayed at Farragut State Park.  This year we decided to stay closer to the Sandpoint area, and by doing so perhaps have some new adventures.  While still at home in the "dreaming of going away" stages, we had researched several National Forest and Core of Engineers campgrounds.  Rather than bookmarking these on the computer I printed the maps out, as we are often without phone/internet service when travelling.  That was a great plan had I not left the page sat home on my desk.  At any rate we were able to remember the name of one we particularly liked.  In all honesty I didn't remember a damn thing but Don as always did.  Especially when travelling I allow myself to forget virtually anything I deem unnecessary, which includes highway numbers, campground names, etc.  It's my way of ensuring my driver doesn't get a foggy brain!

Back to camping - we decided to stay at Springy Point on the Pend Orielle River.  It is a Core of Engineers site, quite affordable at $20 per night, and about 10 km from Sandpoint.



So we settled in at the site, then were off to get our "American" groceries.  There are still items in the states that are less expensive than Canada, even after the horrific exchange rate.  Groceries is one of those, diesel is another, and a lot of sporting good items.  Having said that we have purchased several bicycles while here, and this trip we were hoping to find another.  Which is why we went to Target.  That and the fact that I miss Target.

On Friday we went on an adventure tour around and through the Priest Lake areas.  This is our real adventure time, driving around and exploring communities and back roads.  In actual fact this is something we have done forever, no matter where we have lived, packed a lunch, maybe a beverage or two and just drove.  This is a good time as well to tell you about the truck.  Just prior to our departure the diesel particulate filter needed servicing.  As well the catalytic converter gave out.  Don had considered "chipping" the truck before, and now needed no further incentive, as the delete kit was less dollars than repairing all the other parts. That's how we ended up with a Bully Dog component thingy hanging on the driver's side.  And that's how we ended up with a truck that reached 18L/100km pulling a 35ft Fifth Wheel, or 11L/100km just touring.  Enough truck talk for me!  Next time you see Don ask him about pulling power...

Saturday was spent leisurely walking around Sandpoint, enjoying the town, each other and good food.

On Sunday the weather finally cooperated with us and we were off on our bikes.  The Sandpoint Long Bridge crosses Lake Pend Orielle, and has a large and separate pedestrian and bike path adjacent to it.  Biking is a favorite mode of transportation in the area and the bike paths lead everywhere.  For us they led to Starbucks and the internet!  More than once.  And then we also walked the trail because it wasn't enough to just ride!


So today we are moving on.  I can't tell you where because that will ruin the fun, but I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Enjoying Radium

So off to Radium we were, bright and early Sunday (cough,cough).
We discovered Canyon RV a few years ago, and alternate between staying there or at the national park, Redstreak. Of course the two aren't comparable as they both offer different amenities. For example one has a laundry and one doesn't. One has full services and the other has none. I have no problem admitting that in most cases I will select the RV park, but I do not like the pavement and no trees kind. Canyon RV is nestled by a creek, many trees and beautiful trails. If you want to spend the RV park type of fees but still feel like you are somewhat alone and in nature, this is a great choice. It's very family friendly. In fact I would love to have the family here for a campout.
Of course while we were here we took advantage of the hot springs. What can be better than an evening soak in the outdoors?
We revisited a trail we have hiked in the past called Old Coach Trail. There were spectacular views of the Kootnei River and Invermere Lake.

And we wandered around Invermere stopping in little shops and getting a coffee. It's such a comfortable town to do that in.
And that wraps up our Radium adventure. As you can tell we're getting good at slowing down and smelling the roses!
Tomorrow we're finally crossing into the states. I'll be sure to let you know where that is!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

And We're Off!

Just not that far.

Every year we try to camp at least once in Canada with Ivan, of the famous Roadtrip blog.  I say Canada because we don't seem to have any problem meeting up with him when we are down south in the winter, but we are all so busy in the summer.
Anyway, the weather reports were kind of wet for our planned location, so instead we moochdocked in his yard.  As always we had a great visit and fit in a trip to the Bearberry cafĂ© and the Cross Iron Mills mall.  We had to do something to avoid the rain.  And we were rewarded by the beautiful scenery.



After we left Ivan's on Friday we were headed a short ways again to Okotoks to see Walter and Pat.  Again we see these Canadian friends down south more often than we do in Canada.  Pat and Walter are full timers, living in a beautiful RV resort in Okotoks.  There are no overnighters in this park as the lots are owned, but occasionally Walter can somehow wrangle a spot for us.  This time however we had to find a campsite.  Sounded actually easier than it was but we secured three nights at the Black Diamond Lions campground, just down the road from them.  We have stayed at this campground before.  It is such a beautiful country in this area.  We visited with the Parkers on Friday evening and there turned out to be a lot of them, as Walter's family were all down visiting.  They are all as hospitable as Walter and Pat, and it was a great evening.

On Saturday Don and I went to two farmer's markets.  The Millarville Market is a situated at the old Millarville Racetrack, and just driving in you can imagine the history of the place.  It makes a great background for a market!  We also visited the Okotoks Market that day, where I ran into an old ringette friend who now lives in Calgary, Tracy Megaw. 

I also discovered this very useful wine box holder, but I have no idea why it comes with so many glasses.  Who wants to share??




The rest of Saturday was spent again at the Parkers, eating, laughing and enjoying.

Tomorrow we are headed to Radium for a few days, hoping to soak in the hot pools and maybe some hiking.

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Moving Through August

After our Jasper trip we were home for a whole week! That's more than just the lawn and laundry. LOL

But it wasn't long before we were on the road again. This is the third summer we have met Don's brother Ken and sister in law Brenda for a camping trip. We chose Meota Regional Park. It is about halfway for both of us, and gave us access to exploring, etc. Although the weather wasn't great, lots of rain, that didn't stop us from sharing great food, conversation and day trips. We took a drove up to and around Turtle Lake, and had lunch in a "unique" restaurant. The food was great though.
We camped from Monday to Friday which was great, and left us some weekend time at home to see the kids and friends.

I said in a previous post about bike camp but it didn't actually happen until August! We went one morning to watch everyone except Mason learn some extra skills. Connor's training wheels were removed and he cautiously wound his way through pylons. Blake and Em both were led through trails and paths, and Reese spent time as well on a maze of pylons. It's a wonderful camp and the kids learn lots and improve their confidence as well.

The Saturday after returning from camping we attended one day of the Edmonton Rock Fest. The bands this year that attracted us specifically were Sweeny Todd and Foreigner. It was a fantastic hot day listening to old rock and laughing with Paul and Mary.

I spent a day with all the kids at Lindsay's Lake Summerside Beach. The weather was overcast but it was nice to be a bit cooler and still enjoyable.

That almost brings us to our holiday time.  Our September vacation is starting in August this year so I can get home for a work commitment, and a great lady is getting married to her partner.  I will try to blog more often on holidays but no promises!


Bike Camp!

Two Little Fishes
Beach Day Pile Up

Rock Fest

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Jasper

It should be no surprise to anyone that Japser is one of our favorite places. Reservations were made in January to ensure that we would have a fire pit in our site.
This was our first trip this summer without the boat and it was nice to travel with Don. Taking two vehicles is lonely.
The Camerons joined us for the long weekend, and we did all things touristy. We hiked at Pyramid Island (a first for us), went to the Miette hot springs, had ice cream, visited Jasper the bear, and even watched a few movies while it rained. We even fit in a bike ride and a visit to the beach. If you haven't been to Lake Annette and it's beaches, you need to check it out. Very beautiful!
Of course we were sure to visit our two favorite restaurants, Something Else and Bear Paw Bakery, as well as some shopping.
Another great long weekend wrapped up!

Athabasca Falls

Pyramid Lake

Just Peaceful:)