A Summer Journal

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Summer Holiday Journal Part 1

Aug 1/10
Got up early with the kids and finished packing the last minute items (toothbrush, ipod, coffee cup full of joe….) for our trip to British Columbia.  Yay, two weeks with family… wait a sec… did I say Yay?  Ok, well, two weeks with family anyways, and I’ve made up my mind to let the trip unfold as it may.  I’m trying my latest scientific experiment called… the By The Seat Of Our Pants project.  No anxiety, no over-planning everything down to the very millisecond…. this trip is going to be different.  Calm.  Happy. Spontaneous without regret.   Enlightening to be sure.

Aug 1/10 continued…
Well, made it through the boring parts of Saskatchewan and find ourselves heading through Calgary on our way to the mountains.  Weather has been beautiful for this drive…. as if to say welcome back… too bad that this summer sucked so bad at home.  Maybe my feet will finally dry out and the moss will stop growing in my hair.  No wild-life on this trip (except an unusual amount of predator birds).  Not even the odd flattened bunny or skunk to greet us on the soft-shoulder.  Maybe we’ll see a bear again like we did two years ago.

Aug 1/10 continued…. continued….
Getting tired of driving and really want to spend the night in the mountains of my youth.  I say that because every summer I came to be here (either in Field with my Grandparents or with my Mum at the cabin at Adams Lake).  The smell of the pine and fir makes me want to cry.  I miss those good-old-days…. you know… the ones where you were young and didn’t know there was an age past eleven….  There’s rain in the air.  I can smell it.  The clouds have started to gather in the valley and now is a good time to find a place to pitch camp.

Still Aug 1/10…..
Put my scientific program into use…. took a secondary highway (Bow Valley Parkway) once we saw a campground sign and found ourselves at a T-intersection.  Go left to Lake Louise or right to Banff… Ok, kids…Lake Louise it is.  Found a pretty camp site with tall spires of cedars at Protection Mountain.  Set up the tent in no time and decided that the growling that we were all hearing wasn’t a bear after all, but our tummies telling us to get some food.  Drove down the road and spotted a sign telling us food was nearby (y’know the one with the plate and knife and fork?… that and the potty sign are my favorites).
There, nestled in this bunch of wilderness, was this quaint lodge and restaurant (Baker Creek Bistro) where the average menu item is priced at $26 bucks…. Nevermind the price, I’m on holidays with my kids, Darnit!  Hard to call a restaurant fancy when the chandaliers are made of antlers… but I’m quickly reminded when I look at the menu….duck, rack of lamb, pate… Kids, foods that sound weird are usually expensive.  No, don’t look at the prices…you can have whatever you want…you deserve this dinner for putting up with Mom!  Oh, there’s lobster…well that’s a no brainer and yes you can have the sampler platter and french onion soup… maybe you want to share?
Great to have the restaurant to ourselves too.  Oops, spoke too soon, two couples have just been seated next to us.  The gentlemen are rather loud, while their wives are quietly chatting together.  The one man, who appears to have an American accent (Northwest perhaps??? Oregon??? Washington??? oh, well….) is talking excitedly about his job.  Telling the other man..”Y’know this new stuff we’re working on has lots of potential…..this guy I was talking to who’s with the coast guard was telling me……figuring out how to get this kind of biometric scanning equiment for the National Guard…. great enthusiasm by these companies…..”.  These were just some of the snippets I caught in between my conversation with my kids.  My oldest looks at me over her glasses in a very knowing way….”did you hear what I heard?” her eyes are saying to me… I raise my eyebrows and look over mine….”of course, does this surprise you?” mine are saying back.    Dinner consisted of: laughter, great bread and main courses that had lots of interesting flavors to them.  What’s this taste like to you, my kids are asking me as we share bites of everything.  Wow, we’re saying, that’s not what I expected it would taste like… unique flavor!  By the way, dessert was awesome… they make the best, huge, apple/rhubarb crisp I’ve ever tasted….

Aug 1/10 late evening….
Back at camp we make a fire while the kids try out their flint…. after 20 minutes Mom gets tired and says… “here, lets use these matches instead”.  Sounds of thunder in the mountains… very cool, rumbling and then the echo of the rumbling.  Once we’re tucked in bed and nearly asleep, the heavens open up and the hardest rain begins to beat down on us in our little tent.  Please don’t leak, please don’t leak, I’m telling the tent…. My youngest pipes up… “Mom, something just dripped on my head”.  Gotta love her for stating the obvious… I turn on the flashlight and shine it at the roof.  Sure enough, several rivlets are running down on the inside of the canopy and are dripping onto our heads.  “Maybe it’ll stop soon” I say, hopefully.  The rain comes down even harder…. “Into the car kids, and bring your sleeping bags with you, and pillows too.”
Didn’t sleep too well until I figured out how to move the seat back, but had the pesky problem of the gear shifter digging into my knee.  Will have to find a Timmies first thing in the morning…..

ps. The one thing I’ve learned so far, in this scientific experiment, is that sometimes nature lives By The Seat Of It’s Pants too….

…..to be continued.

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