Sunday, September 8, 2019

Crowsnest Pass; Black Diamond; Cochrane, Alberta; Frederickton, New Brunswick; Yamnuska Mountain; New Friends; Wolfdogs; Men in Kilts?


Our last blog had us in Sparwood, British Columbia, where I was negotiating for a truck... fortunately, the deal fell through, so we moved on through Crowsnest Pass into Alberta. The scenery here in the Canadian Rockies is amazing!!!















On the way to our campground, we passed through the town of Black Diamond (not named for a ski run), whose town square has this representation of a black diamond - the town was built around the coal mining industry. 














We stopped for a week at a very nice campground on the scenic Bow River in Cochrane, Alberta, just west of Calgary. 
















A paved bike path alongside the Bow provided Biker Chick and Your Correspondent a delightful ride, albeit up some hills that were unnecessarily placed on the trail.
















We were in the area for Suzanne to give a presentation at the Calgary Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), which was very well attended and received. Thanks go out to Dr. Pat Campbell, Senior Minister and Spiritual Director, for her hospitality. 













Someone recently asked if we cooked in our RV, or simply went out for meals. We might go out once every 2-3 weeks, mainly for a meal that we would not ordinarily make ourselves (sushi, Thai, etc.). This particular morning the short order cook was feeling whimsical, and gave His Lovely Bride a cheese and green onion omelet with a smiley face (bacon and red pepper rings). 


















While I stayed in Cochrane, Suzanne boarded an Air Canada flight to Fredericton, New Brunswick, to present her Level 2 Serving Spirit class at Wendy Carty and Dr. Bill Cook's amazing Iris Center. The class was filled and everyone had a great weekend. Suzanne was also Wendy and Bill's house guest, and they treated her to a family lobster dinner that she is still talking about. (I will serve her a lobster dinner the next time I get my lobster trap out... Thanks a lot, Wendy!)




While Suzanne was three time zones away in Eastern Canada, I went hiking at Yamnuska Mountain. The name means "wall of stone" in the Stoney Nakoda language. (I wonder why they call it that....)
















This photo is interesting... I caught up to a family of four who were stopped dead on the trail. The mom, just ahead of me, turned and whispered, "There is a mama grizzly bear with a cub just ahead. We're letting her cross the trail..." I thought, "What a great idea!" The orange canister in her right hand is, of course, bear spray, a capsicum aerosol similar to Mace. Mine was on my belt, and I'm glad we didn't have to use it. It's said to be very effective against a 1,000 lb bear charging at you at 30 mph... I've only had to use it once, against a black bear in Florida, of all places.








The trail was steep in places...













But the view from the top was spectacular!


















I met a delightful Canadian couple at the local gym, Roxanne and Byron Smyke. They invited me to a cookout at a local park, and they and their son Blaise, a champion swimmer, visited the coach the next day. It was a great experience and showed the warmth and hospitality of our Canadian neighbors. Eh?





A solo bike ride took me to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, also along the Bow River, but graced with some very steep hills (for training purposes). This section was near the river where one sign warned about being aware of moose...













Nights this far north were chilly, down into the 40sF, but our puppies Rudy and Gretchen were snug as bugs in rugs near the electric fireplace!










When MLB returned from New Brunswick, we drove to a very special place - the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary just west of Cochrane, Alberta. These unique canines are mixes of wolf and dog; a "high content" wolfdog might be 90% wolf and only 10% dog (usually Huskies, Malamutes or even Irish Wolfhounds). 













While they are beautiful creatures, they can also be more wild animal than urban/suburban or even rural owners can handle. Smart as all get out, they are accomplished diggers and want to be free of fenced yards; master escape artists, wolfdogs can't survive well in the wild because they haven't been trained by their pack parents to hunt. This sanctuary rescues wolfdogs, and now has about 30 residents that they care for.













Finally, at the gym where I met Roxanne and Byron, this poster caught my eye... it shows that while Canada and the USA share a common language (most of the time), there are certain cultural differences that set us apart...








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