Category Archives: travel
We were in Winnipeg on the weekend of May 17 for a high school reunion, (which is another story) and spent some time with family. My brother and his wife live in Gimli, Manitoba, which is a town on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. The lake is the 10th largest in the world. It is now suffering many trials and tribulations, and is in effect, very sick. More on that later, but first a bit of a story. On our there for a visit, an hour so north of Winnipeg, we decided to stop in the town of Winnipeg Beach and take a look at the lake. Surprisingly, the ice was still on the lake. We later told that it was highly unusual for this late in the year, and could be the latest breakup in memory.
I took this with my iPhone in panorama. Looks very cold, and it was. The wind was coming in off the lake and was biting.
The lake, as I mentioned earlier, is in big trouble. From zebra mussels to huge algae blooms (visible from space), there are a myriad of issues threatening the life of this great body of water. I have dropped a couple of links here, and, if you are interested, click them and find out more about the struggle to save this place.
After a rather lengthy hiatus, it is time to get back on the beat. Took a few months off to concentrate on some other things. Had some fun, picked up on skiing again, made some decisions on the future and started to move forward on those plans. One of those plans included a new vehicle, one that can pull a boat or a trailer. Mission accomplished. No trailer or boat, yet, but a very nice, sparkling new Nissan Pathfinder. We intend to make use of it this summer while we work out the next part of our plans.
Making use of it will create a new offering, Travelling Alberta (or Saskatchewan, BC or wherever we end up). The first instalment, a trip to Vulcan, Alberta. Vulcan is a town of 2,000 people, 130 km south-east of Calgary on Hwy 23. Why Vulcan. Let’s think Star Trek. Yes, little Vulcan has one the best Star Trek museums around. Forgot to take a picture of the museum,, no snow the day we were there. The name of this gem, the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Centre.
Inside are many treasures, many donated by past cast members of the various franchises. The town holds an annual event “Spock Days” which highlights appearances by various cast members. This year’s event goes from June 13 to June 15, 2014 and features Nana Visitor (Major Kira Nerys on Deep Space Nine) and Rene Auberjonois (Odo on Deep Space Nine). Tickets for the event are available at this link. A nice road trip for a shakedown cruise. We did manage to remember to take a few pictures.
Back in the day, we used to make a yearly trip to Lac La Ronge in Northern Saskatchewan. The purpose of the trip was to spend some great times with great friends aboard a houseboat that one of them owned. La Ronge is wonderful in that it is a big lake with hundreds of islands and is secluded enough that chances are good that you will not see another person for the time you are out there. And the fishing is terrific.
The boat couldn’t sleep everyone, so we would find a spot on Bear Island (our favourite) and pitch a bunch of tents. We would use the spot as a base of operations for the time we were up there. Speaking of bears, there are definitely bears on Bear Island. If you squint real hard, you can see the bear that destroyed our tent as it runs off into the forest. Needless to say, we did not spend the night on the island this time. The tents were struck and we moved on. Unfortunately we had to rename the next island Mosquito Island. A pretty miserable night, thank heaven for beer.
The next shot is Rapid River. This very short river connects Lac La Ronge to Hale Lake. The significance is that the people who owned the boat are Hale’s. The back story is that lakes in Northern Saskatchewan are named in the memory of soldiers who died in Canada’s wars. All of them have a plaque noting who the lake is named for. This lake is named after their uncle, who was an airman in WW2. He died in the Netherlands.
All in all, a beautiful place to go, full of memories, none bad.
I ran into this article on Buzzfeed the other day and deemed it worthy of a share. The article lists 27 very interesting places around the globe. Interesting, for the travellers out there, to see how many you’ve been to. Personally, I have been to Juneau, Alaska and Belize, but did not see either of the things listed. I have seen the tulip fields, but only from a train window between Antwerp and Amsterdam, kind of a drive by.
Something new, a review. Lori and I were in Banff, Alberta over Christmas. We went for dinner at a place we have frequented in the past, “The Grizzly House”, situated at 207 Banff Ave in the beautiful mountain resort town of Banff.
We have been here a few times in the past, mostly based on our first time there, which was a very entertaining evening. A rowdy crowd, with a local phone system that allows you to call the other tables. Booze, phones and a rowdy atmosphere = great fun.
This time, we were a bit disappointed. Still, a very fun place, just that we noticed some things we had never really paid attention to before. First, the decor. The place needs a makeover. Very old-looking and approaching run down??
The tables, chairs and decorating are very same old. A first time diner might like it, but we are past that. Another view.
Very dark, and not just the lighting.
The food is still passable and the wine list is good. The menu is basically fondue. They drop a granite slab on your table, heated to 600 degrees and you cook your meal. Again, fun. The issue to us on this particular evening was the aura created by tables and tables of years and years of people cooking like this, in an enclosed place. Honestly, the place needs a major airing out. It took a week for the smell to leave our jackets, and I’m only assuming it has, as perhaps we are just not smelling it anymore.
As a reviewer, I must close with the review. The food, 3 of 5 stars. Nothing spectacular and kind of pricey. We enjoyed it, just wasn’t top-notch. The wine list was pretty good, and reasonably priced. The setting, maybe 2 of 5. Renovations and renewal could revitalize the operation. The atmosphere, I would still rate as 4 of 5. It is still a fun place to go, especially with a group. If you are dining as a couple, I highly suggest going elsewhere.
Ran into this cool video done by a group of students from BC. They bought a van for 350 bucks, mounted a dashboard camera, then created a time-lapse video of their journey from one end of Canada to the other on the Trans Canada Highway.
I took this shot many years ago (1991?) and is taken looking down into the canyon from the decking that goes through and around the site. Very impressive place, but only one of many in the park. On a personal level, Jasper is Banff without the crowds. In comparison, it is far more natural and focused on preservation. There is a great ski hill (Marmot Basin), and the standard resort amenities, but has unique charm that I enjoy when we visit.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand
On a recent rip to the Canary Islands, we took a tour of the island of Lanzarote. The island is about 80 miles off the coast of Africa and is an autonomous province of Spain. The island has been inhabited by Europeans since the 14th century. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 1730, which lasted until 1736. Most of the island was covered by lava and ash, creating this landscape. A very interesting tour.
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand (travelicius.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand (joyandwoe.ca)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand (dailypost.wordpress.com)