Fall of 2014

Not necessarily in chronological order, but here’s what we’ve been up to…

You know it’s autumn when we can go apple picking. Just me and E this year but the crop was plentiful, the day was lovely and we hauled home about 20 lbs.

apple picking


apple picking 2

Mountain Orchards has a variety of things to do, including corn mazes, a playground and a hay barn.
apple picking 3

A big focus for Marlene all fall was preparing for the JFK 50-Mile Ultra Marathon. Running 5x/week plus did a couple other events as part of the training.

I lucked into this great little running group from MEC, led by the always cheerful, helpful and unstoppable Jonathan. We ran the trails of Gatineau Park, starting at P7, every Saturday morning until the snow came. The run lasts about an hour, with considerable climbing involved. This is a few of us on our last outing of the season, during which we ran every trail off P7, for a total of about 18km.trail running 3

Johnny Boy, Mel and I on the run. Thanks to Jason (also from MEC) for the photos.
trail running 2

trail running


After one of our outings earlier in the season. Do not expect to get out dry or clean! These muddy feet belong to, from left to right, Mel, Chris, Daryl and Jonathan.
trail legs

Some non-running highlights: a visit from Leslie (when I made her suffer the out-of-doors to check out a family fall festival), Nic’s nightly ritual (now abandoned) of doing a dozen or so handstands, Eli as a spy for Hallowe’en, a long-overdue dinner party with John + Isabel + JD + Marcus and Peter, and Nic’s day with me at the Canada Council for the Gr. 9 ‘Take your child to work’ day (along with the other visiting students; Nic enjoyed it much more than he’s showing)
les les 3 les 2 les 1

handstand handstand 2

spy gy


john peter

grade 9s at work

If you’re not much interested in Marlene’s running, now would be a good time to stop reading this post!

I was supposed to run two marathons (42.2 km) and do two 45km runs in preparation for the 50-miler, so I signed up for some events to make those runs more interesting. First up was the Cumberland Fall Colours Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend. But I’d been sidelined with hip bursitis for two weeks at this point, with almost no running possible (even walking was painful). I started some ART (active release therapy), embraced pharmaceuticals (Celebrex) and drove to the far side of Ottawa to give it a try. I knew I’d never manage the whole distance but it was two loops of 21.1 km and I did manage one. It was a gorgeous fall day, perfect for distance running. I was hobbling badly by the end but actually had a respectable finish time (only about 10-15 minutes slower than my PB) and a smile on my face for accomplishing that. No one there to take my photo so had to settle for a selfie at the end.

Two weeks later I was scheduled for my first 45km. Instead I joined up with the Turcanus, Adrian and Daniela, for an 8-hour rogaine (Google it). It’s basically trail running, bushwhacking, climbing, fording streams (using beaver dams where available) all while looking for as many control points as possible. I figured we covered about 35km in the 8 hours. And we won the Masters’ category! Not bad for my first rogaine. Although the Turcanus are old pros at these things, and adventure racing too. They usually go by the team name ‘Vampire’s Night’ (they’re Romanian) so with me we became ‘Vampire’s Night with a Twist’. By the way, I ran 19km the next day, as per my training plan.

We came in with just over 3 minutes to spare (7:56:49). Soaked to the bone. Once it started raining, about 4 hours in (before the ground had been merely damp, except where we were in a bog), Adrian declared with a big smile, “Now THIS feels like a rogaine! I was too comfortable before.”
rogaine 2014 sm



The following weekend, another 45km on the schedule. Still having hip issues (at this point I was regretting that I hadn’t chosen the cortizone shot, but not in the end). I’d registered for the MEC Gatineau Park marathon, promoted as the country’s hilliest marathon. My friend Carol was doing it too — we had planned to do some training runs together but never managed to, so the race would be our only chance to run together. But Carol is generally faster than me and I definitely was not in top form. Plus a training run is not supposed to kill you. So I told Carol to just go ahead, and I’d see what I could manage. I figured it might only be 10km. But I ran the whole marathon!! It wasn’t even too shabby a finish time — about 15 mins behind where I might have been without bursitis, and only a couple minutes behind Carol. I was so happy! I even walked the 1km uphill trek from the finish line back to the chalet. Oh, and I ran 20km the next morning.

The chalet at the start of the MEC Marathon. Coincidentally this was exactly where the rogaine was based too.MEC marathon 2

MEC marathon 1

MEC marathon 5

MEC marathon 3MEC marathon 4

Then a few weeks of tapering (longest run was 19km) until the big event on Sat. Nov. 22. The day dawned clear and cool (just above freezing) but no wind and really perfect for an ultra. The first 23km or so were on the Appalachian Trail, starting at the high school in Boonsboro, Maryland. We ran for a few miles (and up a very long hill) to get on the trail. The trail itself followed a ridge to start, with gorgeous views down to valleys on both sides through the leaf-bare trees. Once off the trail we had a full marathon (42km) on a tow path along the Potomac River. Very, very flat (which I don’t like) and after a while it didn’t feel scenic any longer. Starting running from aid station to aid station (mentally — you don’t want to think about how far the finish line is). Aid stations were 2-4 miles apart and like running up to a Bulk Barn! Crazy selection of real food and snacks. In retrospect I should have been both eating and drinking more.

I drove down to Hagerstown, Maryland, where the ultra was based, with Mel and her boyfriend Darryl — Mel was also running the race and Darryl was our trailside supporter. A role he fulfilled expertly! As a military guy with lots of operational experience he took his role very seriously. I think he was as nervous as we were! And also super happy to see Mel and I come down off the Appalachian Trail together, where he was at his first support station. Darryl had our other runners (non-trail ones), food and even camp chairs. He shouted so loudly at us when we came into view that we had big smiles for the camera.

Photos start with Mel and I in the high school gym getting the mandatory briefing before the start. Because the race started 50+ years ago for the military there’s still a big military/first responders feel to it and everyone who had served or was currently serving stood up to be acknowledged.
jfk start 2

jfk start

The long uphill in Boonsboro to the trail, just as the sun is coming up.
to Appln trail

On the trail and coming down from it.

Appln trail
Appln trail 2


darryl 2


Our sweet trail-to-tow path transition, courtesy of Darryl

The area we were running in is very historical, especially in relation to the American Civil War. We ran past Harper’s Ferry. Darryl took some scenery shots. It would be lovely to visit again (and perhaps only go for a short jog).
darryl 1

darryl 4


darryl 5

The Potomac River and part of the tow path we ran on. Mostly it wasn’t near any roads, except at the aid stations.
darryl 6

darryl 7

The finish line — well after dark! The event has a 12-hour time limit and I was delighted to complete it in 10:42. Only 30 minutes behind my age group winner!
end Appln trail


After the ultra we spent another day in Hagerstown, and visited a local railroad museum. Then we drove to Spencer, NC (only a couple hours from Raleigh) to spend the night and visit the NC Museum of Transportation the next day. That museum sounded great and Marlene had contacted them to make sure they were open around Thanksgiving — they said they were but something changed and they were closed. Eli was in tears! Also closed was Dan Nichols Park, which likewise sounded like an interesting attraction. A sign at the park gate mentioned something about the state budget causing extra closures. At least we could walk around those grounds.

Marlene initially booked the wrong motel (Courtyard — more $$ and no breakie included) so spent one night there then switched to the intended place, Country Inn & Suites, where we’d stayed before. All we could get was a little suite but Nic was happy with the pullout couch and it was still cheaper than the Courtyard.
jfk maryland


At Dan Nichols Park.jfk dan park 2


We found trains at the mall.jfk trains


In Raleigh, Lois and the boys in front of her residence Preston Pointe. We rented a room there which worked out great. We got to see the grandparents a lot but they didn’t have us underfoot the whole time.
my boys


More to come…

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Holiday assemblies — two star performers in the family!

Nic is in the third trombone in, second row on the left. Sorry about the shaky camera work! The band is much less shaky.

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Back in school 2014

And so it begins again — Eli in Grade 3, Nic in Grade 9 (high school!)

I got a picture of Eli with a few of his buddies that ended up in the same class. Yes, the tall fellow is the same age! Unfortunately I didn’t think to get a photo of Nic until he already had one foot inside the school door. And didn’t want to embarrass him by calling him back for a shot.

school starts school starts 1a

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Late summer 2014

Some more images of summer fun.

Camps — Nic went to two computer camps and the same Dovercourt band camp as last year. Eli went to a variety of camps — 1st a Vietnamese/Spanish language one (actually a summer school, so that didn’t work out), then one through the Mainstreet Community Centre that was geared towards kids with learning and behavioural challenges (mostly bombed), then the Diefenbunker Spy Camp (terrible 1st day then he loved it), then 2 weeks at our old neighbour Shem’s home day care (loved it), then an arts & craft themed camp with his good buddy Ben B (good time had by all) and finally another Diefenbunker Spy camp (also good). Just one image of Eli at camp, from the graduation ceremony of that last spy camp, and a video of the closing concert for Nic’s band camp (the band was better last year). diefen camp

Nic continues to enjoy playing soccer. His summer team, again coached by Doug, lost most of their games but the guys still had fun. These images are from the year-end tournament, where they lost 2 games and tied 1 — they got the tie at the last match playing on a hot day 1 player short!


soccer 1

I participated in a stellar trail event late in August — the Impossible 2 Possible run in Gatineau Park. We started from Lac Philippe on a postcard-perfect morning. I did the 23km out-and-back and added on a 10km loop (there were also 15, 50 and 100km options). What glorious trails and what fun! Everyone was so friendly — even the speedy guys smiled and said ‘good work’ as they blew by me. Plus it was dirt cheap to enter, supports the educational programs of i2P, AND we got into Gatineau Park for free!

i2p 3

i2p 2


i2p 1

Finally in the last week of August we had our little summer vacation — camping for 6 days with the Irwins at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park ( a.k.a. Sam de Cham), up near North Bay. Lovely weather (only a little rain) and always fun hanging out with the Irwins. Their 3 boys and our 2 get along splendidly.

Our campsite, right on Moore Lake — smaller tent Nic gets to himself, kitchen tent (all closed up because it was threatening rain) and the main tent, which leaks like a sieve so is protected overhead by tarp-zilla.campsite 2

And another shot that includes our trusty trailer ‘Trevor’.

Doug drove Nic and Troy back into town mid-week so the boys could attend a Grade 9 bbq at their new high school. The rest of us did a nice little hike that got us a great view high above the Mattawa River.

hike 2

Eli can be convinced to do almost anything if there’s an apple in it for him.hike 1

Nic tried out our youth-sized unicycle a few times and made great progress. uni

Another attraction at Sam de Cham is tubing down the Amable du Fond, from where it flows out of Moore Lake (a short walk from our camp site) to where it meets the Mattawa (then a nice little hike back for the tubers).
tubing 2

tubing 4

tubing 3


tubing 1

Another ritual for our Sam de Cham stay is a visit to the Maxwell Pottery shop and the adjoining Liam’s Poutine place (Liam being the son of the pottery shop owners). Both on Hwy 603, on the way into Algonquin Park at Kiosk. Lovely pottery and the poutine is yummy. Marlene was in training for her first ultra so could eat poutine with impunity (im-pountine-ity?)

poutine 1

Just down the road from this spot is a destination for Eli — easy train track access. We could hear the train go by 2-3 times a day from our camp site but unfortunately for E we didn’t see one when we were there. He did find an old railway spike though.


tracks 1

New this year in our toy collection — a SUP (stand-up paddleboard). So we brought that, which meant the canoe couldn’t also fit on the car roof.

sup 1


Eli was rather fixated with coal this year, wanting us to buy some to make a fire (something to do with steam engines, no doubt). So our campfires were 2 parts wood, 1 part charcoal. In this shot Eli has been very helpful in ripping some garbage into kindling bits to get some wet wood to burn.fire


Lots of time spent perfecting roasted marshmallows. This one is a winner.

The weather was wet near the end so we all decided to leave Sunday afternoon (when the tents were actually dry so much easier to pack up) rather than early Monday. The couple at the neighbouring site had a daytime fire before they left and I asked if they could leave it going so we could burn off the rest of our firewood. The kids took the opportunity to also burn off every last marshmallow they could find. Once we’d gone through ours the kids Eli had made friends with (including the two little girls in the photo) went and got more. It was a lovely way to conclude our week. The boys all tried for perfectly golden ones — as opposed to the charred torches they create over our evening campfires.

marsh mania 1

nic marshm

troy marshm

brett marsh

We also used the last campfire for  Jiffy Pop popcorn.

On the way home we stopped for dinner at Myrt’s in Mattawa. Can you guess why we chose that place? (Hint: the mural on the wall).


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Summer activities

These are some photos of what we’ve been up to. Not in any sort of order!

Running buddy dinner: Chris hosted a bbq at his place in Almonte to celebrate after he and Wei did the Ottawa Race Weekend marathon. Chris ran an impressive PB but Wei had her worst and missed qualifying for Boston next year. Peter and I had just done Boston the month before. Can’t recall what Daryl had done lately but it probably involved needing to drill his toe nails afterwards.

Marlene took the boys to the Aboriginal Summer Solstice festival at Vincent Massey Park in June. It was a tough choice because that weekend Ottawa was hosted at least 6 great festivals. Here Eli points to the hand print he added to the fabric mural.
ab festival

ab festival 1

Mom came to visit for Canada Day celebrations again this year. We started the holiday as usual with the local road race. Marlene did the 10km event (it was too hot — as always!) and Eli had a smoking fast time in the kid’s 1.5km race, doing it in a 5:20 pace and passing tons of kids. He ran on is own (Doug or Marlene went with in previous years) and he ran the whole time. Was in a major sweat when he was done, and was proud of himself.
canada day 1

Eli met a classmate when lining up for the start (and beat him, but who’s bragging…).
canada day race

You’ll see Eli just after I shout at him.

The big finish.

That evening we had a picnic potluck dinner at a park in New Edinburgh with Ken and Cheryl and Ken’s parents Dick and Anna. Saw the downtown fireworks from there.

canada day

canada day 3

Marlene baked a blueberry bumble for dessert for the day Mom arrived.
canada day bumble
 Another outing took us to the Science and Technology Museum. We lucked out because it was the first day that the steam train was running. Eli was of course thrilled and we took a couple rides on it.
science tech 2

science tech 1

science tech

On the day Mom was leaving we went to Manotick to visit Watson’s Mill (in part because it’s close to Fallowfield train station). We all enjoyed the mill and Eli tried on some of the pioneer clothing.

watsons 1

watsons 2

We finally had the Irwins over to dinner along with a very special guest — Nic’s old buddy Eric who moved to Washington DC (temporarily) a year ago and was back visiting and staying with the Irwins. Steve got the boys to smile by telling them to think of ‘hairy butts’.
hairy butt

Dinner was pretty simple but I made a special appetizer of crispy fried fennel cakes with smoked salmon and white turnip. The other two appetizers were quicker to throw together, a classic shrimp cocktail and neighbour Mario’s antipasto plate.
fennel cakes 1


shrimp lg

shrimp 1


mario appie lg

mario appie 1

Our dear friend Cathy came from Maui for a visit and we got together with her at Lee-Anne’s place on the Gatineau River. No photo of Cathy — just of Doug and Eli there playing on a SUP.

We bought tickets for the fall season of the Ottawa Fury Soccer Club and Marlene took the boys to the season opener and first game at the new TD Place (formerly Lansdowne Park).

Every summer weekend in Ottawa has at least a couple festivals to choose from. Marlene took the boys on public transit (which Eli loves) to see the Busker Festival.busker 1



We also attended our annual August favourite, the Puppets Up festival in Almonte. We enjoyed the Puppet Tamer (in photo) and Frogtown Mountain’s ‘Everyone Loves Pirates’.

Luc, Siti, Keirin and Mishka came from Singapore for their yearly visit. We got to spend time with them (and Andree) at Sky Zone (a trampoline park) and had lunch afterwards at an excellent shwarma restaurant at Bank and Hunt Club. That was followed by some impromptu tree climbing and wrestling by the boys while the adults chatted. Somehow the boys all ended up picking shirts that morning that matched each other.
luc 1

luc 2


luc 3


luc 4

luc 5

luc 7

luc 8

Finally had the Wilds over for dinner and invited the Bourgeau-Code family too.

wilds 1

Ever since Eli took a one-day cooking course about pizza making he insists on the homemade variety. And is happy to help.
pizza boy

The modern family: 3 boys + 3 devices = harmony
3 devices

Eli and buddies Erik and Ben ready for camp on superhero day.
3 boys

Still some summer left to come…

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Sandbanks 2014

It’s tricky to say when summer really starts — at the solstice? End of school? May long weekend? Lately for me it seems to be the annual TDH Ontario Sandbanks camping weekend, in early June. A wonderful gathering that merits its own blog post (and also because I have so many photos this time, courtesy of a Cavanaugh granddaughter). Again this year we were treated to the delectable and exclusive ‘diner en blanc’ by Sandra and Philippe Saturday night and enjoyed the picnic for all TDH families on Sunday. Sandra and I again organized a treasure hunt, which the kids just love. It worked better this year — more equitably — by prepackaging the treasure into loot bags. Perfect weather too – not a drop of rain, not even dew! sandbanksWe like to play bocce on the beach. sandbanks 1 Eli and Mathieu had fun together. Mathieu was always at our site, including fairly early in the morning as he is not one to sleep much past dawn.sandbanks 5 Can’t recall why we had a tarp at the beach but Mathieu and Eli had fun with it. sandbanks 6 sandbanks 3

sandbanks 2

Le diner… sandbanks m Waiting to eat sandbanks n The usual organic hot dogs and chips for the kids to start, followed by the adult meal, and s’mores (my contribution). sandbanks l The kitchen help and servers, Rosie and Liam. sandbanks a   Le chef Philippesandbanks f

Appetizers sandbanks g sandbanks k The table, at Philippe and Sandra’s campsite. Lovely setting courtesy of the Cavanaughs sandbanks e The main: lobster sandbanks m Plated sandbanks j Me in a blonde wig (taking the ‘en blanc’ theme to the maximum) sandbanks i Sandra trying it out sandbanks 7 A few of the Cavanaugh clansandbanks b Rosie and her ‘cousin’ (niece) who took most of the photos sandbanks d A lovely photo of Dorinda and Brendan sandbanks c Finally… sandbanks h

Images of the Sunday picnic and treasure hunt. How to get a pack of little ones to run like stink? Give them a treasure hunt clue. Eli liked to read out the clues and this year was one of the few old enough to read. Thanks to Samantha for the photos. sandbanks1 sandbanks2 sandbanks5 sandbanks6 sandbanks4 sandbanks3 No photos of the treasures — bamboo dragonflies from Vietnam, seas shells, jewels, stickers, hockey cards, candy.

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Marlene runs away from home

How else to explain a solo road trip for 5 days in Alberta and BC? After a stressful fall and harsh winter there was only one thing I really wanted to do to plug my batteries back in: visit the Rockies. So I flew to Calgary, rented a car and drove 8-9 hours to Chase, BC where friends Shelley and Ross were staying for daughter Kate’s equestrian competition. The next day I drove down the Okanagan to Osoyoos, where I stayed in a great motel. The day after that I headed east to Nelson and caught up with cousin Karl there, and had a whole house to myself right on Kootenay Lake (where his ex Joan lives but she was on vacation). Then east again but mostly north into the enchanting front ranges of the Rockies for two nights in Canmore. Stayed with cousin Cathy and husband Pat, plus dined with friends Mary and Ernie. In all more than 2100 km. It was awesome.

DAY 1: I woke up at 3:30am in order to catch my early flight. I gained 2 hours flying into Calgary and another on the drive, giving me plenty of daylight for the long road trip. I really hadn’t really thought through how I’d do a 9-hour drive after a 4-hour flight after about 5 hours of sleep. But I had the most exquisite scenery to engage me the whole time. A little rain now and then but it just gave the mountains a different mood. I stopped a few times to take photos for Eli of the magnificently long freight trains that travel through this part of the country. This one is in Field BC, a favourite spot of mine (mostly because of the nearby Burgess Shale).field

Further west into BC, a train reflected in a still lake.train

Shelley and Ross were staying at the Overlander Motel in Chase so Shelley booked me a room there (Kate and friends were camping). The owner felt so badly that I had to wait around because he was out when I arrived that he gave me a discount off the already low rate! (And he’d actually left me a note about where he’d stashed the room key but I didn’t see it).

chase 3

One of the first things I noticed about being in AB and BC was how amazing the air smelt. I think it was partly because the lilac trees were in full bloom.

The motel was on the main street and on the other side was…  a train track. More photos for Eli. I took train videos for him too and had so much to share that Doug set up a Gmail account for him.chase 5

chase 4

Shelley and Ross (and Kate’s horse) at the Mustang Powder equestrian park and trails in Chase BC. Gorgeous spot.chase

It had been a while since I’d seen S&R but we just picked up a conversation where we left off four or so years ago. Although the first thing Ross said to me after he poured me a glass of wine in their humble motel room was, “What the hell are you doing here?!” I like that Ross tends to get right to the point.chase 2

chase 1

Day 2: The Okanagan to Osoyoos BC. I actually wasn’t sure I’d make it that far that day, but it didn’t matter as I was staying on my own anyway. Stopped in Vernon for lunch and found the office of Cross Country BC, where I’d applied for a job a year or so ago. I’d originally planned to aim for Osoyoos as Ottawa friend Harv is moving there so I wanted to visit. But his relocation was delayed a couple months. I stayed at the first motel I stopped at, the Super 8, right in town. It wasn’t super cheap but really nice and I had a great chat with the guy at the desk (a relocated Torontonian). Arrived in plenty of time to go for a run before dinner and ran along Osoyoos Lake — turns out I probably ran right past Harv’s mother’s house, where he’ll be living. Ate a quiet and pleasant dinner at the Wildfire Grill/Lizard Lounge. They were out of what I wanted and the server also ran out of my chosen beer so she ended up giving me a pint for free. Great spot. osoyoos 2

osoyoos 1

The Mazda I rented in Calgary, parked at the Super 8.osoyoos car

Looking west back and south as I drove up and out of town — most of the land here is in the US. The town is out of the frame to the right.osoyoos 3

Osoyoos, lake and town.osoyoos town

The scrubby, desert vegetation above Osoyoos.
osoyoos veg

Day 3: heading west to Nelson. Lots of inspiring scenery, though a bit less so (or less to my tastes) than the first couple days. Or maybe I was getting a little road weary (unlikely). Speaking of which I had borrowed Orwell’s ‘1984’ on tape from the library and listened to it quite a lot while driving. Absolutely creepy vision of the future — I had to stop it several times.

In Nelson my cousin Karl (1st photo) is somewhat without a house (ironic as he’s built several gorgeous ones). He’s bunking above a friend’s garage in a neat little studio he helped to build, right on Kootenay Lake. Half the year he lives in northeastern Brazil, where he also built a house (his girlfriend lives in Sao Paolo) and mostly windsurfs. His ex-wife Joan, whom I met only once, lives in a lovely house right on the lake and as she was out of town she kindly offered the whole place to me (2nd photo). She even left me some homemade soap as a gift. How very lovely, and very Nelson — the town with the highest per capita instance of dreadlocks of any place in the country.

Enroute to Nelson I stopped for lunch in Grand Forks, where you can practically spit across the US border. I grabbed a coffee and pastry from a local shop and found a quiet spot outside to eat. Turns out the random parking lot I chose was an access point for the Trans Canada Trail — I could follow it and arrive in Kanata! (assuming the bits are connected up all the way now). I texted a photo to friend Peter whose brother lives in Grand Forks.
grand forks
nelson 1

My most excellent accommodation (across the lake from downtown) and the view from there.
nelson house

Karl is an avid SUP-er — does 30km+ trips down the river. He took me out for a leisurely paddle and I managed to stay dry. Good thing as Kootenay Lake in May is not exactly warm.
sup 1


Days 4-5: Breakfast at a local historic hotel with Karl then destination Canmore. There were some sleepy moments this day on Hwy 3 westbound, when they views were obscured by trees, but my first sight of the Rockies when I was northbound on Hwy 95 was completely energizing. Due to the leisurely breakfast with Karl I had a late morning start and made a number of stops to enjoy views and freight trains along the way. The result was by the time I was passing through Rogers Pass I realized I’d be arriving at Pat and Cathy’s quite a bit later than they probably expected, since I was supposed to be there for dinner. Pat and Cathy are about the most laid-back couple you’d ever want to know but I wanted to give them a more accurate ETA. Problem was that all through the pass along the Trans Canada and down past Storm Mountain into the Bow Valley there’s no cell service and not a payphone nor habitation to be found. Which was otherwise kinda nice. I did stop at Glacier Park Lodge, near the summit of the pass. The place wasn’t open for the season yet but I saw the owner there and chatted with him for quite a while. He would have offered me the use of his phone, he said, but it was a satellite service and had been down for a while. Finally phoned close to the Sunshine Village turnoff and coasted into Canmore just before 8pm.

Just as I was reaching the Banff townsite one of my favourite Springsteen tunes came on the radio (one from my MTV Banff days) and a freight train was heading east across the valley so I stopped at a roadside turnoff to watch the train and admire the classic view of Mt Rundle (left) and Sulphur Mtn (right), with Vermillion Lakes in the foreground. 
Rundle and Sulphur Mtns

While staying with cousin Cathy her husband Pat (well known locally for his band, Sully’s Garage) took me out to the Kananaskis Gun and Bow Club, where we shot, from left to right, a Ruger single six 22 magnum single action revolver, a Model 1911A1 45 calibre semi-auto pistol (Norinco, a Chinese knockoff), and a Smith & Wesson 357 magnum (combat special) revolver. I thought the bullets and guns looked like a nice still life so took this photo. It’s now Pat’s screen saver at work. Oh, and I hit three silhouettes at 40 yards with the 1911. And they were even the ones I was aiming for.
guns 3

guns 1


Run selfie: I went for a run along the new trail (new since I’ve been there, anyway) that goes from Canmore to Banff alongside the Trans Canada. I did about 14km and never noticed a problem with the elevation, though it was hot for the Rockies.
selfie run

This poor quality photo of a couple elk wandering in a Canmore neighbourhood is my substitute for a picture of Mary and Ernie, who had me over for dinner my last night there. This time and the last time I was with them I forgot to get a photo. Must be because we get caught up in such great conversation that I just don’t think of it. Mary and I went for a walk after dinner, which is when we came across the elk.

Day 6: My last morning in Canmore, before driving into Calgary for my afternoon flight back to Ottawa, Cathy and I had lunch at the Silvertip Golf Course. Gorgeous spot, great company and an amazing trip start to finish. I plan to do it again next year.

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