Sunday, February 19, 2012

Unforseen Forces

So, I have one more journey day to write up, but I just wanted to make an honorable mention to a beautiful swan.

When I was little I used to see geese and birds flying away in the fall and back in the spring, and everyone always said they were going south. So for some reason I didn't ever ask where specifically they were going, and every year I would think about how amazing it was that they were all flying together and never bother to think where are they flying to. I learned last April that some fly here, Courtenay BC. Geese, swans, random birds.
Last winter they camped out in what is now my backyard/field and ate the grass. But in the summer they plowed it all and now there is not much grass to eat so they all hang out in a field in the middle of town. And I mean hundreds of them. But you still see them out here, just not as many. You hear them at random times during the day.

Fastforward to Present

Tonight our power flickered and went out. Pitch black, we made sure everyone was okay, and then it came back on. Honestly, part of me thought it was the end of times, a freaking fireball coming for earth, time to say our last goodbyes. I'm a worst case scenerio type. Fortunately for all of us on earth except for it, it was only a swan that ran into our power line. I say only, but really you would not believe how big this thing was. Poor guy, never even seen it coming. Which is better I suppose. I hope it didn't suffer. I am surprised it didn't take the wire out completely. Now it smells like burnt feathers outside, which I suppose it a change from the usual cow poop. I couldnt help but think about this poor unaware swan on its journey when kabam it was taken out by an unforseen force.


Grade 12, at PDCI, our cafeteria had an enclosed gazebo. It was still really snowy so the door to it was locked. It was during a spare and I was with some friends having a snack then we all heard THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD. Everyone was looking around confused. Turns out there is a flock of winter birds that were flying in together, and they all ran into the wall of windows overlooking the caf. There was probably at least a dozen stunned or dead birds. Now this in itself was sad. It was made worse by people knocking on the windows at them and laughing.
I know. They are just birds. But for some reason it just irks my soul to see people acting that stupid. Trying to make the situation better, our vice principal unlocked the door to clean up the dead birds. Seeing one that was only stunned, he decided to put the unconscious bird on a high branch of a tree. He walked away looking very content with himself, and not a minute later the bird fell to what I am quite certain was it's demise. Poor guy, never seen it coming. Was taken out by unforseen forces.

So this is my shout out to all you many feathered creatures, I know how hard you work, and when I can, I will always have your back, And I will always hope the best for you. Even the stupid crows who refuse to fly, and choose instead to hop across a busy street.

We Made it 5km in Only 4 Hours!

Day 4 started off where day 3 ended obviously, Swift Current Sask. We got some HUGE cups of really yummy french vanilla cappuccino and headed off for Lake Louise to see the lovely Alex. The drive went fairly smoothly for the most part. Nothing to exciting. We passed the border into Alberta and the fields got more and more hilly. We went through Calgary which was a nice cute city. Just before we hit Calgary we could see the foothills to the Rocky Mountains. For a while we kept stopping at every stop along the way because we were so excited to see the mountains. We got to Lake Louise and it was packed to the Max. It took us almost 20 minutes just to find a parking spot. As we walked down the hill we seen the Hotel, and let me tell you, it looked like a freaking castle. Very high class hoity toity. There were valets all dressed up, it felt like I walked into a different world. We went inside and went to the restaurant Alex worked at, it was closed but there was a guy playing piano outside, apparently Vince Vaughn ( Wedding Crashers ) played it once. We walked around for a little while. Went to the gift shop, but there were no good magnets, post cards, or key chains so we didn't get anything. Although there was a very expensive wine journal. Although I really couldn't see there ever being a time in my life when I would need it. 

Every single time I point the camera at him, this is what he does. Whatta guy.

Cute birdie atop a car in the parking lot at Lake Louise

Piano playing guy

     We headed back to the village to get some lunch and gas. The restaurant sort of looked like it really wanted to be fine dining but really wasn't. Their bathroom was really gross but the food was okay. After eating, we forced ourselves back into the car and got back onto the 1. We had just gotten over the border (yay!) when we hit a road block due to a landslide and had to turn around, drive back to the other side of Lake Louise and take a detour into BC (boo). So we were feeling a little bit irked, but these things happen, and back we went. We were headed towards a town called Radium, which has hot springs, and Braden had wanted to stay there but before it was to far out of the way, so we thought hey why not. Again, we were wrong. We got stuck in a traffic jam build up not 15 minutes into our detour. A traffic jam that seemed to go on forever. An hour and a half, and barely 1km later we seen the hot springs, which really looked like a little pool much more crowded than any pool should ever be. 2 hours of traffic jam turned into 3 hours which turned into 4 hours and 5 km later until we finally hit Radium. Finally we thought. We thought wrong. The town was full. The only room left available was a 500 a night Egyptian themed room. Wonderful. It took us another 15 minutes to get onto the highway and we were on our way to Revelstoke. The road was pitch black and our  gps told us we wouldn't be there till 1:30am. It was 11pm and we were both dead tired. 
Literally 5km, 4 hours

     There is a place on the route called "Rogers Pass" that is tunnels through the sides of mountains. Braden was amazing and kept his eyes open and awake, I don't know how he did it. I literally had to slap myself to stay awake. We got to Revelstoke and we were stoked (haha)! Then we seen the construction that was right where the only pet friendly motel with an open room was available that we could find online. we couldn't get in. We decided to drive through the town just in case. Nothing. We decided to drive through once more.  Just because we had no other options at 2am. We got lucky. We got a room, got the key and headed to it. It was on the opposite side of the motel complex. When we got to our door we couldn't get it open. So we went back to the main desk, where the attendant came back to our room with us, and after about 10 minutes of key jiggling she finally got it open. She left. We got Toby and Moto into the room, and got into bed. We thought this was goodnight, and because life really enjoys proving us wrong, yet again we were wrong. 

     After about 15 minutes we started smelling something really gross. We went through the usual " Was that you" "No was that you" and we thought Moto must have tooted. But the smell lasted longer than your average lingering fart, so we got up and pulled the covers down and turned the light on. To our undelightful  surprise there was a big wet Toby turd on the floor. We cleaned it up, put Toby into the bathroom and got back into bed. The smell lingered. We thought we must have missed some. For once, we were right. We turned the lights back on and sure enough there was some beside the bed. Braden got up to clean it up, and I moved the blanket to help and KABAM. I found the true source of the stench. The blanket. Toby had pooped all over the blanket. How he did it without us noticing is beyond us. Now, please take into consideration that he had been stuck in the car for 4 straight days, his diet and routine completely thrown and he wasn't even 6 months old. We cleaned it up again, took the poopy blanket off the bed, let Toby out of the bathroom and went to sleep. This was only to be woken up a little while later by Toby moving around the bed, Braden kicking him off the bed and then the sound of Toby peeing. I really do love my animals, and don't get the impression that we treat them badly, because we really do not.  We stop constantly for bathroom breaks and meal times, the stress was just to much for poor Toby. But I really was starting to feel like nutter butter. After another  cleaning, we fell asleep for the night. We woke up to another pile of dog poop in the bathroom in the morning, which we cleaned up. And we were just happy that we were on our last day of our journey to Courtenay BC. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rock Throwing Winnipeger, and Duct taped Video Cameras

So I have realized why I didn't start a blog much sooner, I'm terrible at keeping up. I swear I am trying!!    
 Day 3 started out butt-freezing cold in our tent at West Hawk Lake. We got up, packed our stuff, reorganized the car a little bit (which was an absolute disaster already) and then decided we had time to take a walk with Toby. After a short and sweet walk around the campground we squeezed ourselves back into the car and off we went again, destination Swift Current Saskatchewan. 

     As we were driving we listened to the radio, we kept having to find stations but that was half the fun. Just as we were about to hit Winnipeg they were talking about how it had the highest violent crime rate in Canada. Honestly we laughed when we heard it. We thought if that was true we would have heard of it before, right? Wrong. So wrong. As we drove through the city our GPS turned us down a one-way street. It was a tiny little street that looked a lot more like a back alley. We were looking for a place to pull over or turn around, driving very consciously, when a guy flagged us down. When we rolled down the window this guy started yelling at us, calling us idiots. He said at one point, and I am quoting here "Where did you get your license, a fruity pebbles box??". We desperately tried to explain the situation, and when that failed miserably we pointed out that he was being unnecessarily rude. Yes, we said, we are on a one way street going the wrong way, but we are trying to turn around and he was not doing anything but making the situation worse by being rude. Rude, he said, You haven't seen rude yet.  At this point Braden decided ( maybe not so wisely ) that being rude back was the only solution. This very quickly resulted in the guy kicking the car and then as we rolled up the windows and pulled away at a squealing speed him throwing rocks at the car as he charged after us. 

     I really didn't know if we were going to make it out of that alive, but somehow we managed. And we got back on the highway again, A little ways later Braden admitted that maybe he shouldn't have responded rudely. But we both agreed that the guy had way overstepped and was beyond rude. But on the brighter side of things, no one wet their pants in fear and it was all behind us. 

     Manitoba is bad in the sense that there is not a whole lot of touristy type of stops along the highway, but what they do have are signs with stars at them when your going to pass an "attraction". They tell you the name of the place and how many km away it is and an arrow pointing which way to turn. You just follow the stars with arrows signs until you arrive. The one we followed was for "Reptile Gardens". It was literally in the middle of nowhere, down three different unpaved, un-graveled back roads. Braden was hesitant at first, but came in with me anyways. We went into what looked like a little building, and there were lizards, bugs, and fish all over. Caged stacked. We went on the tour, which took your from the main front room down hallway after hallway, on either side of you was crocidiles, aligators, snakes bigger than I have ever seen, more fish and bugs (spiders unfortunately included), and so many cute turtles. Some of the animals were rescue animals. There was so much to see, and for only 5$ each! It was absolutely worth the detour and 10$. It is the biggest of its kind in North America. 

He seemed so happy, but really he is just fantasizing about what you taste like.

     The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. The prairies had more hills than we had expected. Tourist wise, Sask. was much more helpful. We bought some Saskatoon berry chocolates and jam at the Tourist Info stop. The end of the drive, from about Medicine Hat to Swift Current, was quite outrageously boring. It started getting rainy so instead of camping, which we had planned on doing, we decided to splurge and stay at a motel. We got chips and dip for dinner, and stayed at Thriftlodge. ThriftLodge is the same chain as TravelLodge, but as the name suggests, is a thriftier version. And old huge video camera duct taped to the wall as the security camera. Mismatched furniture  mismatch soap and shampoo. Only the best of the best for us cheapos! There was a pool and a hot tub, which we tried, but after about 5 minutes we agreed that neither struck us as very sanitary we decided to go to bed early. It is off to the Rockies in the morning! 
Braden, Naturally.

Honestly, probably one of the most exciting parts.