Saturday, August 16, 2014

Visiting Regina - on purpose

We went to Regina last weekend to visit Subhadra in her Corrections Officer training program at the RCMP depot. I quite enjoy a prairie drive with the endless big open skies and the fields of wheat, flax, sunflowers, soybean and all the other crops that keeps us and much of the world fed. 

Before I went, I checked out some hiking trails outside of Regina and decided that the Wascana Trails seemed like a nice trail to do a day hike. So the plan was to go on Saturday morning and do a 3-4 hour hike. All well and good but the weather did not cooperate because the rain that was supposed to fall in the  afternoon and night started in the morning just as we reached the trailhead. So the best we could do was to sit in the car with the window barely wound down and take some pictures so I could at least say I was there. 

Most people think of the prairies as flat and boring but the trails looked very similar to the Pembina Valley area hike that I did in June. The Wascana Creek runs through the hiking area; it looks more like a winding river through rolling hills and valleys. 

On the way back to the main highway, we passed the Condie Nature Refuge (used to be called Boggy Creek and still has a small house by that name close by) and stopped for a few minutes. By then the rain had stopped but it was too wet to do much more than stop for washroom break and take a few pictures of the lake (actually a reservoir which was dammed by CN for their steam engines. There were a few birds that I did not recognize and I wished it was a bit drier so we could walk around a bit. I satisfied myself with the pictures and went back to Regina. 

Afternoon and evening spent walking the mall and being thoroughly amazed that there were so many, many people everywhere, and I really do mean - EVERYWHERE -  wearing Saskatchewan Rough-riders clothes and even green hair! Apparently, the fans are so loyal, they can even be found on the beaches in far off countries where no one else knows what a  Roughrider is, wearing their team clothes. On this day though, there actually was a game because when we were out for dinner, several came in after the game will full attire. I guess you have to be from Saskatchewan to understand.  I didn't quite get it but then I am not from Saskatchewan. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Slipping in a hike in Banff

This was a busy month for birthdays Breen on August 8, Zaman on August 9/10 (started on Aug 9 and was actually born on Aug 10) , Ronin on August 13 and Sunita on August 14. So happy birthday to each of you. 

Since Zaman turned 60, it was cause for a big celebration so I flew to Calgary for the birthday party and while I was there, we did a girls day hike at Johnston Canyon just outside of Banff. 

We (me, Bena, Shakila and Terry) made it up to the Lower Falls and it was as lovely as I remembered it from 1975. This time I was wearing hiking gear rather than the wooden Dr. Scholl's sandals that I was wearing back then (to be fair, we didn't know we were going for a hike so we were not prepared with the appropriate footwear).

Shakila and Terry waited for us and Bena and I hiked to the Upper Falls, took some pictures and made our way down. 

We found a nice picnic area just outside of the canyon and had a lovely lunch that we packed from home. The hawk below was sitting on the table when we arrived and we shooed him away. He was not a happy bird so he alternated between the ground and the nearby tree squawking at us until we finally ate and moved away.   

Then it was off to Lake Louise for a photo op. That was also as beautiful as I remembered it but the glacier between the two peaks is significantly smaller than I remember it. Global warming or is global warming a conspiracy theory and the melting glacier is only a mirage. 

The Canadian Rockies can inspire awe whether you see it for the first time or the 131st time. This has only been a few times for me but I still marvel at its beauty. No matter where your eyes turn, there is a glorious scenery to behold. 


Banff Springs Hotel

Rockies behind Banff Springs

Mountains from downtown Banff 

Bear-y scary!! 
We headed to Banff where we visited Sulfur Mountains Pool, The Banff Springs Hotel and had a lovely dinner before heading back to Calgary to arrive home at 10:30pm. The birthday party was still continuing from Saturday and it was Monday evening. That's another Guyanese multi-day birthday.