Day 1,Monday September 14
Okay here I go ... trying to blog on a Imac Pro computer my son passed on to me. Thanks to Christian for setting this up and to Megan for teaching me how to blog without internet/WiFi. I can't believe I'm talking like this.
I'm parked off the Trans Canada waiting for Ralf so I thought I would start this blog.
We left Brampton Friday September 11th at 0620 and arrived at my cousin's house in Calgary Sunday September 13th.We drove through the states -Michigan.Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota. From North Dakota we went north into Saskatchewan. Stayed at the Ramada in Moose Jaw.It was Saturday nite and nothing happening in the big city. As we drove through Saskatchewan Sunday on route to Calgary the landscape was so barren, so empty of life. I had an epiphany. With all the refugees fleeing Syria and flooding into Munich they should be redirected to Saskatchewan. When I shared this idea with Ralf he said “ they wouldn't want to live here”.
So far all the people seem to gather at McDonalds. This has been a recurring observation since we left home ... you know where we have been eating. Years ago Ralf and I, Norm and Pauline Jackson hiked the north part of the West Coast Trail.We flew to Regina first- I can't remember why we stopped there but we did. We went out for dinner that nite and while waiting in line for our table we struck up a conversation with the locals. We asked a nice young man “what you call people from Regina-? Reginians?” He replied emphatically “TRAPPED”. Was happy to leave Saskatchewan.
Got to Calgary and proceeded to Jean's. Had dinner at Le Villa- a fabulous restaurant. Had their prime rib with all the fixings; a wine from the Marlborough region and a decadent dessert. Oh its so good to be back in civilization.
Went to bed early as the day has finally arrived....can hardly wait for it to end- you'll find out .
Before we went to bed listened to the thunder and lightening in Calgary. All through the nite we heard the pounding of rain outside. By 0540 we were ready to get up and out. Jean woke up to wish us well and apologize for the inclement weather. She said it was gorgeous last week with the temps in the 30's.
The temp at 0600 was 3C- cold ,wet and pitch black outside. The roads look slick. In car,heater set to 32C blowing full blast, seat warmers on. As it was still so dark out we drove to the McDonalds across from the Olympic Park. Ordered breakfast-sausage/egg mcmuffin and coffee. McDonalds has the best coffee. Got a large to put in my thermos for the long cold trip.
When day lite hit Ralf hit the road cycling. He is the only person cycling the Trans Canada in rain and cold. I am the only person wearing shorts in the rain and cold.I'm so glad I packed t shirts and shorts. Thank goodness it was cool Friday am when we left as I grabbed one of the kids Queen's University hoodies because it has kept me warm.
So when Ralf headed off he said he'll do the cycle to Banff in 3-50K increments.Sounds like a plan . I was just to stay on the Trans Canada – I can do that. As soon as he left I realized he didn't take my old ipod. Christian had downloaded more songs and showed me how to use it so that Ralf isn't listening to the same song over and over and over again for the 11 days. I pulled over at about the 8k mark. Was holding the ipod out the window for Ralf so he could just grab and go. He didn't want the ipod.He said he's freezing cold and could I meet him at 10k intervals. I said sure and drove off to meet him every 10K. The first 10k Ralf didn't want to come in support vehicle for some heat and refreshments but wanted to keep going. He suggested that I don't stop at the bottom of a hill as he had momentum going and had to interrupt it. The road was flat so I didn't think he would mind...and it was probably 11K.Sometimes I can't stop at exactly 10 (Ralf) because of the location.
Now after the second 10K he came in for heat. He leaned his bike against my car- # 7 on the Holy Grail of 'don't do Ralf'. But being the sensitive person I am I just overlooked that. Ralf is looking so cold and beat up before he even starts this trek.When he got in car he wanted the heat turned up full blast. I am dying of heat but can't say anything. I had removed my rain jacket earlier thank goodness or I would have cooked. Was happy to see Ralf leave car so I could turn heat off and put A/C on. Since we left Calgary temp has steadily dropped.It is 2C.
Going to close this off and drive 10K more and enjoy the lack of heat in the car. I see I'm on page 2 so I hope I know how to save this .Maybe I should send in short increments.In Banff now and in hotel.It has been a miserable day.Despite being surrounded by the mountains you can't see them for the low cloud cover. Kept meeting Ralf every 10 or more K when I forgot to pull over. Took pics from car which I will try to post. When we reached Banff couldn't get Trivago or hotels.com on my phone.Called Megan and she went online to try and get us a respectable hotel. I would say most of the hotels are respectable.To make a long story short we got a room at the Banff Springs Hotel.Ralf spoke with the manger and explained what we were doing etc.and could we get a discount on a room. The regular room is $529.00.She wanted to see proof of what we were doing. Fortunately there was an article in the Brampton Guardian Friday September 11 about Ralf and his fundraising efforts for the new Peel Memorial Hospital. They were able to pull it up online and gave us the room for $249.00 :-) They only had a few rooms left! What are people doing here this time of year. They are nuts... Yes we are going to sleep well tonite.
Ralf said this trip is different from the other ones. I used to meet him at the 10K mark where he would hydrate and sit in an air conditioned car for a while. This time he is getting in car to get warm and get out of the beating rain. Ralf is finding the cycle more challenging- he said the “ air is thinner and he's fatter ... not a good combination.”
Now I'm going to have a glass (or 2) of wine and relax after I post this to the blog. Megan is on standby incase it doesn't post. I will send some pics that I've taken. Have had to text my photography instructor Gail Shotlander as pics were blurred. Oh it is so tempting to just 'point and click'.Murphy's Law has kicked in since we left but I won't bore you with those details.They say it takes a village to raise a child...it takes a village to help me blog with all this new technology.
aren't you glad you're not here... wish we weren't at times.