Showing posts from 2022

Greencastle - 39°44'59" N 77°48'31"W

It would be a bit vain to say that Kate and I make our own luck, but we do say that the things we do make makes it easier for good fortune to find us. Three years ago when we met a group of hikers at Assinaboine Lodge and offered to host them in Canmore for a few days, we thought that our adventure with them had run its course.  Little did we realize that we would stay in touch with them over the next few years, then have opportunity to stop into their farm in Pennsylvania on our Fall 2022 road trip. We arrived last night, not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into as we allowed Google Maps to direct us to the address on Binkley Road that we had been given.  After driving from Niagara Falls, across the US border, through New York state and into the backroads of PA for a few hours, in the fading daylight we finally pulled into the driveway of a tidily-kept, two-story modern farmhouse.  There, we were greeted by a friendly Yellow Labrador named Winston, along with Dan, Joann

The Wishing Well - 51°03'03" N 114°02'34" W

As we are now temporarily guest-free, it is time to reconnect with our fellow Canmorons.  We have added to our list of things to do and it is time to start crossing things off that list. Proof that we were there. The Wishing Well - this funky art installation was originally located in northeast Calgary but stored away after the first few days of display (its amplified solar reflection was dangerous ) then was relocated to a shadier spot in Bridgeland.  Finding it was part of the adventure, then hearing the otherworldly sounds inside the spheres added to the experience.  Because of its highly reflective surface, the observers become part of the display. Hikes galore. The origin of Healy Creek Can you spot the little fella? Sunshine Meadows - although we have been before, purchasing a summer pass to the gondola means that we can use Sunshine Village as a 2300 metre-high starting point for a number of interesting hikes.  We have found a few ways down through Simpson Pass got to enjoy tr

Split Lip - 51° 15' 25" N 115° 51' 03" W

Driving up Highway 1A to go hiking with friends, we came across two cars stopped in the middle of the road. We stopped behind them scanning the verges and bushes for animals as animal sightings are the usual reason cars stop in the middle of the road.  And there, lumbering through the flowers and brush was the biggest grizzly I've ever seen.  And not just any grizzly but the infamous Bear #136 - Split Lip.  Instantly recognizable by the large scar, Split Lip is one of the two dominant male grizzlies in The Valley. He is about 18 years-old and enormous. It was such a privilege to see him up close - and from our car rather than from the saddle of a bike! Split Lip  Photo Credit: John E. Marriott He was in his element, completely comfortable and literally at home.  The fact that the road cut through his domain seemed irrelevant to him.  Rather than try to capture the essence of the moment with a camera, we both immersed ourselves in the experience of seeing this majestic, huge animal

Royal Tyrrell Museum - 51°28'45"N 112°47'32"W

Sometimes when we challenge people to "try and find us," they are successful! After returning from France, we had a few weeks to reacquaint ourselves with Canmore, settle into our lives ... and ready the guest rooms!  Florence and Lou had made plans to come to Canada (for Lou's FIRST trip away from Europe) at the end of her school year.  We couldn't wait to show them around the Rocky Mountains. Jet-lagged and fresh from the airport, they have no idea what they are in for! The day after picking Florence and Lou up from the Calgary Airport and giving them a night's rest, the Canadian Experience began.  They met the Pettigrew family, bringing together two important parts of our world.   Megan, Ali and Lou got along famously, as did the rest of us.  Having the girls together helped Lou's already-excellent English get even better.  Along with the expected Canmore activities, we also made a trip into Calgary and to the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller.  S

YOU DID WHAT??? - 48° 27' 46" N 07° 28' 41" E

With Florence and her sister Claire in London in 1989 Florence and I have been friends since before she moved to Alsace for University.  From the time she has lived there, it has been a dream to renovate an old Alsatian house. Glamming it up in Strasbourg 1992 The years rolled past, marriage, kids and life went on but that dream to renovate an old Alsatian house was still brewing in the back of her mind.  This wine is nearly older than us! Bischoffsheim 2005 On each visit I made, we would flip through the real estate listings - no garden, too dilapidated, not in the right village, too big, too expensive...  And this trip was no exception.  My house searches were met with 'it is rubbish', 'out of my budget' and other such encouraging phrases.  House search text messages That was until I found a listing for a very cute house somewhere in Obernai. Without wanting to call the agent, we decided to spend the day exploring Obernai on our bikes to see if we could find it. Our m

The Vosges Mountains - 47° 59' 58" N 07° 05' 53" E

In the high mountain pastures of the Vosges above the town of Munster, there is a tradition of cattle grazing and cheese making.  On these high, steep pastures, the cows would graze on the lush grass, they would be milked and the cheese immediately processed and ripened. This was done in a marcairie. The macairie comprises of two buildings. One where the milking and cheese processing was done with a space for the storage of the ripening cheese, and one smaller cottage for the farmer to live.  While the tradition of Munster cheese continues, the old macairies are being converted into mountain weekenders.  With huge thanks to Marie-Claude and Hervé, we stayed for the weekend at their beautifully restored marcairie 'Kaltwasser', high above Munster.  Originally for the cows to be milked and the cheese to be made,  it is now the main building. The cornerstone is marked "1881" Originally where the shepherd (or cowherd) slept, this is now a secondary guest house.  The tiny c