Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Back in Lotus Land

Although a bit tired from the long drive back from Edmonton, all is well back home and my routine is back to normal.
Westbound on Highway 16 - The Yellowhead Highway in Alberta
Note:  you can click on any photo to enlarge the view
With all the work completed on Deni/Courtney/Owen's deck and hanging doors in the newly renovated basement, I cleaned up, stored my tools in our truck then went to visit my sister, her daughter and grandson, for a couple of hours before returning to Deni's home for a nice outdoor barbecue and early to bed.

Awake at 3:15 a.m, Alberta time (2:15 am Pacific coastal time), it was very early but I felt rested.  I got up, packed my suitcase and silently sneaked out of Deni and Courtney's home.  I remembered to take the lunch Courtney had packed for my road trip, locked the door and, by 3:35 am (Alberta time), I was out of their driveway and on my way.  We had said our good byes before calling it a night because they knew that if I did wake up early, I would likely be gone.  That is what happened.

Hinton, Alberta - my first stop to top up with cheap Alberta fuel before driving through Jasper National Park and into British Columbia.
In Jasper National Park - the start of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Although I did leave at 3:35am  - in the middle of the night and with summer solstice just one day old - the night sky was not black.  It looked like early morning.  Out of the City of Edmonton in 25 minutes, I was heading westbound on Highway 16 towards Jasper National Park.

Traffic was hardly evident for the first five hours of my drive.  That proved beneficial for the several stops I did make to observe some of the wildlife one can often see driving through these parts of Alberta and British Columbia.
Couple of Elk grazing along side the highway
A young bull Elk ignoring me as he grazed
I spent several minutes observing and photographing this young Grizzly bear.  I did not get a good face photo but his large face was clearly Grizzly.  What a beautiful specimen he was.  He was far too busy grazing tree branches than to pay a whole lot of attention to me. I did keep my guard up though!
Other wildlife spotted 'en route' included plenty of white tailed deer, several types of waterfowl and two coyotes; one enjoying a road killed deer and another running across the four lane highway ahead of me.

It was a perfect day for a drive through the mountains.  Traffic was surprising lighter than I would have expected.  That will change once families begin their summer holidays.

I backed into our driveway at precisely 2:15 pm, Monday afternoon.  It was an 11 hr. & 40 minute drive.

Mission accomplished:  The goal - other than visiting with family and grandson, Owen, was to help build Deni and Courtney's deck. That was accomplished!  With a bit of time left over, I assisted Deni to install the more difficult doors in his basement.  That too was accomplished!  To have some time to spend with Owen was such a bonus.  Our special early morning time together was a gift.  Hanging out with him and his folks, those six days, was good fun.
Happy little fella he is......!
Deck built and completed
One of several doors that were trimmed, leveled and installed...
Even got the new battery installed in Deni's quad and got to run up and down the alley.....
The new shingle roof on this rental property was completed....and the garage was finished on Monday.
I even mowed Deni and Courtney's lawn.....
On the home front in Langley, BC, Jeanette was busy too.  She attended a parade that included our firefighter son in law, Trevor, who tossed goodies along the parade route and found his son Easton in the crowd with his mom, Sandi and Jeanette too.  They took Brie and Easton to the parade while Ginette was busy with some work stuff.
Easton is waiting along the parade route for the big fire engines to come by.
Trevor's mom, Sandi is holding Easton when he sees the first fire truck roll by...... No daddy though....!
Wowwy......the really big fire truck came rolling by....and, shortly thereafter, dad, Trevor, showed up to  surprise Easton.
'That is my daddy....."
Jeanette is holding Brie while Trevor poses with Easton.
Jeanette did invite Easton for a sleepover on Sunday night.  When I rolled into the driveway, Easton was having a nap.  When he awoke and came into the living room, he saw me but could not believe I was there!  He turned away for a few seconds, then looked at me again, turned away again, then back again and he still could not believe I was sitting there.  He was wearing a huge smile.  We exchanged some nice hugs and, when he was convinced that I was not a mirage, we proceeded to have some fun.
One of the many things Easton enjoys at our home.
The sleepover, playing in parks, shopping and hanging out with his sister Brie, Easton did have a good time while I was away in Alberta.  Jeanette kept sending me text photos.  I felt as though I was with them.  I also texted several photos of our Edmonton projects and activities.
Shopping with his Nana at the local grocery outlet....
Fun in the park.....
Enjoying some watermelon......
Keeping Brie entertained.....
Figuring stuff out....with Brie wondering what Easton is up to....
And that covers the past couple of days.  Time is rolling by so fast.  It is hard to believe that July is just around the corner.  It's hard to believe that we rolled back home, from our winter US southwest haunts, this past April 9th. Given our busy agenda, it's hard to find any reason to be bored with life. 
Our beautiful Dogwood tree still holds it blooms after so many weeks. 
That brings this blog post to a close.  It is nice to be back at home and we'll report on future activities in the days ahead.

Thanks for dropping in.


  1. Brie does not look like she needs much entertainment! What a great smile!

    I have two doors to tackle myself this summer, both outside doors so a nice day or two would be nice.

  2. You have been very busy but seems like enjoying every minute of it.
    Soon you be heading down south again, the days are getting shorter now.

  3. You've been busy as usual. I'll bet the kids in Edmonton really appreciate all the work you've done!

    Seeing a Grizzly bear in the wild is pretty exciting - from a distance! Pretty lucky catch.

    Great pics of all the grandkids!

  4. You are like the Energizer Bunny.... you never stop! I might not be the one stopping for a picture of the bear!