Monday, August 29, 2005
Kite Runner - by Khaled Hosseini - Best novel I've read in a LONG time. Very compelling human interest with lots of depth - friendship, family, love, death, forgiveness, loyalty. The downside: I had to bring out the kleenex a couple of times.
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett - Still haven't slogged my way through this one. I'm hoping to finish it but I'm not optimistic. I'm finding it too heavy and oppressive.
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides - Unique perspective on a unique biological situation. A bit over the top at times (eg when Cal's working at the SF porn club), it's kind of fascinating at others. Sorta like that train wreck.
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown - I think this means I've now read all his novels and enjoyed every one. This one, although it has lots of cliffhanging page turning moments, didn't seem as intricate or subtle. It did, however, help me survive the drive through Idaho and Montana (see previous posting).
Ten Big Ones - Janet Evanovich - The only one of hers I've read but I understand there's lots more. Easy/fun reading - along the lines of Grafton or Reichs - casual sounding, female protaganist. Although I don't understand the whole bounty hunting thing as the Canadian system is different I guess. I also think she should do something about her web site.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
a. 12X zoom lens on my Lumix for those far off wildlife shots, also served as binoculars
b. no destination - there's something immensely satisfying about not having to GO anyplace and just enjoying where you are
c. maps - you're lost without them - best source: visitor's centres - don't buy the 4.95 ones at the garage that also charges .50 for air (although you can have free air if you ask the cashier)
d. each other - living with just your spouse for that many days can take its toll (major argument - in the grocery store over what to have for dinner - result: roasted garlic with brie on baguette and red wine - mmm!)
e. extended health insurance (see "Incident" entry below)
f. other people's wireless internet access - once again: Thanks.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Our goal this morning was to drive till we got out of the fog but it didn't happen so we stopped at Long Beach, Washington and managed to find a campsite in the sun. Tomorrow we'll either head up to the north end of the peninsula or head into Seattle.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Since we haven't received any suggestions for the rest of the trip we decided to head for Seattle and take in a few ball games. Checked the schedule and it looks like we're out of luck - the Mariners are out of town. Plan B: head to the Oregon coast and head up the Olympic Peninsula, over to Seattle and up to the Vancouver area.
For those following the saga, Ross's new apparatus:
Gratuitous shot of a moose:
Saturday, August 13, 2005
No plans from here on. Ross is supposed to see the doc on Monday if we're still in the area. Golfing's out. Any suggestions?
The details: Immediately following the aforementioned incident on Thursday night, and with Ross trying to stem the flow of blood on his finger, he had me rummage around in his golf bag for a measly bandaid. I’ll also add this may be the first road trip we’ve made without the first aid kit. Figures. The bandaid wasn’t really very effective, and since it was 9pm we wandered down to the check-in station to see if they could help. They provided a couple more bandaids to hold him over till morning.
By 2:00 we were 100 miles down the road at the Jackson, Wyoming hospital and by 5:30 he’d had surgery and he left with an even bigger apparatus (sort of a cast) that has to stay on for a month. The cut itself wasn’t too bad but he’d completely severed the tendon so the doctor had to clean it out and stitch it up. The scariest part for Ross was that, since he’d had anesthetic, I had to drive the motorhome to our campsite. I think I did a pretty good job considering I hadn’t driven anything that big since the McLeod Transfer 3 ton moving truck when I was 20.
So it looks like our trip to Yellowstone is over but we did manage to get a good impression of it. There are thousands of “geothermal features” many of which are geysers. Old Faithful is just one of the fairly predictable ones but we saw many on our trip through. At various places there are many boiling, gurgling, steaming, gushing and bubbling pools and ponds. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a volcanic crater. Here are a few small ones spouting off.
Here’s a little tip for the next time a bison and her calf decide to stand in the middle of the road and cause the traffic to back up for half a mile in either direction: just drive directly at them and lay on the horn. At least that’s what one guy in a truck did after we’d sat there for about 15 minutes. It appears that this will at least get them moving to the other side of the road. The bison are plentiful and we also saw a few elk.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Strangely enough, when we crossed the border into Montana the only contraband that was confiscated were our 2 citrus fruits, one lime and one lemon. Really put a cramp into the gin and tonic situation. However, the customs official was very apologetic about taking our fruit.
Golfed yesterday at Waterton - a good course considering it's in a National Park. Took $3 off Ross but that's only because I felt sorry for him and gave him a chance on the last two holes. We drove up to Cameron Lake and balanced the camera on some rocks for a photo. Lots of wildlife but mostly deer and elk, oh, and a few bison in the paddock. Haven't seen any bears or mountain goats yet. The deer aren't shy.
Monday, August 08, 2005
In the evening we took a boat ride into Montana on Upper Waterton Lake which spans both Canada and the US. The border is marked by a several yard wide clearcut through the mountains, visible in this photo.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
What kind of yahoo would drive through a Wal-Mart parking lot at 1am honking his horn and yelling? Come to think of it, what kind of idiot would park his motorhome in a Wal-Mart parking lot? We drove to Penticton on Wed. night and with nowhere booked (and the slim likelihood of anything being available this time of year) we decided to join the other losers in the W-M parking lot. Ross even took the opportunity to go on a shopping extravaganza.
Slow round of golf in Castlegar, our first clue should have been the fact that we were right behind 16 guys on a stag! Fortunately we made it to our dinner reservation at our favourite Castlegar restaurant Gabriel's. As usual, Ross spent time looking for his balls on the course.
On Friday we golfed Kokanee Springs where I managed to take $22 off Ross - beat him gross too. He hasn't paid up yet - could the humiliation have been too much for him?
Last night we stayed in Sparwood which we think must be the most easterly community in BC. It also has the 'world's largest truck'.
We also stopped in Frank, Alberta, the scene of the famous slide in 1903 which brought down several million ton of rock onto the town, killing many who lived there.
Today we are in Waterton Lakes National Park in the spectacular Rockies of Alberta. The campground has wireless for $10 a day but when I fired up the laptop, lo and behold, there's another wireless somewhere in the area. Thanks, fellow camper, whoever you are.
We have a tee time for tomorrow at the Waterton course, then on Tuesday we'll try to make it out of the country, towards Montana.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Marj argues her 'one bounce through the hole' shot with course designer Vincent, to no avail. "If it went through the hole, it had to go through the air. Where do the rules say it has to be on the fly?"
Ross graciously accepts the coveted trophy from participant Gerry. In his acceptance speech he thanked his wife for all her encouragement. His name will be engraved along with all the prestigious winners of the past. The ladies trophy was thankfully not presented.
A feature of this year's event was the specialty breakfasts, including the birdie, par and here, part of the bogey breakfast, Martin samples the traditional cinnamon buns. Little did we know he thought (or imagined) they were all for him.
See you all next year.
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