Stephen's Summer of 2005

A personal and experimental blog about my summer travels in 2005

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Location: Yellowknife, NWT, Canada

I live, work and play in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hanging with Sean & Ravan

A fairly quiet day in Edmonton -- quieter than yesterday's football game -- with Sean and Ravan before their return home to Calgary. We strolled Whyte Avenue's odd collection of interesting shops. I purchased Stink by McKenna Mendelson Mainline (remember them from the late 1960's?), and an old Turok, Son of Stone comic (#63, October 1968, "A shallow swamp is one thing, deep water is another. Water honkers could be lurking--"). The others faired better.

Sean, Ravan and Lynn are pictured here
at the Telus World of Science (the old Edmonton Space Science centre , then Odyssium).

The local RASC centre provides volunteers and equipment for the observatory just south of the main building. In the afternoons the sun is observed using special solar observing equipment (WARNING: Never look directly at the Sun without proper safety equipment).

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Edmonton: Eskimos 36 - Tiger-Cats 30

Sean and Ravan arrived from Calgary today! Right after a quick, late lunch we headed down to Commonwealth Stadium to watch the Eskimos - Tiger-Cats game. Edmonton won 36-30 holding off a last quarter rally by the Ti-Cats. Here's the game news!

After the game we went to Syrtaki Greek Island Restaurant on Mayfield Road. A wedding reception was just finishing (not the one from Marie Reine yesterday). We missed the breaking of dishes to the cries of opa! and the belly dancer. Having eaten here several times, we highly recommend this great Greek restaurant.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Peace River, Alberta

Waking up to beautiful sunny day with low fog hanging through the Peace River Valley, we head out about 9 AM taking in some sites along the way...

Before leaving Peace River we drove to the top of a hillside overlooking the confluence of the Smokey and Peace Rivers where
Twelve Foot Davis was buried. Davis was a legendary fur-trader who went head-to-head with the Hudson's Bay Company in the early days. He got his name by staking a 12-foot claim located between two existing claims and mining $12,000 in gold from it; according to some he blew all his money in Victoria and then heading north to the Peace to make his living. Here is a picture of Lynn beside Twelve Foot Davis' grave with the Peace and the Smokey in the background.

Next is a whistle stop through the French Canadian town is Marie Reine ("Queen Marie"). Stopping at a country home on the edge of town, we discover that full preparations are being made for a wedding. One older gent is on the back porch getting a haircut, the sons are up from Red Deer to attend the wedding, children are everywhere. The Papa of the house shares with me his folklore, taken from a book entitled Alberta Names, that Marie Reine was named after Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Makes sense!

And just down the road at Falher, Alberta we come across what is claimed to be the world's biggest bee! Falher and area claims to "bee" the honey capital of Canada with some 60,000 hives producing 7 million lbs. of honey each year. Sweet!

Several hours later we arrive in Edmonton and settle in. Ravan, our daughter, will be visiting tomorrow with her partner, Sean. For tonight, it's off to the observatory at the Telus World of Science where i visit my RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) friends, followed by our tradition of coffee at Tim Horton's.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

We're Off

Finally summer vacation rolls around! Even thought i do tons of traveling in my job as a PSAC negotiator, Lynn and i head down the long road (+1500 km) from Yellowknife to Edmonton. The first week will be spent in Edmonton. After that Lynn hops on a flight to Ottawa to visit her parents in Hawkesbury. I, on the other hand, have no real plans except for a star party in Cypress Hills; just a collection of possibilities are before me...

Road conditions: road construction between Yellowknife and Rae-Edzo continues. The road is a lot straighter, but the speed limit is down to 15 km/hr is some places. As usual, the road from Rae-Edzo to Fort Providence had lots of wood buffalo on the highway. We saw one large herd with many calves, and perhaps eight solitary bulls, on the roadside. We stopped at Big River service centre for breakfast... the service has really gone down hill, so do yourself a favor and continue on to Enterprise.

We stopped at the magnificent Alexander Falls just north of the 60th Parallel for a rest break. These waterfalls are higher than Niagara, but the water is much browner, looks like frothy coffee spilling over the brim. Around 7 PM we roll into Peace River.