Well hello there, Jill here It's my turn to write the Blog. So far David has been the diligent one, spending hour upon hour painstakingly recalling our adventures, putting it all together and adding illustrations, whilst I have sipped coffee and day dreamed. We have spent many an hour in Starbucks or Second Cup taking advantage of their free internet facilities, as many camp sites require a $5 fee for the privilege of using their internet. That is on top of the $30 plus dollars for a pitch. So thank you Starbucks and Second Cup.
As David mentioned in our previous Blog he is carrying the weight of the trip, being the strong organised, capable, reliable, resourceful person I have come to love. Grovel grovel!! I am still in a post PhD mist of inertia, whereby the brain rather than searching out new experiences, is having trouble remembering the ones I have already had. As one hapless camper commented as he set off in the wrong direction in search of where he and his partner had pitched their tent, unless he has GPS he can't find his way to the loo. I laughed like a drain as I recalled my neurosis at loosing the tent, especially after dark following a visit to the ladies. As we tittered about our navigation talents, we thought we could make a million designing GPS for attaching to our shoes so we never get lost around a camp site again. Seriously unless it is a small site with no other tent I really have lost my inner navigator, and frequently avoid going for a shower alone, cos I can't find my way back to the tent. And I take so long when I do get there that David leaves me to it. Some provincial and state camp grounds are massive, it is amazing anyone ever finds the exit to leave. It wouldn't surprise me to find the odd scrawny, long haired and bewildered camper, who had convinced himself that Armageddon had arrived, and he was the only person left surviving in the world.
So asking me to remember what we did five or six days ago in order to write the Blog requires a small miracle. All I know is it was grey for a couple of days, damned cold at night so much so that we were back to wearing clothes at night. I wore my thermals, a t-shirt, a moreno jacket, a Rab Jacket, thick socks, a motorbike muff over my head and half way up my face so only my nose poked out, and because it gets light at about 4.30h an eye mask to block out the light. A sight for sore eyes I scan tell you. David is much the same only he pulls the hood of the sleeping bag over his head so that he is completely mummified in it. Sometimes he can't find his way out inducing mild panic!!
As you can imagine campers, the very thought of a little intimacy between us leaves us breathless (more with laughter than anything else). However the sun did finally reveal itself for a couple of days, and we basked in its warm rays by day, and got as far as only sleeping with one layer on at night.
I can also remember I got to have a lie in (yummy), we visited Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Emerald Lake and walked a few trails into the wonderful hinterland that are the Rockies. So that my friends is it. Or should I say that is all I can remember. Oh hang on we met a fellow camper and biker called Jack, an amiable thirty something, who seems to work in the travel industry and spends an inordinate amount of his life enjoying himself, and I dare say the gooey eyed company of a few fillies. Jack told us that we will find the cost of living a lot cheaper in the US than Canada, where he has found some things are about 8 times more expensive than the US. Music to our ears!
We also met Brian a fifty something adventurer also on a motorbike, who flew into Anchorage, Alaska three weeks ago, motored up to Prudhoe Bay (northern most accessible place in the Arctic Circle) and plans to travel to South America over the next year as we do. He too has found the going tough for different reasons; spending hour upon hour having conversations with himself in his helmet, whilst relieving his tyres of rubber on the Dawson Highway which has yet to make it to tarmac. And gaining a sprained wrist in the process, having dropped his bike a couple of times on the gravel and mud, and dragged himself through seriously horrible weather, by which time he was beginning to question his motives for doing this journey. I had no nuggets of wisdom for him because I have asked myself the same question. I don't have the answer yet. Maybe the answer does not come in the shape of answers as we recognise them. Perhaps it is more a response of the senses, that begins as a faint glimmer in the distance, becoming a fuller warm glow over time. I hope so. And I hope Brian finds a place in that glow to be content in his helmet.
Who else did we meet? Well Lake Louise was a place for meeting people, especially on a cold wet evening in the cooking shed, where campers retreat to light the biggest stove I have ever seen, get warm, cook and exchange stories into the night. There were the four Quebecoise girls who gossiped feverishly, giggled and drank wine with their gourmet meal; the educational psychologist and music teacher who were rekindling their taste for camping and all things palaeontological; a very kind couple who gave me five packets of sock warmers (bliss and they work-I can't sleep with cold feet!). As we chatted I rustled up a one-ring wonder of stir fry veg with noodles and a garlic, ginger and soy sauce. It wasn't half bad too! To wet my whistle and oil my cooking wheels, I had bought myself a tin of Canadian Molsen a step up from Coors Light but only just. Buying alcohol here is a chore because you can't buy it in supermarkets. You have to visit the liquor store if you can find it...they are often camouflaged under weird acronyms that only the trained can decipher. But like everything else it is pricey about $3.50-6.00 for a small tin, and about $13-18.00 for a cheap and cheerful Zinfandel. Needless to say it doesn't happen very often.
When the time came to leave Lake Louise, we started packing the evening before we left. We have decided to try this, and in the morning just get up and go, (not before collapsing and packing the tent of course) stop for breakfast on the road, to see if we can crack the camp before lunch!!
You may be pleased to hear that I did my bit. I packed up as much as was practical without collapsing the tent, mostly on my own as David talked bike things with Brian, which was okay. The next morning bright and early around 07.45 we jumped out of our cosy sleeping bags and in to action. By about 09.00h, having chatted some more with Brian, we were on the road. Not half bad for a woman who doesn't do mornings or evenings for that matter-catch me in between twelve and ten past and I'm at my best!!
My efforts did not go unnoticed and I have s silver star to prove it!! Not sure what a gold star involves. The mind boggles!
I hope you have enjoyed my meandering through our travels. I've had a ball! I'll hand over now to David to do the serious stuff.....that is put the links and photos in...lol until next time xx