After the Rain at Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

ArizonaCanyon de Chelly, Arizona

We were extremely fortunate to arrive at the park just as a rainstorm was ending. Little rivers of water flowed over the rocks and through ancient cracks before cascading into the valley.

When I saw the Grand Canyon in Arizona, I thought it was the most amazing place I had been. Then when I saw Petra, in Jordan, I thought it was the most amazing place. But now, I would have to say that Canyon de Chelly has moved right up to the top of the list of very favourite places!

Montana – A Highway Motorcycle Ride

“I’m so far behind I think I’m first.”

My spousal unit used to say this when he got home from work,  in response to my query, “How did your day go?”

On our group motorcycle trips, my husband usually is the drag bike. On long stretches of  open highway, he sets his speed control and eventually ends up well back of the pack. He’s okay with that – he’s far enough behind to feel like he’s first… but still close enough to keep watch over the family.

India – Unique Sights to Look for in Your Travels

IndiaA street scene in Delhi – The overhead electrical lines form an amazing canopy.

IndiaCows wander and rest  in the urban streets.

IndiaCamels at work.

IndiaA work crew.

IndiaThe Taj Mahal.

I believe that in India “cold weather” is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy.
– Mark Twain –

2010 Vancouver Olympics

pickets maple leafThe 2010 Vancouver, BC, Canada Olympics have come to a close.

There are certainly more than a few bloggers who made negative comments about these Games. Some people were unhappy with mechanical glitches. Some didn’t like the dignitaries chosen to carry a flag or a torch. Some didn’t like the musicians or the speeches. Some didn’t like multiculturalism or bilingualism. Some didn’t like the weather.

I happen to think, however, that the games were a perfect success. Their perfection came from everything they were, and everything they were not. They WERE a blend of all the ordinary people of Canada doing an extraordinary thing. They were a mixture of our ancestors, cultures, heritage, languages, music and symbols, offered with humour and pride. They welcomed the athletes and the world to our shores – for a day, a week or a lifetime. They were NOT Hollywood glamorous, Disneyland immaculate or Martha Stewart perfect. And that’s a good thing.

I am one of those ordinary Canadians who watched the extraordinary events of the 2010 Olympics. There are about 34 million of us living in Canada today. We couldn’t all travel to Vancouver to join the crowds on Robson Street, or at Whistler. So we formed our own crowds in homes, community halls, pubs and streets – all across the country.

Winter Olympics Demonstration Sport Suggestions
Savage Chickens, by Doug Savage: http://www.savagechickens.com/

There are about 2.8 million Canadian citizens today who currently live somewhere other than Canada. There are many reasons why they live in the far flung reaches of the world. I know, because I have lived in three countries other than Canada. Regardless of where I lived, though, I was first and foremost a Canadian. I expect most of those 2.8 million other expat Canadians would say the same thing. Being a Canadian is not so much about where your body resides, as where your heart lives. So, around the world, groups of expat Canadians also joined together in homes and halls and pubs to watch the events in Vancouver. And a lucky few came Home to be part of the festivities.

The Olympic games continue to adapt and change with the times. While some people might not have agreed that the Olympics should allow “professional” athletes to compete, this resulted in a new leveling of the playing field. The very best athletes in the world DO compete at the Olympics now. How they get to be the best is evolving too. Specialized training centres, state of the art facilities, and expert coaches in places like Canada mean that more and more athletes live and train away from their home country for part of the year.

This international trade of knowledge and skills is a good thing. Maybe it won’t feel so good to Canadians when the Chinese Women’s Curling team takes a medal at some future Olympics. But the good folks in Leduc, Alberta, Canada will smile and say, “The hearts of these ladies may belong to China, but their skills were honed on the ice of the Leduc Curling Club…”

Time on the ice… it might be hockey ice, or curling ice. It might be the icy slopes of a mountain, or the ice on your driveway. If you have spent any time on any ice, well, you are well on your way to being a Canadian…

 

Tall Ships, Victoria BC

Victoria British Columbia

If you want to launch big ships, go where the water is deep.
– Author Unknown –

From June 23-26 2005, over 30 traditionally rigged sailing vessels and crews from around the world  gathered in Victoria, British Columbia,  to celebrate maritime history and the sea-faring life. We were fortunate to have been there at the right time (quite by accident), having missed seeing the Tall Ships in other ports when we lived overseas.

Seashells in British Columbia

I have a large seashell collection which I keep scattered along the beaches around the world. Maybe you’ve seen it.
– Steven Wright –

British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada’s western most province. The Pacific Ocean gives the coastal regions of the province a reasonably moderate climate. For landlocked provinces like the one I live in, a trip to the BC coast is quite a novelty! We can’t return from a trip there without at least a photo of a seashell!

Fairmont Hot Springs – Old Barn

An old friend once told me that if you were given a barn full of manure to shovel out, it was a tremendous idea to keep in mind that a pony had to be in there somewhere.
– Peter Jensen –

Fairmont British Columbia

Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia, is located at the headwaters of the Columbia River. A thriving resort community continues to grow in the area, though we would be happy if it would stop growing. This old barn stands, year after year, watching and wondering what the future holds in store for it.

Montana – Motorcycles on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Our family gets together several times a year for epic motorcycle adventures.

motorcyclesMaybe epic is a bit too strong a description. More like three or four days of riding and then not riding. Eating, some shopping. Lots of photos. One of our favourite destinations is Glacier Park. It is located in the U.S. State of Montana, and the highlight for us is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Fifty two miles of narrow, twisty road crosses the Continental Divide. The road is punctuated with frequent places to stop and take photos of the mountains and the wildlife.

This road is great fun on a motorcycle, and a nail biter in a big car. It is a narrow road, and can be heavily congested during tourist season! We usually drive it from east to west, then stay in Whitefish for a few days. Sometimes we return to that road the next day and go west to east, turn around at the summit, then go back to Whitefish!

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.
– Alexei Sayle –