Category Archives: air mattress

Off to the Rockies, Day 11

The map above does not show are actual starting point, thus not giving out Nicole’s home address to the world. We did though take the Bow Valley Trail out of Calgary since it was more of a scenic route. After saying goodbye to Nicole, and watching a Magpie literally pick up some dog poop, then realizing what it was, dropped it square on her lawn furniture! As pretty as they are, they are apparently considered pests because there are just so many of them out west.

We were on the road by 7:30 a.m., mileage now 3944 kilometres, and since neither of us had been to the Canadian Rockies, we were quite excited. First we had some grocery shopping, and a stop at Canadian Tire for more camping supplies, and a new air mattress since ours had sprung a leak that we were unable to locate. As soon as we drove on to the highway, we were immediately distracted by the dog running all over the three lanes. Vehicles, thankfully all slowed right down, and a few of us tried to stop the dog by very slowly edging our cars closer to him. Matt then pulled our SUV over to the side of the road where I did get out, and tried with no luck to call the dog over. The dog eventually trotted off the road onto the hillside happy as a lark. He really looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Finally towards the Rockies we went ,and as they came into sight, both of us were just in awe. The closer we came to them, it was like every view was a picture postcard.

Below are just a few pictures of the Rockies; these were actually taken through the front window of our SUV which my husband cleaned each time we stopped.

Once we reached the Rockies our next stop was Banff National Park, where all must pay an entrance fee even if you are just driving through, this fee is more than worth the price. We then headed up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National park where we set up camp for the night at Mount Kerkislin Campground on the Athabasca River. We were at site #30 of 42. This campground is a self-registration camp, and we soon learned it was best to start looking for a campground around 3 p.m. each day before all the best spots were taken. On the drive we saw our first Bighorn Sheep which were of course blocking traffic. We were quite a ways down the road, so I did exit the car to snap some photos.

Banff National Park
Banff the town
We naturally stopped in Banff for coffee.
  • Bighorn sheep on the roadway
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Bighorn Sheep
Our campsite at Mount Kerkislin campground
Our campsite at Mount Kerkislin campground.
Beside the Athabasca River Mount Kerkislin campground
After setting up camp we went for a hike, and found the Athabasca River not far behind where we set up our tent.

The following pictures were taking from the vehicle as we drove through the Rockies to our campsite. There wasn’t a site on the road that didn’t leave us awestruck.

2 showers, 2 buckets of ice equalled $100 dollars

Days six and seven had us driving from West Hawk Lake Campground to Winnipeg, Manitoba then Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground just off of highway one.

Matt in front of Winnipeg signWinnipeg was our only city destination, our son, who had visited the city a year ago, recommended we make a stop at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We spent the first half of the day exploring each floor of the museum. The architecture is modern, almost construction like on the inside, with a centre ramp to each floor. As you ride up the elevator, one side displays the inside of the museum while the other offers views of the Red River and Assiniboine River.Canadian Museum for Human RightsAll Human Beings are born free and Equal
Human Rights obviously differ from country to country, but as the sign above states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Sadly though even in present time, this is not the case for all.  The museum gives you a history of human rights, not just in Canada, but the world.  Visitors may find some of the displays quite distressing, yet one should try to remember how far we have come in fighting for rights of others.

After the museum, we spent some time exploring the area, walking along the rivers.Pelican fishing Pelican flies off with fishEarlier in the day, we had asked middle child to find us a hotel near the museum that would not break the bank.  Neither Matt nor I are fans of hotels, preferring to sleep in a tent with our fifteen inch air mattress. When we arrived at the hotel, there was hesitation in our minds immediately, but both of us were exhausted from the long day, in need of showers, and I wanted to do some of our laundry. I was first to have a shower while Matt brought in more of our belongings, and went for ice to fill our cooler. Terrified of bringing home bed bugs, I continued to inspect the room while Matt had his shower. I then noticed that the box spring of the bed was wrapped in a plastic covering (ripped in the corners) which instantly sent warning signals to my brain.

As Matt went to fill the ice bucket again, I scoured the internet for information on which hotels had been noted for critters running around, and not to my surprise this hotel was listed. The minute he returned, both of us spoke simultaneously stating “we’re leaving”. Apparently while he was retrieving ice, an individual horked a wad of phlegm in the stairwell only a few feet in front of him!

We still had to wait for our laundry to finish, in the meantime though, Matt put our belongings back in the car. Once it was finished, we went to the front desk to check out, and since we had been in the room for approximately three hours, the woman at the desk stated she would have to charge us $100 dollars and change.  At this point Matt and I did not care, we paid the bill, and practically ran to our vehicle across the street where it was parked in a parkade. Parking was not included with the hotel, and naturally the machine decided to have a hissy fit by spitting out our twenty-dollar bill over and over again (I did not want to insert our credit card into the machine, as I was afraid it would eat it). While Matt set off to find someone to pay, I had a view of the front entrance, and watched as Security physically threw out what appeared to be a prostitute, as her friend/pimp held her purse/bag a few feet away from her.

Back on highway one, we just drove, having no idea where we were going to stay for the night. The nearby provincial parks were day use only, so we drove and drove. Finally we saw a sign for ‘Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground’ just past Portage la Prairie. This was mainly a campground for RV’s, but there were a few spots for tents at the very back of the lot, surrounded by trees, giving us some privacy.Shady Oaks RV Resort and Campground

After setting up our tent, I went on a hunt for drinkable water. As I walked around the campground, I found it quite astonishing the number of RV’s at this place, minutes from the highway, with no beach, just a pool surrounded by high wooden walls and not a tree in sight. The washroom and showers were so old, some of the bolts holding the toilets to the floor were loose, so every time you sat down, you were unsure if it would actually tip over. Overall, the woman who ran the place was very nice, and the night only cost us $20.

Next Buffalo Pound Provincial Park to meet a blogging friend of mine.

A flying condom wrapper hit me in the head

Last month hubby and I had the opportunity to go away without kids for two weeks, and we took it!  Granted there were only two of our three children at living home and they are 23 and 21, so having mom and dad out of the house for a couple of weeks really isn’t a big deal.

Not a lot gets done in regards to personal grooming when you are on the road for two weeks, camping most of the time. Showers were had, but trying to shave one’s legs in a campground shower stall is next to impossible, if you want to do it with hot water. Plus there were a number of days where it had rained and rained so the comfort stations were not in their best shape.

Picture of us on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

Starting to look haggard

So after two weeks away from home, it was time for hubby and I to pretty ourselves up. I was fine with taking care of myself, hubby was able to trim his beard to perfection, but then came time to deal with the back hair. I know, eww, and he required my assistance.

Some woman may like a hairy man, and certainly I like his hairy chest but when it comes to back hair, no thank you, I do not want to sleep with a grizzly bear. Over the years we have tried different methods of hair removal. There was the waxing episode (insert laughter), it did not go over well, sure enough it removed a lot of hair but he couldn’t handle the pain (and he has the nerve to suggest I wax my nether regions, ha!). Then there was the cream removal treatment, it didn’t really work either, I had to keep slathering it on, then showering it off for him, then slathering it on again, showering, and so on. The final and most successful is plain old shaving with the electric beard trimmer, it’s quick, painless, and does the trick. Voila! He’s been beautified.

Now sex on vacation doesn’t really happen when you are driving, and stopping, and driving all day, then trying to find a place to stay, particularly since this was a spur of the moment trip, and nothing was booked. We were exhausted most nights, then we would be camping, having to cook our dinner, set up the tent, the air mattress, sleeping bags, and hubby’s nightly fight to start a fire with soggy wood (he usually won after soaking everything with camp fuel). Don’t get me wrong, I would not trade the camping for anything, I loved every minute of it, and so did my husband, but we were tired, and even if sex was on our mind, we were tired.

So, when we arrived home, we had to make up for lost time. Now, after years of bad timing you would think middle child would have learned by now, that when you knock on your parent’s bedroom door, you do not just walk in. Apparently the poor girl has not learned, and is once again scarred for life!

After slamming our door shut, she yelled she was going to check the mail. About ten minutes later I sent her a text message asking if we received any mail, she sent me this back:

No
Please
I’m tainted
My brain is overloading
I’m about to throw up
WHY
GET A FUCKING HOTEL ROOM
DISGUSTING HUMANS
I WANT TO DIE

The poor girl. Now a few weeks have gone by, and I must say she has gotten her revenge, not on purpose, but she has. This morning as I was driving the dogs to the dog park with the windows open, I was suddenly hit in the head by some sort of plastic wrapping, which then drops down to the floor. I look down, and what do I see but an open condom wrapper, OMFG – is the thought! I’m distracted by the dogs, until I arrive home, and as I am letting the dogs out of the car, I actually find the used condom in the back of the van. She got me. I’m grossed out. I’m happy she’s playing it safe, but in my van, ewww, Get a fucking hotel room daughter.

Hotel Frontenac

Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City