Happy New Year to everyone! It is hard to believe that we are well on our way into 2009. I wanted to take some time and reflect on what we did in 2008. Well at least reflect from the time of our last blog post! Jason and I had a wonderful summer, full of getting out and enjoying nature. We took advantage of every free weekend to go camping. I think that we were only home one or two weekends out of the whole summer! I guess that’s what summer is for.We found some good camping spots up in northern Saskatchewan. We spent lots of time up at Prince Albert National Park.There are plenty of great spots around the park that are not directly in Waskesiu, getting away from the tourist feel of the national park. They call these spots ‘primitive camping’; and for good reason! No electricity, facilities, or water; you know, the way camping should be! Is it really camping if you have satellite TV?!
Relaxing day on the beach!
Preparing the fire to make supper.
View from our campsite in the early, early morning….
And at sunset!
Jason and I wanted to stay true to our values of rustic camping but after a whole summer of living in a tent we decided that it was time to upgrade our camping to a tent trailer. On our many trips up to P.A. National Park we had noticed a tent trailer that was for sale along the highway. The trailer was thought to be out of our reach in price, however on the September long weekend we saw that the trailer was still there! Being the end of the season and all, we thought that we might be able to get a deal.We were right! We ended up paying half of what the owner was asking at the start of the season! It is a 95 Jayco tent trailer with 2 beds, a stove, and a most importantly, a furnace. (No satellite TV). It is small making it still accessible for all our usually tent camping spots.It is also very lightweight making it easy to pull, which is a great feature if you recall what gas was last summer!! We only got to take our trailer out 2 times last summer, since we got it so late in the season. Both times we went out to Eagle Creek Regional Park, only a quick 45 minute drive from Saskatoon. We are definitely looking forward to using it lots this year.
The new tent trailer out at Eagle Creek.
Giving our new camera a try by going in for a close up of an unsuspecting squirrel (chowing down a piece of toast)
That’s enough about camping for now. In September we ending up going back out to Alberta for a little vacation (if you recall, we had also been to Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff in April). I had some vacation time that I had to use up and we didn’t get much of a chance to see Banff last time since it snowed a foot the day after we got there! Did I mention that was a foot of snow in April!! Anyway, we headed out for a few days in Banff to get away and relax. Banff is not too busy in September although I can’t really say that Banff ever has a slow season.We stayed at the Delta Banff and took in some of the great restaurants the area has to offer. One of the days we were there we went out to Lake Minnewanka for an afternoon boat cruise. That was something worth doing if you are ever in the area. You go on the boat for about an hour or until you get to the end of the lake. On both sides of the lake are huge mountains and then at the end a huge gap in the mountains that seems like it just shouldn’t be there. They call it the “Devil’s Gap” and it is where they think that the ancient ancestors would have first entered the Rocky Mountains. This tour has been going on for 110 years so it has some historic value, however in the 1900s they used steam boats so the passengers had to get off at the end of the lake and help chop the wood and load it onto the boat so they could have enough ‘fuel’ to make it back!! Glad that wasn’t us!
After the boat ride on Lake Minnewanka.
Quick stop to tour the Royal Tyrrell Museum on the way back from Banff.
Other than that our fall was pretty uneventful followed by an uneventful winter. Again, being Christmas and all, we put up the ridiculously large tree. Costco should put up warnings, “Objects in the store are much large than they appear!” We went to my folks for Christmas. We were there for 5 days and it was a really nice visit. On an end note, I do love the change of seasons. Winter has its own beauty however I am looking forward to this white stuff leaving us. Not only for the warm weather that spring brings but also for the chance to get out and do some camping. Only 78 days, but then again who’s counting.