Just Another Day on the Prairie

Back in 2011, when Logan and I started the Chico’s & Logan’s Great Adventures blog, we were just setting out on a five-month trip with our peeps, travelling by truck and fifth wheel trailer. It was all so exciting. Keep in mind I was just two with a fairly narrow life experience to that point. That trip opened my eyes to what a big and wondrous place is the world.

From enormous sand dunes to rolling blue water that went farther than my eye could see. From palm trees to giant cactuses. From the noise and lights of Las Vegas to the quiet, starlit nights in the Arizona desert. It was a journey of contrasts, new experiences, and adventures. We never lacked for stories or fun photographs to share.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and sleep more these days, or it could be the pandemic that’s kept us home a lot and other people away, but life is just not feeling very blog-worthy lately. How is an old dog living on a farm in Alberta the stuff of exciting stories?

T tells me not to worry, that all writers go through periods of low inspiration, that I still have stories to tell. I sure hope so, because I’ve so enjoyed my life as a blogger, sharing my adventures with all of you. And I hope that it doesn’t come down to sleeping, eating, barking, walking, and pooping! Although, now that I consider this list, I think I’ve blogged about all of those things. :o)

The planned adventure to celebrate a big anniversary I mentioned in my blog post two weeks ago didn’t happen. So, when last Fur-iday came along and I was still just hanging out at home, I couldn’t muster up the energy to blog about anything. Why no anniversary adventure you might ask? Well, it snowed. In fact, April generally seemed to want to be winter this year, which is usually March’s gig.

I tried to get Storm to write something this week, but he’s spending all his time seeking out blades of green grass. The horses are a little crazy for the stuff at this point in the season after eating dehydrated food all winter. But he did send along this photo, since he promised a coat update when he blogged back in March and he’s committed to an update from the field next Fur-iday.

Storm’s end-of-April look. Tune in next month …

From what I hear, I’m not alone in my current lack of general enthusiasm. Between the pandemic and the weather, many are feeling weighed down. But I am ever optimistic that spring is here to stay, that the next adventure planned for just over a week from now will go ahead, and that very soon things will turn a corner on this pandemic. We all just need to hang in there a little longer.

In the meanwhile, on this Fur-iday morning on the last day of April, I think I’ll take a nap in that sunbeam over there.

A Season of Lakes

I realized the other day that my season of lakes actually started in the Cypress Hills at Elkwater Lake. Does it count if the water is frozen? It’s still a lake, right?

Elkwater Lake in March

So here’s the complete 2019 list … take a deep breath and … Elkwater, Sylvan, Sturgeon, Williston, Charlie, Little, Saskatoon, Crimson, Twin, Chinook, Alces, Whiteswan, Premier, Cat’s Eye, Turtle, Canuck, Yankee, Columbia, Windermere, Two-Jack, Okanagan, Osoyoos, Christina, Nancy Greene, Erie, and Moyie. Whew! I’ve visited twenty-six different lakes since Elkwater in mid-April. I should probably check my feet for webs!

Christina Lake beach time

Crazy thing is, we even missed a few on this latest trip. One because the park was closed, another because we wanted to get a site in a campground we knew would be busy and didn’t want to make a detour, and a couple more because, well, because we were hanging out in camp and didn’t feel like making even a short trek.

A sunny morning in camp at Ellison Park

T’s always busy in the fall so we haven’t had an autumn holiday like that in a long time. She still had to work, but while she was tapping away on her computer, I was camping. And I do love camping, even when the weather is a little cool and damp like it was on this trip.

Taking a break from work for a little beach time

After we launched Nollind at Vernon on a very blustery Saturday morning, T and I set out on Highway 97 southbound for Kelowna. For a newbie driver, T did pretty good, getting us safely down the road and backed into our new spot at Bear Creek Provincial Park.

Setting sail at Vernon

It was raining but, after lunch, things cleared out enough for us to wander the beach (shhh…even the “no dogs” part of the beach). When we got to the water, I was pretty excited to be adding a new lake to my count but, even though we’d driven an hour to get there, T said it was the same lake as at Ellison. No way!

Okanagan Lake 2 at Bear Creek Provincial Park (sailboats in background)

Even crazier, the next day we drove another hour south, to Summerland, and the beach there was also on Okanagan Lake. I thought they were pulling my leg, or two or three of them, but nope, checked the map and it was indeed the same big-ass lake. I was thinking of listing them as Okanagan 1, Okanagan 2, and Okanagan 3, in my lake count, bringing the total to twenty-eight, but T said that was cheating. Fine. Twenty-six it is. Still pretty impressive, right?

On the pier at Summerland

Once we collected Nollind in Summerland at the end of his two-day race, we continued farther south, to Haynes Point Provincial Park on Osoyoos Lake. Wow, what a spot. Definitely one of the highlights of our camping season. We got a site right on the water with the lights of Osoyoos across the way and the waves lapping on the little beach below us. The weather was still a bit changeable, but we got in a bunch of walking and campfire and lake-gazing time.

Camp time at Haynes Point

Thursday it was time to head east and we wandered our way through the west Kootenays, stopping at lakes as we went. There wasn’t really a destination that night but we wound up in a little place called Salmo, where T’s Dad lived, camped in their municipal campground, and had hamburgers for dinner. T and Nollind had theirs at the pub in the hotel, her dad’s old hang out, mine came to the trailer in a go-box.

Striking a pose at Nancy Greene Lake

Friday we were on our way again, had a great lunch stop and beach walk at Moyie Lake Provincial Park, and arrived at Redstreak Campground in Kootenay National Park in the middle of the afternoon. Redstreak was our first camping destination of the summer season back in May and our first trip with the Nash trailer (aka Simon). The campground was a lot busier than it had been in May, with a big car show happening in Radium Hot Springs, but we found a nice spot in a quiet loop and settled in for a day and a half of Rocky Mountain time.

The beach at Moyie Lake

Redstreak sits on the side of a mountain up above Radium Hot Springs and on Saturday we set out on foot down the mountain to check out the afternoon market and visit the dog park by Sinclair Creek. It was a great walk but, seriously, I’m a prairie dweller and all that climbing nearly killed me. A chunk of the trail from town to the campground is stairs and I’m kind of a short-legged hound. I tried zig-zagging back and forth but it doesn’t work on stairs like it does on a slope.

Rest time on the climb up from Radium

I could have stayed at Redstreak another day or two (or seven) but Sunday we had to go home. The horse dentist was coming on Monday (I’ll let Storm share that story another week) and T had a pile of work to do for the upcoming Fall Classic Sale. Speaking of T’s work, we’ll be in Red Deer at the horse sale next Fur-iday so you won’t hear from me. Her laptop is a bit like an appendage during the event so it’s tough for me to get on and write my blog. Besides, I have a very important role at the sale … office mascot!

Twenty-five and Counting

… lakes that is. Yup, another four since last Fur-iday’s blog and this trip isn’t over. I’d tell you all about them but we’ve been on the road all day, I just finished a long walk and dinner, and that means nap time. Don’t want to get off schedule. Tune in next week for the full lake tally and tales!