Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Closer

The morning mist of Westhawk Lake
With the foreign portion of the trip now wrapped up I have been able to enjoy a gradual re-entry into Canadian life by enjoying the hospitality of my family both at Westhawk Lake in Manitoba and now in Calgary.

Westhawk Lake is about a 2-hour drive east of Winnipeg. Ever since I was a kid it has been a destination for family vacations, first at my Grandmother's trailer and now at my Uncle Cliff (my Dad's brother) and Aunt Eleanor's cottage.

After picking up Heather from the airport and watching her reunite with Jessy, we arrived at the lake and were enthusiastically welcomed by the vast number of family (13) who were hanging out at the lake. What followed was a great 4 days of hiking, eating, swimming, waterskiing, tubing, deer-sighting and storytelling as we recounted our adventures and heard about what was happening with everyone.

Heather and Jessy being reunited
The Westhawk Family Portrait
Kathy coming in for a landing
Heather getting a ski lesson from my cousin Sandra
Of course, like all moments of the past year this too came to a close and we had to depart for the airport so Heather could head west and Kathy could head east. That left Jessy and I to tackle the reportedly ominous prairie drive as we made our way to Calgary.

Now I have to say that for year's I have heard nothing but negativity about the experience of driving through Saskatchewan. Now having finally done it (on the way out last year we skipped it as we did a detour to Wyoming) I have to say I think it has got a bad rap. I would much rather do that drive and be able to look across the prairie landscape then do the Maine / Pennsylvania tree-lined highway.

Yep - Moose Jaw
The only cop I saw between Winnipeg and Calgary
The world's biggest teepee at Medicine Hat courtesy of the 1988 Winter Olympics
Arriving in Calgary meant that once again enjoy the wonderful hospitality of my Uncle Earl and Aunt Islay(my Dad's sister). After a family dinner Sunday with them and my cousin Dean and Mark and Mark's family where I once again bored everyone with travel tales I enjoyed a great day Monday where they treated me to a tour of Calgary, a great lunch and a trip to the movies to see The Bourne Legacy.

The Olympic Plaza from '88 where the medals were awarded
Islay and Earl enjoying a quiet morning while trying to ignore me blogging
When I speak about the trip I know people will be (hopefully) fascinated by the places we have been to and the things we have done. But for me, just as important as all that, were the treasured moments of surviving the Fox Valley Inn with my sister, of just chilling out at the lake, and of going to the movies with my Aunt and Uncle. The opportunity both last year and this to spend just a bit of quality time with family was really the unexpected gift of the trip.

But now it's time to head to British Columbia and a meet up with Heather and Chloe at Chez Glover in Peachland for one final bit of travel before crossing the finish line in Vancouver.

No comments:

Post a Comment