And Now We Camp

Arriving in Fox Creek, Alberta, on Wednesday was the culmination of a day of adventure in travel. The back roads our GPS (aka Nasty Nellie) tried to take us on were a bit scary. We did get sucked into one, though, the one that eventually took us into Fox Creek. Thankfully! It sure didn’t look good for the home team at first, though. What started out as a paved road changed about a mile or so in, and became a primitive road. At least it looked primitive to me, even to the signs that warned us we traveled at our own risk. Well, THAT was reassuring! We were literally the ONLY car on that road, although there seemed to be a rush of trucks and pickups barreling through. Hubby managed to miss most of the potholes – the ones this car would’ve disappeared into. I’m glad, because there were no Search & Rescue teams out there to lower a chain to pull us out. Just about the time we thought we were to the end of that dirt road and approaching civilization, Nasty Nellie would tell us to turn on yet another dirt road. By then, we figured we’d better just trust her and try to make it out of there.

I have to give Nellie some credit right about here. It was the shortest route, which was (I admit) what she was set to seek out on this trip. I reckon this means I need to apologize to her and change her name to something a little more flattering. Maybe I’ll call her Genny . . . or maybe Gracie. Whatever.

Anyway, Fox Creek is a really small town, and it was very easy to find the folks we went to visit. They were packing up for a week’s camping trip, and we were just in time to join them. We followed them over to the campground at a beautiful place called Smoke Lake. Two days in the ‘wilderness,’ only a few miles (er, kilometers) from their home. It felt like being in the middle of the forest, miles away from any town. There was no electricity, no phones, no internet, NO SHOWERS. But oh, the camp food! How much I love food cooked over a campfire. Our host did all the cooking, and they made room for us in their camper for sleeping. They taught us a camping game called Oogah Boogah that was fun. And then we played the Animal Game around the campfire.

I’m learning some Canadian while I’m here. For instance, I learned what a biffy is, and was glad to have it out there in the campground, since our host’s water pump didn’t work on his camper and made the bathroom unusable. Yep, a biffy is an outhouse.

I also learned about scooblies and cruddlies, the little scrapings that are left in the camp skillet after cooking. Yum! We used to call them crispins.

Then there are the toques. I never knew how to pronounce that when I saw it written, and had no idea what they were referring to when they said it. They pronounced it like “Luke” – and all this time I thought it was pronounced like “Toe-Kay.” Oh well, my French never was very good.

There were two other families camping with our hosts. One had three of the most adorable little girls I have ever seen, and a little guy they babysat for. The other family had three sons who were very interesting kids. The two older ones could have been twins (they were only about 11 months apart), and the youngest was a very sweet boy. We all had a lot of fun around the campfire, and down at the lake, and just walking around the campground. Oh . . . and did I mention, there were nine dogs? Count ’em – 9! Let’s see if I can remember their names. Peanut (mini Aussie shepherd); her ‘babies’ Dozer, Ringer, and Patches; Stig (the pit bull climbing out of the water at the lake); Tigger (the “old man” chihuahua); Bandit (a beautiful red longhair doxie/mini sheltie mix); Angel (a white Shih Tzu); and last but not least, Buster (the other “old man,” a yorkapoo/chihuahua). It sure was hard to keep them all figured out.

Today we are in Edmonton, totally different from Fox Creek! We visited the West Edmonton Mall, once the largest mall in the world, before Mall of America was built in Minneapolis, MN (we went there a few years ago). Quite the sight! There is a water park, a little amusement park, millions of clothing stores, and about a half-million places to eat, not to mention a whole LOT of other places of business. So many stores, so little time. We found a place to exchange our American money for Canadian, and just counted the loss as our admission cost. We lost about $10 on the deal, but that’s OK. The only thing we ended up buying, other than money, was food. There was a Boston Pizza, so we tried that one. I had something called a Banh Mi burger. It had some different stuff on it that I’d never tried on a burger: fresh basil and mint, with an oriental barbecue glaze. Hubby had a spicy perogy pizza with sour cream. It was good! So was the burger, but too much. He had to finish it for me.

Tomorrow we plan to visit Banff again, after a stop in Calgary. I cannot wait to see Lake Louise again, and hopefully there will be sun this time. It was very cloudy the last time we were there, and I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t see the top of the mountains around Lake Louise.

So – Lord willing, we will have some wonderful photos of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, among other things. Don’t go away!! 🙂

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