Crossing the Border

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sorry  it has taken a while to get to this blog done, we dont always have internet access in the
national parks....and it ALWAYS takes ages to put the photos & video clips on, which is Mikes job!!

After leaving Sun Canyon Lodge, we stayed in a little town, Choteau & the first thing we did was wash the RV & car......Wow, a big job!!  A lot of coins.........They both looked so clean once we finished (we were quite wet also)  

We crossed the border into Canada, at the Chief Mountain Border Crossing. We  pulled up to the window, showed passports  & were asked a series of questions including if we had firewood & bear spray. After answering Yes to both of these, the firewood had to be disposed of.  The Canadians dont like the American timber, it may have bugs!!  Our small pepper
spray, that we had bought as a 'bear deterrent' is illegal in Canada, so we relinquished that & later had to buy some genuine bear spray.   

Mind you, the Can of spray we had, was so small, a bear would have had to be well & truly
in our personal space, before the spray had any effect at all , & if we were unfortunate to be down wind, all he would need is some salt & his meal would be complete!!     Mike talked to
the custom agents like long lost mates, really putting on the Aussie slang, 'No worries mate, She'll be right cobber' and so we enjoyed a good chat.  I think they equally enjoyed it, seeing it was not very busy.  We really didn't have any hassle, & no line up, as this is a quieter border crossing.  

We arrived in Waterton, &  stayed in the RV park, not far from the town, on the lake, surrounded by snow capped mountains.  There were little squirrels everywhere who have dug their burrows all through the park, & look very cute, our grandchildren would have loved them.

Went for a drive to Cameron Falls, hoping to see a bear, but so far, none.  Apparantly there are
plenty in the area, but they have been elusive.   We also drove up the hill to look at the Prince of Wales hotel, which is one of the most photographed hotels in the world. This stately hotel is located high on a bluff overlooking Waterton Lake and the town of Waterton.  It was very windy, but the building is architecturally interesting, with an amazing outlook.  Unfortunately it was still closed for the season.

About 20 deer came wandering through the park as we rode our bikes into town & we encountered quite a few long horned sheep on the road.  

From here we drove to Calgary,  only 3 hours away & stayed at a park near the large ski slide, built for Winter Olympics 1988, where Eddie the Eagle first skied.   On Saturday night, we
drove into the city to meet Larry & Christine Beard (business associates) for a 'Board Meeting' at the Keg restaurant with them & their daughter Sarah.  A very nice family, we had a
great night with lots of laughs. Sarah usually works here at the restaurant, but had the night off and we enjoyed a great meal, & wonderful company.  

It was  then off to Kananaskis, not far from Calgary & stayed in the National park for a few
days. It rained quite a lot on our way there, & we drove down a very narrow road by a lake to have lunch.  The rain was very heavy with strong wind, but by the time we were on our way again, it had stopped, & the sun was shining.  We arrived in Kananaskis, our site was surrounded by trees, & was quite tight to get into, Mike did very well reversing into this spot.

The next day, we drove round looking at the amazing scenery which is so beautiful, this place is just AWESOME.  Can't believe how nice it is.   Thankyou Sarah for telling us about this
place.    We had a picnic lunch by a lake, & talked to some cyclists, who came along as Mike was doing a mock bear attack for our grandchildren. Quite funny, if not somewhat embarrassing!!  Ha!    We then rode our bikes round another lake & down some tracks near Kananaskis village.  Still no bear sightings!!  

Mike decided to light a fire one night, & one of the timbers was too long, so he leaned it up on the wooden chair and jumped on it to snap it, but instead of it breaking, he bounced off, & landed wrong. (yes, I can hear you all laughing!)  He said it would have been a 'funniest home videos' moment, I tried very hard not to laugh!!  His neck felt slightly sore at the time, but
he cooked steak & vegies on the weber q, and we sat outside and ate dinner, it was just lovely.  It doesn't get dark here till after 10pm.      


During the night his neck got worse, it was so bad, he could hardly get up out of bed, & as with all men, it was THE WORST pain, no-one in this world has EVER been in this much agony......he couldn't lay sideways, he couldn't lay flat, he couldn't sit up, 1 pillow was not enough, 2 pillows were too many,  I tried to make light of it by saying  (with respect) that he had often been a 'pain in the neck', but that didn't go down too well!!   Ha!

I had visions of having to pack up the van, & Mike being  carried out of a window on a
stretcher & airlifted to hospital!!   He did not sleep well at all!  Just trying to get out of bed, caused him to emit something from the back of his throat, that sounded like a moose in agony!!  He didn't want to go to any dodgy neck cracker in a little town, & thought it would get better, but unfortunately, this did not happen.

On Saturday we packed up, Michael doing everything rather slowly, & made our way to Banff.  He could have gone to a chiropractor early this morning in Canmore, 60kms from
Kananaskis, but the thought of someone grabbing hold of his head, and wrenching it sideways in one swift movement,  was just too much to bear.  He decided to go on to Banff & wait till Monday to have it checked out. 

It was quite cold when we left, and it wasn't long before it was snowing, it was like
fairyland,  so nice, I kept taking photos. (You can tell we are not used to seeing falling snow)  By the time we got to Banff, it was falling quite heavy.  Found our way to the park, pulled in & the snow was coming down thick.  We loved it.  We then proceeded to hook up the amenities, at the same time, getting covered with snow. We would love our little grandchildren to experience this.  We turned the heater on  & it made the van nice & warm.......And STILL the neck is sore!!     

Off to the chiropractor on Monday morning, & he did wonders, it was a slipped disc, so  while
Mike was enduring this pain & anguish, I enjoyed a cafe latte, while having  my hair washed, cut & a blowdry,  only the second one, since we left home in December.  So decadent!!  Mike also had a haircut later, (no wash though, didn't want to stretch the neck!).  He had to go back the following morning for another neck cracking session & it felt a lot better after that.   THANK GOODNESS!!   No more moose calls!!   It took about a week to get completely ok again.

We then went for a drive to the gondola and went up Sulphar Mountain & walked along the board walk to the lookout, the views from up here are just amazing.  We remember coming up here many years go with dad, mum & our 3 children.  At the time, Mum slipped down some icy steps, and as Mike wasn't filming at the time, he asked her to re-enact it, so he could get footage!!  Hmmm I don't think he has changed much!!   We also visited the Fairmont resort which is a famous hotel here &  has been welcoming guests for over 125 years. The opening of this hotel in 1888 was the commencement of tourism in the Canadian Rockies.  

That's all for now, Bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and we LOVE reading your comments (although we know that there are many who don't want others to know you are associated with us!!) & that's ok too, we DO understand....... keep safe and well,  God bless....Miss you all. 

NEXT BLOG .......Michael in trouble AGAIN!!    Lake Louise & Jasper.
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Dazz and Mel Steele on

We love reading your blog. Such good entertainment and allot of laughs had, with the injuries in life of DAD. We do really feel sorry for you, dad. Dazz said he knows exactly what you went through. What is with MEN though? When they get 10 min to an hour of pain, it is worse pain that any one else has ever had. Going into labor 3 times mum with hours and hours full of pain, that is nothing compare to there pain that they are in. Like father, like son. It looks like you are guys are having the best time. The pictures are amazing, some of them look like a postcard. We miss you both everyday, but we love reading about all the fun times and laughs you guys are having everyday. Zars and Dec's loves the Boffy and Dumma clips, they would watch them over and over again if the could, so keep them coming! well take care, love ya both lotsxoxoxoxoxooxxo

Mum on

Loved reading blog hope you are feeling better Mike but I have read about
the kidney stone and I believe it is very painful. Had nice time at Plaza yesterday Jen took me and Jude came later. We had lots of laughs over pelvic
floor muscles. Heather and John coming over today for Mitch Crispins 2lst
Birthday Meg thinks there will be an engagement so we will wait and see.
It has rained all day yesterday last night and now today and it is l3 degrees
today. Keep well and drink lots of water Mike love you both miss you so much
Laura and Shem Richards get married tomorrow. Sarah feeling better.

Abi on

Hi travelling willberries, love reading your blogs & laughing at your stupid videos. I am going to show Bolt & Zale them in the morning. I especially love reading about Canada, as Jimmy & I have done similar things to what you have been...minus them massive RV (instead sniffy backpackers) . Also love seeing the snow falling, that's just beautiful.
We saw a baby black bear on the side of the road driving into Banff. We were taking photos & then there was a noise from the trees & it ran off to its mummy....thankfully we didn't get out of the car!
Sorry to hear about your neck...poor Aunty Ruth having to put up with you!!
I am having difficulty typing with my left index finger with a bandage twice the size.....obviously mum told you what ridiculous thing I did...I had it re-dressed today & it looks so gross! It's one sick way of remembering our time in Perth.
We loooooved our Perth adventure, and was so nice to see the travelling Baddams & Steeles on their way through.
I think Jimmy's mum is in Canada somewhere at the moment!!
Anyways happy & safe adventures xoxox

Dan Healy - Independence RV on

Mike and Ruth - Nice update. Sorry about the neck. Ro and I liked your photos. How's the RV running? Enjoy this fabulous trip! We'll keep reading about it!

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