29 June 2010

California dreamin'

Ah, California ... a good place to wrap up our trip and take away some memories.Fritz, and his owners, enjoyed a walk on the beach.
There's nothing like a walk through the giant redwoods to make you feel small. This one had a charcoal opening at the bottom and green branches some 200 ft. above.
Then it was time for a wine and food tasting at the Kendall-Jackson Winery in Sonoma County where the 2006 Highland Estates Alisos Hills Syrah was paired with a sweet tea brined ranch pork belly slider with Syrah BBQ sauce. We could get used to this!
Now this is a Texas size bottle of the bubbly.
A walking tour of San Francisco rounded out our California sightseeing. It's a beautiful city where, among other things, people have very strong opinions about where their coffee beans are grown.

26 June 2010

Years and Miles

Since our last blog post and our anniversary celebration in Edmonton we've entered the 35th year of our marriage and turned 7500 miles on the odometer since leaving Houston. We connected with our Scandinavian heritage in Alberta, visited friends and family in Calgary, soaked in the Radium Hot Springs, crossed back into the USA and are pining for home, although that's more than a week away. Pines -- today (June 26) we visited Redwood National Park on the north coast of California, quite a contrast to the Canadian Rockies, the snow yesterday in Oregon and the scenery in BC and Washington before. I updated our trip map, http://persjohn.net/DTJbl/trip2010.png. The Stephansson house in central Alberta was the homestead of renowned Icelandic poet Stephan Stephansson who published most of his material while living here. Many immigrants to Alberta came from the Scandinavian countries, including some of our ancestors. http://culture.alberta.ca/museums/historicsiteslisting/stephanssonhouse/default.aspx
After a soak in the Radium Hot Spring and our last night in Canada, we crossed the border and had a picnic lunch on the grounds of the courthouse in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. I phoned my father who reminded me that we'd visited there on my first trip from Saskatchewan to Vancouver in 1954.
Driving south on highway 97 through Washington, we saw a sign for the Goldendale Observatory, and stumbled onto what was for many years the largest amateur (i.e. never used by professionals) telescope in the country, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldendale_Observatory_State_Park.
Along the Columbia River we found the Maryhill Museum of Art, http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/, where Diane and Fritz were enthroned in the sculpture garden.
Crater Lake - the deepest lake in the US. Not so obvious in this picture is the snow, which was still piled high.

22 June 2010

Wild Rose Country

We continue to spend time smelling the wild roses in Alberta. Increasingly energized, we spent time visiting grade school friends not seen since we switched from printing to writing, as well as with precious old friends and family who reassure us that it's possible to go home again.
At the lake where we first met at Camrose Lutheran College ("Lutefisk, lefsa, tack ska du ha! College, college, Ja ja ja!" ... class of '66).
And something new, the bold Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. Just opened in January 2010, the architecture is outstanding and what hangs on the walls is pretty good too.
Taking a stroll along the ravine with Penny and Fritz, where the poplar tree fluff looked like snow.
It's amazing how a holiday like this can make a person feel years younger. We celebrated our 34th anniversary on 19 June, which turned out to be an auspicious day to get married, as evidenced by this picture of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Daniel, AKA the Duchess and Duke of Vastergotland. May all our days ahead be happy ever after.

17 June 2010

Around Rycroft and Beyond

There's always something special about visiting our roots. On Daniel's birthday we enjoyed the view from Mike Dika's cabin on White Mountain -- where you can see for miles and miles (or as Canucks say, kilometers and kilometers). The nearby town of Sexsmith had its annual Chautauqua Day June 5, with a parade down main street complete with a vintage police car, trucks and tractors.
The bridge across the Peace River north of Rycroft replaced the ferry 50 years ago, and the historic site at Fort Dunvegan has a lot of new reconstruction -- this style of log fence is over a century old.
The town of Chetwynd has an international chainsaw carving festival where we spent the day. The buzz of chainsaws, the smell of cedar, and results were quite spectacular.
On June 11 we left Rycroft and spent one night at Miette Hot Springs in Jasper National Park in the Rocky Mountains. We soaked our bods and luxuriated in the mountains, a nice contrast to the flat prairie.