Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Continuing Story

t was morning and I had called for a different towing company. They made me an offer, a little higher than the previous guy, but hey, if they would show up…..?
So I waited…and waited…and waited some more. Then I called again. “I’m on my way”.  So I waited…and waited…and 2 hrs. had gone by after the initial call and I was just grabbing my new phone (that’s another story) to make another call when I saw the tow truck coming up the truck stop, lights flashing like he was some big monster. They sent a 3/4t Dodge, lifted body, which could prove difficult at the hitch end of things.

A young middle easterner popped out, nice guy, and after 15 minutes it was a go. The truck had no sway bars so I was just hoping for the best.
On the way down to Canmore (it’s a lot of down grades) I had him in front me, and I watched my speedometer going to 120km/hr. THERE…..the trailer began dancing like a ball behind his truck. He braked and the thing calmed down. I almost had a heart attack. Arriving at Canmore, we pulled up in front of the RV-Park office. They had not advised which site I was in so I tried the door. Nobody there!  It started to snow. There was some cold wind as well. And I had a paid tow truck waiting. Time went by. A service guy was coming down the road and I stopped him. What nobody there?  He got out went somewhere behind the building, came back and told us somebody would show up “very soon”. It didn’t happen. Nobody came and it snowed a lot now. And the tow truck clock was ticking. I had told the people I would be there at noon and they just closed the office for an extended lunch hour!  SNOTTY!
So finally I advised the truck driver to drop the trailer in an empty spot. I paid him –more than they had quoted me- and was alone in the snow. The office lady finally came around and I had a “chat” with her. She didn’t like that one a bit.
But I was settled in – for now.
However, the entire RV park has a big problem. The problem has a name: Spring Creek. It flows just 5ft. below the level of the park. So when all that white stuff in the mountain is coming down in June, the entire area is threatened by spring floods which will land your rig in deep water, which will mean deep trouble. So, I didn’t like the park. And since the people there were arrogant and…yes, snotty…I asked an RV neighbour from Manitoba whether he could be so kind to move my trailer next morning to a park in Banff. He readily agreed so in the morning I pulled up stakes, and migrated right into the Banff National Park. It’s high up from ground zero and no creek in the neighbourhood – just the CN/CP railways as a faint rumble through the forest. The trains don’t even blow the whistle as wildlife is not to be disturbed.

Yes, I love my new location, It is extremely peaceful, no cars speeding by, and it is only 4km to my work place. But there is no internet here. For now, I have to pre-fab my postings and post them from downtown somewhere. Good thing I have my new laptop which has enough battery power to last a while.

IMG_8815                                                           Park road in snow
Oh, did I mention that we got at least 3” of nice wet snow? Yup, before we moved the trailer I clambered up on the roof. armed with a broom to remove all that wet white stuff. Of course, I had to hammer off some ice along the edges of the slides as well.

When I checked my email this morning I found one from the Buenos Aires NWR in Southern Arizona, inquiring whether we would still be available as volunteers in May.  I would love to be back in Arizona, Bonnie, especially when looking through my window. It just started snowing again like it would on any day in February.

What fun!

So I had to write back telling her about all the nice winter we are having here in the cold white north.

Went down to the bus garage this afternoon. The people at the bus garage are very nice and I am looking forward to work with them.

I Had To Reheat My Coffee
And it goes on: UPDATE THURSDAY
It’s 6:45am Thursday morning.
Stepping outside to make my way to the public washrooms I see animal tracks right in front of my door. The new-fallen snow has obscured the tracks but it looks like a big dog. When I turn the corner of my trailer I look straight at this:
IMG_8817  IMG_8818-001
A humongous elk bull is blocking the door to the men’s room!
Of course, I have to back-track and get the camera. I wish so much i had taken the Nikon tele-lens from home. So what shall I do? Just walk ahead and pretend he isn’t there?

Nope!  They can be very aggressive if approached early in the morning. And early it is. So I kind of give him a little whistle and he moves a few paces off the door. Still too close. What if I try to sneak around the building past the women’s side?

Oh my… there is his wife. Or one of them anyway. But those can be more understanding if a man needs to go to the washroom. Right? So I go on. She retreats. I look to my left. Whoa! 3 more bulls are on the way over to the wash house. Sh……

When I reach the men’s door the bull is still only 20ft away.
Quickly and as quiet as I can be I get inside.

Leaving the place, I cautiously open the door to the wild, peek around, no more elks standing around. I slip outside.
My coffee is still on the table, but by now, it has cooled off, so I have to reheat it in the microwave!
Oh…and I have to do it all over again tomorrowf! Probably!

Naturally, I want to relay this early experience to Bea back home. And even though there is no Internet connection here, the cell phone ought to work. So I switch it on. NOTHING. The darn thing has suffered a slow death over night. In my excitement over this newest addition to Peter’s electronic world, I have forgotten to put the charger on.
Oh well….

So while the cell is recharging, I eat breakfast, a crispy roll and a boiled egg. When I cut the top of my egg, I look around. There is no Molly waiting for the delicious egg white top. And I realize again the solitude I am part of. By now I can hear the odd clap of a vehicle door outside, but other than that, it is extremely quiet. I try the TV. Maybe, just maybe there is a reception. My hopes are shattered when I finally get a grainy picture accompanied by a lot of static. This is what Canadians watch when they only have an aerial antennae. Smile Yep, one has to be prepared for Canada.


  1. You've sure been having a rough time! I have to applaud your patience, Peter. Don't you just hate it when you have to rely on unreliable people? I'm glad you're settled, and even though your trip to the men's room was blocked, it must have been very exciting to see those huge animals! I'm hoping for some nice, calm days for you to enjoy. You sure deserve it. :)

  2. Hey, your day is more exciting than mine. I mean, males elks go for "men" and females aim at the "women" side of the shower house! HA! They have them properly trained, eh? Laugh!
    Not that I would like to have elk in my garden. But I know they are everywhere though out town in this area. They are so used to people, they don't bother.

  3. Amazing the poor service and it's everywhere. But those beautiful Elk would sure help make up for some of the frustration.

  4. Oh My Peter, I don't have a nerve left !!

  5. I am with you Peter every step of your new adventure. Hang in there and everything will work out.

  6. Well that is quite a little adventure you are having yourself out there in the wilds of the Alberta woods.

  7. You certainly are having an interesting time there.
    Enjoy the wildlife and your new job.
    I was raised hanging around a bus garage with my father as a bus driver in Toronto.
    Then I was in dispatch and ticket sales for 13 years, such a great bunch of people.
    It becomes a lifestyle.

  8. Don't forget to leave reviews for that rotten park you stopped at. Sounds like you're having quite an adventure and you've hardly started yet! Love the big Elk story too.


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