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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Great bear back-scratching video by Lounge Trekker on 7 August 2013 11:58pm

I hope you can watch this video taken over a few days in Kananaskis Country near Calgary, Alberta.
Re: Great bear back-scratching video by Spursfan2 on 8 August 2013 9:01am
Oh that's great Pete - and I bet those scratches felt good too!!


I think I told you before that I have a large family contingent in the Calgary area, mainly in the Shady Nook district of Red Deer I believe. There are now 4th and 5th generation Canadians, maybe even 6th, in the 'dynasty' (if you can call it that!) started by my Auntie Kathleen (1900-1999 - my Mom's sister) and Uncle George (1897-1975) and my Uncle Les (Mom's brother) and Auntie Pearl. Kathleen and George emigrated in 1923, as did Les, but Pearl was born in Red Deer to (I think) Canadian born parents.

In 1980, Auntie Kathleen (then 80) sent Mom a copy of a newly printed book "Along the Burnt Lake Trail - A History of Shady Nook, Burnt Lake, Centerville, Pine Hill, Marianne, Kuusamo and Everts." It is a large book, A4, and is 745 pages long, packed with information, memories and photos of the residents of these areas, including my relatives.

It is fascinating.

[Ooooops sorry Pete - I've hijacked your string!! Apols.]
Re: Great bear back-scratching video by Lounge Trekker on 9 August 2013 1:22am
No problem Anne! I didn't post this just to see myself speak and it is cool that you have folks in Alberta. I do remember you mentioning it. It is not a local area for me, being close to 1500 kilometres away.

My brother lives in Airdrie on the northern outskirts of Calgary with his wife and two little boys, 9 and 6 years. I was there for a week last year and we had some fun playing together after such a long time. Oh...we let his boys play too. It has been 35 years since Tim and I did 'battle' against one another.

After a few days of fun and frolic, his youngest (5 at the time), at the dinner table, lit up, smiled broadly, looked from Tim to myself and said, "So, Daddy and Uncle Pete are brothers, just like me and Anton!" It was priceless to see.

I had sent them a present preceding my arrival, of two ball gloves and a soft baseball. At my suggestion we took them to a field and played ball with them. Two backcatchers, one behing the 'plate' and one behind the pitcher. So much fun.
Re: Great bear back-scratching video by Spursfan2 on 9 August 2013 6:31am
Good times, Pete.

Although lots of members of the family have visited Canada, and vice versa (Auntie Kathleen visited the UK several times in her 90s) we have never been. We haven't visited my sister and family in New Zealand (where she has been, except for a year or two in the mid-1980s) since 1974), either - there has always been somewhere else to visit. She has visited a couple of times and my eldest nephew lived with us for 5 years in the 1990s when he was in his early 20s.

As my sister (nearly 15 years my senior) is 75 this September, I guess we ought to try and rectify this.

Re: Great bear back-scratching video by Lounge Trekker on 9 August 2013 4:10pm
Visiting your family would make the trip an interesting time. If I were to make suggestions on what to see in Canada, I'd say to fly into Calgary to visit your people. Enjoy a look at vast spaces of grain and canola being farmed. See Kananskis Country, drive the Banff - Jasper road through the Rocky Mountains where you are sure to see wildlife. Maybe take a few days, stay in a B&B until you have a clear sunny day to admire the mountains.

Vancouver would be quite a sight for you. This is a city with a busy port, many golf courses, ski mountains overlooking the metro area, and golf courses. One can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. Hah hah, that would be a rushed affair, but it could be done on the right day in winter.

Toronto is just another city, but it is downtown Canada according to politics, economics, industry, population density and who you talk to that lives there.

The East coast is completely different culturaly, geographically, architecturally, economically and would be well worth the visit if you have the time. Research this, talk to people who live over there before you do this.

Remember the vastness of Canada if you visit. And come in the summer...July, August or September. Bring insect repellant unless you are beside the sea.
Re: Great bear back-scratching video by Spursfan2 on 9 August 2013 4:23pm
Sounds great Pete. If we did visit, we'd like to do it by motor home (RV). As I have said on here before, we used to have one in England and it was great fun. The freedom is fantastic.

Going back to your original post I wouldn't be happy meeting a bear though and would perhaps be on edge wondering if I would encounter one. When we were in Yosemite a few years ago the others - Zak, a couple of grandchildren and a friend - went walking up a hill at a waterfall, and I stayed behind. Normal, as with my illness I can't climb. As I stood alone, waiting, I suddenly remembered where we were, and was sure I would be confronted by a bear at any moment!! I wasn't, luckily, the bears were just beginning to wake up apparently, but it didn't stop me being scared!! It was only about half an hour at most but boy it seemed like HOURS!! Incidentally the environmentally-friendly loos had notices about being careful to shut the doors because of bears!! IMAGINE THAT!!

Re: Great bear back-scratching video by Lounge Trekker on 10 August 2013 6:41pm
With respect to bears...keep your food up a tree and not near where you sleep. Grizzly bears can be dangerous, but again, it's all about the food.

You would be lucky to see a black bear as they are usually leaving by the time you see them. But again...it's all about the food.

A motor home would be an excellent way to see a lot of territory. Alberta and BC are great, as I'm sure east of Ontario is, too. Many roadside stops, camping locations, beautiful sights. The Prairies, on the other hand are day after day of fields. Few rivers, even fewer lakes, no mountains. Unless you are a geographer, a sociologist or have a few square miles of land you want to learn how to make productive, consider this part of your trip as bit of a loss. Maybe fly over it.

Hey, I'm not trying to slag the Prairies, their crops feed us, after all. You will meet the most solid and happy people there.

Your first time driving the prairies will be amazing. If you see lights, stop there. If you see something you need, buy it. Get gas in every town. Distances are great on the Prairies.
Re: Great bear back-scratching video by Spursfan2 on 10 August 2013 7:00pm
Sounds wonderful :)

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