OH THE PAIN !!!

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

LAKE LOUISE, JASPER & DAWSON CREEK

Well after the 'neck' incident, thankful it was over, we made our way to Lake Louise, continuing through the famous Canadian Rockies, on a cloudy day, so didn't really see it to its full beauty, but still awesome.

A few bears had been seen in the Lake Louise park the day we arrived, but Mike was disappointed there wasn't any waiting to welcome us to our site!!  After lunch, we went for a drive to Lake Louise & Lake Morraine & as it was raining, & quite cold, we only did a quick walk to the lakes, but they still looked amazing!

We rode our bikes in the park on the trail, which meandered along side the fast flowing river, so crystal clearReminds us of the Murray River, NOT!!    There is an area in the National Park, for people camping in tents, or soft sided vans & is completely enclosed by an electric fence to keep the bears out.  At least I  felt safe when riding the bikes in this section of the park. 

Well......Saturday morning started off like any other, we had breakfast, and were doing some research on Alaska, when all of a sudden Mike started getting quite a bad pain in his lower back.  It got worse, he was so pale, I thought he was going to faint, & he vomited, nice and loud like the Steele men do very well!!  (another Moose call). He didn't want me to ring the doc, but eventually it got so bad, I rang the local doctor, who said to come round to the clinic in 1 hour. We had to go sooner, as Mike was pacing the van, he couldn't sit, couldn't stand, NOT GOOD!  I had never seen him like this before.  Bit of a worry!!  Remember what I said about men in the last blog!!........(I really did feel sorry for him, He WAS in a lot of pain! ) We drove to the clinic, slowly, trying to avoid potholes, bumps in the road & tests showed it was a kidney stone. The pain then came with a vengeance, and he felt nauseous again.  He didn't want to be sick in the room & subject the doc to a 'moose call', so we went out the door, which led to outside.  (he was given an aqua bedpan to be sick in!!  Ha! I wonder who had used it last!!)

Back inside, he lay on the bed, was given a morphine injection, and a drip in his hand to try and hydrate him, & an automatic blood pressure thing attached to him!!  Michael rarely gets sick, has never had an anesthetic, and here he was laying in the docs surgery with drip & morphine, in one of the smallest towns in the Rockies!!

We stayed for a couple of hours, and once the saline drip was finished, he drank a bottle of water, & was feeling a lot better.   I won't go into the minor details, I think you have heard enough, suffice it to say, he was feeling a lot better, and so far there have been no other attacks. The doc said hopefully there are no more stones, and he really should have a scan at some stage.  He pointed out if things hadn't gone well, he may have had to go in an ambulance to the Banff hospital, so we are so thankful it didn't come to that.

$400 later we went back to the RV, Mike still a bit heady & highminded, because of the morphine. He says what he went through is SO much worse than childbirth!!  Yeah right!! We won't go there!!  I don't remember the morphine being offered, after 1 hour of pain, when having my three children!! 

So we had an eventful morning that changed from going in a canoe on Lake Louise, a walk around the lake, up the chairlift, having lunch at the top of the mountain..TO.. spending it in the docs surgery, but so thankful things are looking better. They say things come in 3's....neck pain, kidney stone, I am thinking I had better learn how to drive this bus SOON!! 

Mikes way of turning a negative into a positive was by saying that it now means we may be able to take advantage of our travel insurance and get some of our money back....  

Next morning we left Lake Louise & travelled to Jasper,  about 250 kms.  It rained in the morning, but  the sun managed to shine in the afternoon. Beautiful!

WE SAW A BLACK BEAR & HER BABY!!!!  Yay!!   

We have been told, if we see cars & vans parked on the side of the road, more than likely they will be looking at a bear or some sort of wildlife, and that is exactly what it was. We were so excited.  At last!  The baby bear looked so cute following his mum.  After taking photos, we continued on our way,  then came across another black bear, so now we have seen 3 bears, & goats on the side of the road.   AT LAST! 

We checked into the Jasper National park & as we are self contained, we don't need electricity, so stayed in a non-amenities site.  Once again we are surrounded by huge trees, and in Bear territory. Maligne Canyon is one of the most spectacular gorges in the Canadian Rockies, with sheer limestone walls that plunge to depths of over 50 meters (165 ft.).   A trail winds its way from a picnic area across six bridges where we could feel the spray from the thundering Maligne River, & peered over the edge into the mossy depths. The amount of water flowing through this canyon is amazing.  Walking across a swing bridge over the river was always going to be a challenge, as you would all know what Mike would have to do!!    We rode our bikes around Edith Lake...about 5kms.  The lake is so nice, with beautiful colored water & great reflections.

Food is quite expensive here...$10 for 50 Twining's tea bags, I suppose the further we go, the more we will have to pay.  One thing, we can make 1 tea bag do 2 cups of tea!!  Aunty Verna Martin would be proud of me!! 

We rode our bikes 3.5kms into Jasper, locked our bikes to a fence, and I mooched up & down the shops, while Mike sat outside each shop, looking at brochures.  It rained on the way back.  Fun!  Quite strenuous, I am sure it was uphill all the way, & I burnt at least a million calories! 

We left Jasper driving only a short distance,  (60kms) on to a  dirt road, into another part of the national park, where not many people go. Maybe the name puts them off.....GRAVEYARD!!    Only 1 other van there, that I thought may be killers!!   We had to register & put money in the box (honesty system) $21 for the night .....a bit expensive, no hookups ( same site in USA would be $10)!  We parked the van, when we put the jacks down, they just made big holes in the lawn. We enjoyed a hike, with bear spray ready, round the lake, through the trees,  imagining what it would be like if we were lost, went into a view shed, where you can go at dawn
or dusk to watch animals....Moose, Elk, Deer, Bears, Birdlife, etc.  We came back at 10.45pm ....that is when it is dusk, & saw an elk & a deer.  Drove back to the RV  after 11pm, still not completely dark.  It starts to get light again by 4am!!  Weird!

The 'killers' camped near us were parents with 5 children, 1 girl, 4 boys, including twins. They were a lovely family & she home schools them all.  The oldest, Sabrina is 12, then 4 boys.   We saw 2 moose from a distance by the lake.

 And YES.....the deer here are as stupid as the kangaroos in Australia....as we were driving in the RV, at 100kph (60mph)  on our way to Grande Cache, a deer ran in front of us, just made it across, then decided for whatever silly reason, to turn around, and play 'chicken' & try to get back....the only thing that stopped him was Mike leaning on the VERY LOUD air horn, so for a while, he was running along side, not knowing quite what to do!!  I am sure he had been 'dared' by his deer mates!  I wonder if his name was Mike, Darren or Ben!!  We were just SO glad, we didn't hit him!  

After a couple of nights in Grand Cache, we continued to Dawson Creek, where we visited the Walter Wright Pioneer Village which is a heritage site that explores the history of the early pioneers who settled in the area of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada. The village is a collection of buildings, artifacts and stories dating back to the early 1900's providing a quick glimpse into the lives and hardships of the early pioneers. A lot of the displays, such as the old school room, homes, dolls, toys, tools, etc, brought back a lot of memories, and was so interesting. Looking at advertising magazines of the late 1970's (when we were married) was sooo funny! 

We drove to the Bear Mountain Wind Farm, & were amazed at the size of these 'fans'.  Bear
Mountain began operations in November, 2009 &  is BC's first operating wind farm, having a generating capacity of 102 megawatts.  Each turbine is 78-metres tall & are placed about  160-metres apart along the ridge of Bear Mountain, and visitors are able to hike & drive to the base of these turbines each weighing 236tons.  Fascinating!   

We enjoyed our day, found a nice quiet place, looking over the valley & had a memorial meeting.  We are off tomorrow, heading up to Alaska & may not have Internet for the next week or so, not sure when the next blog will be. 

That's all for now, Bye for now, thanks for reading the
blog, and we LOVE reading your comments ...keep safe and well,  God bless....Miss you all.  
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