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Travelog for: Sully Monster

Lake Minnewanka, Canada - 16th May 2009

By: smaug


Here I am again! Today I had my first outdoor trip in the wild, I was so excited thinking that I might have met wild bears, cougars , elks  :stare:…who knows?
So off we went and here it’s me and sammino in the car approaching the trailhead.


Today I shared the side pocket with sammino so I could see everything along the trail  :).


We went on the shore of a big lake that was still half frozen. Wow, there were slabs of ice floating and drifting around…just like being in the artic.


Unfortunately it was very windy, so after taking the pictures we were forced to go back in the pocket as Smaug wouldn’t allow us to explore the lake shore by ourselves, he said we might take off and disappear in the water  :(.


Over the next couple of days I might visit Smaug’s office as he needs to do some work this long weekend…I can’t wait  ;)

* Posted May 17, 2009, 9:02 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 21st May 2009

By: smaug

Here I am again. This week has been interesting because I started getting to know better all the toys around here, but also a bit boring as Smaug was coming back very late from work and always carrying lot of paper so he couldn’t really take us anywhere.
So today we decided to organize ourselves and watch a movie in DVD. First we had to decide what to watch: when I understood that Monsters, Inc wasn’t available I left the others to decide. The discussion actually got a bit heated  :stare: as someone (guess  who?) was pushing for “The march of the penguins”


while sammino was insisting for something about eagles.


In the end we agreed with sammino’s choice and while Paulina and I prepared the DVD player...


...sammino took care of the snacks....he obviously didn’t want to take any chance of someone starving during the show  :o


Sammino and I decided that we had to sacrifice ourselves for the well being of the others and check if the food was still good....hmmm, let’s have another one of these breadsticks and nutella, not too bad!  :rolleyes:


So here we are comfortably watching the movie....looks like a WWII movie, a good one but not really any eagle showing up  :).


Later, Smaug came home and let us update our travelogs, wow, I look good in the screen  B)


* Posted May 22, 2009, 2:56 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 23rd May 2009

By: smaug


Wow, today I went out for another hike. We were supposed to leave early this morning, but Smaug had other things to take care of and so we changed our plans and went to a place close to Calgary in the afternoon. The forest was so thick that there was hardly a place for a good picture. But when Smaug stopped to get some rest, sammino and I explored a bit around...and we found out that a creek had been blocked with a dam, sammino said it must be the work of some beaver...


...must be a very advanced beaver, I didn’t know that they used corrugated steel pipes to control the water going through their dams  :stare:


The trail was very muddy and sometimes we had to ford a little creek...it was good to be high up and safe into Smaug’s backpack  :) as the water was deeper than it looked like.


We spent a few hours in the forest but when we eventually reached a clearing the view opened up on the surrounding landscape and what a view was that  :o! The trees were going on forever!


Smaug explained to me that we were actually in the foothills of the Rockies where the mountains are not too high and the forest can cover them up to the top.
When we eventually made it back to the car Smaug gave us something to eat  :D...


...just to keep us running until we made it home for a well deserved supper  ;)

* Posted May 25, 2009, 3:57 am Last edited May 25, 2009, 4:07 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 24th May 2009

By: smaug

Hello again!
Last night we were so tired that we were asleep very early, so this morning we were up very early too and to spend some time we decided to watch the Montecarlo F1 GP. It was the first time I saw a GP so I was quite excited, and there was an Aussie driver on the grid too  :D. sammino whispered in my ear that it was all fine to cheer on the Aussie driver, but with Smaug around, should the Ferrari be as rubbish as they have been the rest of the season, it was advisable to keep some sort of low profile during the race  :stare:


sammino told me that he had actually been in Monaco last summer while on holiday in South France, but apparently Smaug didn’t carry his backpack along all day so he spent most of the time in the car park...but it was a very glamorous car park, right under the Casino Square  B)
He also explained me that these races can be incredibly boring unless some accident happen, hey, here there is one  :o!


As the race went on it actually became really a bit boring, but luckily sammino got some cookies out and that made the rest of the race more interesting  ;)


In the end neither the Ferrari nor the Aussie driver won, but Smaug didn’t seem too disappointed.
During the rest of the morning Smaug was busy cleaning the house, so we decided to keep watching television, English football this time, and of course we kept the cookies at hand  ;)


In the afternnon the weather was so nice that Smaug took us out for a walk and I had the first chance to take a look at the Saddedome, the main Ice Hockey arena in Calgary. The roof is really shaped as a saddle  :o


Smaug explained me that here in Calgary people are quite crazy about all things related to cowboys and that every year in July the city hosts the biggest rodeo in the world.

Walking around the dome we met some Canadian geese...but most of them hid when we tried to take a picture of them.


On the way back I even managed to have a glimpse of the Calgary Tower.


It was very hot today (well, not that hot, but, considering that a few days ago it was below freezing point, 20-23 degrees seemed very hot) so when we came back home Smaug gave us some ice-cream to help us recovering, yuumm... :)


* Posted May 25, 2009, 5:02 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 26th May 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum!

This week Smaug told us that soon we might see some new guest arriving, with Mr Bananas likely to be the first, so when tonight we saw him coming back home with a padded envelope in his hands we got really excited: was that going to be Mr Bananas  :)?


YES, it’s him  :D! Wow, we all gathered around to welcome him, he must be so tired after such a long trip


We immediately started chatting and getting to know each other ....he is very nice, he even brought us some chocolate  ;)


Wow, we went on chatting for a while but then Smaug came around telling us that Mr Bananas needs some rest after his trip to help him getting past the jet lag and so he sent us all to bed.

Will write again soon  :)
Sully Monster

* Posted May 27, 2009, 3:32 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 29th May 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

What a week! Today a new guest arrived, Purple Haze! She is from UK like Mr Bananas and she is having her first trip too. That makes two new arrivals in less than 3 days, looks like we are going to have fun around here :D Now she is very tired, so, after a bit of chatting Smaug sent us all to bed...I guess we will keep going with the chatting after he falls asleep  ;)


* Posted May 31, 2009, 5:48 am Last edited May 31, 2009, 6:03 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moraine Lake, Canada - 30th May 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

Today we went for a trip into Banff National Park. We all took a place on the back seat and spent most of the driving time chatting and reading the newspaper.


Our destination was a place called Moraine Lake  :). Smaug explained us that the lake (as many others in this area) is fed by glaciers up in the mountains. These glaciers scrap from the mountain rock a fine mineral silt and damp it into the lake. This silt is called “rock flour” and gives to the water a strange opaque and milky colour. A catch of this glacier activity is that this particular lake is usually fairly dry until the thaw starts up at the higher elevations and today it was still partly frozen and almost empty: its area was less than half of what it usually is in summer so we could not really appreciate its typical colour. As it was very windy Smaug tried to take some pictures of us while we were “anchored” inside the backpack.


After exploring a bit the lake shore we tried to follow a trail that was still quite covered with snow. After some time we got a bit uncomfortable as we could hear a lot of thunders but the forest was too thick to see the sky. Feeling a certain unrest in the backpack (no one among us really fancied experiencing a thunderstorm while stuck on an uncomfortable trail 1 hour from the car) Smaug stopped and helped us looking through a gap in the tree branches: the thunders were not actual thunders, but just the noise made by avalanches falling from high up on the surrounding mountains  :o. The news did not exactly improve our extreme lack of comfort until he told us that the trail was very safe, mah.
On the way back we managed to take some pictures of the valley downstream of the lake....nice, wide and, most important, safely away from any avalanche  ;).


* Posted Jun 4, 2009, 4:35 am Last edited Jun 4, 2009, 4:46 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 6th June 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

brrr, where did you send me?? We are almost halfway in June and this morning it was snowing here  :stare: It soon became rain, but the rest of the day went on very cold and very rainy. So, since the day was not really good for any outdoor activity, Smaug decided to go to the office to do some work and brought us along  :)
First we had a look out of the window...rain, rain and more rain  :(


So we decided to play a bit on the computer screens...


...but since Smaug actually wanted to do some work he kindly moved us away from the computer and left us exploring the bookshelves.


Let’s have a look at this one, the front page looks colourful...


...so, yaaawn, interesting...zzzzz


When we woke up we had another look out of the window, ehi, a bit of sun  :) And you can see downtown Calgary in the background...of course, rain and clouds were back very quickly.


Wow, Smaug has some nice poster of his homeland  :)


Next week Smaug is going to work from somewhere on Vancouver Island and guess what? We TVs are all going with him. He told us that he is not sure that he’ll have much time to take photos but we have hope  ;)

* Posted Jun 8, 2009, 1:30 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Campbell River, Canada - 12th June 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

as anticipated in the last update, this week we all went with Smaug to Campbell River on Vancouver Island  :), where he was working for a few days. Unfortunately his carry on baggage was filled by the laptop and other work stuff, so we were forced to fly in the checked baggage, how uncomfortable  :(


After a couple of boring days at the hotel we had a chance to explore the place. First we walked north of the town along the narrow bit of land (called the Tyee Spit) that separates the actual river called Campbell River from the Discovery Passage. The Passage divides Vancouver Island from Quadra Island and is the main route for cruise ships sailing to and from Alaska.

Here we are resting on some driftwood with the Discovery Passage and Quadra Island behind us.


Here I am at the very end of the Spit with the Discovery Passage on my left and Campbell River’s mouth on my right.


And here are another couple of pictures looking upstream along Campbell River.


Going north a few km, the Passage becomes very narrow and near its narrowest point there used to be an underwater island (called Ripple Rock) that in low tides claimed lot of ships and lives in the past. This navigation hazard was removed in 1958: putting there some warning signs might have been a simple and effective idea, but an even more effective solution was chosen and the whole top of the underwater island was blasted off in one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history  :o
On our last evening here we explored the southern bit of the town. As you can see the 50th parallel passes here, how cool  B)


And just south of the 50th parallel there is this big painted rock on the beach just within the high tide line.  It is actually called (you would never think of that!): Big Rock  :stare: It is supposed to be some remnants of the ice age, but one legend has it that it is a boastful grizzly bear turned to stone after not heeding the Great Spirits advice and just failing to complete his attempt to jump from the mainland to Vancouver Island. The tide was high and his back paw touched the water and, as the Great Spirit warned, the bear turned to stone.  By the way, grizzly bears are plentiful along the mainland coastal inlets but none are found on Vancouver Island.


Here we are taking a photo with the southern tip of Quadra Island behind us, while on our way back to the hotel.


And now back to Calgary....again in the checked baggage...where we spent a long long time since the flight was more than 4 hours late  :stare:

* Posted Jun 13, 2009, 9:14 pm Last edited Jun 13, 2009, 10:04 pm by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Aylmer Lookout, Canada - 14th June 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

today we went for a long hike to a place called Aylmer Lookout. This used to be one of the fire lookouts within Banff National Park and , as all the other ones, it has been abandoned a long time ago. But the lookout  location is still one of the best viewpoints in the area, and can be reached via a 12km trail, so we were quite excited.
Most of the trail was in the forest and nothing exciting happened along it, so we didn’t take any picture, but once we reached the lookout, wow, it was worth the wait  :)

Here we are enjoying the view over Lake Minnewanka (almost 600m below us).

The lookout is usually visited by many mountain sheep, not today though.
This is us again looking up the valley leading to Aylmer Pass.

While driving back, just after leaving the car park, we spotted a black bear on a tree a few meters from the road side. How exciting, my first bear “meeting” in Canada, it was huge  :o Unfortunately Smaug didn’t stop to take a picture of each of us with the bear in the background, but just slowed down enough to let us enjoy the encounter and to take a picture of the bear (picture that actually came out dark and out of focus  :(). He explained us that stopping so close to a bear might help him in getting used to humans (and that is bad for both bears and humans) or might make him nervous and scared (and that is very bad for humans as you don’t really want to be close to a nervous bear  :stare:).
Will write again soon  :)

* Posted Jun 17, 2009, 3:51 am Last edited Jun 17, 2009, 3:53 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moose Mountain, Canada - 20th June 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

today we went visiting a place called Moose Mountain.  This is a fairly high peak (2437m) that lies on the eastern edge of the Rockies and have a fire lookout (still used) right at the top. To reach the trailhead we had to drive a few km on a gravel road littered with potholes...my spine is still shaken by the experience  :o.  Of course the road was quite dusty too, hmmm, what was the colour of the car?  :stare:


We could get the first glimpse of our destination through a gap in the trees.


After a couple of hours walking (well, Smaug was walking, we were chatting in his backpack  ;)) we reached the summit. Wow, there was a sea of peaks surrounding us on three sides


While on the opposite side the green sea of the prairies was disappearing into the east.


We didn’t linger much as the weather was turning ugly.


On the way down we managed to take a final picture of the summit...


...before it started pouring down, we even got some heavy hail. But eventually we made it back to the car park without getting too drenched.
During the drive back we stopped to take some more picture of the prairies (you might almost see Calgary’s skyscrapers in the distance...well, it's a bit dark, but they are there)....


...and we explored a natural gas extraction site...that’s not my head fuming  ;), but just the smoke from the gas works down in the valley.


* Posted Jun 21, 2009, 8:00 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 22nd June 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

today we got a "present" in the post: Pepita came back from BC to spend a few days here (guess there's something she wants to pack in her shell) before leaving for Germany. Wow, of course we spent the whole night chatting  ;)


* Posted Jun 26, 2009, 3:59 am Last edited Jun 26, 2009, 4:30 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Calgary, Canada - 23rd June 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

today another guest arrived :) we were expecting PinkyHH to appear anytime soon, so when Smaug appeared with an envelope from Malaysia  we got extremely excited: and it was her!
Of course she was very tired for the trip and a bit confused by the jet lag so we let her falling asleep very early...we’ll have plenty of time to chat tomorrow  ;)

* Posted Jun 26, 2009, 4:31 am Last edited Jun 26, 2009, 4:34 am by smaug [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Medicine Hat, Canada - 25th June 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

today we went with Smaug to Medicine Hat, a town South-west of Calgary where he had to attend a meeting.  The place is 300km from Calgary so we had quite some time on the road to look at the prairies. Well, here are a couple of shots that will give you an idea of the landscape.

But you shouldn’t think that the view was the same for three hours, there were plenty of changes like hmmm, the odd herd of cows grazing on the side of the road, the side of the road were the odd herd of cows was grazing on and of course the colour of the cows in the odd herd of cows, so exciting  ;)
You won’t be surprised that we spent most of the trip reading the newspaper and chatting.

We actually didn’t see much of Medicine Hat itself as Smaug was a bit busy so we only managed to get a picture with the biggest tepee in the world. It is actually a steel structure, much cooler if you are not too close to it B)

When we came back home Pepita jumped in her envelope and got ready to travel to her next host in Germany, wow  :)

* Posted Jun 28, 2009, 5:45 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moraine Lake, Canada - 1st July 2009

By: smaug

Hi Mum,

Today was Canada day here and there was supposed to be celebrations everywhere, but unfortunately Smaug was working, so we were ready to spend the whole day at home  :(. But he came back early in the afternoon and we went out for a little (2 hours each way) trip to Moraine Lake  :D.

This time the lake was full, much better than last time we were here  ;); too bad the best location for photos was closed due to works on the path, but we still managed to take some pictures.
As you can see there was quite a throng  :stare:as a new TV, Orpheus, joined us and we had a guest from Europe, Sigfrido the moose.

* Posted Jul 3, 2009, 3:21 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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