When Yaya was about 5, I found an ad in the local paper for a swimming teacher( over 15 years of exp to boot) and he came to our house to teach Yaya to swim. I didn’t know that he wanted to teach her to swim in a day! Lesson ended 10 minutes later, for my child refused to be bullied.
She didn’t want to go for any more swimming after that. It only changed when we came to Canada and she joined the red cross swimming program. She now is in level 8, toothless is in level 5 and baby is in level 3.
We will be leaving Canada in a few months time and I want them to be good swimmers. I also want them to finish the Can skate program run by the skates Canada.
So like yaya wrote, being the crazy lady that I am, I registered the kids for swimming, skating and summer school!
So what I am trying to say is, I, the taxi driver, don’t even have a free minute to read the books that I was planning to read this summer.
So I am taking the longest break since 2005. Be back in Sep.

Back to civilization

This probably was the least planned camping trip I have ever taken the kids to. Probably the success stemming from the trip to Alaska last year would have made me over confident, Besides I also felt pretty confident now that I have a good GPS!
To begin with, I was told in advance that there are no Gas station in the route from Enterprise to Fort Simpson and I must take Fuel cans..And I left the fuel cans at home.. not only the fuel cans.. I also forgot to pack the chairs and my hunting knife( aiyyah.. not the Tarzan style.. I use the knife to cleave the wood to start the camp fire.. I ain’t strong enough to use the axe)
We were supposed to leave early in the morning.. that turned out to be 12 in the afternoon!
Then because Uncle Murphy is in love with me, we got stuck in the mother of all traffic jam..it took 3 hours and 45 minutes to travel 11 km! all because a truck caught fire in the highway. So to catch up on the lost time, we had to drive through all the way to Prince George, pulling over every time I felt sleepy.( I know, I know I am crazy!)
We continued our Journey and camped at Dawson Creek. The same camp ground where we stayed the last time.
We explored the city again, went for swimming at the indoor pool and had so much fun, we decided to stay another night at Dawson Creek. We went to Tumbler ridge and the kids went for tubing down the flat bed creek. Baby also found a pre historic fossilized coral.
Then we went to Pouce Coupe to watch the Canada Day parade. It was strange because we were the only East Indian family watching the parade.
From Pouce coupe we went to Grtimshaw, then to peace river, then we drove all the way to La crete via Manning park. Kids enjoyed the ferry crossing at La Crete..( In winter they make an Ice bridge over the frozen river)
La Crete is a quaint little Mennonite town( all the women folk wear black head scarf and they speak Plattdüütsch ( low German)
We found the best Cinnamon bun there.
From La crete we went to High Level, filling the petrol every time we saw a kiosk.. Fuel is considerably cheaper in Alberta, compared to BC. Our happiness was short lived because fuel was more expensive in NT
From High Level we crossed the 60th parallel that marks the Alberta Northwest Territory boundary. Met Roy Fabian the former chief of a native Band at the information center.
We also saw our first Polar bear!( albeit a stuffed one!).
Then we went to Hay River.
From Hay river we went to Yellow knife.
It is a beautiful town.
The native people are extremely friendly. A stranger offered us fresh trout fillet and mouse jerky!
We had a really good time in Yellow Knife. Someone told us, our visit wouldn’t be complete if we don’t eat at Bullocks. So took the kids to Bullocks. They only serve fish and I am not fond of fish, so I only ordered for the kids. That turned out to be a mistake.
Seeing how my kids were devouring the fish cooked in the secret teriyaki sauce( they even forgot to fight with each other!), I took a small bite and ended up ordering a large plate!
We met Franky, resident chef at Bullocks, who is originally from Victoria. She now lives in a small house, built in the 50’s ( newspaper is used to insulate the room) with no electricity or running water. ( in the winter the normal temperature is -30). Every morning she walks to the lake and haul water back to her room and in the winter, she has to break the ice in the lake and haul the water..which by the time she reaches back to her room is already freezing. A part of me is envious of her.. and the other part of me is very happy with all the luxuries I seem to have!

From Yellow knife, we took the water fall route to Fort Simpson. Saw a lot of black bears, caribou, white tailed deer en route. The stretch from Kakisa to Fort Simpson was not paved and for kilometers we didn’t find anyone else on the road. It was a pretty scary drive and I almost wished I didn’t take that part of the trip. Fort Simpson is a small town and we met a lot of nice people. We are even invited for a native( Dene)gathering end of August!

From Fort Simpson we were supposed to do the Liard highway.. and at the last minute we were told that there was a massive landslide and the highway is open only to light traffic..I didn’t want to take a risk and ended up driving back the same dirt road to enterprise! We found one car travelling the opposite side during the entire 224 km. My phone had no service either!
I had this phobia of ending up with a flat tire and becoming a meal for the bears while trying to change the tire( not that I know how to change the tires! I had always hoped to use the damsel in distress scenario than to learn how to change a tire!)
I would never do that trip again. We saw 8 bears on the way back.. Enough to freak the life out of me.

Yaya wanted to go to Grand Prairie..so we came back via highway 40, visited Grand Prairie, from there we went to Hinton. There is a beautiful beaver board walk in Hinton and we found our first muskrat..and a really big beaver dam and plenty of beavers.

From Hinton we took the icefield parkway to Jasper and Banff.( the most beautiful part of our trip.)
Then we went to Kamloops via Golden and stopped at Revelstoke.
There is a Nickelodean museum and toothless didn’t want to leave the place.
Also took the kids to Skytrek adventure camp. I thought it would be something like walking on the thookku palam! well the truth was I was a bigger chicken than I thought..Kids breezed through the course and I pretended I had a severe back ache (and chickened out!)
It was humiliating to see my 6 year old doing the obstacle course, every now and then she would stop and look at me, only to say clak cluck cluck!
From Revelstoke we went to my friend’s camp ground at Salmon Arm. Spend a few days there and we came back home.

Altogether it was a great trip. Kids had so much fun. But I would rather do the Alaska trip again.
Most visitor information centers in Alberta were badly manned and were often located far away from the highway in obscure corners. We met a horrible lady at one of the visitor center, who insisted that kids can only use the wash room if they do their business quickly! And she had the temerity to tell that we should ensure that washroom was clean after our use! As though my kind( East Indian) are typically filthy!
They also had different opening and closing time and none of them were following the times given on milepost So very often we found ourselves standing in front of ‘closed for the day visitor centers;.. They also refused to give information about North West territory because it was not part of their province. Of course they had the brochures, but that was all they were going to give. Most centers didn’t even have internet access.
But I must not forget to mention Mrs Waters at the Fairview information center. She should get the award for the most sweetest person. Kids loved her. She even gave them post cards and hot chocolate.

Altogether we travelled over 6000 Km( to think that the distance from Kashmir(Jammu) to Kerala(Kochi) is around 3000km), managed to get the required four stamps from each province( BC, Alberta and NT) for the Deh Cho Diamond in the rough passport competition.
Now I am exhausted..
Update: I had the image of Rambo in my head when I wrote about the hunting knife..and somehow Rambo was morphed to Tarzan by the time my brain send the info down to my finger tips!
Mouse Jerky??? Gosh I must have been so exhausted.. Ii was Moose.. not mouse!