Dear future me,

I crossed the border again. Not a physical border, but the fine line between touristy time and quiet time. After I left Banff, which is the tourist capital of the Canadian Rockies, I headed for Canmore to have a small break. I had to recuperate from all the hiking I’ve been doing since I entered the mountains, as my ankle still gives me trouble when I’m overdoing things. I was sad though to have to say goodbye to some lovely people I met here while they were on vacation. The airlines must have been very busy as everyone was leaving Canada, leaving me to be with Me, Myself and I again. And my KLR of course, who was purring like a cat when he could do the thing he loves most: riding. So, back in the saddle I had one more challenge to conquer. Labor Weekend.

Labor Weekend in Canada actually means the last chance for all Canadians to not work. And if you want to celebrate this fact, you all pack up your stuff and go out and hit the roads. I figured that nobody wanted to go to Calgary in this weekend, because why does anyone want to go to a big city when they are free to go anywhere?!? Anywhere! No, somehow, word came out that I was going to Calgory, so everybody decided to join me. Therefore I was forced to pay a lot of money to pitch my tent on a campsite (last available place) as all other options were fully booked. I was lucky though, because the sun had taken control over the sky and I could soak in a pool while it was nearly 30 degrees. Plus, my site was just next to the Olympic Park. The park is still used by some Olympians to practice for winter games, but now it was a perfect Nennie Playground. Of all the things I’ve done in my life, one thing was missing on my list: Sour down a Bobsleigh. As I had to wait for my round, I took a zip line down the ski jump tower first, to shake up my adrenaline. Yeah right, even this preparation didn’t help me to get ready for the downhill to hell ride of my life. When I finally crossed the finish line, my eyes were the size of bowling balls, well hidden behind my sunglasses (so I still looked rather cool). Please let me get back to the safety of my motorbike!

Calgary is a modern city with sky towering buildings and a indoor mall that seems to start at 1st street and ends at 67 st street. It’s a good way to hide for the rain and cold, although, at the time, it was soaring hot and sunny outside. That was a bit different in June, when the state Alberta got flooded big time and a lot of people had to move out their houses into shelters. Not only people in this case, because Calgary has a very beautiful zoo where nature pulled a trick on them. As in real life the Canadian wilderness got soaked by heavy rainfall, the Canadian section in the zoo was the only part that kept dry. Instead, Africa disappeared under water……how cynical. Although, the African animals are at least suited for these circumstances as the Giraffes and Elephants could easily keep their heads up. They did have to rescue the Elks, because their necks are not that long and they don’t have breathing holes in their antlers. Anyway, they had to close most part of the zoo, what is a pity. All I got to see where the animals that I’ve already seen on the roads (expect for the penguins and dinosaurs, somehow I overlooked them while I was crossing Alaska and Canada).

I didn’t mind leaving Calgary behind me too much. I needed a new environment, a quiet environment, and I got what I asked for. Since Labor Weekend is passé, everybody is gone. No more tourist, yahoo! Entering the flat lands of the back country in Alberta (they say it is the prairie, but all I see is endless fields of farmland), the scenery couldn’t be more different than the Rockies. But after a full day riding, I suddenly found myself driving into a hidden valley. They call this the badlands, as you can’t live or do anything here. I guess the Dino’s thought the same and all died in this place. That’s why Drumheller is famous for its museum, which inhabits dozens of different species of Dinosaurs. I didn’t know there were so many and I had never heard of Albertosaurus before. It was amazing and this Nenniesaurus was feeling very small, as I realized that we inhabit this world for not even a mini fraction of the lifespan of our mothers sanctuary (better known as Earth). At the same time, I’m feeling very blessed that I can be part of this grand show in which we all play our own parts. Wow! At times you can find me both cheering and crying at the same time as I absorb all this majesty scenery and stories surrounding me.

A similar overwhelming feeling hit me when I re-entered the Canadian Rockies from the East. This time, I stayed in Nordegg, just outside the national park. Here I encountered the same warm hospitality that I’ve seen earlier in a little ghost town called Wayne (near Drumheller).  It seems very normal to people from Alberta to welcome you to Canada, help you find your way both on the roads and in customs (for example: you don’t drink a beer without mixing it with Clamato juice in a jar), pay for you dinner or even cook you a dinner and let you enjoy great bands and parties. Wherever I go, I seem to keep meeting these very interesting people with their own very interesting stories. And as a bonus, this time I saw the Rockies in clear blue skies. What else does someone need in this world?? Maybe a plan…..because I got no idea what comes next. It was pretty simple in the North: hardly any roads, so no options. Here, I’ve got a trillion ways to go from Radium Hotsprings (my current location) to Vancouver Island. Okay, so time for plan B: just don’t think about it and throw yourself in the deep. That’s why I’m heading to Golden soon to do some serious whitewater rafting in the Kicking Horse River!


Annemieke, 10 September 2013

Reacties 5

Sue 11-09-2013 09:45

woooooooooooooooow wat een verslag en wat een fantastisch reisverhaal weer - nu naar de whiterafting rapids - ben benieuwd!!

bernadette 11-09-2013 12:48

Je kunt niet alleen rijden, maar ook schrijven! Al lezend rij ik stiekem stukjes met je mee en geniet!
Bedankt voor je kaart en keep us informed!
Liefs, Bernadette

geertje 12-09-2013 21:34

Je zorgt er hopelijk wel voor dat je het raften zonder blessures uitoefent he? Je moeder

Aranka 14-09-2013 21:58

Gaat lekker Nenniesaurus. Lekker bezig daar. Ik lees graag mee. Sta versteld van je Engels. Je hebt leuke kijk op de wereld. Jammer dat je geen blog hebt bijgehouden van je werk in het LUMC; hihi. Zet hem op en voetjes vooruit als je in het wilde water geraakt!
Groet Ranka.

Els van drunen 30-09-2013 23:00

He annemieke
Wat leuk om weer over je te lezen en wat leuk dat je ons zo aardig hebt toegesproken toen we in Ottrau waren We hebben je wel gemist.
We hopen dat je een volgende keer er weer bij bent. We hebben in het bejaardencentrum van een nabij gelegen dorp een aardig concertje gegeven
Een hele goede reis verder.
hartelijke groet Els van drunen


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