Tag: Prince Albert National Park

The Weekend

For a quiet weekend, it sure was busy.

  • We went out for drinks at O’Shea’s Irish Pub with Pat Lorje and her husband Tom.  It’s always a fun time.  For those of you who wonder what gets talked about, it’s a bunch of “Donald Trump did what?  I stop paying attention to CNN for and hour and he did what?”  I don’t know who the cooks are at O’Shea’s but they were only going through the motions Friday night.  Maybe I am asking too much but I want good food at a local pub and O’Shea’s has never seemed to understand that.
  • Then on Sunday we got up early and drove to Prince Albert National Park and the village of Waskesiu with Oliver.  We did some shopping, went for a bit of a swim in the lake, had pizza at Pete’s Terrance and then drove out to the Narrows Campground.  We are planning to spend Thanksgiving Weekend out there this year.  We have been to Paighton Beach (see last Thanksgiving’s post) but had never been to the campground.  We check out some spots and then drove back into town where we got Oliver an ice cream cone the size of his head.
  • We got back into the city in time to head back to O’Shea’s for a drink with some friends.

For Thanksgiving, we will bring up Mark and Oliver’s three season tent and also bring up a summer four person tent.  We will have lots of blankets, our warm sleeping bags, and stuff for warm food.  With warm clothes, hot chocolate, and a dog to cuddle with, we will be fine for two nights.  Now to train Marley to cuddle with me rather than Jordon when she is cold.   The entire park is so quiet that time of year and I am really looking forward to spending that time together.

That didn’t work out at all

So today was supposed to be a fun trip up to Waskesiu and Prince Albert National ParkMark had to work and so it was just going to be Oliver, Jordon and I.  We got to just past Rosthern and Jordon goes, “Umm, did you grab the Parks Canada pass?”  Doh!  No I had forgotten.  I did grab my camera strap though.  I’m not saying forgetting the Parks Canada pass was my fault but I am the one that has a special spot for it in a special envelope and always says, “I’m responsible for the Park pass.”   So let’s blame Jordon for this one.

So we turned around and headed back and then debated do we wait until Mark is done at 3:30 p.m. and then go for dinner or go next Sunday.  Since the Angry Taco is now closed and for sale, we just decided to get up early next Sunday and then the four of us go then.   Also, after reading several reviews that say that the Angry Taco is a horrible place to eat, I am starting to think I idealized in my memories how good it was.

For those of you who don’t know, Jordon and I vacationed in Waskesiu a year after I we were married.  This is when Jordon told me the big lie.  He told me that Lake Waskesiu is warm like a tropical lake and to jump right in.  It’s not.  It is a northern lake that is deep and cold and did I mention it is cold.  I almost killed him.

Last Thanksgiving when we had an amazing picnic on a secluded beach in Waskesiu, we all waded into the water.  It was beyond cold and brought back all sorts of cold memories.  Hopefully it is nice next weekend and if it is, I’ll brave it.

Also Jordon one time told Mark that he had an older brother Dad who was eaten by the Loch Ness Monster’s Canadian cousin, “Lockie” while on the breakwater at Waskesiu.  Mark didn’t buy it but when he came home and asked his Uncle Lee if had an older brother who had been eaten by a monster and Lee said, “Dan.  We miss him a lot.”  So Dan is kind of like Kenny from South Park.  He has died a lot of different ways on a lot of family trips.  The guys are so weird.

So with some suddenly free time, we came home and finalized our Christmas gifts.  The bad news is with Mark reading this blog daily (Hi Mark!) and Oliver being able to read, I can’t blog about what I am going to get them.  Well bad for Mark and Oliver that is.

The weekend

  • Dinner tonight is Beer Can Chicken.  I haven’t made it in a while.
  • Today’s project was to prime some exterior windows and my front door.  Mission Accomplished.
  • I also found some time to get a new watch battery for Jordon’s Invicta but no luck on a new watch strap for his Casio that Marley chewed.  To the internet for that.   Changing the battery took soooooooooo loooooooooong.  Jordon was at work so I was texting him to waste time.  So glad I have an unlimited texting plan.
  • The boulevard that a city contractor tore up last year but didn’t reseed is coming along nicely but I had to Killex it today.  It is a bright green and looks good but the rest of the boulevard looks like crap even when fertilized, watered, and mowed.  That is part of the master plan.  The city planted really poor grass seed on the westside compared to what they planted on the eastside for decades.  Along the side of the house, we had to reseed much of it over the first few years and the new grass has spread a little each year.  That is the plan along the front of the house.  In 20 years or so it should look great for some other owner.
  • We are redecorating our living room.  We replaced the sailing photos and art that had been there for years with some vintage Canadian Pacific Railways travel posters.  We had them mounted on Gatorfoam and then on the walls.  Along with that, we have had some amazing travel photos printed at Don’s Photo from over the years that we are framing and mounting.  It’s a fun job and it is always nice to see some photos by you and of you mounted on the walls.
  • We are heading to Prince Albert National Park and Waskesiu tomorrow.  No real agenda.  After a long week around here, just looking to get away.   I plan to walk into the warm healing waters of Waskesiu Lake.  Wait?  It’s cold and freezing?  Maybe I’ll just ice cream.

Around here…

  • Jordon and I started talking about our 2017 holidays with Mark while in Banff.  Jordon posted the early version of what is up here.
  • Our sleeping bags weren’t warm enough so we picked up some 4 pound bags for next year.  The ground is cold in the mountains even if the air is warm.  Some nights the air was cool as well.
  • We are upgrading our towels to microfibre camp towels.  They take up far less space.
  • I suggested to Jordon that instead of getting a coffee press, he uses one of my travel tea presses.  Big mistake.  He was chewing on coffee grounds.  He went and bought himself a GSI Outdoors Coffee Press.  Finer filter, no grounds. 
  • We have a new sofa and loveseat.  Marley is struggling with the concept that she isn’t allowed up.
  • I like this photo Mark took of Jordon.

Jordon Cooper walks along the Lake Louise shore

  • We are heading up to Waskesiu for Thanksgiving.  If it is nice we will camp up there in there in the solitude.
  • Some tips I will need as I am getting older, how to age better.

Mark is 16 today

16 years ago today Mark was born.  Today we are celebrating another time the earth has circled the sun and Mark hasn’t been tossed off.

Mark Cooper turning 16

For his birthday, we gave him a new hiking backpack.


and a pair of Pentax UP 8×21 black binoculars.

Pentax UP 8x21 black binoculars

They are the same kind that the boys got me for Mother’s Day and are perfect for hiking and a a Victorinox Swiss Army Spartan knife.

Victorinox Swiss Army Spartan knife

and a pair of Sennheiser HD 202 II headphones.

Sennheiser HD 202 II headphones

We also got him a front pocket wallet from Cabelas.  Jordon has one and loves it and so we got Mark one.

After work today, we are taking him to Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual and then this Sunday, we are taking both Oliver and Marley for their first long hike in Prince Albert National Park to the Spruce River Highlands.  It is going to be a 8.5 km hike into the backcountry and back near Anglin Lake.  Hopefully we make it back in one piece.

Back in the day turning 16 meant that you could get your drivers license.  Mark is in drivers education this year and under new rules, he has to pass his drivers education and then have a clean drivers record for 9 months and then he gets his driver’s license.  I guess that mean’s that the sidewalks are safe for another couple of months.

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!  Hopefully your day is a good one and your kids treated you well.

I was woken up with the boys bringing me up some Mother’s Day gifts.  Oliver had made me a card and a gift at school.  The gift was a picture of him holding a sign that said, “Happy Mother’s Day” on it.  It was a great job by him and his teacher.

The boys got me a pink pair of Pentax 8×21 U-Series UP Binoculars.

Pentax 8x21 U-Series UP Binoculars

They are compact but of high quality and will be great to take hiking with us this summer.  They also come with a lifetime warranty.  I’m pretty excited by them.  Oh yeah, they are super cute and pink!

They also gave me some double sided Wendy Cooper business cards. 

Wendy Cooper Business Cards

There were some packages of Fujifilm Instax film and a Fuji Instax album.  It wasn’t just any film but Air Mail and cartoon themed film.  All of it was cool.

Fuji Instax albumFuji Instax album

I am always intimidated to print out my photos.  Jordon gave me a Itoya 11×14 portfolio which will force me to not only take some great photos but edit them and print them.  Luckily I know of just the place.

Itoya  Art Profolio Advantage, Bound Portfolio with Crystal Clear PolyGlass Pages for 11x14 from Don's Photo

For brunch, the kids took me to Smiley’s Buffet for brunch at 10:00 a.m.  It was quiet when we got there and insane as we were leaving.  Luckily we went early and got a spot (they don’t reservations for groups under 8).

I was kind of difficult when coming up with some Mother’s Day ideas to do and so Jordon just said fine, “I’ll plan something.”  He had the kids pack their bags and place them in the car.  After brunch were done, we got in the Ford Focus and hit the road.  He drove us to Prince Albert National Park where we wandered into the Parks Canada office and bought a Discovery Pass that is good for all National Parks and National Historic Sites from now until May 2018.  Jordon was giddy with it as he has wanted a Parks pass since he was a kid.  They never had the money for it growing up and we got too busy when were adults but he was so happy purchasing it.  He also got me a nice Parks Canada t-shirt. 

We also took some time to try out the Parks Canada Red Chairs…

Trying out the Red Chairs in Prince Albert National Park

The first couple of many I hope to enjoy this summer.   We also went for a walk around Waskesiu.   Despite being  before the long weekend, quite a few places were open.


Oliver Cooper at Waskesiu

All in all, it was a pretty great Mother’s Day.  Thanks everyone for making it special.

First trip north of 2016

With the boys off of school, I decided to take the week off of work and spend it with them.

On Wednesday Jordon told the boys to get their go-bags and get into the car.  We then went to Don’s Photo where Jordon ran in and bought a Ricoh WG-4 camera to replace his WG-10 and then we went north to Waskesiu for the day.

We knew it would be sloppy and a mess so we tooled around a bit and then took Highway #263 to the Height of Land Lookout Tower.  At the top of the 15 metre tower you are 100 metres higher than Waskesiu; you can see King Island, Shady Lake and Beartrap Creek.

Height of Land Lookout Tower in Prince Albert National Park

Once navigating the nightmare that is the rest of that highway to Highway #2, we were back in Prince Albert and then home.

Prince Albert National Park is so gorgeous and quiet this time of year.  Without leaves or more than a handful of people in the park, it is an amazing time to visit.

Getting ready for summer

So Jordon and I were having this casual conversation about this summer and he said, “both of us need to start getting in better shape”.  I just glared at him and was silent.  I had hoped he would see the disgust and anger in my eyes and move on but he was right.  Both of us need to get in better shape for some of these hikes we have planned.

I am taking the week after Easter off of work to spend some time with the kids.  Part of that will be walking miles of the Meewasin trail system as I work back some cardio and get back in shape.  The plan is to walk from home, down through always pleasant Caswell Hill and Riversdale and along Victoria Park until I get to the Grand Trunk Train Bridge.  Then I will walk along the east side of the river through Exhibition Park, Saskatchewan Crescent, the University of Saskatchewan until I get to the CP Rail Bridge where then I will walk (crawl) up 33rd Street until I get home.  I plan to do that every day and I will be cursing Jordon each and every step of it.

Our first short hike will be in the hills around Fort Carlton on Mother’s Day.  Then a couple weeks later we are doing the Spruce River Highlands Trail in Prince Albert National Park.  A couple of weeks after that, we are walking 40 kms to Grey Owl’s Cabin and back.  In July we are doing several hikes in the Rocky Mountains.  It’s coming sooner than I want to think about.

So today Jordon and I went out to Atmosphere and Sport Chek to see what I needed to be comfortable this summer.  In the end I bought a pair of spandex tights and some shorts and I figured out what kind of shirts I need to get.  While we were out, we picked Jordon up a lightweight rain jacket that is light enough to easily pack in a day pack.  Once Mark decides what color he wants to get, we’ll get him one as well.

Later in the day Jordon got me some scrubs which will be fine for lounging around the fire or chilling out in the campground when it cools down at night.   He also got Mark some wind pants in case the weather is bad while we are there.  If you don’t like the weather in Alberta, wait five minutes and it will change.  Of course that goes both ways.

We have most of what we need.  Other than a Therm-a-rest for myself, we are set for all of the big items.  Basically it is just the small stuff and getting into better shape is all I need to focus on.