The Good, the bad and the ugly – Radium 2012

I tried to write this yesterday but I couldn’t put a cogent sentence together to save my life!

The Good

Podollan Inn – Salmon Arm

We have stayed at this hotel before. It is awesome for people with dogs. They have some rooms that have direct outdoor access, which is fabulous for getting the dogs out to pee.[1] Plus the floors are ceramic tiles so no worrying if there are accidents. We also had a fully fenced little patio area. The Podollan was also extremely understanding about the mudslide. They agreed to hold our room and not charge us if we had to cancel at the last minute.

RCMP/CVSE in Golden

Every available piece of road was blocked with trucks. They were on the side streets and the parking lots.

We arrived in Golden on Wednesday evening and couldn’t get through because of the mudslide. At first we thought we might go the long way but that was also blocked by a washed out road and some precarious inland ferries. So we waited it out. We were pretty much at the front of the line to get out of Golden. This was a great place to be as we could get up to the minute information if we wanted. I found the CVSE, RCMP and the flaggers to be extremely polite and helpful – as long as people were nice to them. At one point they started letting trucks through to the weigh scales – except for one trucker who had hassled them the day before. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the last one to get out of Dodge!

At the road block in Golden waiting to go


We went out for dinner with some very old friends in Calgary. We had an excellent time even though we waited 1.5 hours for a table![2] It was nice to have lots of time to sit and chat and reconnect. We also had some interesting discussion about the false intimacy that can be generated by Facebook.[3]

Piper and Sawyer

What can we say about these 2 dogs? They were amazing. They spent over 12 hours in the car on Thursday and didn’t complain at all. I have never seen dogs behave this well. They are rock stars! Sawyer also had a great time with my sister’s new puppy. After about 2 days he was looking for some Gigi repellant!

Mountain Restaurant – Lake Louise

I had the best freaking burger ever at this restaurant! If you are ever in Lake Louise go there and have the Mountain Burger. Oh my god!

The Bad

Park Inn in Golden

By the time I started to find a hotel in Golden[4] all the good ones were gone. We ended up at a no tell motel with dog breeders beside us. They smoked a lot of pot, which I confused for the smell of cat pee. I spent the night there with a tiny bit of sheet for warmth and Sawyer up my ass. It was fun!

This was the chair in our room. We didn’t move it. Sawyer like it there.

Smitty’s in Golden

We had breakfast there on Thursday morning. Our server was great. Her name was Fiona[5] and she was very helpful. She was the one who told us the long way was blocked. The food however was atrocious. The bacon was inedible. The pancakes tasted like chemicals and were underdone. Even the dogs wouldn’t eat some of the bacon.


My mother has developed this helplessness thing. She seemed to do nothing for herself and asked in this little voice for people to do things for her. She was relentless. It almost seemed like she was waiting for any of us to sit down just to ask us to get up and do something for her. My sister had to not only contend with her but her husband doing basically the same thing. We are really starting to understand why she is losing her mind.

The Ugly

Mother again

Watching my mother smoke with oxygen on was horrible. Even one of her friends/helpers made her take the oxygen off. I am not sure why she is doing this but it is most disturbing and dangerous! Even though she wears it all the time and has a saturation of 95 she still says she feels crappy. She also does not breathe through her nose so I am not even sure she is getting any benefit from the oxygen. When I drove her home from Radium she would go minutes at a time without breathing through her nose.

[1] Not that I ever have to do this…Deb always does.

[2] It was our fault because we were late for our reservation.

[3] A subject of an upcoming blog no doubt.

[4] We were in Lake Louise.

[5] We like Fionas after watching Shameless!

Road Trip Day 1

Well we got out of the house about 45 minutes late but all went well. We made good time. Piper did well once she calmed down. No more out of control of panting. We stopped once for gas and then in Merritt. The dogs were very well behaved as usual.

We love the hotel we found. We are at the Podollan in Salmon Arm. They have a fabulous pool and hot tubs but we didn’t bring our bathing suits!! We didn’t bring them because I thought the only place we would be able to use them was Radium and I didn’t think we would be able to get away.

The room is great. A king-size bed, a flat screen TV, chairs I can sit on, and a kitchenette! The floors are tile, which is great for dogs. We will definitely stay here again next year if/when we come through. We will be in Radium tomorrow.

We are in the Kootnays!

Deb and I are on our annual trip to help my mother. This year she needed a new computer installed in Calgary. Off we trooped to London Drugs to get the one on sale and we were told they did not have any. So I asked if we could buy the floor model and they said yes. The only crappy part was that they would have to wipe it clean which would mean I would have to install windows and all the drivers. No problem I said.

I unpacked the computer the next morning and immediately had trouble with the video card. There was a card on board but they had also put in a much better stand alone card. When I finally got the video in the right place I installed windows. Then I installed the drivers. The first one I did was the video driver and as soon as it restarted the monitor did not display anything. I had already ruled out the monitor as the problem so I called. They had me go through all the trouble shooting I had already done and finally the solution was to turn the computer off and press delete as it came back up (he reasoned that the driver may have not sufficiently installed in the registry). I did this and it came back up but I remained suspicious.

I installed all the other drivers and everything was working fine. I set up a network as I had my laptop with me. I did the scanner and then I installed office. We went out for dinner and when I came back the monitor was dead. I restarted the computer and it still did not come up. Tried a few more things and decided it must be an intermittent video card problem.

So the next morning I called LD and got a bit of a run around. I have to say that I don’t think the ones in Calgary are as good as what we have in BC but I digress. We got another new computer and at least I did not have to do windows or the drivers. I got the other one mostly done in less than 2 hours including network, scanner and printer. When we go back on Thursday I will finish it.

I always love to see the Rocky Mountains. I grew up with these mountains and spent a lot of time camping and just looking at how they change on almost a daily basis. I love our mountains at home too but they are not quite as majestic as the Rockies.

This visit has not been as bad as other ones. It is a bit disturbing to watch your mother change from being a strong determined woman to a depressed widow who appears anorexic these days. If she gets sick she has nothing to fight with which I find quite disturbing. At 5′ 7″ she weighs 127 pounds.

We will be back home on Friday. I have a 3-day weekend before I am back to work next week.

Breathtaking views

I love where we live. From our backyard we have an excellent view of the Golden Ears peaks. It constantly amazes me that mountains can look different everyday. This morning was a rare treat. It was clear, cold and crisp. There was a thin line of cloud below the peaks but the peaks themselves were completely unobstructed with fresh snow.

I love the mountains. Growing up in Calgary we lived within an hour of the mountains could frequently see them. We spent a great deal of time in the mountains as kids (hiking and cross-country skiing which I hated and would be a topic for another blog!!!). Deb loves the ocean like I love the mountains. This is really the perfect place for us to live as Deb can get to the ocean and I can see mountains.

So in spite of my 2-3 hour daily commute I would not choose to move from here. Coming home to the peace and quiet of the country and the beautiful view we have is soul satisfying.