Josée in Ottawa


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It’s a Bit Much, Don’t You Think?

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Every forty feet for forty kilometres.

After spending five glorious and relatively ad-free days in the Canmore-Banff-Lake Louise region, Sis, B.G. and I headed into BC. We drove forty kilometres down Highway 95 between Invermere and Fairmont, and the highway looked like this the whole way. Each billboard was like a slap in the face: “HEY! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! NEVER MIND THE MOUNTAINS – LOOK AT ME I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU! LOOK! AT! MEEEEEE!!!!!”

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More ad space than ads. If you look closely you can see five billboards at once.

Yeesh. Shut the &*% up already, would ya??

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Our Trip to the Rockies, Statistically Speaking

  • Kilometres flown: 2,874 x 2
  • Kilometres driven: 1,529
  • Provinces crossed: 3
  • Number of beautiful lakes we dipped our toes in: 4
  • Number of lakes I wouldn’t let B.G. dip her toes in due to warnings about “swimmer’s itch”: 1
  • Average temperature of the lakes we visited, in degrees Celsius: 4
  • Visits to the hotel pool: 5
  • Hailstorms endured: 1
  • Hotels we slept in: 3
  • Number of times B.G. puked: 1
  • Number of times I was puked on: 0
  • Cowboys we saw during our trip: 2
  • Ice cream cones eaten: 5
  • Number of mountains we saw: Lost count
  • Number of times I said, “Oh my God it’s soooo beautiful here”: Lost count
  • Chances that we’ll return to the Rockies: 99.9%

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I’m So Far Out of My Comfort Zone I think I’ve Left the Milky Way. On a Horse.

I rode a horse in the rocky mountains. A horse. In the rockies. I have proof:

Me. On a horse.

After a traumatizing incident involving a runaway horse and a barbed wire fence when I was in high school I swore I would never ride a horse again. (I wasn’t hurt – but I could have been.) When I was planning our trip out west to visit my sister, I asked B.G. what she’d like to do. Her eyes lit up and she almost shouted, “Ride a horse!” How could I say no? We were heading to cowboy country, after all. But the idea terrified me.

(Total number of cowboys we saw on our trip, minus the one running the ranch we rode at: 1. His shirt was so red and his hat was so white that I still think he may have been a tourist, all gussied up. Guess all the cowboys went on vacation after the Calgary Stampede.)

At first my plan was to send my sister and B.G. riding without me. I was fine with this plan until my sister suggested we also go white water rafting during our trip. Suddenly that became my number one fear and riding a horse seemed totally feasible – I’m even more afraid of water than I am of horses. So when ranch day arrived I gamely saddled up, with a bit of a whole lot of effort. We meandered down the trail and things were going fine until I noticed the trail getting closer and closer to the edge of a rather steep cliff. Horses are surefooted, right? That’s what I kept telling myself as the space between the trail and the edge whittled down to less than an inch. Then our guide, Emma, told us to lean forward on the uphills and backwards on the downhills “to help the horse keep his balance”. Ummm, really? The horse needs my help to keep his balance? I can barely stay in the saddle! I’m gripping the horn so tightly my knuckles are white! This is too much responsibility! Help!

B.G. and my sister loved going uphill. All I could think about was that at some point we would have to come back down. And we did – on a forty-five degree incline covered in rocks. The guide told us to let our horse “have his head” so that he could pick the best route. Yikes! I actually asked her if I could close my eyes. She said yes.

I did open them in time to take in the amazing view:

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PS – I went white water rafting too. 😮