Monday, June 27, 2016

Short Trip to David Thompson Highway

I first thought of going to David Thompson Highway area last year when I read about Abraham Lake bubbles in winter. Never got a chance until just past weekend especially due to unemployment. This motherfucker unemployed situation kills you. I hope no one ever sees him or herself in such situation. Nevertheless I talk to The Chef and we actually aimed for Red Rock Coulee near Medicine Hat but then I checked the weather and realized that would be rainy so we switched to Cline River and the area above. The Chef wanted to make some Kebab and asked me to join him for some shopping in a Safeway. While in there I told him to use the Lamb he had purchased when we went to Red Deer Lake Meats a few weeks ago. He agreed but he said he also liked some Chicken Kebab so he got a pack of Drumsticks and a few ingredients for marinating from Safeway.
I told him whether he wanted any help and he said he would have been fine! OK! Good luck with marinating a big piece of frozen Lamb and a pack of Drumsticks!
I set up the alarm for 05:00. My plan was to be at his place by 05:45 and go for a breakfast together and then hit Highway QE II. The damn alarm didn't go off for whatever damn reason and I woke up by myself at around 06:00! Dressed, jumped to the car a drove to The Chef's. I was hoping to have our breakfast in Airdrie but the GPS directed us to Highway # 22 instead so before leaving the city we had our breakfast in an A&W. I have to say here that A&W's coffee has recently been excellent, the last three times that I have tried in the past 2 month.
We then drove to Cochrane and from there to Sandre and further north to Rocky Mountain House and then west on Highway # 11. This is a very beautiful area and you see Abraham Lake shortly, maybe only half an hour after leaving Rocky Mountain House. It is an man-made lake and for whatever reason has incredible colour.
The Chef here has made three skewers ready. We even didn't have to blow air with something like a fan. The wind barbecued our meal for us!
The Chef was not in the mode of any hiking and in fact couldn't even climb up a short pile of dirt so we only took a few photos and enjoyed the scenery. Then we walked by the lake for a few minutes until he said we would have to find a spot to assemble or fire so he would make the Kebabs.
We pulled at the side of the road shortly before the trail-head of Pinto Lake looked for a good spot. He wanted to build a stone fire pit but I just found one on the top of a short rock, close to our car and showed it to him. He had purchased a big bag of Charcoal so he started making the fire and then putting the pieces of marinated meat on the three long skewers he had brought. In the meantime I realized that he had brought a bottle of favorite drink, Absolute Vodka and a big jar or 7-Up! I knew he would not have the lunch without an alcoholic beverage but when he poured me a small cup and drank it I didn't feel good in my stomach at all! He said that had happened because my Stomach was empty. He was right! We had our breakfast around 07:15 and it was almost 13:30 or so. I chewed and swallowed a piece of bread and a few branches of Cilantro to calm my stomach. It helped a bit.
The first set of Chicken Kebabs didn't come out well. The outside, the skins were burnt but the inside was raw but the Lamb was excellent. The Chef had marinated them in a mixture of Yogurt, Parsley, Onion, Garlic, Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil and maybe a few other things. For the second set of Chickens he scratched the surface of the Drumsticks and before putting them on the fire. I guess we each had at least three long skewers of Kebab! I was about to explode and suggested to go the the shore of the lake. We both had Vodka as well but I guess The Chef had too much because he started acting drunk! We collected everything and put them in the truck before walking toward the lake's shore which was not probably more than 20 min. walk but he couldn't do that easily.
On the way back I first thought there were people going to my vehicle and then when got closer I saw two trucks approaching. Looked carefully and realized one was RCMP and was sure the other one was from the Park Rangers. I was right! Damn! I saw one officer looking through binoculars! I don't know whether he was looking for something or it was just a random check on the people. For a moment I thought we'd be screwed because if he had tested us for alcohol or found the Vodka bottle, we would have been both in the world of shit! I put the camera in and went back toward The Chef and told him not to go to the car! He first didn't get what I was talking about because he was drunk! I explained to him again and directed him to a corner. I told him to wait there for me to bring the camera. " We're not going anywhere" I said! He saw me chewing a gum ( I had taken it out when I went to the car) and asked me why I had not brought him one to help him to snap out of his drunkenness!
I ran toward the car because it was a proof that I was not drunk so the police would leave me alone! Luckily both of the trucks left after a minutes and I sighed!
We saw this cub and its mother grazing beside Highway # 93 shortly after leaving Saskatchewan Crossing. Unfortunately I didn't have my telephoto zoom lens on me and I was in rush to get them before they're gone so the picture is not good. The strange thing was that they paid no attention to a few cars that were there and watching them. No reaction at all!
We then decided to leave because it was getting late. meanwhile The Chef, still under the influence of alcohol said that he had lost his cellphone! We looked for it and we found it. He put it in the door's compartment and then in less than 1 minutes again he said that he had lost it! I couldn't fucking believe it! I saw the damn phone slid to the door's pocket but it was not there! I pulled over and The Chef started looking everywhere! In the glove box, under the mat, under the seat, you name it! And then he got really paranoid! He started looking at side of the road in between the wildflowers and grass(!) although I totally do not deny that! When you're drunk, you do everything! So I thought he had thrown the damn thing out of the window! We didn't find it and then he asked me to try his number! What happened: No network coverage! He was disappointed then and asked me to drive. A few kilometers down we reached a campground, I think it was Kootenay Plains and there was a pay phone. He asked me to try the number again! I knew if there was no coverage it means the phone would not ring but tried it. No result. We continued on Highway # 11 towards south until we reached Saskatchewan Crossing and stopped for a break. I checked my phone and noticed that all of the bars are showing. I dialed The Chef's number and the ring was heard! The telephone was there somewhere! I thought it was in one of hi pockets and he had not noticed that because of being drunk and all but when we listened a little better we realized that the telephone is heard from the door pocket! Unbelievable! We had checked that compartment and everywhere else but had not found it! It was a relief for him considering he had lost his glasses as well! This is what happens when you drink too much! 
We stopped a few more times for photography on the way home including two times to catch Bears! I really don't know what drives Bears to go to the sides of highways but I saw two beside Highway # 1 in two separate days, both after passing Revelestoke but once a Grizzly and once a Black Bear like the one we saw on Highway # 93. I guess it was almost 22:30 that I dropped The Chef at his place and went home. Overall Davis Thompson Highway offers a variety of activities from camping and hiking, to fishing and scrambling and has great scenery. I hope I can go there at least twice once in summer for hiking and scrambling and once in winter for photography.
(Photo, top: Mt. Michener is named after one of the Governor Generals of Canada. Abraham lake and a bend in Highway # 11 are also can be seen)

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