Too Windy to Ride, so letsflykites!
Trapped! in Twin Butte

September 2nd-3rd, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes:We woke up to barely a stirring breeze. That’s it. Shows over. Time to pack up and head home. I set-up my new 10m foil kite which is designed for light winds, and sure enough, there was just enough to allow for 45 minutes of fun in the surf and sun. By the time I came in, I knew that we would have to pack up and leave ASAP if I wanted to avoid being late for meeting Amanda in Lethbridge.

The plan was as follows: JimEh would drive me to Lethbridge, we would meet Amanda, and then all load into his truck for a ride back to Crowsnest Pass, where JimEh and his wife ShirlEh were excited to host us for a few nights. Fortunately, I arrived first, just in time to pick up a package from Mountain Equipment Co-Op at the post office; mail call! Half a dozen spare bike tubes, a new pump, and a sports bra. Amanda and Dona arrived after not too long, and we set off for the “Pass”.

JimEh and Shirley live in Bellevue, one of the Crowsnest Pass communities, and you can see the Frank Slide out of their living room windows. We spent the evening having dinner with their daughter and her family, who were recently arrived from 2-years spent working and living in India. Now Melissa and Marty want to try to be stay-at-home parents, and step off the rat race wheel for awhile, just like us; minus the biking around the world thing. Good luck you two, stick to it!

Waking up the following morning, the skies were dark and foreboding. That didn’t stop JimEh from first giving us a wonderful tour of the town, followed by a drive down to the Castle River for some river kayaking! Fortunately the water levels are really, really, low. This would be my first time in a kayak on a river. I’ve white-water canoe’d and I’ve ocean kayak’d so this would just have to be a fusion of the two. Amanda took pictures for us, and we set off on a two hour tour down the river.

There were a few rapids, and a few spots where we just plain ran out of water and had to get out and push. The rapids were exhilarating, and I fought my darnedest to stay dry, while poor JimEh rolled his kayak and went for a swim (in ankle deep water). Just floating down the river with JimEh was really great. I appreciated the beauty of the canyon, mixed with the challenge of a new sport. When we finished, we had to hike about 1km uphill back to the truck where Amanda was waiting. That rat-bastard JimEh thought he would play a joke on me and it wasn’t until I was at the top when he reached into my kayak and pulled out three huge boulders. He said he felt a little bit bad when I pulled his kayak a quarter of the way up the slope, but he got over it. What a guy!

Quite often when we visit people, it seems like everyone has such a wonderful time. Our hosts get to play “tour-guide” and we get to play “tourist”, which isn’t something Amanda and I have a lot of experience with. ShirlEh made a terrific mutton-feast for us upon our return from kayaking, and we shared it with their neighbour Horst, who it turns out also spends his winters in San Carlos, MX, where we spent 5 months last year. I’m really looking forward to hopefully getting back to San Carlos in time for Christmas where we can visit again with all of our friends down there, including JimEh and ShirlEh; see you soon!


Amanda writes: It was so nice to see Andrew again. I got a great big hug when Dona and I arrived in Lethbridge and it was great to see him. I was sad to see Dona go as I don’t know when I’ll see her again but so grateful for the time I spent with her.

We headed out in JimEh’s truck and enjoyed a lovely drive to Bellevue. It was especially lovely because there was a headwind which is insignificant in a car. We arrived to a warm welcome and lovely dinner with Shirley. It was especially nice to meet her daughter and family. Three generations of Melnychuk’s made the evening so wonderful.

Andrew and I returned to the lovely guest room that we were given and climbed into bed. I’m not sure what I was expecting but as we climbed into bed I was quickly reminded that not only did Andrew miss me, he missed his laptop and internet connection. So with that he snuggled up with his computer and I rolled over and went to sleep.

The following day we enjoyed being tourists with JimEh. We are so lucky when people want to share their community’s with us. JimEh and Shirley were such wonderful hosts. We are so lucky to have such great friends.


Today’s Photographs

Too Windy to Ride, so letsflykites!
Trapped! in Twin Butte