Must be the heat

With Calgary into the mid-30s temperatures today the grand daughters (aided and abetted by their mother) decided this was a day for the septuagenarians to try out the Skyline Luge at the city’s Winsport Olympic Park.

Originating in New Zealand in 1985, the summer luge track runs alongside the Olympic track (1988). It twists and turns for 1.8 kilometres down the hill. It drops over 100 metres and is billed as the world longest luge track.

I gotta say it’s a blast. Go as fast or as slow as you like on the single seater wheeled sled. Speed is controlled by the steering arm.  What amazed us  was the very young age of some of the lugers. One little guy had to have a spell just to rest his arms. Others zipped past so fast I wondered how they could make the turns on the gravity track.

Chairlift to the top under sunny blue skies.

Chairlift to the top under sunny blue skies.

Instruction before the run down. How to steer and how to go and stop.

Instruction before the run down. How to steer and how to go and stop.

Whew! Gramma in the chutes at the end of her second ride!

Whee! Gramma in the chutes at the end of her second ride!

Along the path

Well, there I was out on the pathway today and saw Paddlewheelersomething that wasn’t new but really where I spotted it was new to me. The sight of Heritage Park’s paddle wheeler S.S. Moyie near the southern shore of the Glenmore reservoir lake caught my attention. Usually the vessel cruises over closer to Heritage Park.

I mentioned yesterday pathways reveal things and I thought back to our adventures in the Yukon Territory some 42 years ago. (golly, that long ago!) when we marvelled over the S.S.Tutshi paddle-wheeler in dry dock at Carcross. That vessel  was built in 1917 and restored about the time we were there. Sadly this queen of romantic Yukon history  was lost to fire in 1990. Remnants remain today.  The steamboat had such a big impact on us that we named our dog Tutshi. Sadly, he died too. Other examples of the steamboat era remain at Whitehorse (S.S. Klondike), Dawson City (S.S. Keno) and original and real S.S. Moyie at Kaslo in BC.

With that memory of today’s pathway I thought about the treasures we find in books. Take my novel Finding Dermot for instance. That story takes the reader from Canada to a magnificent city in New Zealand (New Plymouth) with its surf beaches, mountain and great bush walks, to one of the remotest villages in the country (Whangamomona) as well as a frozen winter in Antarctica’s truly wonderful and remote Wright Dry Valley and Lake Vanda. I weaved the story of Dermot and his strange adventure around those places.

The novel is available in all the online bookstores around the world in hard cover, paperback and ebook versions.

Pick up a copy, travel and enjoy the stroll along the reader’s “pathway.”



photo-2I’ve decided I have a fascination of pathways, trails and tracks especially through forested areas, through parks, besides streams, up hills wherever.

It’s not so much the open air, exercise thing. You see a pathway leads to somewhere and I’m curious enough to want to know what’s at the end, or even if there is an end. It doesn’t matter how often I walk the same pathway for every trip is different. It might be the flowers, the breezes, the birds or no birds, maybe a duck, the colour of the leaves, a caterpillar crossing, or the peaceful interrupt of other walkers, young moms with strollers, seniors with a cane, joggers or even cyclists. Some folk smile, some folk greet and others look the other way.  There are days when I don’t see a soul and others when the pathway seems extra busy.

Today I figured a pathway is like reading a book, open the cover and head on in and see where the writer takes you, an adventure in itself.

Then again, a pathway is akin to life itself. Who knows what is round the next bend, where the trail goes or who you’ll meet in the next kilometre or two? Explore the urban landscape and delight in where the trail leads.