Saturday, July 08, 2006

The life of a hedonist ...

Even though there was a drunk guy and his family still occupying our cabin when we arrived at 3:00pm, we did manage to get a giggle as we stood in the shade of a stand of trees to get out of the oppressive sun, as we had much schadenfreude watching him trip and fall over backwards while carrying his cooler out to the van, a cooler which went sailing over his head, opening in midflight, with the beer cans forming perfect arcs in the air above his prostrate figure. It was a thing of beauty and I cursed myself for having no video camera.
total kms travelled = 1100
total hours on the road = 11

Our German Shepherd buddy, Conehead, soon came by to visit us and make sure we were all settled in. Okay, he wasn't wearing a cone around his neck this summer and his name is actually Timber, but he'll always be Conehead to us. He was pretty happy to be invited into the cabin in the mornings to wake up his buddy Eva.

music of the week = the Jesus and Mary Chain, hereafter known as "heathen music"

So Brenda, the owner, had to clean the cabin after the drunk left as we moved our stuff in and the whole time she is telling us highly personal stuff about her family. About how she and her daughter aren't talking and how one daughter moved into town and was going wild (it might have been the same daughter, I'm not sure) and it was all TMI. I really felt like sticking my fingers in my ears and going "la la la la laaaaa, I can't hear you". But, and let this be a lesson to you, I am glad I refrained, as she then said the best line I have heard in a long while:
"I only had to ground my kids once, and that was because I caught them watching The Simpsons. And Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
Fresh Prince of Bel Air?
Did that have some kind of demonic undercurrents that I somehow missed?
Naturally, Fresh Prince of Bel Air immediately became a buzzword in our family.
Heathen music and Fresh Prince of Bel Air...
Number of pickerel feeds we had = 1.5 (but they were damn good)
Eva and I went on the tour again this year. Roland, the other owner, also has a bison ranch, besides owning cottages on the lake. He has a big flatbed trailer all decked out with seats and he takes anyone who is interested on evening tours through the fields of bison. These things are completely wild but do know that the trailer often means oats are available and they come over to get eyeball to eyeball with you. You can't really tell from the photo, but these things are fucking HUGE. Roland's father emigrated from Germany as a young man in order to homestead in northern Alberta and he started a collection of hides and stuffed creatures and things, which Roland has carefully preserved in a museum, which he takes great pleasure in explaining at great length to his tour victims ... er, participants. Eva and I skipped out of the museum part this year.
number of Soduko puzzles started = 25
number successfully completed = 13
Gimpy, the cat, spent a night with us. Last year we knew him as That Goddamned White Cat That Tries To Sneak Into The Garbage. This year, though, it was evident that he had gotten into a fight with something WILD and FIERCE. He was walking on three legs and looked like he had been on the losing end of a confrontation. We actually loaded him into the car and drove him, panting and shedding, to Brenda and Roland's, where we left him because nobody was home, but when we phoned to tell them about it, Brenda told us that he actually lives at our cabin and that he fights with the cats at their place.
Sheesh, so the poor dude had to make it all the way back to our place, where we then fed him scrambled eggs and cheese and leftover chicken and pan-fried pickerel.
number of gimpy, perhaps soon to be three-legged, cats I slept with = 1
Jerry took his little pontoon boat out on the lake every day and fished his little guts out, while Eva and I did Soduko puzzles and swam. Jer even caught his last fish on his flyrod; he wanted to make sure I let you know that.
number of mosquito bites on my body = approximately 250 (although some could be blackfly bites)
percentage which have become red, swollen, and infected = 67
wilderness activities I shall miss:
- cherry pit spitting distance contests
- hucking watermelon rinds into the bush
- peeing in the lake


Leazwell said...

Yea, I hear the mosquitoes are ferocious up there. Hubby has experienced them personally.

Looks like it was a fun time. I would have ENJOYED the museum. Oh, and the bison - tatanka! Love 'em!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

The mosquitos are particularly bad this year, Leazwell.
I enjoyed the museum last year, but the curator has a tendancy to go on overly long, so I snuck out. I never get tired of the bison, though.

Barbara said...

It took you 5.5 hours to get there?
There are no closer lakes with cabins? Oh wait stampede time. There is prob. no accomodation within 4 hours of Calgary. You could have rented out your house..
Three words, Deep Woods Off.
So your cabin comes with pets then...
Does not seem fair to the cat though.
Did that drunk guy drive like that?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There are virtually no lakes in Alberta, BW, not in southern Alberta anyway. Being raised in Manitoba, this makes me nuts, so we drive 5.5 hours to get to a proper lake with trees and fish and such.

These people own 6 cabins, all unique and all completely isolated from one another. I'm not sure if they all come with their own pets, but there are about 15 cats and a couple of dogs living on the entire property, so you are never short of furry friends.

The drunk guy did not drive. We made sure we kept bringing him up in conversation with Roland and Brenda for the next couple of days, to get a rise out of them.

Ben Heller said...

Isn't it awful when total strangers want to tell you their life story complete with dreadful personal details of sexual exploits, marital rows, and parental angst over wayward kids ? I just want to run screaming.

Timber looks a cool dog and it looks like you had a great time other than the bugs. I, like you couldn't have gone to the museum. Looking at animal heads makes me feel incredibly angry and sad at the same time.

She's Crafty said...

I miss camping and amusing characters that make it slightly uncomfortable but ultimately humourous.
I woke my self up in the late late evening with a Nine Inch Nails song and Juliet Louis in Natural Born Killers; this song that during the day I can handle (even enjoy) became extremely unsettling so early in the morning. It has been axed from the playlist.
I can't see Jesus and Mary Chain doing that to me -- good choice for music of the week! I love heathen music, somehow being baptized twice, never affected my musical interests as a teen or "grown up" (can I actually call myself that now). Glad you had a lovely time. Sorry abou the mosquitos. Sarah

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Do you get that too, Ben? I often have people tell me the most amazingly private things - I must have a confessor-type of face or something.
To be honest, there's a lot in the museum that deals with conservation and the history of the area as well, but it is very disheartening to see a stuffed bear.

Hi Sarah, welcome! Yes, sometimes the few moments of squirming discomfort from strange characters are worth the lifetime of amusement afterward.
And I'm loving the JAMC - somehow I missed them the first time around, so I'm making up for lost time.

Allison said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I hate ppl who tell you their entire life story within minutes of meeting them! I feel like watching Fresh Prince again for subliminal msgs or something ;)
Cherry and watermelon spitting is the best part of camping.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You be careful watching that Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Allison! That's devil stuff there!

Yeah, listening to someone spew their life history within minutes is creepy, but sometimes it does provide you with gems like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, LOLZ.

There's something so liberating about eating outside, makes me wish we had a dirt floor sometimes. (well often it looks like we do, but...)

John Mutford said...

Great vacation memories- the bison ranch reminds me of my own Alberta memory. My wife and I got thoroughly lost trying to get from Calgary to Rocky Mountain House and ended up driving right through a bison ranch. It felt a little surreal. It's our obsession to be the first Canadian contestants on the Amazing Race, but we'd probably be eliminated first- we have ZERO navigational skills.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

But I would still vote for you and your wife, John! Driving through a bison ranch takes kahonas, navigational skills or not.

Alana said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time! The pictures are great, and that three legged Gimpy cat sounds super cute! The big dog looks a little freaky but I get nervous around big dogs since last year, but either way, he looks like a really nice puppy...

That's wicked that you got to go so close to the bisons, and the baby one looks so adorable (insert AWWWWWWWWWWWW here).

Glad you guys had such a good trip, sounds like you had a spectacular vacation!

It's good to have you back! :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good to have you back from the lake as well, Alana. And I'm so jealous of you Manitobans who actually HAVE lakes in your province.

Seeing the bison was an amazing thing. They have huge heads - like the size of a VW Bug!

phlegmfatale said...

wow, wildly restrictive tv habits and a strict upbringing - and look how well it's all turned out for the woman: people not speaking, moving to town and runnin' wild. tsk.
Sounds a glorious getaway!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

See PF, that's why I let my kid do ANYTHING she wants.
(kidding. almost anything)

Maureen said...

That sounds like too much fun, really! I think I need to go camping, luckily I live in the wilderness so I can pitch a tent and still use my own bathroom.

michelle said...

You had to drive 5.5 hours to get eaten alive by mosquitoes?

Talk about the stuff great stories are made of! :D I'm so happy to hear that your R&R was well worth the involuntary blood sacrifice... and even happier to have you back!


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Maureen, you could pitch a tent and still sleep in your own bed haha! Which is even better.

Happy to be back too, Michelle. I missed you all. And we have tonnes of mosquitoes in town so it's just like camping!

Will said...

Sounds like a nice trip ... though I am not one to stray from the comforts of my own bed. As for the Fresh Prince, I believe there were some serious satanic messages there - have you heard that song backwards?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

OMG Will, I never thought to listen backwards! You could be onto something. That Will Smith is the epitome of evil, I'm telling ya.