Archive for July, 2011

29 Jul 2011

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

A Day in LA

That’s Lethbridge, Alberta.

… but you knew that, didn’t you?

It’s been airshow week in southern Alberta, the Airdrie Airshow was on the 16/17 July weekend and the Lethbridge Airshow was on the 23/24 July weekend.  We managed to get to both and, in between the two, had a chance for a private viewing of the Hawk One Sabre with one of the demo pilots.  We didn’t really attend the Airdrie show, but the AeroSpace Museum had a booth selling merchandise and they ran out of ball caps on the Saturday.  Brenda and I were heading out for a motorbike ride about the same time,  so we grabbed a couple of back packs, picked up 50 caps at the museum and delivered them to the Airdrie airport.  We timed things so that we got there in time to see the Snowbirds.  Since it was late in the day, we were on motorbikes and we were making a delivery to a vendor we got to park right at the entrance and of course we didn’t pay to enter.

On Thursday, Brenda had arranged with the Hawk One Sabre pilot, who is a friend of the Museum, for a viewing of the Sabre for any museum volunteers.  I took the kids and we all had a chance to sit in the Sabre and chat with the pilot, Dan Dempsey.  It was pretty neat to be able to see it up close, one of about 10 remaining flying Sabres in the world (out of nearly 10,000 that were built!)

So, what about LA?  Brenda managed to get us VIP passes to the Lethbridge Airshow for Sunday from one of her contacts at the Air Force Museum of Alberta . So we loaded up the van and headed out on a cloudless, calm morning and got to the Lethbridge airfield about noon, just at the show got underway. I gotta say, being a VIP is the way to go!  Preferred parking (steps away from the flightline), preferred seating (with real chairs, tables and umbrellas) at show center, lunch included and reasonably priced drinks ($1 pop, free water) and  it was hosted by the Snowbirds so we got to chat to the guys in the red pyjamas :-).  The day was flawless – sunny, clear and just the lightest of breezes.  The flying demo’s were great – some teams I’d never seen before.  One of the highlights was the A-10, it is amazingly maneuverable.

After the airshow we headed out on a little drive south of Lethbridge.  Brenda has been doing research for the museum on the story of an Alberta-born Lancaster mid-upper gunner who was killed just weeks before the end of WWII as part of an exhibit on “a day in the life” of a Lancaster crew.  For some background, Brenda wanted to see the farm where this fellow was raised near the town of Raymond.  It ended up being a bit of an adventure finding the place and traipsing overland to the old, tumble-down farm buildings.  But it was a beautiful evening for it and well worth experiencing the quiet isolation of a prairie farm on a fine summer evening.

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15 Jul 2011

Posted by under Family,Mobile Blogpost (iphone)

Rafting the Bow

It’s a beautiful day after a few rainy days and we are on the Bow River – rafting with Uncle Brian. Steven, Mark and Alyssa headed out with me and we met Brian at Ft Calgary. We dropped our van off then drove to Bowness park to launch the zodiac.

We’ve just got on the river and here are the first couple of pictures.





UPDATE: Sunday the 17th.

Here is a map of the route we took down the river:

We were on the water sometime before 1:30pm from Bowness Park and out of the river about 4:20 at the confluence of the Elbow and the Bow. We covered about 18 km in that 3 hours.  Compared to other trips down the Bow in previous years, that is really fast. Usually we have done the river later in the summer and that distance would take about 5 hours. The Bow was still pretty high and turbid with spring runoff, lots of the little islands (gravel bars, really) were under water.  In particular, the big gravel bar at the Elbow wasn’t there and the water was moving fast – we nearly overshot our landing spot, which would have been a pain!

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13 Jul 2011

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family,Photos

Alyssa’s Still Life

Alyssa's Still Life

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10 Jul 2011

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

…Fickle Fame

Funny thing about that 15 minutes of fame, it seems that you don’t get much say regarding when that 15 minutes is!

Peter Mansbridge did show up at the Aero Space Museum on Thursday, but first thing his crew told Brenda was that they were cutting her from the interview. At least they were still able to interview the WWII veteran, Les Greig, who had come out from Vancouver in hopes of having a chance to meet the Duchess of Cambridge. Les had been a flying instructor at #37 SFTS during the time the Duchess’s grandfather, Peter Middleton, was a flight commander at the training school. They worked together for a significant period of time. Les’s interview was broadcast on the National on 7 July. Les flew to Calgary on Wednesday, hoping to be able to meet the Duchess and give her a few old photos of her grandfather.

Les (and many others) had hoped that the Duke and Duchess might make a short visit to the Aero Space Museum as part of the private itinerary just to see where Kate’s grandfather had served for a good portion of WWII. As it turned out, no such stop occurred – which was a bit of a shame for Les. Even so, there were a few of us around who had a great opportunity to hear some of the stories and recollections that Les shared about his time in Calgary during the war, as well as his operational time in Lancaster bombers as a Pathfinder. In fact, on Friday at lunchtime as the royal motorcade went driving right past the museum, Brenda and I and the kids were having lunch with Les and another veteran. That was an historical occasion – maybe not with the same flashiness as meeting royalty, but one which is plenty rare enough 66 years after the end of WWII.

Brenda joked that it isn’t just the white hats that make Will and Kate ‘official’ Calgarians, but they too, like most Calgarians, have “driven by the Aero Space Museum, but just never took the time to stop in”!

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