Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Saturday 30 September 2017 – Wythenshawe parkrun Number 308

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Well, we are back at home and spent this morning down at Wythenshawe Park.

Paul (hidden behind Jan in the above picture) and Jan kindly agreed to pace Sue to a personal best time, despite cool, rainy conditions for this morning’s 261 participants. Sue finished the 5 km course in 24.40, one minute 46 seconds faster than her previous best, on her 74th appearance here. Well done Sue!

Meanwhile I finished last, as planned – it is actually a requirement of the ‘Tail Walker’ to finish last, which I did in a leisurely 53.36.

That gave me a chance to take a few photos, most of which are out of focus…

The pictures are below the captions.

Cromwell looks on with disdain

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Richard and Greg vie for position

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Behind the leaders

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Further behind the leaders

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Even further behind…

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These guys were some way ahead, finishing in a little over 17 minutes

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Richard had now pulled away from Greg

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Mark was enjoying a gentle jog

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This chap was taking a break from run directing… Yes Andy, I know it’s not a race!

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Now listen Greg: “It’s Not a Race!”

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Well, a jolly time was had by all, and it was great to see so many friends after our eight week sojourn in Canada.

Thanks again to Jan and Paul for pacing Sue to her PB.

Full results are here.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

A Canadian Adventure - Day 57


Thursday 28 September 2017

Going Home, and a Party Invitation

Yesterday's posting was late and hurried after a long day and a lovely evening with Shak and the Pharmacists. At least one picture, of the flowers in Kelowna, was out of order. Sorry about that.

Today is a leisurely one, breakfasting, packing the contents of our nine bags into two large ones and two carry on bags. Shak's friend Paul will be the grateful recipient of our unused bear spray and various other surplus camping items. Then we will be brunching at the Cactus Club, returning Charlie to its owners for a wash and brush up after his 5600 kilometres under our tutelage, and catching an early evening flight home via Heathrow.

Then it's back to some sort of routine at home, starting with Saturday's parkrun at Wythenshawe, where Sue may get a personal best and will have to wait for me as I'll be finishing last.

'Postcard from Timperley' has an important announcement about an event taking place on Sunday:

"You are hereby invited to my Tenth Birthday Party which will take place at Timperley Towers between 10 am and noon on Sunday 1 October 2017. There will be cake and refreshments. I do hope to see you on this auspicious occasion."

Today's picture is a flashback to Lake O'Hara. There will be more 'summary' and indexing entries in due course. We have quite a lot of photos to sort through, despite the smoke.

A Canadian Adventure - Day 56

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Around Kelowna, and back to Vancouver

A lovely sunny day for the completion of our journey back to Shak's house in Vancouver, which we now discover has a mountainous backdrop.

We started with an interesting stroll along Kelowna's waterfront, followed by visits to GiObean café and to the Japanese gardens. The town proved to be a pleasant place with some interesting sculptures, including one of Ogopogo, Okanagan Lake's very own version of the Loch Ness Monster.

Then we drove to Merritt, a sparse town that offered Charlie his final top up, and a roadside lunch spot free from juggernauts.

Reaching Shak's soon after 4.30 gave us time for a cuppa before heading back down to the Olive Garden restaurant for a re-run of our first night here nearly eight weeks ago. Another lovely occasion, with Sandy, Debbie, Colin, Megan, Mohammed, Chrissie and Shakeel in attendance. Many thanks, Shak.

7 km around Kelowna, and about 370 km for Charlie.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Canadian Adventure - Day 55

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Revelstoke Railway Museum

The Cube 'Boutique Hotel' was an interesting place. Our en-suite room had all the facilities you need, including a wet room. Other rooms had toilets and sinks, with shower rooms across a corridor. The two storey building had a central atrium around which all the rooms were positioned. Our room opened into this communal area that was more like a hostel than a hotel. Luckily there were no noisy guests, most visitors being quiet orientals. Breakfast was from 7 to 10 am and comprised a buffet that was left in the kitchen area, with a note asking guests to help themselves and wash up afterwards. It all seemed to work fine. A good spot.

We started with a wander around the small town of Revelstoke, which we quite took to. A tidy place with good facilities and nice houses.

Regrettably it was too early for coffee, so we set off on a continuation of our journey back to Vancouver. We passed the Railway Museum. It looked too good to miss, so we turned back and spent a couple of hours in this interesting place. Most of today's pictures come from there.

Opened in 1993, the museum houses some fine exhibits. These include a business car (carriage) that was used for a variety of purposes from 1929 to 1992, and a magnificent 2-8-2 locomotive dating from 1948. The latter was retired in 1954 when diesel locomotives took over from steam.

Revelstoke is a railway town, first settled when the Canadian Pacific Railway was being constructed with the aid of oppressed Chinese workers. The history of its construction and of the 'life and times' of the period is vividly portrayed by way of information boards, works of art and memorabilia, together with well preserved exhibits.

The railway was completed in 1885 amidst great celebration when 'The Last Spike' was driven at 9.22 am on November 7, at nearby Craigellachie, which means Rock of Alarm, by Cornelius Van Horne, the man in charge of construction.

I was surprised to learn that trainmen were required to set their watches to a 'Standard Time' and have them reset to within 30 seconds of the correct time every two weeks, with evidence being recorded on 'watch cards'. That followed a disaster in Ohio in 1891 caused by an engineer's watch stopping for four minutes.

Outside the museum building there are various interesting items of rolling stock including massive snow ploughs and a caboose that housed workers looking after freight trains.

The museum is next to the railway line. The Rocky Mountaineer tourist train, pulled by three modern locomotives, came past. The passengers must have an internal information system that told them they were passing through an historic site, as they all waved to us while the carriages trickled past us.

By now a visit to Conversations Coffee (and cake) House was somewhat overdue....

After that we drove a little way, stopping beside Lake Mara for lunch, before continuing a fairly scenic journey to the large town of Kelowna, where we have a comfortable suite at the Mission Park Inn, which is across the road from a sandy beach beside Okanagan Lake.

Sue got a bit of exercise that I sadly had to decline due to injury, and we made some fine purchases from our favourite supermarket - Save on Foods - for our final 'Al fresco' meal of the trip. Delicious.

About 5 km of sundry bimbles, plus a further 4 km for Sue beside Okanagan Lake. About 200 km for Charlie.

Granddaughter Jessica is four today. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

A Canadian Adventure - Day 54

Monday 25 September 2017

The Iceline Trail

After bidding farewell to Mark and Julianna and William (Adeline was still comatose) we topped up with fuel and headed back up Highway 1 to Lake Louise for coffee and croissants.

The views to the Rockies from the road were stunning on this blue sky morning, with an array of snow capped peaks right across our horizon.

Leaving Lake Louise we spotted two girls in need of a lift, so obliged by transporting them up to Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park. The two Czechs were most grateful. Petra and Tereza were setting out to camp at Yoho Lake. We were envious. Tereza is  involved in outdoor activities at www.adventure-menu.com. Good luck to you both, it was lovely to meet you.

The falls weren't in spate this time, but by the time we started out up to the Iceline Trail we could feel spots of rain by way of a reminder of our previous visit.

The colour has gone from the landscape around here. The fireweed has faded and the trees sport a dark green uniform. The only 'colour' is provided by a few patches of soft, bright snow. The river shows signs of brightness, the former putty grey colour having been replaced by an icy blue.

There were just a few people around. As we reached the high point of the trail we encountered a family that appeared to be a mixture of Canadians and Australians. One of the Canadians claimed to have been in Porlock last week!

Sue takes over from (before) here:

"The Falls were completely different to our last visit, just a mere ribbon of water down the steep cliff, so we didn't linger but sought the path to the Iceline trail that started at the Whisky Jack hostel.

The path zigzagged upwards through pine trees, with views of the falls as they gradually appeared smaller, so that by lunch, they were below us and views of the Daly glacier, from which the water arises, were growing.

The path ascended gradually, onto moraine and rock from the dwindling glaciers hanging above. There were quite a few people out but certainly not crowds. Cloud hung just below the tops so the views weren't stunning but they were better than on our previous, wet, visit.

The ascent of 690m takes you to a high point from where the Little Yoho Valley and small tarns can be seen. After a chat with folk going into the ACC hut (Martin's report hands over here), we turned around, to retrace our route. This would give us better views than descending into the trees.

By 4.30pm we were back at the car, with a continuing journey to Revelstoke, where accommodation was booked. The 2 hour 45 minute journey was made tedious due to numerous sections of road works where the speed limit was 50kph*, and it was all rather grey. We passed through Golden, and over the 1330m Roger's Pass, putting the time back an hour as we left MDT (Mountain Daylight Time), to arrive at the Cube Boutique Hotel at 6.45pm.

Dinner at the Village Idiot Bar and Grill was excellent - best burger of the trip, and a pint of tasty lager, sharing a table with a couple from Calgary."

The pictures:

1 - Mark and Julianna
2 - Castle Mountain, from Highway 1 between Banff and Lake Louise
3 - The Takakkaw Falls
4 - Lunch
5, 6 and 7 - on the Iceline Trail
8 - The Takakkaw red chairs
9 - The Cube (Boutique hotel!)

15 km with 700 metres ascent in 4.5 hours. About 430 km for Charlie.

* The juggernauts didn't seem to recognise this. They blighted a journey that the guide book alleged was scenic, but it was dominated by overbearing lorries, drab greys and dark greens, and very little by way of views. M

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Canadian Adventure - Day 53

Sunday 24 September 2017

Around Calgary

A leisurely morning was capped by a stroll with William to Anna and Dale's house via some nice footpaths in mini ravines.

Lunch in the basement (upstairs is rented out) was followed by a C-train trip with Anna and Dale into the city, where our first target, the Devonian Gardens, were sadly closed for reconstruction.

Dale was delighted to find the cowboy outfitters, Lammle's, still in business albeit he kept his wallet firmly stowed. Lots of hats (stetsons) were tested. Sorry, no photos, except of cowboy boots.

We walked from there to Fort Calgary and spent a while in the museum that traces the history of the North West Mounted Police (later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) since its inception in 1875 for the purpose of maintaining law and order.

Coffee, desperately needed, was provided by the nice people at the site of the old mattress company that we visited a couple of days ago on our visit to the zoo.

A search for a burger for supper drew some disappointments. One restaurant closed, another full, and Tim Hortons rejected. The first acceptable place that we found was nearly empty, but we took the risk. The Anatolia Turkish Restaurant provided an excellent meal and slowly filled up with Turkish customers. A good find!

C-train back to 69th Street, refreshments at Mark and Julianna's house, goodbyes to Anna and Dale, and that's just about it from another sunny day in Calgary.

6 km in sundry bimbles.